Timeline: 2004 > Present
Beginning with an event at the Jewish Federation’s Bell Gallery in 2004, below are highlights from our 17 year history – a wonderful range of exhibitions, both regional and international, as well as celebrations, gatherings and group meetings. Below, are good examples of our activities and the camaraderie of our very gifted and lively membership. We hope this collection of images brings back stimulating discussions, very memorable encounters, and wonderful memories as we continue to engage our members in an array of wonderful exhibitions, gatherings and events. Let’s create the next chapter of our JAI history together !
September 18, 2022 | JAI held our first in-person event since the pandemic began: 18: Exhibition & Celebration. The reception was a success with many JAI members, friends, family and USC students in attendance.
Each artist’s work reflected on what the number 18, chai or life meant to them. The remarks were started off by executive director Dave Cohn who introduced Ruth Weisberg. Ruth offered wonderful comments on the history of JAI. We would like to thank the USC Hillel staff for their support and the wonderful hospitality they provided!
Participating JAI Artists: Melinda Smith Altshuler, Renee Amitai, Bill Aron, Joan Baral, Jodi Bonassi, Raphaele Cohen-Bacry, Judy Dekel, Bruria Finkel, Susan Gesundheit, Anita Getzler, Gail Glickmann, Roger Gordon, Gilah Yelin Hirsch, Nancy Goodman Lawrence, Lynda Levy, Monica Marks, Randi Matushevitz, Debra Sokolow, Nancy Kay Turner, Ruth Weisberg, Cathy Weiss, Jana Zimmer
JAI Cafe Online Group Events, 2020 | Organized by members Georgia Freedman-Harvey, Melinda Smith Altshuler and Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik
The JAI Cafe series were created in response to the March shelter in place order in California. They have provided a wonderful way for the JAI community to stay connected and carry on JAI’s rich tradition of sharing the talents of our members with the group. Between 2020 and ’21 we hosted 14 JAI Cafe events all much appreciated by everyone.
Participating JAI Artists: Terry Braunstein, Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik, L. Aviva Diamond, Perla Karney, Karen Koblitz, Nancy Goodman Lawrence, Aline Mare, Ted Meyer, Sagi Refael, Hillel Smith, Ruth Weisberg, in honor of Karen Frimkess Wolff z”l
Jerusalem Biennale 2019 • Table of Contents / Table of Contacts | Curated by Sagi Refael
Two exhibitions – 1.) USC Hillel Gallery, Los Angeles and 2.) Jerusalem Biennale, Israel, October – November
Participating JAI Artists: Yossi Alpert-Apodaca, Melinda Smith Altshuler, Renée Amitai, Shula Singer Arbel, Bill Aron, Pat Berger, Sandy Bleifer, Jodi Bonassi, Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik, Ed Buttwinick, Ellen Cantor, Rhea Carmi, Stacie Chaiken, Judy Dekel, Zhenya Gershman, Susan Gesundheit, Will Deutsch, Barry Gordon, Roger Gordon, Betty Green, Anne Hromadka Greenwald, Bonita Helmer, Gilah Yelin Hirsch, Eva Hyam, Nancy Goodman Lawrence, Sarah Pavsner Mael, Marisa Mandler, Aline Mare, Rachelle Mark, Randi Matushevitz, Avi Roth, Marleene Rubenstein, Doni Silver Simons, Debra Sokolow, Ruth Weisberg, Cathy Weiss, Karen Frimkess Wolff, Jana Zimmer, Marlene Zimmerman
Bread & Salt | Co-Curated by Georgia Freedman-Harvey and Anne Hromadka Greenwald
2018: Two exhibitions – 1.) USC Hillel and 2.) Hebrew Union College
Participating JAI Artists: Renée Amitai, Shula Singer Arbel, Bill Aron, Lorraine Bubar, Ellen Cantor, Rhea Carmi, Yaron Dotan, Benny Ferdman, Susan Gesundheit, Barry Gordon, Roger Gordon, Gilah Yelin Hirsch, Rachelle Mark, Marlene Rubinstein, Masha Schweitzer, Ruth Weisberg, Karen Frimkess Wolff, Jana Zimmer
Jerusalem Biennale 2017: FLASHPOINTS: A Collective Response | Co-Curated by Georgia Freedman-Harvey and Anne Hromadka Greenwald
JAI’s contribution to this year’s Jerusalem Biennale: Watershed
