JAI Arts Professionals


In an effort to better serve the Jewish Artists Initiative ( JAI ) and the Southern California arts community, we have created a directory of JAI Arts Professionals. All bonafide members of JAI, they include Curators, Critics, Administrators and Scholars whose professional accomplishments are very relevant to the Jewish community. We hope this resource will be helpful to you in whatever project, exhibition or programming you are planning.

This list of Arts Professionals is complemented by our JAI Artists directory.

Sara L. Cannon

Art Curator, Academy for Jewish Religion, CA


After graduating from the University of Southern California Graduate Studies Program with a combined Master’s degree in Museum Studies and Art History, her first professional position was in the Education Department at the Getty Villa in Malibu, California. Sara moved on to work as Assistant Director and then Director of the Museum Education and Tours program at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery and Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Park, Los Angeles. She also developed the tour-guide manual and touring program for Watts Towers and trained guides.

During her career she received several education grants, including one from the National Endowment for the Arts Museum Education grant, to fund “Poetry and Art in Your Neighborhood,” a grant to fund an architecture or architect education program for homeless youth based at Hollyhock House, an AQMD grant to develop art education to teach children about air quality in their neighborhood, and various other grants for her education programs. She also received grants to produce a film on the restoration of Hollyhock House “Restoring the Romanza” and one from the American Craft Association to curate the exhibition “The Inspired Vessel.”

Sara curated numerous exhibitions at the Municipal Art Gallery and Hollyhock House and became the director of the Art Gallery at City Hall. She was president of the Museum Educators of Southern California, on the executive committee of Art Table, was on the Advisory Council of the L.A. Center for Education Research and the Skirball Museum. She has been on numerous art and education panels, has been a guest speaker for education in the arts and the development of docent programs and has written articles for the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department for arts brochures, wrote art catalogue essays and newsletters. She continues to curate exhibitions in Los Angeles and other cities and is currently the art curator for the Academy for Jewish Religion, CA.

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Georgia Freedman-Harvey

Art Consultant, Curator and Collection Manager


Georgia has spent her career working in museums, in college and city galleries, and as an art consultant. Georgia has expertise in collections management, and exhibition coordination, in addition to her curatorial work. She also manages and consults with artists and collectors on how to maintain, manage and document their collections.

She oversees a number of private and foundation collections, as well as the estates of artists. She speaks to artists and collectors about the legacy of their art and how to prepare for the future. She has curated exhibitions in the United States, Europe and Israel, and written numerous catalogs. Special projects include hands-on art workshops and exhibitions focused on using art for healing and transformation with teens and Veterans.

Georgia is a member of several arts organizations and currently serves on the executive committee of the Jewish Artists Initiative (JAI), and co-founder of the Jewish Galleries Consortium.

She received her BA from Pitzer College, Claremont, California in studio art and organizational studies. She has a Masters from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Her research focused on museum audiences and the impact of technology on museums. She is a graduate of the Getty Leadership Institute, and has studied art in England and Brazil. She continues to create artworks in fiber and paper. She is a co-collaborator on the Hamsa Project, which promotes an ongoing dialogue between artists through the exchange of artwork. Her professional memberships include ArtTable, the American Alliance of Museums, the Jewish Artists Initiative, and Surface Art Association.

Email link  |  (562) 230-4806

Anne Hromadka Greenwald

Independent Curator and Arts Management Consultant


Anne Hromadka Greenwald is an independent curator and arts management consultant. Recently, she founded AMH Art Advisory. Anne is working with a select group of artists, arts non-profits and commercial galleries to increase exposure and strategically develop their goals.

Prior to starting her consulting business, she was the Co-Director of Shulamit Gallery and was appointed Foundation Arts Administrator of the Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation in early 2012. She served as the Program Director for three years prior with the Jewish Artists Initiative of Southern California (JAI). Before JAI, Anne directed a contemporary art gallery in the Culver City arts district. Additionally, she has served as an independent consultant for Hebrew Union College-JIR, Los Angeles for over six years.

She was also the founder of Nu Art Projects; and in February 2011, she launched the Los Angeles SEDER Arts Micro-Grant, a recurring meal-based initiative that allows individuals from the community to become patrons of regional Jewish artists and to use the arts to engage Angelenos in unexpected ways. Anne was listed as a 2011 Big Jewcy and received a spot in the 2011 PresenTense (PT) Global Summit in Jerusalem due to the success of the SEDER Arts Micro-Grant. Her graduate work in Public Art Studies from the USC Roski School of Fine Arts and Hebrew Union College-JIR, LA School for Jewish Nonprofit Management, led her to envision new approaches to Jewish cultural engagement.

