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Pastel drawing of a congregation listening to their rabbi

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.295

Pastel drawing of a rabbi addressing his congregation inside of a synagogue created in 1907 by Jewish Latvian artist, Abel Pann, in Paris, France. Pann was born Abba Pfeffermann in Kreslava in the Empire of Russia, to Jewish parents. He studied art in the Russian cities of Vitebsk, Vilna, and Odessa before moving to Paris, for many years. During the latter part of World War I (WWI, 1914-1918), he lived in the United States, and settled in Jerusalem, Mandatory Palestine, in 1920. Much of Pann’s work depicted atrocities inflicted upon Eastern European Jews during his lifetime. He created artwork that documented the Kishinev Pogrom, the destruction of Jewish towns in WWI, and the Holocaust. Pann also drew illustrations, portrait sketches, and caricatures. This drawing shows the fine line between antisemitic caricature and self-deprecating, Jewish humor. The rabbi and his audience all have beards and sidelocks, as well as large noses. Members of the congregation are all wearing black suit-style jackets, likely bekishe, with black hats. The rabbi is wearing a tallit and a kippah. Non-Jewish individuals stereotypically attribute all of these physical features and articles of clothing as ways to identify Jewish men while mocking them. Pann takes the stereotypes and twists them into a comedic and ironic mockery of himself and fellow Jews. The drawing is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

Artwork Title
Rabbi speaking to his congregation
creation:  1907
creation: Paris (France)
Object Type
Jews in art (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:12:47
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