Susan Weinberg is an artist, writer and genealogist, but in all her pursuits, her medium is story. She believes that story is how we understand our connection to each other. Much of her artwork has explored stories of heritage, leading in turn to We Spoke Jewish: A Legacy in Stories,a book that shares stories from elders together with a contemporary visual response.
Susan's explorations have a bit of a Rube Goldberg feel to them, each leading her on a route with twists and turns she could never have anticipated.
A genealogy talk that she gave, next door to a gallery, took her into an artistic exploration of her own family history. A year later she exhibited her work in that gallery. The exhibition led her to study Yiddish in Lithuania. That evolved into a series of artwork that explored how Lithuania deals with the Holocaust.
Susan began to create websites on ancestral towns and visited the Polish town of her grandfather's birth. That resulted in a series of artwork on the lost Jewish community. Along the way she developed a close friendship with a survivor in her local community who came from her ancestral town. Together they returned to Poland, where Susan exhibited her artwork and her friend guided her through its streets, relating the stories of the former Jewish community.
Ultimately her explorations led her closer to home where she began the Jewish Identity and Legacy Project that underlies this book.
Throughout these explorations, Susan wrote, capturing the experiences that deepened her awareness of Jewish identity. Long before this was a book, it was a blog that discussed the interviews and the creation of the artwork. And something more, Susan began to explore her personal response to these stories and to feel a deep connection to these remarkable people who formed the base of the broader Jewish community.