HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal

Art and Aesthetics

Art and Aesthetics

The study and practice of the arts can serve as a powerful vehicle for learning. This issue presents ways that the arts can deepen intellectual inquiry as well as sparking creativity, engage students' hearts and minds in science, literature, and all aspects of Jewish studies, expose learners to provocative, contemporary issues of culture and politics, and draw meaningful connections across the curriculum and among people.

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Integrating the Arts and Jewish Learning

by David Moss Jun 02, 2016
RELATED TOPICS: ArtsJewish Studies

Can the visual arts redefine and ignite a new approach to learning Jewish texts, ideas and history?

Starting with Art: An Approach to Revitalize Jewish Study

by Ilana Benson, Gabriel Goldstein Jun 02, 2016
RELATED TOPICS: ArtsJewish Studies

Someone has covered a wooden gallery floor at the Yeshiva University Museum (YUM) with plastic sheeting and a long roll of canvas. A group of Jewish day school teachers, dressed in aprons and shoe covers, fidget on the side before grabbing brushes and paint cans. They are instructed to do whatever they feel with the paint and the canvas—pour, splatter, drizzle—to create a final product that reflects their movements. The allusion to Jackson Pollock is not subtle, nor is it intended to be.

Singing Together

by Yehudah Katz Jun 02, 2016
RELATED TOPICS: ArtsJewish StudiesIsrael

In our role as educators we are constantly searching for ways to engage our students in the learning process, to offer them tools for their personal growth both as individuals and as members of society.


Hanukkah in 4D: Bringing the Israel Museum to the Middle School Rabbinics Classroom

by Rebecca Friedman-Charry and Sara Beckerman Jun 02, 2016
RELATED TOPICS: ArtsJewish Studies

What do you remember more:

•    What you saw at your last museum visit or the book you were reading the day you went to that museum?

•    The chapter on Ancient Egypt in your world History textbook or your trip to the Egyptian wing of a museum?

•    The picture, painting, or collage you last created or the last email you typed?

Innovative Ways that Visual Art Can Deepen Judaic Learning in High Schools

by Chani Newman Jun 02, 2016
RELATED TOPICS: ArtsJewish Studies

The visual arts are an excellent medium for maintaining and deepening high school students’ interest in Judaic studies. Art produced by the students themselves will make Judaic material more meaningful and memorable to them, as it requires the application of both independence and creativity. Frequently, teachers assign art projects as assessment of learned material: posters, dioramas, illustration-laden book reports, and the like. But art has great potential to develop student abilities even more deeply.


A Dialogue Between Paintings and Jewish Texts

by Michal Bergman Jun 02, 2016


Art is an additional mode of interpreting Jewish texts and practices. Beyond that, it expands and enriches the dialogue between students and ideas. An artistic source can be seen as an additional commentary, a link in the chain of commentaries on a specific topic.

A Jewish Design Lab for High School Students

by Rabbi Charlie Schwartz May 31, 2016
RELATED TOPICS: ArtsExperiential Education

I am captivated by the idea of remix. Not just the musical definition, of sampling disparate musical tracks and recontextualizing them with new backbeats and vocals to create entirely new songs. Rather, the broader idea of remix: innovation deriving not from enigmatic strokes of genius but from the skillful copying and combining of pre-existing ideas into new creations. As Kohelet put it, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

From Pride in the Past to Excitement for the Future

by Dr. Marc Kramer and Dr. Idana Goldberg May 31, 2016

RAVSAK, like Jewish community day schools themselves, has been an exciting if imperfect experiment—an attempt to define and actualize surprisingly complex ideas like “excellence,” “community” and “pluralism” in ways that ultimately enrich the lives of students, support serious Jewish teaching and learning, and strengthen the Jewish community. We have focused on the challenges that face schools that operate independent of a single Jewish perspective, and have made a mission out of helping them tune divergent voices into nuanced harmonies.

Day School Students Become Architectural Historians

by Einav Symons May 30, 2016 Kadimah Academy, Buffalo, New York
RELATED TOPICS: ArtsExperiential Education

In the spring of 2012, Kadimah middle schoolers were treated to a tour of the Darwin Martin House, a landmark designed by the preeminent American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Built between 1903 and 1905 for a wealthy Buffalo businessman,  this house is considered by Wright scholars to be one of his finest and has been extensively renovated in recent years. The visit was sponsored by a Kadimah parent who is a Martin House donor.

Midrash as Creative Writing

by Jake Marmer May 30, 2016 Kehillah Jewish High School, Palo Alto, California

Teaching midrash at Kehillah presented a multifaceted challenge. The classroom included learners with vastly varied levels of familiarity with the material. Some were fluent in Hebrew, previously studied Tanakh, and had some sort of exposure to the hermeneutic practice. Others were opening Tanakh for the first time. Not all students were Jewish, either. Inasmuch as it is impossible (and unproductive) to divorce the midrash from the religious goals of its makers, it was clear to me that those goals would not resonate with most of my students.