The Davka Portfolio

The Davka Portfolio

Many years ago I had the opportunity (responsibility/honor) of editing a journal for Jewish youth (students) called Davka.

Since then, others have used the word as a proper noun; one for a computer business, one for a trio ("Davka is a new music from the Jewish soul inspired by Eastern European, Middle Eastern, Indian, and Classical styles. This is a modern sound rooted in tradition and completely Davka.") and another for a different journal. We selected the name for our journal long before I knew of such things as computers. And I don't think the new Davka journal knew (or cared) about the earlier instance. I don't understand the coincidence of the names.

Students put posters on the walls of their apartments. Most often these posters had no Jewish content, and when they did, it was of a commercial or strictly political nature.

We decided to produce a portfolio of reproductions of real art, suitable for framing, that would sell at a reasonable price ($10.00!).

I had access to the graphics that my parents had collected and knew of a few other sources of art in the Los Angeles Jewish community. The year happened to be the thirtieth anniversary of the Uprising of the Warsaw Ghetto. Since the art we had depicted Jewish life in Eastern Europe, we dedicated the collection to that community. We hoped that this would represent a celebration of the life of the Jewish communities before and after the destruction of the Sho'a.

In commemoration of Yom haSho'a 5757 I reproduce the portfolio here.

This is the label for the folio. If you click it, you can see the folio itself and then the little flier that contained an essay by my father Nathan Hurvitz and an appreciation of the graphics by Rabbi William M. Kramer.

In Rabbi Kramer's appreciation you can see "thumbnails" of each of the graphics which you can click to see the entire graphic.

To skip the portfolio and the flier, click here.

Many years later, after Dad died, Mom arranged to have the collection of graphics they had assembled contributed to the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley, California. The museum mounted an impressive show called Shtetl Life and published a wonderful catalog by Florence Helzel that included small reproductions of each of the items in the Hurvitz collection and reprinted Dad's essay from the Davka portfolio.


Mom, Libbe and I attended the opening. Jay was in Israel with Tzippi and Eitan awaiting the birth of Nadav.

Mark Hurvitz

Last modified April 25, 1997