In finearts, First, stories

To inaugurate our new gallery space in honour of Rosh Hashanah 5780, Holy Blossom Temple is proud to present selections from The Last Folio by renowned Slovak-Canadian photographer Yuri Dojc.

On a return trip to his homeland in 2006, Yuri embarked on a pilgrimage to rediscover and document Jewish life in Slovakia. His first encounter was an abandoned Yeshiva whose doors had not been opened since the day the entire Jewish community of that town was deported to Auschwitz in 1942. Inside he discovered the relics of this community frozen in time: siddurim, chumashim, books of Talmud and history, student notebooks, ceremonial Judaica; each one a fragile monument, a sacred treasure.

Yuri was compelled to scale the country on multiple return visits – together with filmmaker Katia Krausova – document the last remaining sites and survivors of this once vibrant and now nearly destroyed community. The culmination of their pilgrimage is a film and collection of photographs called The Last Folio, which has also been published in two books.

Amidst his remarkable and poignant journey, Yuri came upon a collection of siddurim that intrigued him. He gently opened one to find his own grandfather’s name inscribed: Jakob Deutsch. A fragile monument and a sacred treasure indeed.

Photographer, artist and witness, Yuri Dojc’s expansive practice encompasses many kinds of looking. Since the late 1990s, he has been documenting Slovakia’s last living Holocaust survivors and the country’s abandoned synagogues, schools, and cemeteries for Last Folio. An international success, this show travels extensively, with major exhibitions at prominent museums and synagogues worldwide. Holy Blossom Temple is the first synagogue in Canada to exhibit Last Folio.

Join us on Monday, November 18, 2019, 7:30 pm for a special Lecutre by Yuri Dojc and screening of the Documentary, “The Last Folio,” a feature-length documentary by Katya Krausova. Dessert Reception in The Gallery to follow.

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