There are many people who have helped make this special issue possible. First and foremost I want to thank Janet Jakobsen, the Director of the Center for Research on Women at Barnard for first inviting many of the contributors to Barnard as a part of the Rennert Women in Judaism Forums. It was at Barnard as a part of one of these forums, a screening and discussion of Marlene Booth's documentary film Yidl in the Middle: Growing Up Jewish in Iowa, that Ruth Bayard Smith and Marlene Booth began their conversations about growing up as working class Jewish women in America. It was also for a Rennert Forum at Barnard that Lorie Novak, Joanne Leonard, Marianne Hirsch and I first began to think together about American Jews and family photographs. The title of this special issue comes from that forum held at Barnard in the Winter of 2001, "Changing Focus: Family Photography and Jewish American Identity." It should also be noted that Helène Aylon also brought her Jewish feminist vision to Barnard under the auspices of the Rennert series.

In addition to the Center and the Rennert Forum, I am deeply grateful to David Hopson for his flexibility and imagination as we came to him over and over again wanting to add sound, moving images and a website to the issue. David is an amazing staff person. It was a pleasure working with him. I am also grateful to E. Grace Glenny of the Center for her fine detective work at the very last minute. Editing this issue over the course of the past year has been a particular challenge. For their patience and persistence, I am grateful to all of the contributors to this issue, Marlene Booth, Michelle Citron, Muriel Hasbun, Marianne Hirsch, Joanne Leonard, Lorie Novak, and Ruth Ost. I want to also thank Helène Aylon for allowing us to include images of her work in this special issue.

I want to thank many people at Temple University for their help in coordinating, editing and constructing this issue. Technically, I am indebted to Inbar Gilboa, filmmaker extraordinaire, for making all of the images work. I want to thank Temple Honors and the Jewish Studies Program for their cooperation and support as well as Cathy Staples and Ruth Ost for their important editorial contributions. And, finally I want to thank April Blake and Glenn Reitz for their help with final edits and with final imaginings.

On a more person note, I want to thank my father Irving Levitt and my brother David Levitt for allowing me to present their art work in this issue. In so doing, they have granted me permission to tell my own stories about these works. As we completed this issue Ruth Bayard Smith who had been ill for some time, passed away. It is with sorrow that we dedicate this issue to her memory.

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