Integration of the Arts

Kids find ‘heart of Shabbat’ in their artwork, now on display at CJM

Kids find 'heart of Shabbat' in their artwork, now on display at CJM - J.

"He will proclaim freedom for all his children. And will keep you as the apple of his eye. Pleasant is your name and will not be destroyed. Repose and rest on the Sabbath day." This piyut (sacred poem) can be found in the pages of any Jewish prayerbook.

Reflection on Art and Passed Down Memory, a production of our Educators Art Network.

On Thursday, March 2nd,  35 educators joined us at the CJM. Representing day schools, congregational schools and other Jewish organizations, art teachers, Jewish studies teachers and educators with other specialties came from all across the Bay area from as far as Fresno, Petaluma, Castro Valley and Palo Alto. 

We dove deep into Jewish themes, Art, and memory as we explored the CJM exhibition “From Generation to Generation” with Fraidy Aber and Janine Okmin from the CJM. Four stations representing different media set the stage for reflections through theatre, soundscapes, writing and art. 

We explored the powerful teaching tool of Zachor and passed down stories while Tamar Forman, our artist-in-residence, led us through text study and a hands on art activity with clay. Our sculptures told stories of personal interpretations and memory. The medium, technique and idea were all based on Native American art tradition.

Participants took away much from the program.  One commented that the workshop was " the most meaningful experience at CJM since it opened.”

Led by Vavi Toran, our Integration of the Arts department, hosts professional development workshops all year long.  

For more information, CLICK HERE.

Educational Resources for Purim

Shalom all and Happy Adar!

I am doing some Spring cleaning ahead of Passover. This is not your usual inspection for the evasive chametz nor is it just to get rid of tchotchkes and other accumulating junk. It is a web-based Spring cleaning. Jewish LearningWorks is retiring its old web pages and I was told that if I want to capture anything I have done for the past few years that lives on the web, I better take a look right away or else it will be gone forever. Oy!…  Unlike the junk in my house, I have a real relationship with some of the stuff I have written, plagiarized or curated. So, I went straight to work and salvaged the Israel Education Initiative Newsletters from the past 3 years. And just in time for Purim, what follows below is a compilation of resources for the holiday. It was in a virtual attic, but dusted off it will shine like new.

Enjoy and Happy Purim!

Vavi Toran

 

Purim Resources
A Collection from Past IEI Newsletters
By Vavi Toran

Let's start with some fun stuff!

The story of Purim has been told throughout the centuries in many ways. From Purim Spiels to a variety of visual versions of the Megillah, writers and artists utilized their creativity to interpret the story according to their imagination and the zeitgeist of their era.  

Comix

A delightful comic book version of the Scroll of Esther was published a few years ago by the CET (The Center for Educational Technology) in Israel. The booklet is easy to follow and, besides the story itself, includes background and ideas for activities and discussion. It is in Hebrew. But hey, it's Purim and you know the story. Improvise!

Download Megillat Esther Comic Book (Available for sale from CET) 

 
 

Artistic Playing Cards

Jacob's Bible Playing Cards designed by Ze'ev Raban, a leading artist of the Bazalel Academy founded in 1906, featuring King Ahasuerus and Queen Esther among many other biblical royals. In this deck, the jack of club is Harbona, one of the seven eunuchs who served Ahasuerus and to whom the order was given to bring Queen Vashti before the king.  Now let's play! 

To See the Rest of the Deck: click here. and here.
 

Music and Videos

For young viewers, The Purim Story from Shalom Sesame.

From G-dcast, The Purim Story for Kids and Other Double Dutch Jumping Hipsters.

Purim songs with Uzi Hitman and Hani Nahmias.

Hebrew lyrics to the songs on Chagim website.

Some of the songs in English transliteration.

   
  
 
  
    
  
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   An artist stands amid effigies of Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel

An artist stands amid effigies of Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel

 "When Adar enters, we increase joyfulness." Babylonian Talmud Ta'anit 29a

We are doubly joyful this year since we are celebrating two months of Adar, Adar Alef (First Adar) and Adar Bet (Second Adar). Why is this?

