West Orange, NJ, February 16, 2006… The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said that the Kresge Gallery at Ramapo College is offending Jews by choosing to exhibit a work that depicts a Jew holding a torah emblazoned with the Nazi swastika emblem.
Etzion Neuer, Director of ADL's New Jersey office, issued the following statement:
We are extremely disappointed that the Kresge Gallery at Ramapo College chose to feature "The Old And New Testament" by Deborah Grant in their recent exhibition. Ms. Grant's use of the Nazi eagle and swastika superimposed on a torah being held by a Jew profanes Judaism's most sacred symbol and denigrates the memory of the six million Jews killed by the Nazis.
We understand that artists have freedom of expression and we do not deny Ms. Grant's liberty to create what she chooses. However, we cannot fathom what statement the artist was attempting to convey with this picture. What we do know is that the result is offensive and hurtful. The artist chose to depict Judaism's most venerated symbol and associate it with a swastika, the symbol that represents the destruction of European Jewry.
We would have hoped that the Kresge Gallery would exercise some degree of discretion and sensitivity instead of displaying this provocative piece.