Family Tree Papercutting


Family Tree Papercutting


This papercut, inspired by traditional Jewish artwork and brimming with symbolism, was created by Anna Dąbrowicz. The family tree (inscribed in Hebrew Etz Chayim, “The Tree of Life”) has its roots in the transformation of Łódź from a hamlet (left) to a modern industrial metropolis (right). This motive was adopted for the header in the graphic design for this website. At the top are eight lighted candles, referencing the menorah or chanukiah (without the shamash), the eight-branched candelabra used for Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. The two birds at the top allude to the name of Zanvel Goldberg’s mother, Fajga (the Yiddish name that translates as “a bird”). Likewise, within the ornate border surrounding the tree, you will find representations of various objects corresponding to first names that appear in the tree: bees for Deborah (Dobra), a wolf for Wolf, stags for Hersh (Hersz, Herszek), a lion for Leib, or a crown for Malka. In the top border you will find branches: myrtle on the left for Hadassah (Hudes) and palm on the right for Tamara (Temer).


Anna Dąbrowicz


Central Museum of Textiles



Anna Dąbrowicz , “Family Tree Papercutting,” Jewish Life in Interwar Łódź , accessed May 30, 2024,