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Morning Prayer on Subway

Lori Grinker (American, b. 1957)

Morning Prayer on Subway, 1984

  • Gelatin silver print
  • 8 7/8 x 13 1/8 in. (22.5 x 33.3 cm)
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Gift of the artist, 1994-575

Not on view



Morning Prayer on Subway


Morning Prayer on Subway

This image by Lori Grinker was published in her 1989 book The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women. The Invisible Thread features 120 black-and-white photographs that explore the diverse experience of Jewish women in the United States. Grinker writes, "I discovered the complex tapestry woven by Jewish women; sixty women, of all ages and backgrounds, shed light on the multifaceted reality of being Jewish in the late 20th century" (

The subject of this photograph is Judith Kramer of Brooklyn, New York. She says, "When I’m late for work, I daven [pray] on the subway. It doesn’t matter where I pray. God is everywhere. There is no place where He is not" (


  • What seems to be happening in this photograph? What do you think this woman is doing? Where is she? How are other people reacting to her?

  • How does this photograph show multiple identities? How does it relate to the quilt in The Jewish Museum’s collection?

  • Do you think it is easier or more acceptable to express one’s ethnic identity in certain places than others? Why?