For Jewish Artists, A Space Of One’s Own

22 May

Pilot residency at Art Kibbutz NY hoping to foster connections, find permanent home.

by Tajlei Levis, Special To The Jewish Week

art-kibbutzPutnam Valley, N.Y. — On a bright May afternoon on the grounds of an organic farm camp in this Hudson Valley town, a sculptor shaped branches found in the woods into letters of the Hebrew alphabet, while a singer-songwriter played guitar, inspired by the sounds of nature.

A performance artist read Torah in connection with an interpretive dance, and a composer focused on the connection between musical tones and the ripples on the lake.

These are just a sample of the creative responses of the first batch of artists-in-residence at Art Kibbutz NY to the environmental theme, “The Jewish Waltz with Planet Earth.”

Art Kibbutz NY was founded in 2010 by Patricia Eszter Margit, a charismatic impresario from Hungary, as the first international Jewish art colony. Margit’s long-term goal is to make Art Kibbutz into a residential retreat in the style of Yadoo or MacDowell, a place where artists — who happen to be Jewish — can work, learn and connect with colleagues. This month-long residency on the 248 acres of Eden Village Farm Camp is a test, a model of how Art Kibbutz can bring together Jewish artists in a variety of disciplines to engage in creative work and connection.

The extensive campgrounds serve as temporary home, studio and inspiration for the resident artists and visiting teaching professionals. For the artists, Margit noted, the experience “deepens their sense of personal purpose, contribution and Jewish identity.”

With the support of an advisory board of Jewish cultural organizations and initial funding from UJA-Federation of New York, Margit hopes this pilot program will lead to finding a permanent home for Art Kibbutz, with space for installations and exhibits, and opportunities for residencies throughout the year.

Read the full article here.

to For Jewish Artists, A Space Of One’s Own



June 2nd, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Hello, I just found a short story about the Art Kibbutz NY. I am an artist sculpture/painting mixed media and it is my intention to spend the next year creating art and storytelling based on the Aleph Beit from a Hassidic and artistic viewpoint. As I am not sure if you still exist I am writing to ask if there is a possibility of living and creating art at your Art Kibbutz NY. Please respond with information about what possibilities are open. Thank you, Judy



June 2nd, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Hi Judy! Please contact Art Kibbutz on their website Thank you!


Joy Krauthammer

June 9th, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Torah as ART.
I love reading about the current wave of artistic Judaism. Thank you.

Wanting to be part of this conversation, I share that fifteen years ago I began to consciously do performance art from my own spiritual writings.
I recited, “I Am A Holy Vessel”. A dancer and drummer supported me in Jewish venues.
(This last Omer period, I again performed my piece in another shul.)

(In N.Y. I did Guerilla Theatre as a QC student with LaMaMa in the late 1960’s.)

I guess it is also performance art, or Bibliodrash, when I’m chanting Torah, and dressed up as the portion. For BaHa’alotecha, my birth parsha, I dressed and danced as menorah flames. With help from another artist, I’d made flame finger puppets for all the many congregants so that they, too, could be menorah flames and feel the parsha. Enacting the parsha is how I partially celebrated my Simchat Chochmah.

When BaHa’alotecha again rolls around each year, friends hold up their fingers in shul remembering when they got to bodily experience BaHa’alotecha’s menorah.

Did any of you know Jeff Oboler, z”l, aka Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen, former director of the 1980’s NY Steinberg Arts Center? May his memory be blessed for all he did for Jewish artists, and more.

BlesSings for Jewish arts, vitality, health, wholeness, harmony & peace, revealed miracles, inspiration & creativity, discovery & wonder, blooming gardens, majestic sunrises, singing birds, love and joy,

JOY Krauthammer
“Serve G*d With Joy”

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