Incorporating Biblical Texts with Artistic Interpretations  – 

“Making it Personal – Torah Text Study Reflections,”the exhibition currently on display in the MJCCA’s Katz Family Mainstreet Gallery, features the works of 20 students in the pilot program of the Lisa F. Brill Institute for Jewish Learning, studying the “Shiv’im Panim: The Seventy Faces of Meaning”curriculum. The exhibition examines what it is about the Biblical text that has inspired people throughout the generations to create artistic interpretations. The exhibition will be on display at the MJCCA until August 18th with free admission.

“Shiv’im Panim: The Seventy Faces of Meaning”

The “Shiv’im Panim: The Seventy Faces of Meaning” curriculum, developed at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem for the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning, seeks to encourage adults to encounter classical Biblical texts from a variety of perspectives; all leading the student to find relevance and meaning for herself. Over two learning semesters, adult students of Rabbi Pamela Gottfried and teaching artist-in-residence Flora Rosefsky collaborated to introduce and teach this innovative approach to the study of Torah.

Rosefsky says, “The challenge of this pilot program was to create a risk free environment where one could experiment freely with a new art process while expressing a contemporary view of the Torah. My main task was to bring out the best within each participant. I was never disappointed in the results and neither were most of my students.”

Each art session was developed to relate to a particular Biblical text. Students were encouraged to come up with their own concepts and, when possible, write a statement. As part of the session exploring the expulsion of Ishmael, Rabbi Gottfried set the stage by considering the power dynamics of the relationship between Sarah and Hagar. The art session, with monoprint as the medium, broadened the theme as students used the entire text to reflect women’s perspectives and influence.

This exhibition is organized by the Lisa F. Brill Institute for Jewish Learning and the Arts & Culture Department of the Marcus JCC of Atlanta.  Shiv’im Panim classes will continue this fall in several locations in metro Atlanta and will include classes conducted as text study and discussion only in addition to classes with the creative component.

The MJCCA’s Katz Family Mainstreet Gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information about the exhibition contact Kim Goodfriend, Gallery Manager, at 678-812-4071, kimgoodfriend@atlantajcc.org. To register for Melton Adult Jewish Learning classes, contact Laurie Finkelstein at 678-812-3723; laurie.finkelstein@atlantajcc.org.