Participating JAI Artists: Melinda Smith Altshuler, Renee Amitai, Bill Aron, Lorraine Bubar, Ellen Cantor, Judy Dekel, Susan Gesundheit, Nancy Goodman Lawrence, Marisa Mandler, Randi Matushevitz, Jackie Nach, Avi Roth, Marleene Rubenstein, Elena Mary Siff, Doni Silver Simons, Debra Sokolow, Ruth Weisberg, Cathy Weiss, Karen Frimkess Wolff
Conney Conference on Jewish Arts | Ruth Weisberg, Co-Organizer
2015: Doheny Library at USC and USC Hillel, Los Angeles
Participating JAI Artists: Bill Aron, Stacie Chaikin, Josh Feldman, Anne Hromadka Greenwald, Gilah Yelin Hirsch, Andrea Hodos, Rachel Kupferman, Sagi Refael, Lidia Shaddow, Doni Silver Simons, Hillel Smith, Jana Zimmer
Layers of Identity II | Curated by Donna Stein
2014: Arena 1 Gallery, Santa Monica Art Studios
Participating JAI Artists: Melinda Smith Altshuler, Renée Amitai, Sam Erenberg, Susan Gesundheit, Sarah Pavsner, Debra Sokolow, Ruth Weisberg, Cathy Weiss, Karen Frimkess Wolff, Harriet Zeitlin
All Member Meetings
2013: Studio of JAI Artist Gilah Yelin Hirsch
JAI schedules Member Meetings every quarter – hosted frequently at members’ studios – presentations, conversations and camaraderie describe the evening.
Jewish Ritual: Rethinking, Renewed | Curated by Georgia Freedman-Harvey
2012: Gotthelf Art Gallery, San Diego Center for Jewish Culture, San Diego, CA
Participating JAI Artists: Bill Aron, Elizabeth Bloom, Carol Es, Benny Ferdman, Carol Goldmark, Laurie Gross, Marcie Kaufman, Eileen Levinson, Victor Raphael, Doni Silver Simons, Ruth Snyder, Erella Teitler, Ruth Weisberg
A GATHERING OF SPARKS | Jewish Artists Initiative | 2004 – 2011
2011: A 64 page catalog featuring all 50 members at the time, and the organization’s accomplishments to date
“The first decade of the new millennium has seen an explosion of Jewish culture. As momentum built around a new generation, Amelia Xann and Susan Grinel of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Los Angeles sought to create community among the Jewish visual artists of Southern California, an effort that became, in 2004, the Jewish Artists Initiative (JAI).”
Memory and Transformation | Curated by Donna Stein
2010: Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion/Los Angeles, Ha’Mercaz Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Participating JAI Artists: Melinda Smith Altshuler, Bill Aron, Madeleine Avirov, Pat Berger, Elizabeth Bloom, Terry Braunstein, Jean Edelstein, Sam Erenberg, Benny Ferdman, Bruria Finkel, Max Finkelstein, Simone Gad, Shelley Gazin, Baila Goldenthal, Carol Goldmark, Bonita Helmer, Gilah Yelin Hirsch, Kathryn Jacobi, Marcie Kaufman, Karen Koblitz, Nancy Goodman Lawrence, Eileen Levinson, Laurel Paley, Victor Raphael, Yoella Razili, Elena Mary Siff, Doni Silver Simons, Ruth Snyder, Debra Sokolow, Erella Teitler, Ruth Weisberg, Eugene Yelchin and Harriet Zeitlin
Exchange 2010/2011: Artist-in-Residence: Israeli Artist Maya Zack
2010: A series of conversations and interactions with noted Israeli artists
A frequent lecturer at Bezalel Academy and the Tel Aviv University Department of Film and Television, Zack is currently best known for her award-winning short film Mother Economy. This masterful twenty-minute work, selected from 500 submissions as the winner of the Celeste Art Prize during the 2008 Berlin Video Art Festival, is a contemporary exploration of issues of Jewish identity, cultural memory and emotions.
The L.A. Story | Curated by Laura Kruger
2009: The American Jewish University Platt and Borstein Gallery
2007: HUC-JIR Museum, New York, New York
Participating JAI Artists: Bill Aron, Pat Berger, Tony Berlant, Joyce Dallal, Sam Erenberg, Bonita Helmer, Victor Raphael, Elena Mary Siff, Ruth Weisberg, Eugene Yelchin
Too Jewish – Not Jewish Enough | Curated by Victor Raphael
2005: Gotthelf Art Gallery, San Diego Center for Jewish Culture
2004: Jewish Federation’s Bell Gallery
Panel discussion with participating artists & moderator Eugene Yelchin at the Gotthelf Art Gallery.