of Kol HaOt: Illuminating Jewish Life Through Art. Founded two years ago, Kol HaOt showcases Jewish history, values and texts through a synthesis of the performing, visual and culinary arts.
The curriculum focuses on the visual and materials arts and is entitled "The 'Art' of Judaism." Among the topics covered include ceremonial art, ketubot, haggadot and journaling. Students are given an introduction and survey of the topic, meet with a guest artist and then engage in a 'hands on' project in each session. Though we always begin our class at the Young Judaea campus in Jerusalem, the past two sessions have continued at the new Kol HaOt home on Jerusalem's Emek Refaim Street -- in a cool, magical, enchanted space called the Martef.
During our first session, which focused on ceremonial art, we learned about the concept of Jewish art and 'hiddur mitzvah' (beautifying ceremonial objects in the tradition). This lead up to a fascinating trip to Jerusalem's Huzot HaYotzer -- where students divided into three groups meeting with Yaakov Greenvercel (sterling silver), David Moss (who taught on The Tree of Life Shtender) and Oshrit Raffeld (paper and manuscript artist). Each spoke about the creative and spiritual
influences on their work-- and how their work reflects Jewish ideas and values.
We concluded our trip together in the studio of Sari Srulovich, a talented and animated sterling silver artist who showcased some of her best pieces. Students were amazed by the breadth and depth of these artists. It was an energizing way to begin this new adventure.