Daughters of the King, USA, Israel


My dear friend and orthodox Jewish woman Chany Garelik used this expression describing herself and all the other women within the Crown Heights community. She said that women are like Bat Melech, the daughter of God, the King of the Universe and for this they are considered so precious this is why they are to be covered and act modestly. She also compared the women to the Torah’s rolls that only get uncovered in the holiest of times.

Federica Valabrega was born in Rome, Italy in 1983, but spent most of her adult life between Boulder, Co. and Washington, D.C. where she pursued her education. During a family trip to Peru in 2005, she picked up her father’s Minolta and spent hours photographing Peruvian kids, bribing them with candies, so they’d pose longer in front of her lens. Before she left for Peru, photography hadn’t been one of her passions, but within a few weeks, she’d found her career. In 2008, Federica received a Masters in Journalism with a strong focus in photography and documentary production at American University in Washington, D.C. and, soon after, started documenting the historic Presidential race and inauguration in the streets of D.C. Federica’s shot "She Had a Dream," was featured as one of the 100 finalists in the FOTOBAMA Week Photo Contest in the Newseum on Pennsylvania Ave. in downtown D.C. and later published in the book "Fotobama: Picturing The President." Since 2009, Federica has been a freelance news photographer first based in Washington, D.C. and lately sharing her time between New York City and Rome, Italy. Her breaking-news freelance work (photos, articles and videos) has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, on the Magnum Photos' Web site *(http://inmotion.magnumphotos.com/) and on a number of Italian newspapers such as: La Repubblica, Il Corriere della Sera, La Gazzetta dello Sport, La Stampa, DMagazine,Panorama, L’Espresso and Shalom. She has also been published in burnmagazine.org, Climbing magazine, Alternate.org, Inthefray.org and americanobserver.net., Ansa and Iber Press. Until the summer of 2010 Federica was also an active, touring staff photographer for the Professional Beach Volleyball Tour (AVP.com). Until the summer of 2010 Federica was also an active, touring staff photographer for the Professional Beach Volleyball Tour (AVP.com. Her work has also been published on Dig and Volleyball, the foremost beach volleyball news media magazines.


“Daughters of the King” is a long-time project exploring the deep roots of the Orthodox Jewish women of Brooklyn. Since the summer of 2010, Frederica Valabrega has been focusing on depicting and documenting the women of the Chabad Lubavitch of Crown Heights, shedding light on the common misconception that Jewish Orthodox women’s sole role in society is to make babies and be modest. While Jewish Orthodox women can indeed be righteous, they are more often than not entrepreneurs supporting their own families. As of January 2012 Federica received funding to continue her exploration of Orthodox Jewish women in Israel and Russia. She will be leaving for those two countries in the Spring of 2012 and coming back to New York city in the summer. What she hoped to accomplish giving her project a more international angle is to explain even further is the “spiritual beauty” of these women worldwide and how their role inside orthodox community does make a difference.

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