Ear­li­er this week, Richard Codor wrote about his car­toon edu­ca­tion and how he came to write Too Many Latkes! He has been blog­ging here all week for Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and MyJew­ish­Learn­ing.

When I walked down the air­plane gang­plank for the first time in Ben Guri­on air­port, I imme­di­ate­ly noticed the bag­gage han­dlers unload­ing our plane. I was told they were gruzin­im”, or Geor­gian Jews. I had thought Israel would be filled with peo­ple who looked like my neigh­bors, my tem­ple con­gre­ga­tion, or even me. But they were total­ly dif­fer­ent. I didn’t real­ize what an amaz­ing vari­ety of Jews and cul­tures had come from every cor­ner of the world to make up the pop­u­la­tion of Israel.

I lived in Jerusalem and worked for the Israeli Broad­cast­ing Author­i­ty doing illus­trat­ing and draw­ing ani­ma­tion for children’s pro­gram­ming. If I need­ed mod­els for my work, all I had to do was to step out into the street and walk in any direc­tion.

In the alley in Nachalot, where I lived, in a 17th cen­tu­ry Turk­ish domed apart­ment, I befriend­ed a Yemenite scribe, Ova­dia, who had a tiny one room stu­dio, just off the local well. There he copied the torah on vel­lum with quill pen and India ink. At times he would be dressed in black pants and white shirt and at oth­er times in a flow­ing robe and pants. He had dif­fer­ent hats, head­dress­es and tur­bans that he would change sev­er­al times a day. It seemed to depend on who was vis­it­ing him. He made the best cof­fee in a small fin­jan on an elec­tric grill next to his draw­ing table.

There were oth­ers who lived in the neigh­bor­hood from Moroc­co, Bukhara, India, Per­sia, Turkey and every Euro­pean coun­try. I’m always try­ing to fit them into my work. Here is a good exam­ple of the Jew­ish cul­tur­al types from my book, The Joy­ous Hag­gadah. Ova­dia is first on the left.

This is a com­pos­ite from kib­butz fam­i­lies I’ve known.

Richard Codor is the author of Too Many Latkes! co-author and illus­tra­tor of All You Want To Know About Sab­bath Ser­vices, The Joy­ous Hag­gadah, and Babushkin’s Cat­a­logue of Jew­ish Inven­tions. You can see more of his car­toons at http://​lit​tle​bl​o​gof​jew​ish​hu​mor​.com/.