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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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An Exhibition Reception for Vicki Reikes Fox and Georgia Freedman-Harvey

Friday, February 1st  •  5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

USC Hillel, 3300 S. Hoover St., Los Angeles
Click here to join us for Shabbat Services and Dinner


HANDS-ON: Hamsa Exchange

When artist Vicki Reikes Fox moved away from California in 2006, she left behind friend and fellow artist Georgia Freedman-Harvey. With a continent between them, the two began an art-based correspondence, creating and sending hamsot back and forth between them. Over the course of more than a decade, they have created a collection of over fifty hamsot. Each piece is unique, and taken together their creations tell the unfolding story of their lives. Most importantly, they remind the viewer of importance of creating and sustaining meaningful connections. HANDS-ON: Hamsa Exchange invites you into the artists’ spiritual correspondence through the creation and exchange of one of a kind artworks.
You can learn more about the exhibition by visiting www.hamsaexchange.com or by following @HamsaExchange on Instagram and Facebook.
The USC Hillel Art Gallery’s mission is to provide Jewish students with opportunities to interact with Jewish art and engage with artistic experience and exploration. Additionally, the USC Hillel Art Gallery gives Jewish artists an opportunity to present their work in a Jewish space.
Guests are invited to spend Shabbat with USC Hillel students and staff following the gallery reception. Shabbat dinner is free for students and $18 for community members. Please RSVP by clicking HERE.
Reception parking is available across the street from USC Hillel in the University Village parking garage on the corner of S. Hoover and W. 32nd Street. Free street parking is also available. For further information please contact Jordyn Walker, USC Hillel Development Associate, 213-973-1202, or Jordyn@uschillel.org

Hamsot pictured at top courtesy of Vicki Reikes Fox (left)
and Georgia Freedman-Harvey (right)

Peace on Earth

Lancaster Museum of Art and History
January 26 – April 21, 2019

Peace on Earth addresses concerns for the environment and the fragility of ecosystems that support animal life. It explores the complex relationship between humankind and animals through the intersections of history, identity, technology and our impact on the natural world.

My wall installation of 200 drawings is included in this exhibition
Love, Simone


Lancaster Museum of Art and History
665 West Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster, CA

LancasterMOAH.org  •  (661) 723-6250

Neutra Museum Contemporary Show 2019

January 5 - 29, 2019

Neutra Museum  •  2379 Glendale Blvd. •  LA  90039

 The House of Blue Leaves, oil painting, 50" x 36"


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