Arts Residency in Teaneck, NJ

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in News, Performances, Yiddish Music | 0 comments

Arts Residency in Teaneck, NJ

What a wonderful residency at Congregation Beth Sholom in Teaneck, NJ.  It was Shabbat Shira, Tu B’Shevat, and the full moon even entertained us with a penumbral eclipse. This enthusiastic and welcoming congregation opened its heart to celebrate everything, and what was to many prior to the weekend an odd opportunity at best, came to be a full embrace of Yiddish!  We examined gilgulim as a contemporary construct with Jewish song as the vehicle in a lecture/recital on Shabbat afternoon.  The incredibly gifted Adrian Banner joined me on the piano for a full concert after Shabbat, and the room was full and engaged. As always, life-long Yiddish speakers with a depth of knowledge in song repertoire came up to me after the concert tickled that I had shared material they’d never heard before.  And that’s exactly what I aim for: bringing Yiddish alive with surprises and...

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Teaneck, New Jersey – Arts Residency

Posted by on Feb 3, 2017 in News, Upcoming Events | 0 comments

Teaneck, New Jersey – Arts Residency

I’ll be in residence at Congregation Beth Sholom in Teaneck, New Jersey on February 11, 2017, for both a lecture/recital and a full concert!  The afternoon program, titled Gilgulim, will explore the nature of changing visions of life in Yiddish song.  How often do nostalgia, magical thinking, and the very evolution of songs themselves alter our sense of where we are in time and space?  And in the evening, the brilliant Adrian Banner will join me on piano for a rich, full concert.  The intense relevance of Yiddish culture at this time in our lives is shaping the program.  Come with open minds and hearts and we will fill you with song!  For information:...

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Leaves and Petals Ring the Seasons Ketubah

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Ketubah Art, News, Visual Art | 0 comments

Leaves and Petals Ring the Seasons Ketubah

The color palette of the seasons is represented in a ring of 32 trees, each one moving in color and foliage ever so slightly as the year marches forward.  The color changes are echoed in several lines that translate the chosen modern Hebrew text of the ketubah, lines the couple wanted to emphasize in their promises to one another.  Tucked in among the leaves is the college logo of the school where the couple met.  One of the special aspects of designing from scratch is the ability to place personal images and messages in the document to crystalize moments or experiences shared by the...

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West Virginia in Bloom Ketubah

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Ketubah Art, News, Visual Art | 0 comments

West Virginia in Bloom Ketubah

For a beautiful ceremony on the top of a mountain, this couple sent me a very specific list of local wildflowers and trees at the peak of color.  These flowers are like old friends, and what a joy it is for me to place them in such a precious setting!  Language is so very important, as you can see from the care that clearly went into crafting this document. Here’s an image of the rabbi preparing to read the document as part of the ceremony.  My ketubot and marriage contracts are always mounted in hand-made folders, well protected – even on a mountain top!- and kept flat and safe until...

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Gratitude to Ambassador Dennis Ross

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 in Awards, Certificates, and Commissioned Works, News, Visual Art | 0 comments

Gratitude to Ambassador Dennis Ross

The Jewish Community Relations Councils of Harrisburg and York Pennsylvania commissioned me to craft a small piece to present to Ambassador Dennis Ross.  Using a paper batik technique and matting the piece in a parchment mat, the piece, in a total frame-size of 11″ honors the founding documents and visions of the United States and the State of...

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High Holiday Torah Mantles

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 in Jewish Ritual Art, News, Public Art, Visual Art | 0 comments

High Holiday Torah Mantles

When Torah mantles are commissioned for the High Holidays, there’s a good chance that the ‘theme’ and the ‘color palette’ will take a committee a minimal amount of time to determine.  Still, as I work with groups, I try to elicit enough to make the final product a perfect fit.  For this project, I asked the committee members, the rabbi, the ritual committee, and other interested congregants to tell me, “What do you want to ‘feel’ when the ark opens on Rosh Hashana?  Not specific images, but instead abstract thoughts about that moment of invitation to go deep into self-examination and hope for the new year.” Three pages of madly transcribed ideas led to what you see above. One of the five Torah mantles, each featuring a different mix of quilted earth-toned silks on soft, highest quality chenille, with hand stitching and five colors of Swarovski crystals, build on a committee’s charge to create a set of mantles that would inspire introspection with simplicity.  A trip to the garment district in New York City led me to the wonderful gem of a shop called Metro Textile where Kashi spread out a world of beautiful cloth.  Fabulous Kansas-based wood turner Tom Boley handcrafted the maple rings for the tops of the mantles. The wood tops are heavily padded – a surprising pleasure  to handle when the Torah is to be dressed. Everything about these covers is a delight and an inspiration.  They are heavily quilted and lined, measured specifically to fit each of the Torah’s specs, and made for years and years of use. Congregants’ reactions to the mantles included these comments:  “I saw the Kotel right away – all the different shapes and soft colors of the wall…” “I saw manna coming down from heaven – and a reaching up from earth.”  “Connections between Heaven and Earth.”  “Exquisite simplicity.  Perfect for the season!” Work in...

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