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Jewish Studio Project Session: Learn & Create in honor of Shmita & Shavuot
Thursday, June 2 @ 6:00 pm–7:30 pm
- Osher Marin JCC
- CA United States
Discover your own creative commentary and learn about our Shmita Year exhibit just in time for the Jewish learning holiday Shavuot!
Join Taylor Epstein (former Marin JCC camp staff!) for a Jewish Studio Project session just in time for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot where we learn all night! We’ll engage with our current Shmita Year exhibit, learn about the concept of Shmita together and then tap into our own creative commentary. No previous art expertise or experience is required!
Cultivating creativity is a core competency for navigating the challenges and harnessing the potential of our time. Creativity is the wellspring of our deepest power and among the best tools, we have for exploring, adapting, and bringing forth new ways to thrive in our ever-changing world. Creativity is inherent within all of us, yet we live in a society in which most of us are cut off from this essential part of who we are. This is a crisis of spirit and imagination. Jewish Studio Project (JSP) exists to address this profound need.
JSP was founded on the belief that each one of us is created creatively. Over the past seven years, JSP has become a go-to resource for accessible Jewish learning and spiritual connection across the country. Through ongoing community programs, immersive experiences, creative facilitator training and professional development partnerships, JSP is building a movement to activate the creative power of the Jewish community.
Rabbi Adina Allen, Co-Founder and Creative Director, developed JSP’s core methodology — the Jewish Studio Process — after identifying a need for new ways of surfacing and processing personal insights from Jewish texts. The daughter of leading art therapist Pat B. Allen, Adina brought practices she learned growing up in an art studio into the beit midrash, while a rabbinic student at Hebrew College. The Jewish Studio Process has been highly valued by those seeking a renewed connection to creativity and a new way into Jewish tradition.
In its first seven years, JSP delivered 700 programs for over 15,000 participants; developed a resource library containing hundreds of source sheets for Jewish learning; partnered with 90 organizations; reached tens of thousands of people through its unique thought leadership; built a national facilitator network; and opened a vibrant physical studio space and demonstration site.
About The Shmita Year: Release, Renewal and Rest
The Jewish calendar provides us not only one day a week for rest and renewal but also a year that does the same. The Shmita or Sabbatical year, also called the Shabbat of Shabbats and the Shabbat of the land occurs every seventh year. Jewish law tells us that farming must cease, any naturally grown crops should be left for the needy and animals, and all debts are to be forgiven. While Shmita is most relevant to farming, there are financial, societal, emotional, and social justice ramifications for observing a Shmita year. While the laws of Shmita are only observed in the land of Israel, the lessons of Shmita are particularly resonant in the time of the pandemic. For some, the pandemic was an enforced time of rest, and for others quite the opposite.
The Art Galleries of the Osher Marin and Peninsula JCCs wished to further explore the themes of Shmita and asked a select group of artists to consider the following questions: What does it mean to have a Shmita year that follows such a tumultuous year of upheaval? What can we glean from the idea of Shmita in diaspora?
Six artists from the 2019 Bay Area Jewish Artist Retreat, a program of Asylum Arts, answered our call. They include Kate Laster, Bonny Nahmias, Christopher Reiger, Ava Sayaka Rosen, Arielle Tonkin, and Gabriella Willenz. We are pleased to present their interpretations in this exhibition.
As you view the work, keep in mind the Shmita year asks us all, how can we make do with what we already have?