By: Gavriel Factor  | 

Yeshiva University Marks Inauguration of the New Belz Gallery

The Belz Gallery, located in Furst Hall on Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus, had its official grand opening March 31, the first completed stage of the renovations planned following the Belz family’s $20 million donation to Yeshiva University. Upon completion of the renovations, Furst Hall will be renamed the Belz Building in honor of the donation. 

The gallery features much of the personal Judaica and Jewish art collection of Jack Belz and his late wife Marilyn, valued at $6 million. The event was hosted by the Beren Campus Student Government (BCSG) and Yeshiva Student Union (YSU), and was the first time the gallery was open to students and guests. At the event, students came to view the gallery and look around. 

The gallery will be open after Pesach to all YU students, faculty, and staff from Monday to Thursday, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The gallery can also be reserved for special events or visited by appointment outside of regular operating hours.

Jill Joshowitz, curator of the Belz Gallery, expressed gratitude for the family's vision and generosity, stating, “We are so thankful to the Belz family for their vision and generosity. Their Judaica collection is such a tremendous gift that underscores YU's role as the flagship Jewish university.” 

The grand opening featured a light dinner for students to come and view the collection of art within the gallery. 

Featuring modern and contemporary art including paintings, artifacts, and sculptures from the 1800s to 2000, the gallery is intended to represent the historical journey of the Jewish people, according to the plaque at the gallery’s entrance. Some of the art on display include Nicky Imber's bronze sculpture "The Thinker" and Daniel Kafri's works such as "Isaac's Blessing to Jacob" and "The Visit of the Three Angels." Some paintings include “Shtetl Music” and “Klezmers at Night” by Alexander Kanchik, “Shabbat Walk” by Ina Belous, and “L’Chaim” and “Wedding” by Boris Shapiro. 

“[The gallery] fosters an understanding and reflection upon our heritage,” Mordechai Schmerler (YC ‘25), a student who attended the event, remarked to The Commentator. “It illuminates our history and lets us reflect and inspires us to shape our future. I have tremendous Hakares Hatov to the Belz family who donated the center.”

“It is my hope that the Belz Gallery will serve as an oasis for all students, faculty, and staff who wish to learn more about the history of modern Jewish art,” Joshowitz told The Commentator. “Now more than ever our community can benefit from a dedicated gallery space which celebrates the beauty of Jewish visual expression."


Photo Caption: The new Belz Gallery

Photo Credit: Gavriel Factor