About

For Miriam, Ellen, and Susan

About the name: Bat Sarah Press translates from the Hebrew to “Sarah’s Daughter’s Press”. The name has two meanings, being both that of the Biblical matriarch, Sarah and after my mother Susan, whose Hebrew name was also Sarah.

Bat Sarah Press was founded in Spring 2016 in the loving memory of the matriarchs of my family, who passed their deep passion for their culture, their resilience in fighting for their beliefs, and sense of purpose in making their mark on the world, to the next generation.

I have devoted my life to a practice of thinking and creating. From painting, to printmaking, to performance art, and now back to print media, the world for me is processed through materials and metaphors.

Growing up in a family strongly rooted in Jewish tradition, my mother often encouraged me to make artwork that reflected my culture. I resisted, or so I thought. My body of work was always related to issues around ritual, value, and community—all pillars of my Jewish upbringing.

It was only after my mother’s passing in November 2014 that I was asked to make my first Ketubah for my brother Jason and his bride Rachel. I fell in love with the diverse beauty of Ketubah documents throughout time, and also loved the process of working with the couple to create a meaningful and personalized work of art. I began to wonder about other cultures’ ritual art objects as well, knowing that art is often a means for sharing stories.

Bat Sarah Press is meant to be a platform for exploring generative aspects of religious and spiritual ritual through the lens of art objects. At this stage the company sells an array of traditional and culturally Jewish items and services. The goal is to add more interfaith items to the shop as we grow, so that through the sharing of culture we can better understand and appreciate people coming from different backgrounds.

All print items are currently produced at Hoofprint Workshop in Chicago, Illinois.

Please be in touch with questions, comments, or suggestions.

ABOUT Rachel

Rachel’s Story:

I am an artist based in Chicago, Illinois, where I settled after earning an MFA in Visual Art at The University of Chicago in 2012. I was raised in a Conservative Jewish household in Ohio where a close-knit group of family was always nearby. I have identified as an artist for as long as I can remember. I could be found coloring for hours in my high chair before I could speak. Since then I have explored various modes of artistic expression: drawing, writing, painting, printmaking, sound installation, photography, performance, and the list goes on.

No matter the material I use, the work is almost always motivated by an ever-present curiosity to connect with other people and promote understanding among the diversity of individuals we meet in contemporary society. Bat Sarah Press is a mode of exploring ritual and its effect on human connection through art objects.

After I fell in love with my partner, a man who is not Jewish, I had to confront my own connection to my Jewish heritage. As we came from different backgrounds, I realized how important it would be for me to share my tradition with my future husband. Together we dove into a personal study of Jewish teachings and traditions. As a result I feel more connected than ever to Judaism and confident that we will continue to learn Jewish teachings and celebrate the holidays in our life together. I have found ways to share my upbringing. My ambition is that as Bat Sarah Press grows, the forms of ritual that are addressed can expand into other cultures and spiritual or religious practices outside of my origins, guided by others with similar goals.

Rachelellisonhappyforever.com

 
  The Bernstein Women circa 1980 (left to right): Ellen, Miriam, and Susan (also featuring my brother Aaron in his toddler years)

The Bernstein Women circa 1980 (left to right): Ellen, Miriam, and Susan (also featuring my brother Aaron in his toddler years)