Review: Photographer Captures the Essence

The Bell in the Crown: Photographing the Jews of Crown Heights and Their Rebbe. The Photography of Ira Berger. 145 Pages.

By staff

Photographer Ira Berger’s relationship with Lubavitcher Chassidim began over 35 years ago. In 5744/1983 he headed over from Park Slope, Brooklyn to 770 to catch a few pictures of Yidden celebrating Sukkos. The warm reception and invitation to photograph the people in shul kind of threw him off guard. He didn’t expect to be allowed in and use the camera so freely.

Years later he was again told that if he wants to snap Jews celebrating their Judaism joyously then Crown Heights is the place to go.

The photographs are a beautiful collection of around the year occasions. Happy and not so happy. Young and old are captured. Professions you can find anywhere, and those that are limited to frum neighborhoods. Crown Heights and the Ohel. Many people were kind enough to share their personal simchas with Ira, without losing the modesty that is Chassidic life.

The reviews are in. People love the fact that they can get a “glimpse into a community that is so devoted to their traditions and to the Torah.” That “the soul of the people photographed is on display,” not just the photographer’s eye for good shots. That the “Torah is current and relevant, not just a set of rules that was given 3000 years in the desert.”

It’s a simple yet fascinating tool for those that do not live a life of Torah and Mitzvos to get a glimpse of those that do.

For orders or inquiries please contact: Ira Berger PO Box 604670 Bayside, NY 11360

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  1. I’m very touched by this review. Thank you Anash, very much.

    I want to point out to readers that 1/3 of the photos shown here are from my book and the rest from my Facebook page, Jews of Crown Heights.

    Big time thank you, again.

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