Haiku and Prayers: Where Japanese and Jewish Converge


  • Jewish Community Library 1835 Ellis Street San Francisco, CA 94115

Free admission with free garage parking on Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy streets.

The confluences of Jewish and Japanese world views, as well as words and images, will be on display in the exhibit Haiku and Prayers: Where Japanese and Jewish Converge ― Art Photography and Poetry by Sonia Melnikova-Raich.

The exhibit features more than two dozen of Melnikova-Raich’s art photos paired with haiku poems she has written, as well as excerpts from Jewish and other literature and liturgy. Jewish meditative prayer and Japanese haiku have much in common for the artist.

Melnikova-Raich, a San Francisco photographer, is drawn to spiritual traditions that express a deep appreciation for the natural world. For her, the Jewish reverence for the holiness immanent in nature finds a striking resonance in the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, which values transience and reveres the beauty in things marked by time.

The Library will hold an artist's reception and exhibit walk-through on Thursday, October 20, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.  (NOTE: THIS HAS BEEN MOVED FROM SUNDAY, OCT. 23)

Sonia Melnikova-Raich was trained as an artist and architect in Moscow, and has been living in San Francisco since 1987. Her photography often recalls painted or drawn media. She exhibits locally and nationally; her recent solo show Elusive Poetry of Wabi-Sabi was at the San Francisco Zen Center. Her works have been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, Shadow & Light Magazine, Creativity Quarterly: Journal of Art & Design, and Diffusion magazine. Her website can be found at http://art.soniamelnikova.com.