The second Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art (September 24 – November 5) will showcase the work of nearly 200 Israeli and international professional artists in 10 exhibitions hosted in seven city-center venues.

Following the success of the inaugural Jerusalem Biennale in 2013, Biennale2015 will continue to explore the places where contemporary art meets the Jewish world of content. Curators and artists with different approaches, who span the continuum of Jewish identity from secular to ultra-Orthodox and include non-Jewish artists, come together within the Biennale framework to give their own interpretation of contemporary Jewish art.

Biennale2015 hosts four exhibitions from overseas – New York, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires and Barcelona and, for the first time, the Jerusalem Biennale extends its reach with three simultaneous exhibitions in L.A. The vision of the Biennale is to create the right conditions for the artists to display their work in Jerusalem, engage in the current discourse about the Jewish world and help establish Jerusalem as the global center for contemporary Jewish Art.

For updated exhibition information and ticket purchase:

View a gallery of just some of the exhibitions below.

By Sarah Friedland, for Laba Journal


During her recent residency at the MacDowell Colony, filmmaker Sarah Friedland engaged in a deep visual meditation of Ecclesiastes (Koheleth in Hebrew). Her tools were the text, a camera and a couple of packets of articulating paper that she found outside a dentist office back in New York City. (These are the little sheets you grind between your teeth so the dentist can determine whether or not everything is lining up correctly.) The resulting interactive film, which is stunning, can be explored by clicking here. Please note, it is best viewed on a computer and may not function correctly on a tablet or smart phone.


After over a year of work, animator Nina Paley has finished the stunning “embroidermotion” of Chad Gadya as an intermission piece for her still in production feature length Seder-Masochism project. The exhaustive process used newly developed software by Theodore Gray to bring it to life, which you can read about in detail here.

Every frame is made up of real stitched designs on identical matzoh covers, and they are all on sale! It’s like owning an original animation cel but way more unique. The artists have also made their stitching files to produce the embroidery available for free download on

Watch the completed video below:

CHAD GADYA from Nina Paley on Vimeo.

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The JTS Arts Advisory Board Presents
Traversing Tradition: Transformation in and of Contemporary Jewish Life

Exhibition Curator: Rebecca Pristoop
Participating Artists: Tamar Ettun | Jake Levin | Angela Strassheim | Silvio Wolf | Gil Yefman | Sarah Zell Young

September 10, 2015, through May 19, 2016
3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street)
New York City

Traversing Tradition: Transformation in and of Contemporary Jewish Life explores the possibility of transformation as it intersects with Judaism. Prompted by a period of change and reflection—as JTS begins a major renovation and expansion of its campus facilities, creating a centralized and modernized residence hall, a prominent auditorium and conference center, and a state-of-the-art library— this exhibition emerges in two stages. On view beginning in fall 2015, installations by Tamar Ettun, Jake Levin, Angela Strassheim, and Sarah Zell Young make use of JTS’s historic campus with works that consider the possibility of transformation in one’s personal life as well as in contemporary Jewish culture. Using a wide range of media, including video, photography, and neon, the artists witness, question, respond to, and reinterpret Jewish communities, texts, and traditions. Their artworks reflect upon the transformations intrinsic to the rituals, customs, and observances associated with Jewish dietary laws, prayer, birth, and death.
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Israeli based Jewish Art Salon fellows, including Dorit Jordan Dotan, Ruth Schreiber, Ken Goldman, Judith Margolis, Yehudis Barmatz, and Gidon Levin, are participating in “Ima Iyla’a: the Art of Motherhood,” a bold, breakthrough art exhibit on the divine and earthly Mother taking part in the Jerusalem Biennale 2015.

American Participating Artists include Joan Roth and Doni Silver Simons.

“How does the Kabbalistic concept of Mother (Ima Iyla’a) find expression in our world through human wisdom, empathy, and nurturing?” Internationally acclaimed artists ask existential questions that expand the conversation on art and motherhood, and explore the yearning, pain, and loss that accompanies the quest of mother and child.

Help support the artists’ installations and promotion of the exhibit in the orthodox community by contributing to the exhibit’s indiegogo campaign. Every Contribution brings the exhibit closer to their goal!

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Alisa Poplavskaya cordially invites you to join her for the Vernissage of her exhibition „Spiritellectual“ on September 6, 2015 at 4pm in the “Jüdische Galerie” in Berlin.

