My Jewish Orthodox Girlhood, My Life as a Feminist Artist
by Helene Aylon
Growing up an Orthodox Jew in Brooklyn, Helene Aylon spends her Friday nights with her extended family. She dreams of escape but marries a rabbi and becomes a mother of two. Suddenly, her world splits apart when she is widowed at 30. Aylon finds a home in the burgeoning environmental art scene of the 1970s—creating transgressive works that explore identity, women's bodies, the environment, disarmament and the notion of God. Eventually, she asks of Judaism what she never dared to ask as a child: Where are the women?
Examples of Aylon’s work included are: her early doors for the Jewish chapel at JFK Airport, her peace pillowcases (including one worn by author Grace Paley) and her current search for the links between feminism and Judaism.