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Top photojournalist to share experiences in K.C.

Kansas Citians will have a chance to meet world-renowned photographer Gil Cohen-Magen at a variety of events Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 5 and 6. With a portfolio that ranges from the most violent scenes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to the closed world of ultra-Orthodox Chasidim, Cohen-Magen has captured the many faces of the Holy Land through his lens. His photographs have graced the front pages of some of the world’s leading newspapers and magazines, including The Washington Post, The Guardian and Haaretz.

Cohen-Magen spent 10 years working with the Reuters news agency. One of his photographs was selected as one of the top 100 photographs of the decade. He has exhibited his photographs in Europe and in Israel, and will stop in Kansas City as part of his U.S. tour.

“I’ve always been a great fan of his work, and I thought it was important to bring Gil to Kansas City, as he gives a very different perspective on many aspects of life in Israel,” said Ophir Hacohen, Israel Emissary to Kansas City, who is in Kansas City as part of the local Jewish Federation’s emissary program.

Cohen-Magen will hold three public lectures during his visit:

Images of Faith in the Holy Land at Plaza Public Library, 6 p.m., Feb. 5: This special event will bring a focus to the multi-faith communities of Israel, including Cohen-Magen’s rare, exclusive photos of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Israel, as well as Christian and Muslim celebrations. Gain insight, as you’ve never seen it before, into multi-culturalism through Cohen-Magen’s stories and images, which include everything from a Syrian-Druze wedding to Purim and Passover celebrations, to the celebration of Eid Al-Adha. Reception begins at 6 p.m., followed by the program and book signing at 6:30 p.m.

Co-sponsored by the Kansas City Public Library System, the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council and the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City, as an event celebrating United Nations International Interfaith Harmony Week.

Chassidic Courtyards lecture at JCC Lunch & Learn, noon, Feb. 6: This series is a never-before done photographic study of the ultra-Orthodox in Israel over the past 10 years, including religious and cultural rituals and ceremonies. The Lunch & Learn will offer an intimate discussion of Cohen-Magen’s exclusive access to this world. Bring your own lunch and enjoy a rare cultural insight into Israel’s ultra-Orthodox communities.

Co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Center’s Jewish Life & Learning and the Jewish Federation. For more information about the Lunch & Learn, contact Jill Maidhof, 913-327-8077.

Shooting Under Fire at Corinth Public Library, 3 p.m., Feb. 6: You may never view the news the same way again. This program deals with the challenges of capturing the news as a photojournalist. Get insight into the judgment, journalistic ethics and inspiration that go into each photograph.

Co-sponsored by Jewish Federationand Johnson County Public Library.

All lectures are free of charge and open to the public; no registration required. Each event will end with a book signing; Cohen-Magen’s book and an assortment of prints will be on sale at each event.

In addition to his public lectures, Cohen-Magen will also have an opportunity to teach students at Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy.

“Our mission at Jewish Federation is to sustain and enhance Jewish life at home and around the world,” said Hacohen. “I viewed this as an opportunity to enrich all of our lives by bringing a relevant taste of Israel to Kansas City. I look forward to hearing his incredible experiences myself.”

For more information about Cohen-Magen or his lecture events, contact Ophir Hacohen at 913-327-8124 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..