When Art and Judaism Collide: A Conversation with Artist Joshua Meyer & Laura Mandel

centennial-art-joshmeyer-1000pxJoin us for a special event on June 22, 2023 with painter Joshua Meyer, creator of “8 Approaches,” an 8-part painting that was featured as the 2023 community Hanukkiah at Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights, an annual celebration at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston hosted in partnership with the Jewish Arts Collaborative (JArts). Now, Meyer’s multilayered masterpiece is on display at the Hebrew College Campus and we invite you to experience the work. The conversation to be followed by a tour of the Hebrew College art collection.

Learn more about 8 Approaches, the process, and its layers of meaning with artist Joshua Meyer in conversation with JArts Executive Director, Laura Mandel.

> Read more about the artwork here.

>> View the event flyer

This event is sponsored by Hebrew College and our partner JArts, with special thanks to CJP Arts & Culture for support of this process.

Hebrew College Artist Beit Midrash Exhibit

“The Spiral That Reconnects”

An Exhibit of Works by the members of the Hebrew College & JArts Artist Beit Midrash

How does a spiral process illuminate the interconnections between individuals, ancestors, descendants, and ecosystems? How can a spiral both calm and disrupt?

In this exhibition. members of the Hebrew College & JArts Artist Beit Midrash ask: How might The Work That Reconnects, and specifically the Spiral That Reconnects, inspire and deepen our creative work, and help it speak to the social and ecological crises we face? Moving from Gratitude to the honor of Pain we reach to see with new eyes going forth.

Exhibit Hours

Exhibit hours vary so please contact Hebrew College at 617-559-8600 before your visit.

Artists’ Statement

We are an intergenerational group of 12 Boston-based Jewish artists who specialize in a diverse range of art media including painting, writing, poetry, sculpture, and collage. As part of the Artist Beit Midrash of Hebrew College and JArts, we have come together to explore the intersections of creativity and spirituality through the lens of repairing the world. Over the past nine months, we have been studying Dr. Joanna Macy’s Work That Reconnects in dialogue with Jewish texts selected by Hebrew College alumna Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman `14. The exhibit is organized and curated by artist Shirah Rubin, instructor of the Artist Beit Midrash EXPLO class.

Bridges and Barriers to Belief and Belonging: A Workshop with Interfaith Photovoice

Please join us on June 8 from 7– 9 p.m. for an evening of interfaith dialogue through the medium of photography. Interfaith Photovoice is an arts-based approach to interfaith understanding that invites participants to respond to a series of questions with their own photographs. We will use amateur photography and group discussions to identify needs, raise awareness, and encourage change.

The topic of the event will be “Bridges and Barriers to Belief and Belonging.” Come and share your photos with us.

What is photovoice?
Interfaith Photovoice combines sociology and amateur photography to help people have conversations about religion and spirituality in everyday life, the challenges they face in their communities, and the changes they would like to see. A typical project unfolds over several weeks with a group of people who identify, photograph, and discuss shared experiences, needs, and concerns. Projects conclude with an exhibition in which participants share the stories behind their photographs with their community

What should I expect?
Interfaith Photovoice® founder Roman Williams will facilitate a photovoice activity in which participants use their own photographs to have a conversation about bridges and barriers to belief and belonging. The goal is to introduce your group to photovoice by experiencing it. He will also present an overview of photovoice and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Do I need to be a (good) photographer?
These days everyone is a photographer. If you used your mobile phone to snap a photo in the last week, you have the experience needed to participate. You just need to be willing to use a camera to tell your story. (More information about the photographs you will be taking / submitting will be sent following registration.)

Who should I contact for more information?
For more information about Interfaith Photovoice, please visit their website. For questions related to the June 8th event, please contact Joshua Polanski from the Miller Center team.

Seats are limited. Register now.

Tikkun Leyl Shavuot 2023/5783

Please join us for a night full of non-stop learning on our new collaborative campus in celebration of Shavuot. The event takes place on May 25 from 6 p.m. to midnight on our new shared campus at 1860 Washington St. in Newton—come for all or part of the evening! (Please note: This event will not be livestreamed.)

Read more about the event.


6-6:30 p.m. Welcome and Song in the Mascott Beit Midrash

        • Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, President of Hebrew College
        • Rabbi Daniel Berman, Temple Reyim

6:30 to 7:25 p.m.

1. An Interactive Program for Parents and Young Children
The Ten Best Ways: Torah Godly Play on Standing at Mt. Sinai
Musicant Cohen Performance Center in Ordis Hall 

        • Bridget Connor Feldbaum, Director of Youth Engagement at Temple Reyim and Director of Jewish Teen Foundation of Greater Boston at Hebrew College

2. Yetzirah Jewish Poetry Salon—Poetry Reading and Discussion in the Mascott Beit Midrash

Featuring national prize winning and celebrated Jewish poets:

7:30-8:15 p.m. On Race and Faith:  Religious Texts and Stories That Continue to Shape The Relationship Among Black Christian and Jewish Communities

Where: Mascott Beit Midrash

A Plenary Panel with:

8:20-9:05 p.m. 

