Gentileschi, recognized as the finest female artist of the 17th century, developed a reputation for depicting women, particularly figures from the Bible and classical mythology.
The story of Esther concealing her Jewishness to save her people should lead Jews to think about the politics of “passing” in 21st century America.
Not every Jew starts out one from birth, nor do all people develop into a body that immediately matches their innate being.
Defying stereotypes, early Jewish pioneers in Arizona were not just storeowners and bankers, but cowboys, lawmen, ranchers and entertainers. The first known Jewish settler was the German-born Nathan Benjamin Appel, who headed west in 1856 from New York to St. Louis, then followed the Santa Fe Trail to the territory’s new capital, Tucson. Appel went on to lead a colorful life in the Wild West: He married a Catholic woman (there were no Jewish women in the territory), had ten children, and was a sheriff, saloon owner, wagon train leader and merchant. Loyal to his heritage, upon his death in 1901, Appel had a Jewish funeral led by a rabbi.