Kaplan, Creativity & the Arts

“Every creative act… adds to the meaning of life and is a revelation of the Divine.” –Kaplan Diary, 1940

How is Judaism evolving in relationship to the (visual) arts?  Join a panel of artists, educators, and innovators to explore the role of art, artmaking, and creativity in our religious, communal and spiritual lives.

with Rabbi Adina Allen, Joanne Fink, Elizheva Hurvich, and Rabbi Margie Jacobs
 Sunday, January 29, 2023


Check out these innovative projects and add your own in the form below!

Shabbat Voices

Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation

Adat Shalom’s Shabbat Voices is an exciting new program that is being piloted during the 2022-23 program year. On six shabbatot, scheduled monthly from December 2022-May 2023, we will host a guest teacher, artist or activist who will be featured, both during shabbat morning worship time as well as during a post-oneg session from 1-2:30pm.

Read more…

Mural of Jewish Living Values

Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore

Primary Contact: Eric Schulmiller

Read more…

Jewish Artist of the Week

The Amen Institute

Primary Contact: Dvir Cahana

Read more…


How are the arts and creativity evolving in your Jewish organization? Please use the form below to share a project from your Jewish organization or your own work. Submissions will be posted to the Kaplan Center website within one week (subject to review).


Webinar Panelists

Rabbi Adina Allen is a spiritual leader, writer and educator who believes in the power of creativity to revitalize our lives and transform Jewish tradition. Adina is co-founder and Creative Director of Jewish Studio Project (JSP), a nationally recognized Jewish learning organization that cultivates creativity as a Jewish practice for spiritual connection and social transformation. Integrating a lifetime of experience in the expressive arts with her rabbinic training, Adina created JSP’s unique learning methodology which she has brought to clergy, educators, activists and lay leaders in hundreds of Jewish communal institutions across the country. Adina’s writing is widely published in the Huffington Post, Lilith, the Forward, Kveller, My Jewish Learning, Ayin and Patheos. Her original research on using creative process to generate contemporary midrash was published in the CCAR Journal in 2013 and her chapter “What Else Can This Be?: Creativity as an Iterative Practice” is a part of the anthology Creative Provocations: Speculations on the Future of Creativity, Technology and Learning, Springer Press, 2023. She is a recipient of the Covenant Foundation’s 2018 Pomegranate Prize for emerging Jewish Educators and was a fellow of the Open Dor Project for spiritual Jewish entrepreneurs. Adina was ordained in Hebrew College’s pluralistic training program in Boston in 2014 where she was a Wexner Graduate Fellow.

Zenspirations® founder Joanne Fink is an artist, liturgist, teacher, inspirational speaker and best-selling author with more than one million books in print. She started her career designing greeting cards and Ketubot (Jewish Wedding Contracts) and in 1991 helped found the American Guild of Judaic Art. Joanne’s current passion project is building Jewish community through art, and sharing the collection of 54 ‘Torah Illuminations and Prayers’ she created over a three year period, inspired by the weekly parashiyot (Torah portions).

“One of my greatest joys,” says Elizheva Hurvich, “is when my students return to share with me how our learning has stayed with them on their Jewish journeys.” Jewish educator, artist, ritual service leader and Rabbinical Student, Elizheva was born in Northern California and has lived and studied in New York, Philadelphia, Israel, France, and the deep US South. Weaving her Renewal and Conservative roots with her love of Reconstructing Judaism and imagination, Elizheva loves to teach the heart of the matter, bringing meaning and content and connection to students of all ages. Specializing in personalized talitot (prayer shawls), huppot (wedding canopies), and group projects, her art has been included in the National Museum of American Jewish History and the galleries of HUC, as well as many venues in San Francisco.

Rabbi Margie Jacobs (RRC 2000) has served as a congregational rabbi, regional director of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, Hillel director, and teacher of mindfulness meditation. She is a facilitator of the Jewish Studio Process, a mindful art practice that she leads virtually and in person across the country for synagogues, Hillels, retreats, conferences, special events, and clergy.  Margie has been designing websites since 2010 and also creates Jewish Canva Templates as part of the Discover Jewish Art project.

Thank you to our sponsors…

Individual and Familial Sponsors
David and Stacey Cooperman, Andrea and Andy Eller, Nancy and Larry Epstein, Ellen Seidman Greenberg, Laura Jacobs, Barbara and Charlie Richman, Jeffrey and Deborah Schein with Freddi Paulsrud, Evan and Tracy Segal, and Susan and Lee Segal, in memory of their parents’ connection to the arts and their cousinly bond: 
~ Frannie and Alfie Seidman 
~ Jerry and Harriet Segal
~ Morton and Rose Schein
~ Sanford and Maxine Cooperman
~ Larry and Bernice Cooperman  

Institutional Sponsors
Congregations: Adat Shalom Reconstructionist (Bethesda), Mayim Rabim Congregation (Minneapolis), New Synagogue Project (Washington, DC), and The Reconstructionist Synagogue  of North Shore (Long Island), 
and the Creative Jewish Institutions of: The Amen Institute and Jewish Studio Project

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