Both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur fall in September this year, making it the holiest month in the Jewish calendar. In honor of these High Holidays, we will feature three subjects and three artists throughout the month. Check back to see the other featured portraits. Our subject is Yehuda Dubner, drawn by Nicky R.
When Yehuda Dubner was a boy in Lodz, Poland, he and his younger brother Israel sang in the choir at their synagogue. Shortly after Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, persecution of the Jews began. The Dubner family was driven out of their home and into the Lodz ghetto, which Jews were forbidden to leave. Within a year, Yehuda and his father died from starvation.
When we began working with this photo, we thought it was of Yehuda’s brother Israel, who survived and emigrated to the United States. A member of his family came across our project and contacted us to let us know whose photo we really had, and what had happened to the two boys. It was a very bittersweet moment for all of us.
Nicky was moved by Yehuda’s story and enjoyed the process of keeping him alive through art:
“I wanted to do justice to the person in this picture despite the fact they would never see it. I felt like maybe I could show them in a new way.”
-Nicky R., Wellington High School, Florida