Janice Charach Gallery

The Janice Charach Gallery hosts exhibitions featuring Jewish and non-Jewish, established and emerging artists. Exhibitions include glass, ceramics, multi-media, painting, fiber arts and photography. The gallery also presents educational programs and is home to a shop with works by local artists. The Gallery is endowed by Natalie & Manny Charach, in their daughter’s memory.

Current Exhibition

Fabric of Survival: The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz (July 16 - September 19)
Opening Reception: Sunday, July 16 | 1-3 p.m.
Docents from the holocaust Memorial Center will be available for questions during the opening

About the Exhibit
In October 1942, after living under Nazi occupation for three years, the Jews of Mniszek, Poland, were ordered to report for “relocation.” Esther Nisenthal was 15 years old and decided to go, instead, with her 13-year old sister Mania and look for work among Polish farmers. The girls assumed new names and managed to evade the Gestapo. They never saw their family again.

After the war, the sisters made their way to a Displaced Persons camp in Germany, where Esther met and married Max Krinitz. In 1949, Esther, Max, and their daughter Bernice immigrated to the United States. Mania married Lipa Kalenberg and moved to Israel, and many years later to Texas.

In 1977, when she was 50, Esther Nisenthal Krinitz began creating works of fabric art to share her story of survival. Trained as a dressmaker but untrained in art, she eventually created a collection of 36 fabric pictures of strong, vivid colors and striking details with a sense of folk-like realism. Meticulously stitched words beneath the pictures provide a narrative.

Side Gallery
Allison Berlin has always been interested in working with clay. “I remember watching my mother use red clay for the small nude sculptures she worked on in our basement in Oak Park,” she says. “I would always sneak downstairs to the basement and touch her tools and see what additions or subtractions where made that day to the ‘naked lady.’”

Today, Berlin teaches ceramics at the Frankel Jewish Academy and works in her studio, Maple Mill Pottery. “Mother Nature is the main inspiration in my work, which focuses on patterns and textures in functional and sculptural pieces,” she says. Her latest series is a ceramic quilt, made from a variety of tiles, that showcases markings prominent in past works.

fabric of survival janice charach gallery jcc of metro detroit

Upcoming Events

Sunday, July 16 | Noon

Film: “Through the Eye of the Needle: The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz,” Directed by Nina Shariro-Perl, Produced by Art and Remembrance

At The Berman - free admission

Through Esther’s own words and images of her art work, as well as interviews with her daughters and others, the award-winning 30-minute film “Through the Eye of the Needle” explores the capacity of the human heart to heal. Through these reflections, we are reminded that genocide and other acts of baseless hatred are still with us, and that Esther’s story, and those like hers, compels us to build a just and peaceful world for all.

Wednesday, July 19 | 7:30 p.m.

Lecture: “Finding a Brave New World in the Age of Anger”

$8, Free for IRP members

The Annual IRP Kirsh Lecture will feature Professor Saeed Khan, lecturer in the Near East & Asian Studies department and guest lecturer for Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic Studies at Wayne State University. Sponsored by IRP (Institute for Retired Professionals). For more information, please contact Sharon Levine at 248.432.5406.

Sunday, August 13 |Noon – 3 p.m.

Workshop: Introduction to Embroidery

$40 ($36 for JCC members)

Learn to replicate the latest trends in embroidered fashion in this introductory course, taught by fabrics expert Barbara Altwerger. Students will learn about fabrics, basic embroidery stitches, patterning and color theory. Go home with a stitch sample and an embroidered pattern to complete, threads and needles included. No prior embroidery knowledge needed, and all materials will be provided.

To register, please call Kelly Kaatz at 248.432.5579.

Sunday, August 20 | 1–5 p.m.

Workshop: Modern Calligraphy

$72 ($65 for JCC members)

Learn the basics of pointed pen modern calligraphy with local calligrapher and hand lettering artist, Elana Hopman of Lana's Lettering. We'll get to know the various calligraphy supplies and how to use them, review practice strokes and techniques, and finish with writing a full alphabet with a pointed pen. The workshop includes four hours of instruction along with all supplies necessary to get started with the art of calligraphy (pen holder, nibs, ink, paper, etc.) An instructional packet is included, as well, so you can continue your practice at home.

To register, please call Kelly Kaatz at 248.432.5579.

Thursday, August 24 | 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Workshop and Tour: Journal Making

$36 ($30 for JCC members)

Join us at 1 p.m. for a tour of “Fabric of Survival: Art and Remembrance” at the gallery, followed by “Book Art That Tells a Story,” where you’ll use text and art to create a journal unique to you, at 1:30 p.m. Taught by Kerry Yaklin, MFA. All materials will be provided.

Co-sponsored by the Henry & Delia Meyers Library and Media Center. To register, please contact Francine Menken at 248.432.5546.

Sunday, August 27 | Noon - 2:30 p.m.

Workshop: Hand weaving

$70 ($62 for JCC members)

Master Weaver and instructor, Michael Daitch works one on one with students to design and weave your very own scarf on a loom. All materials & tools are provided; item is completed in class and all experience levels are welcome.

Limit 2 students-register early!

To register, please call Kelly Kaatz at 248.432.5579.

Wednesday, September 13 | 11 a.m.

Lecture: Stitching Stories with Wendy Evans

$5 admission

Quilts, samplers, embroidery and applique have been used to tell meaningful stories, sometimes historical, sometimes religious and often, as in the Fabric of Survival: the Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz, deeply moving. We'll explore the beautiful work of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz as well as a range of other stitched examples from the Bayeux Tapestry and Torah ark curtains to 20th century quilts and samplers.

Presented by The Active Life. For questions, contact Rosa Chesler at 248.432.5467.


The Janice Charach Gallery provides a forum for the creation, exhibition and interpretation of visually oriented media. We promote works of fine art created by Jewish and non-Jewish artists providing unique opportunities for emerging and acknowledged artists.

Janice Charach

The Janice Charach Gallery at the JCC in West Bloomfield was established and named in the memory of the daughter of Natalie and Manny Charach. A talented and recognized artist, Janice passed away from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in June of 1989. She was 38 years old.

janice charach jcc of metro detroit


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