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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: Melinda Smith Altshuler, Bill Aron, Georgia Freedman-Harvey, Gilah Yelin Hirsch, Anne Hromadka, Avi Roth, Debra Sokolow 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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Creating Community:

An Exhibition of Artworks by the Jewish Artists Initiative

The Pico Union Project
1153 Valencia Street, Los Angeles, CA  90015

Opening Reception: Sunday, April 7th, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

April 7 – June 2, 2019


The Jewish Artists Initiative was invited to exhibit at the the Pico Union Project as part of the launch their exhibition program. The exhibition is dedicated to Pico Union’s Jewish principle to love your neighbor as yourself. JAI members share their interpretation of what defines a neighborhood, a neighbor or a sense of community through their artwork. 

Click: PUP website for more information or call: (213) 915-0084


Shula Singer Arbel  •  Bill Aron  •  Lorraine Bubar  •  Isaac Bynjegard-Bialik  •  Rhea Carmi  •  Stacie Chaiken  •  Pam Farkas  •  Lorin Fife  •  Susan Gesundheit  •  Barry Gordon  •  Lucie Hinden  •  Gilah Yelin Hirsch  •  Rachelle Mark  •  Randi Matuschevitz  •  Sarah Pavsner Mael  •  Marleene Rubenstein  •  Ruth Weisberg  •  Jana Zimmer


Please join us to celebrate the first JAI exhibition of 2019. Explore the Pico Union Project's historic building and gather to hear more about the Jerusalem Biennale 2019 that JAI was selected to participate in for the third time. 

Jean Edelstein: In Tune with Music & Nature

A solo exhibition of her accordion book drawings
at two locations in San Antonio, Texas

Curated by veteran curator David S. Rubin, the exhibition will be on view at
Bihl Haus Arts from April 6 - May 18
and at
Musical Bridges Around the World from April 7 - May 18, 2019

Extended Schedule: "Homelessness" will be on view at Hillel at UCLA through May 16, 2019


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