Panel Discussion | Life of the Book: “The Montefiore Mainz Mahzor”

April 18, 2024
Art experts and faith leaders explore the illuminated 14th-century communal prayer book on view in the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Gallery for Judaica. Speakers provide context within Jewish prayer traditions and illuminated manuscripts of the period, and they investigate the tumultuous life of this book from the early 1300s to present, including excised pages and censorship—and ultimately the living faith traditions that the book embodies.


  • Abigail Rapoport, Ph.D., Curator of Judaica, the Jewish Museum, New York
  • Diane Wolfthal, Ph.D., Professor Emerita of Art History, Rice University
  • Rabbi Oren Hayon, Congregation Emanu El, Houston
  • Cantor Rollin Simmons, Congregation Emanu El, Houston
  • Per Knutås, Chairman, Department of Conservation, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

This program is part of the MFAH World Faiths Initiative, which seeks to highlight themes of faith, religion, and spirituality in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Focusing on the many expressions of faith in these collections, the initiative honors the diverse communities of Houston and inspires connections among cultures and beliefs. 

Plan Your Visit

The World Faiths Initiative is made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

On Thursday, admission to the MFAH Permanent Collections is free for all individuals, courtesy of Shell USA, Inc. 

All Learning and Interpretation programs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, receive generous support from H-E-B; Institute of Museum and Library Services; Sempra Foundation; the Brown Foundation, Inc.; the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo; the John M. O'Quinn Foundation; the Joe Barnhart Foundation; the Cockrell Family Fund; the CFP Foundation; Macey and Harry Reasoner; the Texas Commission on the Arts; and the Junior League of Houston, Inc.

Endowment funds are provided by the Louise Jarrett Moran Bequest; Caroline Wiess Law; Windgate Foundation; the William Randolph Hearst Foundation; Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Fondren Foundation; BMC Software, Inc.; the Wallace Foundation; the Neal Myers and Ken Black Children’s Art Fund; the Eleanor and Frank Freed Foundation; Medha and Shashank Karve; Virginia and Ira Jackson; Jesse H. Jones II; the CFP Foundation; the Favrot Fund; gifts in memory of John Wynne; Neiman Marcus Youth Arts Education; gifts in memory of Peter Lotz; and gifts in honor of Beth Schneider.


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1001 Bissonnet Street
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