AMH Art Advisory

Perla Karney

Artistic Director, The Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts at UCLA Hillel and Director of the Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller Institute for Jewish Learning


Perla has been the artistic director of the Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts at UCLA Hillel since 2004. During this time, she has transformed the center into a vibrant, popular destination for students and the Jewish community seeking art and culture. In addition to her position at the Dortort Center, Perla has been appointed Director of the Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller Institute for Jewish Learning. Perla presents nine art exhibits every year in over two thousand square feet of gallery space at Hillel. She also mentors student artists, showcases emerging artists, introduces documentaries, book authors, and produces staged reading of original plays. In addition, Perla coordinates the RSCF Institute for Jewish Learning lecture series.

Perla was born and raised in Bavaria, Germany. She left her home town of Munich as a teenager and was educated in the United States, Canada, Switzerland and Paris. She returned permanently to the United States for her college education (BA from UCLA, graduate work in English Lit. at Loyola Marymount University). Before taking the position as artistic director at Hillel at UCLA Perla was a successful theater producer in Los Angeles bringing such plays as “Woman in Mind” with Helen Mirren to the stage as well as many other West Coast premieres. In addition to being the past vice president of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, Perla sits on the board of the UCLA Fowler Museum Arts Council, and is a founding member of Temple of the Arts. She was recently elected to the board of the award-winning Los Angeles based theater company “Rogue Machine.”

Email link  |  (310) 208-3081 x108

Sagi Refael

Israeli art historian, curator, writer, educator and consultant to collectors and artists, based in Los Angeles


Since 2004, he has contributed articles to many art catalogues published in Israel and abroad, and has curated in leading venues such as the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, as well as many galleries and nonprofit institutions and universities in Israel, Germany and the USA.

Mr. Refael was a co-curator of a commercial art gallery in Tel Aviv, a lecturer at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Minshar Art College in Tel Aviv, and a guest lecturer and curator in several art academies in Israel and in the USA, such as The University of Southern California (USC), The American Jewish University, Bel Air, California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, University of La Verne, La Verne, Los Angeles Hebrew High School and Mt. San Jacinto College, San Jacinto.

Currently Mr. Refael is writing an extensive book about Contemporary Israeli Art.

Israeli Art in LosAngeles  |   SagiRefael.com


Donna Stein

Recently retired as Deputy Director of the Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA


Donna Stein has worked as an art historian and curator for more than 40 years, moving between Los Angeles and New York City, Europe and Asia. She has organized exhibitions in all media, primarily on nineteenth and twentieth century art for United States institutions as well as throughout Asia and Europe.

She has published over 100 articles and more than 40 books and catalogues related to her curatorial interests, including “The Photographic Source for a Qajar Painting,” and “For the Love of her People: An Interview with Farah Diba About the Pahlavi Programs for the Arts in Iran,” two chapters in Performing the Iranian State: Visual Culture and Representations of Iranian Identity (London, Anthem Press, 2013).

Among her recent publications are “Looking Back: Judy Dater, The Last Fifty Years”, in Only Human: Judy Dater 1965-2016 Portraits and Nudes (Los Angeles Marymount Institute Press and Tsehai Press, 2018) and “How a Former Museum of Modern Art Curator Assembled an International History of Photography Collection for Iran in the 1970s”, in The Indigenous Lens: Early Photography in the Near and Middle East, (Berlin, De Gruyter, 2018).

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Deborah Thompson

Museum Curator, Educator and Researcher


Deborah Thompson is a freelance curator, researcher, and educator with a specialty in Jewish Art and a passion for intergenerational education. Deborah earned her BA from Brandeis University in Art History and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, graduating Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with Highest Honors. Deborah’s passion for the intersection of art and Judaism led her to earn her MA in Jewish Art and Visual Culture from the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), with specialty in Hebrew manuscripts and the history of the book.

Parallel to her academic studies, Deborah trained in bookbinding, printing, and the preservation of manuscripts, books, and works on paper. She has worked with the special collections of the Brandeis University Library, JTS, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her professional experience includes working in collections management, curating, book repair, and museum education at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Jewish Museum in New York, The Met, and The Skirball Cultural Center, respectively. Currently, Deborah is developing a Catalog Raisonné for an octogenarian artist, leads private, intergenerational museum tours at museums around Los Angeles, conducts research in the area of Masorah, and is studying Hebrew calligraphy.

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