Kol HaOt imparts Jewish values, texts and history through a creative synthesis of the visual and performing arts.
We foster the creation of deeply rooted Jewish artistic expression to convey eternal Jewish values, finding dynamic new ways to impart ancient and precious messages.
We unleash the creative and Jewish potential in learning – not through the head alone – but by combining the head, heart and the hand.
We bring together the work of artists who are teachers, and teachers who are artists.
We believe that including the arts and creativity is a necessity, not a luxury, for meaningful Jewish education, identity and community and provide opportunities and venues for Jewish visual and performing arts.
Kol HaOt: The Voice of the Symbol
Throughout Jewish history, our most profound spiritual truths have been conveyed in different forms. Both divine communication to humanity, and the passing on of our tradition through the generations, have been through speech, words and texts, through visions, images and symbols.
From the time of the patriarchs and through the prophets, God sometimes spoke to our ancestors, and sometimes communicated through extraordinary visions. Perhaps the most forceful form of communication has been when image, idea and speech have been combined to present a unified, unforgettable message.
In the story of the burning bush, this unity is beautifully exemplified. There God speaks of Kol HaOt – the voice of the symbol. Neither the visual symbol nor the verbal communication stands alone. The experience is one of both seeing a remarkable image and understanding that image explicated. This dynamic synthesis conveys an unforgettable message.
As artists and educators, we have devoted our careers to utilizing this powerful combination. Our extensive experience in creating works imbued with Jewish significance, together with our sharing of these works to inspire and educate others, have convinced us of the incredible power, and the vastly underutilized potential of this magical combination.
Whether innovating curricula, training educators, fostering artists, hosting exhibits and performances, bringing programming to communities, or exposing Jews of all affiliations to inspiring, interactive aesthetic experiences, our goal remains the same: sharing the foundations of Jewish identity freshly clothed in attractive, stimulating and irresistible forms.
Who Are We?
The prime asset of Kol HaOt is its dynamic founding team and talented staff.
Artist David Moss, Kol HaOt co-founder, senior mentor and advisory board.
David considers himself a “mitzvah beautifier”. He works in diverse media, including calligraphy, illumination, papercuts, sculpture, wood, prints, artist books, architecture, pottery, drama, educational programming and others. He is responsible for the revival of the hand-illustrated ketubah, created The Moss Haggadah, and collaborated on the Tree of Life Shtender. His magnificent artwork has been acquired by major museums, and is included in many private collections. He currently is working on a “Garden of Jewish Exploration” and continues to create daily from his studio in Hutzot HaYotzer, across from Kol HaOt.
Elyssa Moss Rabinowitz, Kol HaOt co-founder and Executive Director.
Elyssa is an experiential Jewish educator who constructs worlds of Jewish meaning and beauty. She draws on all media to create interactive, participatory events and programs of Jewish content. She is responsible for the leadership and management of the organization, constantly bringing the various elements of our vision into reality. Before Kol HaOt, she founded “A Day Away”, weaving together Jewish texts, music, food, art and drama to create all-encompassing experiences that are authentic, educational, inspirational and fun. She created and runs the “Zer Mitzvot” year-long group study/experience for Bat Mitzvah-aged girls and their mothers, and has worked on creative content for television programming, as well as acted and produced in live theater.
Rabbi Matthew Berkowitz, Kol HaOt co-founder, Director of Development and advisory board. A Wexner Graduate Fellow alumnus, he studied at The Pardes Institute and The Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies. He was ordained from JTS in 1999. Matt was formally trained in Jewish scribal art in Jerusalem, and completed the writing of Megillat Esther, the illumination of several ketubbot, and a limited edition artist portfolio entitled Passover Landscapes: Illuminations on the Exodus. In 2008-2009, he studied illustration and oil painting at The Jerusalem Studio School. Matt currently also serves as the Director of Israel Programs for The Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
Yair Medina, Kol HaOt co-founder and advisory board.