The year in the Jewish calendar consists of twelve lunar months, but the festivals follow the solar year, since several of them (Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot) must take place in certain seasons, and the seasons are determined by the earth annual revolution around the sun. The lunar calendar is regularly adjusted to keep it in conformity with the solar year. This is done by periodically adding a second month of Adar. Since the discrepancy between the solar and lunar years amounts to 207 days every 19 years, the extra Adar is added seven times in a 19-year lunar cycle. During these leap years, most observances normally held in Adar are moved to Adar Bet, including Purim.

Masquerading and Mask Making

One of the most joyful of the holiday's customs is Masquerading and Mask Making.

"Masquerading on Purim originated about the end of the fifteenth century among the Jews of Italy, who observed and imitated the carnival practice of the Lenten season, which occurs about the time of Purim. From there it spread to all countries where Jews lived. The first known reference to the wearing of masks on Purim is found in 1508. In masquerading, people did not always wear mask. The mask was probably a much later invention, as people became more sophisticated and felt ashamed of their burlesque dress and childish tricks their "characters" were supposed to perform. Thus, to avoid recognition by their neighbors and friends and to achieve greater freedom of joyful expression, they covered their faces with masks." (from The Purim Anthology by Philip Goodman,1973)

Israeli artist, Hanoch Piven depicts the Iranian (Persian) politician known for his anti-Israel propaganda and Holocaust denial, as a modern-day Haman. The connection to Purim is achieved by using Hamantachens, a dagger, a gragger and a whip. 

Purim is a perfect opportunity to incorporate his teaching and technique to create portraits and masks for the holiday.

We hope these images, Piven's website, his TedX Jerusalem talk, and this app for face making will inspire fun Purim activities.

 

 

 

The Somber Side of the Holiday February 2015

We don't mean to spoil you rambunctious Purim spirit, but this year we cannot ignore the somber side of the holiday. Anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide and acts of terror, violence and desecration are on the news daily. A few years ago, we commented that there are no Jewish communities in peril.  Now, thousands of European Jews are feeling vulnerable enough to seriously consider Aliyah. 

Anti-Semitism, bigotry and hate are difficult issues to discuss with students. We want to foster pride. The story of Purim as told in the Scroll of Esther offers an opportunity to examine these issues.  

 To support your effort to introduce these topics, we offer resources:
Confronting Anti-Semitism - ADL
The Scroll of Esther and Anti-Semitism - by Prof. H. Gavriyahu, JAFI
Purim and the Persian Period - JewishHistory.org
Purim: Strangest of Holidays - By Steve Israel & Noam Zion, Shalom Hartman Institute
Purim: Joy in the Midst of Uncertainty - By Rabbi Prof. David Hartman, Shalom Hartman Institute
Purim Resources for Children with Special Needs - Gateways, Access to Jewish Education

Articles

Anti-Semitism on rise across Europe 'in worst times since the Nazis' - The Guardian
Jewish leaders call for Europe-wide legislation outlawing anti-Semitism - The Guardian

Purim and Art

  Arthur Szyk -   Haman hanging on the gallows, 1950

Arthur Szyk - Haman hanging on the gallows, 1950

An Artist's View

In this version of the Esther story, Arthur Szyk portrayed himself as the interpreter of Jewish history. The artist gazes at the swastika-bedecked figure of Haman, hanging on the gallows that Haman had built to kill Mordechai. Szyk holds a hamentasch, the pastry traditionally eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim, while writing "the people of Israel will be liberated from their persecutors."

 

Identity in the Story of Purim - An Art Project

Earlier this month we offered a workshop in collaboration with CJM, Havruta in Art and Beyond: Collaboration and Creativity in the Classroom. As an exercise of collaboration across disciplines in preparation of the upcoming holiday, we chose two verses from the book of Esther as text for Havruta study. Participants engaged in text study, identified a "big idea" for Purim and translated it into a collaborative artwork. It was a small example of how to approach any Jewish theme that we revisit year after year, and how to interpret big (and sometime old) ideas in a new creative way. The resulting list of big ideas and art ideas suggested that this year several schools will be engaged in an art activity that is very different than past years.

We are happy to share with you the lesson outlinetext study,  guidelines for Havruta study, and a few examples of the artwork done as tunnel books

 

Reflection on Enchanted Journey with Piyut

One participant shared this feedback:

"You brought us into the world of Piyut with a welcoming wide smile and delicious food, tastefully presented. The Moroccan decor and Tsipi’s attire and her twinkling eyes with endless longing for her childhood experiences were magic keys that opened the gate to the world of Piyut.

