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The Shmita Year:
Release, Renewal and Rest

Thursday, April 21Thursday, June 9

Osher Marin JCC
200 North San Pedro Road
San Rafael, CA 94903 United States
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The Shmita Year: Release, Renewal and Rest
Exhibit hosted at the Osher Marin JCC Gallery
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?

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