Hundreds of artists flock to Yair’s studio, where international standards of quality mix with warmth, inspiration, encouragement and practicality. Born and raised in Jerusalem, Medina studied professional photography at the Hadassah College of Technology from 1992 to 1995, where he graduated with honors. In 1996 he established STUDIO 503 in Jerusalem. The studio, now known as Jerusalem Fine Art Prints, offers commercial photography, digital imaging services, catalog productions (including graphic design), internet services and support. Medina is a producer par excellence having worked on numerous projects with world-renowned artists, including David Moss, Mati Grunberg, Avner Moriah, Eliyahu Sidi, and Amalia Nini.
Adi Covitz, Project Associate, Teacher Institute for the Arts and Administration.
Adi joined Kol HaOt in 2019, coordinating all logistical and administrative aspects of Kol Haot’s Teacher Institute for the Arts program, as well as general administrative responsibilities for the organization. She is originally from Scotland and has lived in Jerusalem for more than 25 years. In her other life, she also currently works as a massage therapist, specializing in Thai yoga bodywork. She has worked with a number of para-Olympians, including Israel's no. 1 wheelchair badminton player and the Women's Goalball team, a game for the blind and visually impaired, and has traveled internationally with them to tournaments and competitions.
Where Are We?
Visit our home in the Artist's Colony
Kol HaOt’s home is located in a beautiful gallery-workshop-studio space in the enchanting Hutzot HaYotzer Artists’ Colony in Jerusalem!
In our home – steps away from Jerusalem’s breathtaking Old City – we host interactive workshops, rotating exhibits, performances, and our artist-in-residence program.
The space is also available for private event and celebration rentals.
We’re located across from Jaffa Gate, between Teddy Park and Mitchell Park. To find us, put “Hutzot HaYotzer Artists Colony” in Waze or Google Maps and then go to Gallery #9.
Stop in and see how the arts are infusing new meaning to traditional Jewish sources!
We are usually open Sunday-Thursday, from 10 am- 5 pm, but during the summer months, please make sure we will be here at the time you would like to visit. Our number is 02-990-5177.
Join us for a virtual tour of our home, guided by Kol HaOt co-founder Matt Berkowitz!
Organizations, congregations & tour operators that have successfully engaged in Kol HaOt's creative programs include:
• The Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation • Keshet, The Center for Educational Tourism in Israel • Tlalim/AuthenticIsrael • Jewish Federations of North America • Honeymoon Israel • IGT - International Travel Group • UJA Federation of New York • Wexner Foundation • BBYO - Bnai Brith Youth Organization • TALI Foundation • Rubin Israel Experience, St. Louis Jewish Federation • World Express Travel • St. Louis Jewish Federation • Park Avenue Synagogue • Yeshiva University Student Mission • Temple Judea of Tarzana • Da'at Educational Expeditions • ITC - Israel Tour Connection • Hillel Day School of Detroit • Amiel Tours • The Jewish Journey - Masa • Routes Travel • Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) Jewish Service Corp • PresenTense • Israel Maven • JCC Global • JCC Association • Hazak, Conservative Movement • Jewish Theological Seminary Rabbinical Students • Golda Och Academy • Joint Distribution Committee Staff • Otzma • Women's Mission, North Carolina, Jewish Federations of North America • Nativ • Woodstock New York Jewish Congregation • Congregation Kol Tikvah, Florida • Jewish Community High School of the Bay, San Francisco • Temple Emanuel, Dallas • Camp Micah • Young Judaea Year Course • Jacksonville, FL - JFNA Family Mission
...and many, many more!
We couldn’t do the work we do without the generosity of our partners and supporters:
ANONYMOUS North America-based Foundation
Rabbi Robert and Virginia Bayer Hirt
Sandy and Mayer Brenner
Sandra and Steve Finkelman
Elizabeth and David Grzebinski
Kathy and Dennis Gura
Jewish Federation of Los Angeles
Deborah and Ivan Kallick
NY Wexner Heritage Class 2018, UJA Federation of New York
Marcia and David Nimmer
Rabbi Amy and the Honorable Kevin Rader
Liat and Paul Siegel
Sklare Family Foundation
Susan Fink and Robert Smith
Amy and Fred Weiss
Diane and Howard Wohl