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May 3, 2012 10:23 am

Casual Conversations: Russian Jews in Brighton Beach

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A photo from the "Casual Conversations" exhibit, featuring Russian Jews in the Brighton Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. Photo: NMAJH.

The National Museum of American Jewish History is opening a new exhibit showcasing photographs taken in the Brighton Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY, home to a large Russian Jewish community.

Opening May 6, the exhibit by Alina and Jeff Bliumis, titled Casual Conversations, features photos of subjects who were asked to pose with signs signifying their identities as Russian, Jewish or American.

“This exhibition goes to the heart of one of the major themes of this museum: How do we define ourselves as Jews, as Americans or as whatever identity one may choose, given the freedoms America provides. All of our visitors, Jews and non-Jews, Americans and non-Americans, grapple with the complexities of heritage, homeland, and identity,” said Josh Perelman, the Philadelphia-based museum’s chief curator and director of exhibitions and programs.

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