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ROM Press catalogue celebrates Weinberg Cherry collection of Judaica at the Museum
Chagall Mezuzah, State of Israel, Jerusalem, Arta Gallery, 1996. 24K gilt bronze case, glass cover over a silkscreen print. H. 13.5 cm × L. 3.5 cm.

TORONTO.- The Royal Ontario Museum announced a new ROM Press publication featuring objects from the Dr. Fred Weinberg and Joy Cherry Weinberg Judaica Collection.

The lavishly illustrated catalogue Judaica: The Dr. Fred Weinberg and Joy Cherry Weinberg Collection at the Royal Ontario Museum is written by ROM Curator Emeritus K. Corey Keeble. Presenting a compelling look into Jewish cultural life, the publication highlights important examples of European decorative arts, including ceramics, glass, metalwork, textiles, and works on paper, which are displayed in the Museum’s Dr. Fred Weinberg and Joy Cherry Weinberg Judaica Gallery. Works of artistic beauty, the collection’s objects range in style and form and reflect many aspects of Jewish life, from synagogue worship to holiday and Sabbath observance, to the marking of significant life cycle events. Each of these objects present a narrative and their shared history can be looked upon as a collection of stories. Ideal for readers interested in learning more about Judaica and Judaism in both cultural and stylistic contexts, the catalogue is also an inspirational guide for collectors of Judaica as a field of study.

Josh Basseches, the ROM's Director and CEO, says: "The Weinberg Cherry Judaica Collection holds an important place in the Museum's galleries. The catalogue represents an ideal opportunity to share aspects of Jewish life, both past and present, with our visitors and the greater community beyond the ROM’s walls. Ultimately, the publication reminds us of the great cultural diversity that defines the Canadian experience."

In the book’s dedication, Joy Cherry Weinberg writes, “This collection represents a continuum of customs and traditions connecting the past to the future. Its objects continue the unbroken cord of Jewish tradition and heritage and lovingly reflect both religious and cultural elements of Jewish life. This book, like the gallery itself, fulfills our vision to create an awareness and understanding of Jewish history.”

Author Corey Keeble states, “As collectors, Fred and Joy were interested in documenting themes and assembling objects following the Jewish life cycle. They collected what they enjoyed and what interested them personally. This approach inspired both the gallery that bears their name and this catalogue.”

The Dr. Fred Weinberg and Joy Cherry Weinberg Judaica Collection represents the first presence of Judaica in the ROM’s permanent collections and provides visitors an opportunity to explore the history of the Jewish people in historical, cultural, and artistic contexts. Judaica refers to aspects of material culture relating to the life and history of the Jews as well as the monotheistic (one G-d) faith of Judaism—particularly true in those objects designed and used for religious observance. Celebrating the spiritual life and ceremonies of the Jewish people, the objects included in the new publication are displayed in the Dr. Fred Weinberg and Joy Cherry Judaica Gallery, located in the ROM’s Level 3 Samuel European Galleries. Opened in 2000, the Gallery’s objects show significant variety in their subject fields, places, and times of origins. They date from the 1700s to the present and encompass design movements ranging from neoclassicism of the 1700s, revival styles of the 1800s, Art Nouveau of the early 20th century, and later modernist and postmodernist design.

The Weinberg Cherry Family has funded educational programs to offer students the opportunity to share beliefs, traditions, and knowledge. Hands-on labs have been created by ROM Learning, encouraging students to touch authentic ancient artifacts and learn about the history of Judaism and monotheism in a global context. The Weinberg Cherry Family Foundation School Visits Bursary provides teachers and students complimentary access to these programs.

K Corey Keeble, ROM Curator Emeritus, is a recognized authority on the history of Renaissance and Baroque bronze sculpture and European arms and armour. His interests include Medieval sculpture, Gothic and Gothic Revival architecture, Medieval and Modern stained glass, the Russian Orthodox Church, ships (he is a well-known lecturer on the Titanic), firefighting apparatus, and Judaica. An avid lecturer on Toronto architectural history, Keeble has led many walking tours of old Toronto. In recent years he has also become well-known for his architectural walking tours of several American cities. He is the author of The Honourable Henry N. R. Jackman Collection of Toy Soldiers in the ROM (2002).

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