The balanced combination of knowledge and spirit enriched both the mind and the soul, that doesn't know how thirsty it is for that poetic world, obscure and beautiful, and which highlights the ancient Hebrew language of past generations.

You invited us to this poetic world through all the senses! We felt the piyut through body and soul. We stroked the glorious words as we visited Jewish homes in Spain, Morocco, Yemen, Iraq and Israel.

 

A pleasure!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

Thrilled with the turnout and the impact of the latest program from our Integration of the Arts Initiative. We spent the afternoon with educators from all over the Bay Area for a sweet taste of Piyut, Hebrew poetic liturgy. 

Many thanks to our wonderful partners from Piyut North America, JCC of the East Bay, and Tehiya Day School; to our fearless leaders, Rabbi Tsipi Gabai and Vavi Toran, and to each of the educators who attended and have returned to their classrooms or communities ready to engage young minds with new and wonderful tools.

 

A window into the work:

We transformed the space with rugs, artifacts and props to create a festive and lively atmosphere.  We opened the program with traditional music in the background and delicious Middle Eastern food in our bellies.

We presented piyutim as the sound track of the Jewish people, and discussed the contemporary revival of this music in Israel and around the world. Rabbi Tsipi Gabai shared her personal strong connection to piyutim through her history from home, synagogue and her rabbinic studies.

We dove deeply into five piyutim, with an examination of the text, the origin, poetic elements, and community of origin. Rabbi Tsipi Gabai with the aid of two musicians - Katja Cooper on percussions, and Rachel Sills on the Oud, taught each piyut. Katja demonstrated on the different percussion instruments, their origin and purpose and Rachel introduced the Oud which is perhaps the instrument most associated with Middle Eastern music.

Midway through the program we introduced a reflective tool encouraging participants to complete one of the statements: 

“Singing piyutim connects me to…”

“Singing piyutim connects me to teaching about…”

 

We then formed a circle and improvised a dance interpretation of their responses, which included concepts and words including: past and present, heartbeat, happiness, ancient, roots... 

We introduced curricula and books for teaching Piyutim in the classroom and gave participants kits including 18 recorded Piyutim and Mizmorim created by Piyut North America. 

Toward the end of the program, we shared our learning and were blown away by the impact, just in a few hours.

 

22 participants attended, representing three day schools, six synagogues, several private tutors, one Hebrew immersion program, and one preschool, from all over the Bay Area and as far as Lake Tahoe Region.

 

 

For more information on Piyut, Integration of the Arts or upcoming professional development opportunities, email VToran@JewishLearningWorks.org.

9Adar Project, a Jewish Week of Constructive Conflict

Compiled by Vavi Toran

 

Machloket (“Dispute for the Sake of Heaven” or Constructive Conflict) is among the great Jewish ideas.  Jews have been doing it for thousands of years.  We are grateful to our friends at the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution for creating the 9Adar Project, a Jewish Week of Constructive Conflict.  We are partnering with them to promote the study of Constructive Conflict here in Northern California, from February 12-20, 2016, culminating in the Feast of Jewish Learning on February 20th.

We have created this page to support you, our local educators as you find creative ideas and new pathways to bring the theme of constructive conflict to your classroom, through the lens of Israel. In addition to our resources below, you can find more resources and curricula about constructive conflict generally from the 9Adar Project in Jerusalem here.

We hope you find these resources useful and inspirational.

Four talked about the pine tree. 
One defined it by genus, species, and variety. 
One assessed its disadvantages for the lumber industry. 
One quoted poems about pine trees in many languages. 
One took root, stretched out branches, and rustled.
— Conversation (Sicha), a poem by Dan Pagis | Israeli Poet (1930-1986) | Translated by Rabbi Steven Sager

Machloket (Constructive Conflict) 

ARTS & CULTURE

The word Machloket in Hebrew shares its root chet-lamed-kuf with words that include: division, discord, partial, share, plot of land, smooth, slippery and flattery.

The road to constructive conflict, especially in Israel, has to be paved with honesty and respect for passionate people who don’t share the same opinions – in some cases about a plot of land.

Let’s make it a smooth rather than slippery process.