What is „Spiritellectual“? Alisa Poplavskaya has returned from the mountains of Nepal and connects Jewish mystical concepts of the book Zohar with far-eastern influences and ecstatic visions. Her art is where the transcendent meets the imminent and the abstract becomes sensual. The exhibition will be shown from September 6 until October 25, 2015.

Jüdische Galerie Berlin
Kaiserin-Augusta-Str. 6312103 Berlin
Email: [email protected]
Verkehrsverbindungen:U6 bis “Kaiserin-Augusta-Straße”Bus 184 bis “U-Bahn Kaiserin-Augusta-Straße” Bus 246 bis “U Friedrich-Wilhelm-Platz”

CONSTRUCTING AND DECONSTRUCTING JEWISH ART is a three day conference covering many aspects of Jewish Visual Art from September 7th – 10th, 2015.

Sessions include: “Expanding the Methodological Toolbox: Modern and Contemporary Contexts”, “The “Artless Jew” Discourse” and more.
Get more information and view the full program at

With fundamental shifts in culture, art history, and Jewish studies during the recent decades, it has become increasingly crucial for the custodians of higher education to carefully re-examine their approach to the history and interpretation of what is referred to as ‘Jewish’ art in both traditionalist scholarship and in the practice of art making, curatorship, and connoisseurship. Responding to developments in the humanities, communication studies, social studies and psychology, contemporary art history commonly embraces investigations of any image or object created for the sake of communicating meanings or emotions, and thus often replaces the term ‘art’ with a semantically broader term ‘visual culture.’ Contemporary scholarly research and the academic teaching of ‘Jewish’ art—like postmodern Jewish history and historiography —are increasingly distancing themselves from the search for any single exhaustive definition of the adjective ‘Jewish’ as applied to art, culture, and history. Instead, they tend to focus upon the variety and flexibility of both individual and collective Jewish self-identification throughout the ages. Scholarly discourse steadily moves away from the oft-repeated questions “Does Jewish art exist?” and “What is Jewish art?” to the inquiry “What is Jewish in ‘Jewish’ art?”—attempting to investigate Jewish visual cultures and their messages in their multiple contexts and interactions with the surroundings. This notwithstanding, even though the signifier ‘Jewish’ in the phrase ‘Jewish art’ is conventional and only loosely describes its object, it still relates to its signified in a fashion no less significant than the strict meaning of ‘middle’ does to ‘ages’ in the historical sciences, or the definition ‘charm’ does to quarks in particle physics. Thus the term ‘Jewish art’ can be instrumental in our discussion of visual culture, artistic expression, and appreciation of the plastic arts.

Register for the conference by emailing [email protected]

Indian-American Jewish Painter Siona Benjamin just posted a time lapse of the tile floor she designed being installed at the Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis, Missouri. Benjamin had worked for a year on a painting that would be transferred to ceramic tile and installed. The fifteen foot in diameter artwork takes us through the holidays in an imaginative way, including hidden faces, moons and other symbols. The inner circles are based on a teaching from the Talmud that connect the zodiac signs, Hebrew months and tribes. The innermost section evokes both Dina, the daughter of Jacob and Leah who did not get a tribe, and the Shechinah itself.

View the full painting below:
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Calendar Cover

Time moves in circles, not only in lines.

The Hebrew Circle Calendar offers a new old path for the Jewish year–new in its contemporary design.

Download a sample of the month of Elul here.

When we remember that every month is a full cycle of the moon, every year is a full cycle of the sun, and the holidays and seasons are fully intertwined, the symmetries and correspondences in our lives dance into vision. We return to the same place on the calendar, the same place in the Torah, and we remember–but we are changed. The miraculous spiral that we have been handed intact from our ancestors now invites us, with the vision of its 13 contributing artists, to walk with it in time, and reconnect to the spiral journey of the soul.

We strongly recommend this lovely calendar, published just on time for the High Holidays.

See more samples and Order it now at

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Jewish Art Now founders Elke and Saul Sudin presented “Jewish Art Now: Unifying Efforts For A Global Community” at the Conney Conference on Jewish Art 2015. In this presentation, they describe their journey in the contemporary arts scene, claiming what they call a Diverse Unapologetic Identity as their approach to being Jewish and Artists.

The Conney Conference is part of the Conney Project on Jewish Arts at the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Their tenth conference year took place for the first time in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California. The theme was “Jewish/American/Israeli: Intertwined Identities in the Contemporary Arts and Humanities.”