4: Drawing, Hermann Junker's "New Moon Rosh Chodesh Service," nineteenth century.
Hermann Junker (1838-1899) was an artist whose work represented Jewish life in nineteenth-century Frankfurt am Main. Born in Frankfurt, Junker studied and traveled in France, Flanders, and the Netherlands before returning to his native city to work as a painter of scenes from both everyday life and historical events and as an illustrator for Kleine Presse, a Frankfurt newspaper. In this illustration of the Rosh Chodesh service, men gather in the streets to gaze at the stars and offer blessings for the new moon.
Suggested Activities: Have your students view the image and ask the following questions: Who do you see participating in the ritual? What does this painting tell you about the community and the ritual? Have your students choose one or two figures from the painting and imagine their experience in greater detail. You may ask them to write a dialogue between figures in the painting, or a monologue for one figure, in which they discuss their thoughts about the ritual or participate in it in some way.
Source: Photographic reproduction of drawing by Hermann Junker, New Moon Rosh Chodesh Service. Paul Arnsberg Collection of the Leo Baeck Institute, New York/Berlin. Digital rights belong to Historisches Museum Frankfurt am Main.