Here are a few examples how Israeli artists, poets, musicians and writers deal with machloket:

Two Elements a poem by Zelda
The poem represents a dialogue between the vocal and passionate flame and the silent and proud pine. How are these two elements alike and how are they different? Do we contain both the flame and the pine? Is this an inner conflict? What is the conflict about? Is this machloket solvable? How? How could a real dialogue between the two elements sound?
More about Zelda
 


There’s No Machloket
A song by Shalom Hanoch
(Hebrew lyrics)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Analysis
Is this machloket really just a small misunderstanding? Perhaps if the two sides really listen to one another they will find they have a lot in common. With a biblical reference for a pastoral and peaceful future together, Shalom Hanoch moves from a misunderstanding between Ami and Tami to the more acute machloket between Ami and Sami, Sami and Zami.

A few things that might get lost in translation: Ami and Tami are the Hebrew equivalent of Hansel and Gretel, or two typical Israeli names. Ami can also be interpreted as “my people” or “my nation,” Mami is a common endearment, Sami might be a sephardic name, and Zami is an Arabic name.

There is no Machloket between Ami and Tami
It’s just a small misunderstanding
Get wet from the same rain
Live in the same country
Hate each other’s guts a bit
Cause each other a bit of trouble
Be a bit mean to each other, ‘cause basically
There is no Machloket
There is no Machloket
There is no Machloket between Ami and Tami
It’s just a small misunderstanding
There is no Machloket between Ami and Tami
It’s just a small misunderstanding
Drink the same water
Take shelter under the same Schina (Divine Presence) 
Hurt each other a bit on the way
Attack only as a defense
And maybe it’s because that really
There is no Machloket
It’s just a small misunderstanding
There is no Machloket between Ami and Tami
It’s just a small misunderstanding
When we find King David
The picture will certainly change
We shall sit comfortably at home
Under a vine and the shade of a fig tree
We shall live in peace ‘cause basically
There is no Machloket
It’s just a small misunderstanding
A small misunderstanding
No Machloket
Between Ami and Tami
Between Tami and Ami
Between Ami and Mami
Between Mami and Sami
Between Sami and Zami
Between Ami and Sami
And Rami
And Ami
Between Ami and Tami
Between Tami and Ami
— Lyrics and Music: Shalom Hanoch

VISUAL ARTS

Visual artists express their opinions on canvas, walls or other media. Occasionally they have visual conversations and even banter in galleries or on city walls. We bring you a variety of art samples to explore and interpret.

David Reeb and Avner Bar Hama are artists who use the map of Israel in their artwork and present opposing political views. The questions they raise represent a central machloket in Israeli society – the issue is the Green Line and its inclusion or omission from official maps.

Green line by David Reeb
In the mid-1980s, the Green Line (which marks the pre-1967 borders of the State of Israel) became a dominant component of David Reeb’s paintings. His representation of this charged political frontier makes a statement about the permanent status the occupation acquired in Israeli consciousness.
Read More

 

Orange Map: Today Gush Katif – tomorrow Jaffa by Avner Bar Hama

Representing the opposing political view, Bar Hama presented a conceptual piece at (L)Attitudes in Washington DC portraying the map of Israel made entirely out of oranges.
Read More

 

Both Sides of Peace - Israeli and Palestinian Political Posters
Book Cover by Yossi Lemel

"Both sides try to get closer but hurt each other. The strings are in the colors of Palestinian and Israeli flags." -Yossi Lemel

Ironically, the metaphor for Israeli born Jews, the Sabra (cactus pear in Arabic)—prickly on the outside, sweet on the inside—is also an Arab symbol of resilience and tenacity, and is a natural fence that keeps in livestock and marks the boundaries of family lands.

 

The Face 2 Face Project
For this project, portraits of Israelis and Palestinians are pasted face to face, in monumental formats on both sides of the separation wall and in several Palestinian and Israeli cities.

More:
4 efforts to diffuse conflict in Israel with art
Peace and Conflict Through Graffiti

Other Resources:

New from the iCenter

APPROACHING CONFLICTS
Contexts, Perspectives, and Values in Israel Education

Approaching Conflicts is designed to help educators and learners engage sensitive material with more confidence, ask more questions, and challenge assumptions for the purpose of a strong and meaningful relationship with Israel.

