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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: Joshua Abarbanel, Bill Aron, Melinda Smith Altshuler, Georgia Freedman-Harvey, Carol Goldmark, Gilah Yelin Hirsch, Anne Hromadka, 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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The 2nd Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art (September 24 - November 5) will showcase the work of nearly 200 Israeli and international professional artists in 10 exhibitions hosted in seven city-center venues.

Following the success of the inaugural Jerusalem Biennale in 2013, Biennale2015 will continue to explore the places where contemporary art meets the Jewish world of content.

Curators and artists with different approaches, who span the continuum of Jewish identity from secular to ultra-Orthodox and include non-Jewish artists, come together within the Biennale framework to give their own interpretation of contemporary Jewish art.

Biennale2015 hosts four exhibitions from overseas - New York, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires and Barcelona and, for the first time, the Jerusalem Biennale extends its reach with three simultaneous exhibitions in LA.

The vision of the Biennale is to create the right conditions for the artists to display their work in Jerusalem, engage in the current discourse about the Jewish world and help establish Jerusalem as the global center for contemporary Jewish Art. Learn more at: http://www.jerusalembiennale.org/



JAI artists being featured in the exhibitions are: Melinda Smith Altshuler, Renee Amitai, Bill Aron, Pat Berger, Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik, Ellen Cantor, Rhea Carmi, Miri Chais, Judy Dekel, Yaron Dotan, Jean Edelstein, Sam Erenberg, Carol Es, Benny Ferdman, Karen Frimkess Wolff, Simone Gad, Shelley Gazin, Susan Gesundheit, Carol Goldmark, Betty Green, Gilah Yelin Hirsch, Nancy Goodman Lawrence, Sarah Horwitz, Eva Hyam, Karen Koblitz, Sandra Lauterbach, Soraya Sarah Nazarian, Laurel Paley, Alain Rogier, Avi Roth, Lidia Shaddow, Doni Silver Simons, Hillel Smith, Debra Sokolow, Erella Teitler, Ruth Weisberg, Cathy Weiss, Harriet Zeitlin, Jana Zimmer.

Each institution will host a reception. Contact each venue for specific date and time.

On Sunday, December 13th American Jewish University will host a joint panel featuring the curators and artists from all four venues, and the curators will present about the Biennale2015.

Three JAI artists are included in the Women of the Book exhibition in Jerusalem

Gilah Yelin Hirsch
Doni Silver Simons
Ruth Weisberg

Featuring "Far Away" by Judith Liebe


November 6 - 29, 2015

OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, November 7th from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Highways Performance Space @18th St. Arts Center
1651 18th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90404

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

David's Little City, 2015, watercolor on Fabriano Artistico paper, 16" x 20"

Newsy and Breezy