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The Jewish Artists Initiative (JAI) is an artist-run organization committed to fostering visual art by Jewish artists and promoting dialogue about Jewish identity and related issues among members of the arts community.

Mission and History

JAI was originally conceived by the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles in partnership with the University of Southern California Casden Institute and the USC Roski School of Art and Design. We are now under the fiscal sponsorship of the Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity.

JAI Executive Committee: Bill Aron, Melinda Smith Altshuler, Georgia Freedman-Harvey, Gilah Yelin Hirsch, Anne Hromadka, Avi Roth and Ruth Weisberg, Chair

Artists – you're welcome to apply for JAI membership. Please follow the instructions in our Selection Criteria for New Members, thank you.

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Bread & Salt Opening Event at Hebrew Union College

Wednesday  •  April 25th  •  7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

I N C L U D E D   A R E   J A I   A R T I S T S :

Marleene Rubenstein  •  Gwen Samuels  •  Harriet Zeitlin
Jodi Bonassi  •  Georgia Freedman-Harvey  •  Avi Roth

Jewish Wisdom and Wellness, a Festival of Learning together with Hebrew Union College-
Jewish Institute of Religion and the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health,
warmly invite you to the opening of Bread & Salt, an exhibit which is part
of a year-long city wide festival exploring Jews and Food.

At the opening we will hear from Dr. Leah Hochman, editor of Tastes of Faith:
Jewish Eating in the United States, who will talk about Jewish food and its
multiple layers of meaning. And we will discuss the exhibition
with HUC-JIR Curator Anne Hromadka. 
Join us at 7:00 for a light reception with the presentation starting at 7:30 p.m.

Please RSVP to Hattie Pearson
Hebrew Union College |  3077 University Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007


Official Bread & Salt website: BreadSaltExhibit.com

Curated by Georgia Freedman-Harvey


USC Hillel Art Gallery Contact: Jordyn@USCHillel.org or (213) 973-1202

Official Bread & Salt website: BreadSaltExhibit.com

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 21st  •  5 – 7 p.m.
Visions Art Museum
San Diego, CA

The Coalition of Artists with Purpose

THIS exhibit, this thing, this idea, this place, this part of our world is important
and should not be forgotten or undefended when at risk from intolerance,
ignorance, indifference, or greed.

Visions Art Museum
2825 Dewey Road, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92106

Sharing an article from the March issue of JLife magazine (Orange County Jewish Life)
on the work of JAI artist Hal Goldberg:


Congratulations, Hal!

Dear Friends, I'm very happy to share the good news that LACMA has just acquired three more of my altered Polaroids for their collection.

This brings LACMA's total to four, as they had already purchased, Gold Field, 1984 as part of the Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection that was added to the Museum in 2008.

With best regards, Victor Raphael

Space Field (Black), 1991, metal leaf on Polaroid Spectra

Copper Pouring (Jackson Pollock series), 1987, acrylic on Polaroid Spectra

Abstraction #2, 1987, acrylic on Polaroid 600





ART IN THE ARTHOUSE proudly presents COOK UP A SOUP AND OTHER TALES, featuring the works of visual artist and educator BENNY FERDMAN. Laemmle Theatres invites the community to join Ferdman for an artist talk, slide show on the big screen and refreshments on January 28, 11 am at Laemmle’s Town Center 5. Most artwork is for sale at this free exhibit, which runs through May 2018.

Ferdman draws inspiration from the diverse narratives and cultural motifs of Eastern European Jewish culture that once expressed itself in Yiddish. Raised in L.A. by Polish Jewish immigrants, Yiddish was Ferdman's first language. His adventurous reclamation and reworking of Jewish iconography, folk motifs and the wonders of the human and natural world has brought him art residencies, commissions of large scale sculptures, museum exhibitions and installations, redesigns of synagogues, the design and fabrication of stage sets, the distribution of arts-based curricula throughout North America and Israel and now a solo show in his own backyard, Laemmle’s Town Center Theatre in Encino.



Artist Ruth Weisberg explores the influences that have affected both her art and life.

Enjoy the Podcast - CLICK HERE

Ruth Weisberg, artist, Professor of Fine Arts and former Dean at the USC Roski School, is currently the Director of the USC Initiative for Israeli Arts and Humanities and the founder and President of the Jewish Artists Initiative of Southern California. She received the Printmaker Emeritus Award from the Southern Graphic Council International in 2015 and the Foundation for Jewish Culture’s 50th Anniversary Cultural Achievement Award in 2011.

The Conney Conference on Jewish Arts was co-sponsored by the USC Initiative for Israeli Arts and Humanities and the University of Wisconsin's Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies – held during the 4th week of March on the campus of USC. JAI Members played a major role in its success as 12 Artist or Curatorial members participated in or gave presentations.

Participating JAI members included: Bill Aron, Stacie Chaiken, Josh Feldman, Gilah Yelin Hirsch,
Andrea Hodos, Anne Hromadka, Rachel Kupferman, Sagi Refael, Lidia Shaddow,
Doni Silver Simons, Hillel Smith, Ruth Weisberg, Jana Zimmer