STORIES WITH HAPPY ENDINGS
A Conversation Between Etgar Keret and Sayed Kashua

In the summer of 2014 – after a conflict that caused many Israelis, Jews and Arabs, to feel a growing despair for the possibilities of peace – prominent Israeli Palestinian writer Sayed Kashua announced his plans to immigrate to America. Afterwards, in a public exchange of letters, Kashua wrote to Etgar Keret, a popular Israeli Jewish author, to further discuss his decision. The two, longtime friends, discuss their lives and families among lingering possibilities of peace and coexistence while expressing exhaustion with continuing violence and conflict.

MORE RESOURCES

Encounter’s Communication Guidelines
Transforming conflict through face-to-face understanding

The guidelines serve as the blueprint for our common values.  They help to create a framework in which people of diverse ideological view­points can explore deeply contentious and charged topics respectfully. These guidelines enable questions to be framed in ways that speakers are able to hear, without feeling attacked, and reframing comments and statements into genuine questions.

Art Bridge

Creativity for Peace

image002.jpg

More 9Adar Resources can be found here.

To share additional resources, please comment below.


 

 

Havruta in Art and Beyond - Collaboration and Creativity in the Classroom

This past week, Vavi Toran, our Arts and Culture Specialist hosted an Integration of the Arts in Jewish Education program in collaboration with CJM and an exhibiting artist at the museum.

When she introduced herself, the program and Jewish LearningWorks, she mentioned that last year we started the Integration of the Arts Initiative the room broke into spontaneous applause!

This day of learning had three parts that interconnected and intersected seamlessly, thanks to an excellent collaboration in envisioning and implementing between the CJM educational staff, the artist and myself.

The first part, led by CJM educators Fraidy Aber and Janine Okmim, drew upon an exhibit that sparked the idea for this workshop. Educators engaged in Havruta text study from books' passages used by the collaborating artists and visual text study of the resulting exhibition. 

The second part, led by artist Ascha Drake, introduced participants to her installation "In The Studio" (an inspiration for a "Maker's lab") and several of her integration projects with other disciplines in a school environment. She is also an art teacher at Bay School, and author of several books.

The third part led by me brought us back to Havruta text study. Taking into account that the next Jewish holiday on the calendar is Purim, I chose 2 verses from the book of Esther. Participants engaged in text study, identified a "big idea" for Purim and translated it into a collaborative art work. It was, in a way, a small example of how to approach anew any Jewish theme that we revisit year after year, and how to interpret big ideas in a creative way. 

Participants were very engaged, sharing insights and ideas, collaborating with either their colleagues or someone we matched them up with. Many beautiful and thoughtful art works were produced based on the learning of the day.

This is one example of the way we work behind the scenes to support our community of educators.

For more information on our Integration of the Arts Initiative, please email VToran@JewishLearningWorks.org


Playful Art with Piven Testimonial

Read what one educator had to say about her student's experience at an Integration of the Arts Workshop:

I just wanted to share with you a project that I did with my kindergartners at Tehiyah Day School after attending your workshop with Hanoch Piven.   For the past few years, I have been doing an artist/author study of Hanoch Piven with my kindergarten class.   We have been doing a Perfect Purple Feather project and an individual collage portrait project in the past.  But this year, after taking your workshop, I decided to add another culminating project with the children working together in small groups to create a collage about a theme of their choice relating to our school.  I was overwhelmed by how well these 5 and 6 year olds came together with creativity and teamwork to create their masterpieces.   I am attaching copies of these finished projects so you can see that your workshop planted great seeds into the Jewish education community.  Thank you.

Kindest regards,
Ricki Rosenberg, 
Kindergarten Teacher
Tehiyah Day School

Integration of the Arts in Jewish Education

Do the arts play a role in your classroom? Are the teachers and students in your school aware that text is not always verbal? Do the schools harness the power of the arts by integrating them into their Jewish Studies curriculum and practice?

Jewish LearningWorks believes in the ability of the Arts to provide a gateway to inspired and joyful learning, a perspective for complex issues, and a pedagogical approach that fosters creative expression, critical thinking, and collaboration. In Jewish Education the arts create new ways to engage with and to understand text, values, history, culture and community.

By integrating the Arts in Jewish education, we seek to enrich and increase Jewish identity and Jewish knowledge for Bay Area learners of all ages.

The initiative is launched with a needs assessment survey, a traveling exhibition and a headlining event.