Text Study: “Mystics in Modernity: Rev. Howard Thurman & Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

        • Rabbi Or Rose,  Director of Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership

Teen Break Out Group: Discussing Race, Religious Identity and Faith

        • Bridget Connor-Feldbaum and Rabbi Daniel Berman

9:10-9:40 p.m. Maariv, Kiddush & Dairy Desserts

9:45 to 10:30 p.m. “How Jews Became White Folks…Sort Of: Race and Jewish Identity in the Early 20th Century”

        • Rabbi Dan Judson, Dean of Rabbinical School of Hebrew College

10:35 to 11:30 p.m. Words that Come from the Heart Enter the Heart: A Circle of Poetry and Niggin

        • Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld and Hebrew College students

11:30 p.m. Closing, Food, Time Together

Planning Committee

Laure Garnick
Carol Stollar
Carol Targum

Guest Speakers

Rev. Irene Monroe

Rev. Irene Monroe is described in O, the Oprah Magazine, as “a phenomenal woman who has succeeded against all odds.” An African-American lesbian feminist public theologian, she is a sought-after speaker and preacher.

Monroe does a weekly Monday segment, “All Revved Up!” on WGBH (89.7 FM), on Boston Public Radio that’s now a podcast, and a weekly Friday commentator on New England Channel NEWS (NECN).  She’s a Huffington Post blogger and a syndicated religion columnist. Her columns appear in 23 cities across the country and in the U.K, and Canada. And she writes a weekly column in the Boston home LGBTQ newspaper Baywindows.

Monroe stated that her “columns are an interdisciplinary approach drawing on critical race theory, African American , queer and religious studies. As an religion columnist I try to inform the public of the role religion plays in discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. Because homophobia is both a hatred of the “other ” and it’s usually acted upon ‘in the name of religion,” by reporting religion in the news I aim to highlight how religious intolerance and fundamentalism not only shatters the goal of American democracy, but also aids in perpetuating other forms of oppression such as racism, sexism, classism and anti-Semitism.”

In inviting Monroe to speak at The United Nations International School at the UN they wrote “Rev. Monroe, your active role in the fight against homophobia and your written activism for human rights has truly made an impact on this world, as well as your theories on religion and homosexuality in the U.S.”

Monroe is a Visiting Scholar in the Religion and Conflict Transformation Program at Boston University  School of Theology and she is the Boston voice for Detour’s African American Heritage Trail.

As an activist Monroe has received numerous awards: the 2015 Top 25 LGBT Power Players of New England Award by Boston Spirit Magazine and the Open Door Award for work with HIV/AIDS, Black Church and LGBTQ community; 2013 Bayard Rustin Service Award recipient, and GLAD 2012 Spirit of Justice awardee. She appears in the film For the Bible Tells Me So and was profiled in the Gay Pride episode of In the Life, an Emmy-nominated segment. She received the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching several times while serving as head teaching fellow for the Rev. Peter Gomes.

Rev. David Wright

David Wright is the Executive Director of BMA TenPoint, which is a merger of the Black Ministerial Alliance and the Boston Ten Point Coalition, as well as an adjunct Professor at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary’s Boston Campus, Assistant to the Pastor at Peoples Baptist Church, and a board member of several other organizations in the city.

Lag B’Omer Community Education Online Event with Rabbi Natan Margalit

Join us on May 9 at 7:30 pm on zoom

Disagreements with All Due Respect: Lessons found in Nature and the Talmud

We are suffering from a breakdown in public discourse: we seem to have lost the ability to disagree and still remain respectful or even civil. But the wisdom found in natural systems, and the Talmud, can offer a way back to rebuilding a culture of healthy disagreement. Machloket l’shem shamayim—argument for the sake of Heaven—a Talmudic value that highlights the awareness of the common aspects of our identities that are not in conflict, is even more powerful because it is reflected in the fractal and nested quality that we find in all natural systems.

Natural systems offer key models of holding our distinct identity and point of view while also connecting to those with whom we disagree. Using excerpts from his recently published book, The Pearl and the Flame: A Journey into Jewish Wisdom and Ecological Thinking, Rabbi Margalit will share the wisdom of both/and instead of the dilemma of either/or.

Natan MargalitRabbi Natan Margalit, PhD

Rabbi Natan Margalit is a rabbi and scholar with 30 years of experience in teaching, writing, organizing, and congregational leadership. Raised in Honolulu, as a young adult he spent 12 years in Israel where he received rabbinic ordination. He returned to the U.S. and earned his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies at U.C. Berkeley with focus areas in Talmud, Literary Theory, and Anthropology.

He has taught at Bard College, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Hebrew College Rabbinical School, and now is chair of the Rabbinic Texts Department at the Aleph Ordination Program. He is also Director of the Earth-Based Judaism track of the A.O.P., and is founder of the non-profit Organic Torah. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts with his wife and two sons.

Rabbi Margalit’s most recent publication, The Pearl and the Flame: A Journey into Jewish Wisdom and Ecological Thinking, was published in 2022 by Albion-Andalus Books. To purchase Rabbi Margalit’s most recent book, please visit his website.