Oregon Jewish Museum Fundraiser

Oregon Jewish Museum Fundraiser

Help Us Share this Incredible Story
The János Book

23 Sandy Gallery is teaming up with one of our favorite gallery artists, Alex Appella, and her mother Judith Havas, to raise funds to donate a copy of their powerful family history, The János Book, to the permanent collection at The Oregon Jewish Museum.

When an old childhood photo of Alex Appella’s great uncle and his siblings turned up she was shocked to see the presence of an unknown child, a third brother, someone completely unknown and unfamiliar to the family. Seeking answers to the question of who this young man was, Alex sought out the only remaining family member who would know, János, the youngest of the four siblings born to her great grandparents.

Very reluctantly, and over a period of years, János finally agreed to expose the family secrets by revealing their hidden Jewish ancestry. This fascinating story of a master plan for survival following the Holocaust inspired The János Book, a handmade, limited-edition work of art. Alex Appella grew up in Salem, Oregon, granddaughter to one of the brothers featured in the book who emigrated here and helped build the Bonneville Dam and ships in Portland during World War II.

Alex has told a story that serves as witness to the many personal and painful experiences of this tragic and horrific time in history. It is our hope that The Oregon Jewish Museum might add this testimony in their archives. To accomplish this goal we are helping to raise money to purchase a copy of The János Book for their collection.

The Oregon Jewish Museum is the Pacific Northwest’s only Jewish museum. The museum was founded to examine and preserve the rich cultural heritage of one of Oregon’s earliest immigrant groups. Their collection is available to all who wish to learn more about this history.

Alex Appella began bookbinding as a way to share her writing and collage art while traveling. What began as a temporary solution within a nomadic lifestyle has turned into a way of life. Alex now writes and binds from her home in Córdoba, Argentina. Alex’s self-published artist’s books can be found in numerous private and public collections throughout the US and beyond. You can learn more about her work at www.transientbooks.com.

Alex's book was featured in our Secrets and Lies show last year and won the Purchase Prize. You can view a very fun interactive clip about the book on Alex's web site here.

If you would like to be part of ensuring this story is shared with all, please contact us Laura Russell at
23sandygallery@gmail.com or 503-927-4409. You can also send a Paypal payment the Laura at that same email address. Any contributions above and beyond the book price will be donated the Oregon Jewish Museum. If you haven't seen this wonderful book yet, please stop by and take a look! Gallery Hours: Thursday – Saturday, Noon to 6:00 p.m.and First Friday, 6 - 9:00 p.m. or by appointment.