Register to receive our monthly JAI newsletter - thank you!

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.

Join our JAI Facebook page < click the button and "Like" us! 

Please join me Saturday, December 16 from 6-9 for the 2017 Open Show 

LAAA/825, 825 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles

Juror - Anna Katz, assistant curator, MOCA


I am exhibiting Everything I Gave Away 1 from my series Letting Go/Holding Back. This is one of 4 photographs of everything I gave away for 3 years.

Exhibition runs through January 18th

Sandra Lauterbach's 2 textile pieces were chosen by Emily Gonzalez-Jarrett, assistant curator at the Hammer Museum, for inclusion in the South Bay Focus Exhibition at the Torrance Art Museum. On view from 12/2 - 12/15

Santa Monica's California Heritage Museum's ART QUILTS exhibit includes two of Sandra's pieces. Opening reception is Friday, December 8th, 6:30 - 9:30. Runs thru March 18.

Sandra's "Fantasy" was selected for Los Angeles Art Association's 2017 Open Show which runs from 12/16/17 to 1/12/18.


Exhibition: 12/02 - 12/30/017

December 2   6-9 p.m.


I am pleased to announce the launch of a new video combining Craig Taubman’s beautiful music with some of my photographs, our second venture - click to view. Craig’s voice and guitar gently play the healing song, Mi Shebeirach, a prayer for all healing, from colds to heart attacks to cancer. I hope you are as moved as I was in helping to produce this short video. – Bill Aron

Welcome to JAI's newest Artist Member: Ted Meyer

Artist, curator, and patient advocate Ted Meyer finds artistic inspiration in the adversity of the patient experience. In his 2016 TEDMED Talk - click to view - Ted shares how communicating patients' stories through art can help healthcare providers to gain a more complete understanding of their patients' pain, loneliness, and frustration.

The Human Element Project by JAI Artist Lori Shocket, MD - created for the purpose of
"developing partnerships through education, creative exploration and exhibitions."

Congratulations to JAI artist Bruria Finkel for having her papers accepted by the Smithsonian | Archives of American Art


Collection Information

Size: 12.1 linear feet

Summary: The papers of California artist, curator, and educator Bruria Finkel measure 12.1 linear feet and date from 1953 to 2014. This collection includes biographical materials, correspondence, writings, project files, professional records, exhibition files, artists' files, personal business records, printed materials, photographic materials, sound and video cassettes, and numerous electronic discs.

Biographical/Historical Note

Bruria Finkel (1932- ) is an artist, teacher and curator in Santa Monica, California.


The Bruria Finkel papers were donated in 2015 by Bruria Finkel.

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