Please support our work with a fiscal year-end gift. Thank you!

Jewish learning New Hebrew College Art Catalog Showcases Extensive Collection 

By Wendy Linden
Syncopation art opening

Hebrew College has built a vast collection of art over the years, representing a range of styles and periods which reflects our pluralistic ethos. Now, thanks to Deborah Feinstein, Hebrew College Trustee and Hebrew College Arts Initiative Founder, we have a new catalog of the College’s entire permanent art collection. The comprehensive publication introduces readers to 43 artists and their works.

The idea for the book grew out of a Hebrew College Arts Committee meeting discussion, according to Feinstein. “Our permanent collection focuses on Israeli art and Jewish artists from New England or those who have an association with the school. People were asking questions about the artists and their backgrounds, so the time seemed right to create a professionally curated book. With my background as a museum curator, I knew how difficult it is to label, research, and detail all 43 artists and at least seven ‘unknowns,’ so it took me awhile.”

Visual arts plays an increasingly important role at Hebrew College. “It’s important for the feel of the school,” says Feinstein. Hebrew College formed an Arts Committee, headed by Feinstein, in 2019 and since then has curated six exhibits, first in our building on Herrick Road and then in our new shared campus Mark E. Atkins and Family Atrium. “The goal is that we can integrate the art exhibits into the Hebrew College curriculum, which provides a different way to learn for everyone,” says Feinstein.

centennial-art
/
centennial-art
/
Syncopation art opening
/
centennial-art
/
/

To that end, exhibits are often sponsored by different areas of the College and include talk-backs and meet-the-artist openings and events. For example, in 2021, the College featured the exhibit “Faith in Isolation” in collaboration with the Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership of Hebrew College, where photographer and curator Brenda Bancel created a photo installation looking at how people from multiple religions found faith during the COVID-19 pandemic. In winter 2022, “Seeing Torah” showcased a visual diary documenting artist Anita Rabinoff-Goldman’s study and artistic response to each of the 54 portions of the Torah over the cycle of a single Jewish year. The exhibit was coupled with special rabbinical alumni-led gallery talks about the Torah portion of the week as it pertained to the exhibit.

Some pieces from Hebrew College exhibits are now part of the College’s permanent collection — and now the new book. In spring 2022, the College’s “Remember. Renew. Reimagine” exhibit honored Hebrew College’s 100th anniversary by celebrating artistic voices, images, and expressions inspired by Torah, including pieces from Hebrew College’s permanent collection as well as contemporary creative expressions on Torah and Jewish identity. And in fall 2022, the College’s “Syncopation: Lyrical Abstraction in Israeli Art (1970s)” featured Israeli art from the College’s permanent collection in celebration of Israel’s 75th anniversary.

Currently, Feinstein and her committee members — Dorothea Buckler, Anita Rabinoff-Goldman, Bette Ann Libby, Joshua Meyer, Shirah Rubin, Susan Schechter, and Carol Targum — are hard at work working on a new fall Sephardic exhibit called “Sephardic Spirit,” featuring Silvina Mizrahi’s art, which will be paired with cultural and foundational programs at the College. According to Feinstein, “There’s so much more to come!”

View the new catalog, visit our Arts Initiative web page to view recent exhibits — and if you are in the Boston area, we hope you will visit campus to enjoy our collection.


Support Our Work Adult Learning Classes Explore Graduate Programs

recommended posts

News Highlights Rabbinical School Leadership Team Realigns for the Future

Numbers Caring is Sharing

Numbers Outside the Camp and In Again