Jewish Artist of the Week

Primary Contact: Dvir Cahana

Creativity is a Jewish value. Viewing ancient ideas through new perspectives is a crucial aspect of the Jewish experience. As Jews, when we enter the millennia-long discourse on the Jewish tradition, we gain a sense of ownership over our identities.

Historically, however, the people who have been given the power to make meaning from Jewish texts have been a small, privileged group. This is especially unfortunate because we stand to gain so much when bringing more voices into the conversation. What we aim to do is to empower a broader group of creative souls to investigate texts and interpret them. We want to give these individuals permission to enter the creative conversation and trailblaze new ways of reading our scriptures.

We offer a wide variety of programming geared toward several different audiences. For working artists, we have the J.A.W. and Ore’ach Fellowship, a paired-study fellowship between practitioners and rabbis over two months. The fellowship results in presentations of work inspired by this paired study experience. For the general art-making public, we offer a growing network of weekly art nights, retreats, and other programming.

We are not just a group of artists. We are a community. That’s why we started the Amen Network, an affiliation of many different partner institutions that work with us to share the art we make as widely as possible. We also underwrite Amen Productions, our in-house musical and artistic content hub.

Art, for us, is a bridge. It connects career artists with their Jewish heritage, and it connects the broader Jewish community to its Judaism as well. Making art shouldn’t be intimidating; it should be healing. It is our mission to harness the connective, healing properties of art-making as we continue to build on the Amen Institute’s mission.