Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



In Search of Continuity

Azriela Jaffe

We all have questions, but not everyone is willing to spend five years schlepping across the United States to find an answer. Meet Dr, Saul Landa, whose question about how Orthodox Judaism managed to survive in a very unorthodox America has resulted in a moving photographic record of American Jewish life.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Dr. Saul Landa arrives at my home like a proud zeideh who can’t wait to show off his new grandbaby. He carries in his arm his beloved, and she is as gorgeous as I imagined her to be — his popular new book, A Timeless People: Photo Albums of American Jewish Life, which was released in May by Gefen Publishing and is already in its second printing.

After I take some time to look through it and absorb this enormous accomplishment — the coffee-table-sized book’s 380 pages include more than 1,000 photographs — I understand why he has been receiving so many accolades. This “baby” of Dr. Saul’s was in gestation for five years, and to call it a labor of love doesn’t come close to the intense commitment of time, resources, and money that he has given it since he began the project in 2006.

Yet Dr. Landa is neither a professional historian nor a professional photographer. Actually, he is a respected New Jersey cosmetic dentist who has practiced in East Brunswick, New Jersey for over thirty years. True, he is an enthusiastic hobby photographer — the kind you would want to invite to your simchah — and the fruits of his forty-plus-year passion can be readily seen in his thousands of photographs documenting the life he has shared with his wife, Marlene, and their three children. Another favorite artistic focus is the Jewish people and everything relating to Judaica.

But with this book Dr. Landa has taken his passion for photography to a whole new level. To understand why he invested so much in this project, we must go back to his roots and the legacy that he received from his father.

 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


 
Top-Down Theory
Shoshana Friedman Our true currency, the accomplishments we value most
Strive for What Binds Us
Yonoson Rosenblum The chareidi community represents something of an oasis
Embracing Victimhood
Eytan Kobre Combating the allure of victimhood
The Kids Are Going to Camp, the Parents Are Going Broke
Miriam Klein Adelman Mindy has to feel good; it doesn’t matter that I feel ba...
Work/Life Solutions with Carlos Wigle
Moe Mernick “Rejection is Hashem’s protection” 
How to Create a Simple 900-Page Novel
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman All of us can reset the titles of our own lives
Stand There or Do Something
Baruch S. Fertel, MD, MPA, FACEP It’s called collaborative care, and it works miracles
I'm Here — Are You Ready?
Riki Goldstein Upbeat and catchy, but still makes listeners think
Back in Time
Riki Goldstein "I wish I could recapture that excitement"
Mixed Messages
Riki Goldstein The unsung craftsmen who give albums their special touch
Go in Peace
Faigy Peritzman Inner peace makes us vessels for blessing
All Work and No Play
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A life only about doing your duties loses all its color
Dying to Believe
With Rav Moshe Wolfson, written by Baila Vorhand Emunah peshutah is the force behind Jewish continuity