B’Tzelem Elokim means we are all made in God’s image. It is the ultimate message of diversity and inclusion—a message that equalizes all to one divine standard, a message that is beyond divisive or judgmental criteria. This concept is a tenant of Jewish faith and identity for the Judean people, who share a common culture, language, tradition, and even DNA regardless of physical appearance. In a world that has finally come to embrace diversity, such a fundamental truth should be acknowledged in a nation that embraced it long before it was common.
The history of the Jewish people is a complex one stretching back thousands of years. Two enduring characteristics have remained true. The first is that Judean identity extends far beyond religion to a common culture amid great diversity. The second is that throughout all the tragedy and pain, Jews have persevered in their efforts to spread light into the world, often through the arts.
This exhibition is a tribute to and celebration of the diversity of the Judean people—a diversity that transcends phenotype as well as religious beliefs, as a number of the singers featured consider themselves atheist despite their ethnic and cultural ties to the Judean people. As well, in the spirit of B’Tzelem Elokim, it is also a tribute to the beauty and divinity of art to transcend all boundaries among people.