“Prophecy of Place: Quintan Ana Wikswo.” The multi-disciplinary artist Quintan Ana Wikswo created the monumental series, “Prophecy of Place,” as a kind of momento mori for lost Jewish life. Through photographic collages, poetry and video, the artist has created various works inspired by Jewish communities from South America to Russia, from the 13th century and to the last century. Yeshiva University Museum at the Center for Jewish History, through Feb. 14, 2012. (212) 294-8330
“Yahrzeit: September 11 Remembered.” The Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust opened just one year before World Trade Center towers collapsed, and within walking distance of them. Now the museum opens a quiet, reflective space that highlights the many ways New York institutions and communities, Jewish and not, have remembered the victims. Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. (646) 437-4202.
“The Snowy Days and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats.” The Brooklyn-born Jewish illustrator Ezra Jack Keats published his most sensational work during the height of the civil rights movement. Titled “The Snowy Days” (1962) it was one of the first mainstream books to feature a black protagonist; this exhibit is centered on the book, and how the artist’s progressive Yiddishkeit roots helped influence it. The Jewish Museum, Sept. 9-Jan. 29, 2012. (212) 423-3200.
“Moses Mendelssohn: Conversation and the Legacy of the Enlightenment.” This exhibit hosted by the Leo Baeck Institute focuses on the great Jewish thinker and German Enlightenment philosopher, Moses Mendelssohn, and his role as a model of inter-religious dialogue and tolerance. Artifacts include original letters, manuscripts and the philosopher’s eyeglasses. Center for Jewish History, Sept. 12 through early 2012. (212) 744-6400.
“From Origin to Originality: Contemporary Israeli Art Presented by Alma—Home for Hebrew Culture.” The JCC in Manhattan puts on an art show of works by contemporary artists who were inspired by classical Jewish texts. All of the artists studied with the Jewish cultural institute, Alma, which tries to enliven Jewish culture through ancient Jewish sources. JCC in Manhattan, Sept. 19 through Nov. 8. (646) 505-4444.
“Tal Shochat: In Praise of a Dream.” In this quietly mystical show, the Israeli-photographer Tal Shochat captures iconic Middle Eastern trees — cypress, plum, almond, date palm — and puts them behind a stark black background. The results are otherworldly and timeless; they are meant to symbolize the sanctity of ideals. Andrea Meislin Gallery, Sept. 8 through Oct. 29. (212) 627-2552.
“Elinor Carucci: Born.” Elinor Carucci, a prominent Israeli-born, New York-based photographer, showcases a series of intimate images taken of her family—the artist, her husband and their 5-year-old twins. Carucci’s work has appeared everywhere from MoMA and the Gagosian Gallery in London, to the pages of The New Yorker. Sasha Wolf Gallery, Sept. 15 through Nov. 5. (212) 925-0025
“Emma Lazarus: Poet of Exiles.” Emma Lazarus (1849-1887) is immortalized by the inscription of her poem on the Statue of Liberty (“Give me your tired, your poor…”), but this exhibit focuses on her particular resonance with Jews. It highlights her Sephardic origins and her tireless work for Jewish causes, including the establishment of a Jewish homeland. Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, Oct. 26 through early 2012. (646) 437-4202.