Los Angeles-based graphic designer Hillel Smith is creating GIFs to count the Omer, the 49 day cycle between the Passover and Shavuot holidays.

Continue to count every night with Hillel as he updates each day at his Tumblr here.


THE ART SPRINTER Emerging Jewish Artist Awards is a global art competition specifically targeting talented contemporary Jewish artists from all over the world. The project was created with the vision to recognize exceptional early and mid career artists and present their talent to a global audience through online promotion and a gallery exhibition.

While submissions are accepted in digital format, the actual artworks of ten finalists will be featured in a group exhibition that culminates with an awards ceremony in a New York City based gallery.

Since the concept of emergence in the arts does not necessarily correlate to a specific age, or other quantifiable terms, Jewish artists of all ages and working with all mediums of expression are encouraged to submit their artworks.

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1405229686Art Kibbutz Summer Residency
Governor’s Island, New York City
May 26 – September 10, 2015

Art Kibbutz’s Summer Residency will take place in a former army officer’s mansion embedded in the midst of Governor’s Island’s picturesque landscapes, waterfront views, and unique historic architecture. With studios for visual artists, writers, poets, composers, performing artists and a presentation/exhibition space, the building is a welcome place for artists and the public alike.

From May 26 to September 10, Art Kibbutz’s Summer Residency will offer a shared, multidisciplinary space where artists can experience a retreat-style residency just a short ferry ride from the frenetic buzz of New York City. While on Governor’s Island, artists can create new works and develop their practice, drawing inspiration from the unique location, as well as the community of fellow artists-in-residence. Art Kibbutz and artists-in-residence welcomes visitors on Sundays to enjoy the Governor’s Island Open Studios events, lectures, artist talks, meet the artists and learn about their work.

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Jewish Art Now Creative Director Saul Sudin with "Illuminated Streets" artists Hillel Smith and Itamar Paloge

Jewish Art Now Creative Director Saul Sudin with “Illuminated Streets” artists Hillel Smith and Itamar Paloge

by Avishay Artsy, for the Jewish Journal

Over the past week, two graffiti artists have been applying layers of bright orange and blue paint to an outdoor wall of the Silverlake Independent JCC. Hillel Smith, a native Angeleno, and Itamar Paloge, a Tel Aviv-based artist, met a year ago through their shared interest in street art. Now they’re creating Jewish-themed murals across Los Angeles.

The JCC mural features a massive orange Hebrew letter, alef, which fills the wall space. Surrounding the letter are blue calligraphic lines that reference the forms of the Hebrew alphabet but are not actual letters.

“It does incorporate the styles that both of us work in,” Smith said. “My work tends to be a lot more geometric and angular, and Itamar’s is a lot more free-flowing. This layering effect really brings the two things together.”

This is just one in a series of works the artists are making incorporating the Hebrew alphabet as a design element. Their current project, “Illuminated Streets,” references illuminated manuscripts, beautifully decorated handwritten books that are part of a rich history of Jewish typographic art.
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It’s become a tradition: every year, a group of more than 40 Israeli artists comes together and creates a new haggadah. They follow only two rules:

1) Each artist creates only a single page
2) The artists must use the standard Haggadah text

The result? A volume that entertains and surprises every time you turn the page, no matter how late your Seder goes. The Asufa Haggadah is a great conversation starter and a perfect gift for you or your host.

Now, for the first time, that haggadah is available in North America, exclusively through Print-O-Craft for only $25.00 (Free shipping on all orders $45+).

For large orders, email [email protected] for special pricing.

Check out some sample pages below:
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Jacqueline Nicholls in SFThe Arts of Jacqueline Nicholls: Time, Text & Textiles

On exhibit in the Katz Snyder Gallery
Mid March – June 2015
British artist Jacqueline Nicholls uses her art to explore traditional Jewish ideas in untraditional ways. The exhibition will be comprised of the kittel collection, Nicholls’ interpretation of the different ways that clothing is used as a vehicle for meaning and identity within Jewish tradition; omer drawings, exploring what it means to take into account the things in life that we hold onto, while counting the seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot, and other works.

The Kittel Collection | Draw Yomi Notebooks | Omer Drawings

Katz Snyder Gallery hours:
Monday – Thursday: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
Friday – Sunday: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

Jacqueline Nicholls in SF - 2
Gallery Opening
In this gallery opening event, Jacqueline Nicholls will introduce her style, which emphasizes the meaningful role of the visual, an often under-valued part of Jewish life and learning.
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Nina Paley, animator and activist behind Sita Sings The Blues, has been working on her new project Seder Masochism since 2011. She has just released a new work in progress scene, “G0d Calls Moses To Mt. Horeb”.

God Calls Moses to Mt. Horeb from Nina Paley on Vimeo.

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Sheva Minim II, Papercut, 31.5” x 16.75” x 2.5”
IMG_4573 - Version 2

Intricate cut paper artwork depicting the seven agricultural products, that are listed in the Torah as being special products of the Land of Israel. The seven species are wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.

Rochel Schiffrin is a young paper-cut artist from Pittsburgh, PA. View her work at http://www.rochelschiffrin.com/

by Yehudis Barmatz


Rami Ozeri has a background in economics and philosophy. We can use people like him in the arts. He is a dreamer, a planner and a networker. He has the advantage of providing a stage for a growing scene of Jewish artists who otherwise would remain in shelters and behind closed doors. With his initiative, in 2013 the Jerusalem Biennale was born. When I mentioned the Jerusalem Biennale to my Tel Avivian Great Aunt, she was not sure she heard me correctly. She gave a short laugh for lack of better words. Perhaps from a Tel Aviv perspective, an event called a “biennale” in Jerusalem is cute. Upon taking a few steps backwards, one realizes how significant the Jerusalem Biennale is in the world of Jewish Art. A well-rounded essay written in the Erev Rav by Jewish art critic David Sperber in 2013 presents the fruitful outcome of tackling such an unanswerable topic as Jewish Art by the Jerusalem Biennale.

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Final invitation January 8-page-001

On January 8, the COJECO Blueprint Fellowship will host “Re:Turn”, a joint photography exhibition and literary salon, featuring the photographs of Anna Chana Demidova and the short fiction of Avital Chizhik. The evening is devoted to the narratives of Russian-speaking Orthodox Jews – originally from the Soviet Union who became observant.

“This demographic turned out to be more socially and culturally invisible than I thought,” says Anna Chana Demidova, a Belarusian-born photographer who lives in New York and studies at Columbia University. “My intention was to show the daily lives of my subjects and to tell their stories of reconciling Soviet mentality, immigrant experience, American culture, and Jewish laws. Both secular American and Russian-speaking communities are rarely supportive of Orthodox Jews’ lifestyle choices. I wanted to show the value of that lifestyle.” The exhibition features photographs of Russian-speaking Orthodox Jews in moments of routine and religious rituals, along with interview excerpts about their experience of becoming more observant.

Avital Chizhik, a journalist in New York, whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Tablet and regularly in Haaretz, will be reading from her short story collection, “In The Eighteenth Minute”.

“My stories are set in the Russian-Jewish community, from New York to Moscow to Jerusalem,” Chizhik says. “Becoming observant is, in many ways, an immigration experience, always being an Other in the foreign land of ritual and text study. My work examines that outsider experience, the clashes between generations, cultures and languages. And I think there’s something universal about it, in that search for home: in land, in religion, in culture, and in language.”

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