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Virtual Scholar-in-Residence

Past Sessions
Sunday, June 6, 2021 26 Sivan 5781 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Sunday, May 23, 2021 12 Sivan 5781 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


Our virtual scholar-in-residence, Rabbi Matthew L. Berkowitz, will lead 2 sessions exploring the core values of Congregation Shaarei and how these values, morals and ethics can best be represented in the chosen/commissioned art for our new congregational home.

Help us choose what our new space should represent and how it should look!

Session 1, Sunday, May 23 at 12 PM: Bezalel and The Art of Sacred Space: From Torah to the Synagogue

This session will be used as a jumping-off point for the character of Bezalel and the engagement of art, with the building of the Tabernacle. From there we will explore traditional/non-traditional iconography that we see in synagogues in Israel, Syria (Dura Europos) and beyond. This survey will begin to challenge our notions of traditional synagogue art and how we conceptualize aesthetic decoration of sacred space.

Click Here to Access the May 23 Session


Session 2, Sunday, June 6 at 12 PM: Communal Values as a Source of Sacred Art

We will turn to modern times as we explore case studies of value-centered Jewish art, which is woven into the spaces of the Akiba Yavne Academy (Dallas), UCLA Hillel, and UJA Fed Bldg (NYC) -- all projects engaged by master Judaica artist, David Moss. The presenter, Rabbi Matt Berkowitz, will

share two examples of heichal (shrine/prayer space) art -- one permanently installed in the JCC of Harrison, New York, and the other artistic visioning of a stained glass installation reflecting Jewish values. This session will transition to opening the process of exploring the core values of Congregation Shaarei Kodesh -- and how these values, morals and ethics can best be represented in the chosen/commissioned art for the new space.


´╗┐Rabbi Matthew L. Berkowitz is the Director of Israel Programs for The Jewish Theological Seminary of America and co-founder of Kol Ha-Ot, a Jerusalem-based venture devoted to exploring the arts and Jewish learning. For ten years (1999-2009), Matt served as the JTS Senior Rabbinic Fellow, organizing substantive adult learning throughout Florida and beyond. He is a member of The Wexner Heritage Program Faculty. He completed his undergraduate work in International Relations and Middle East Studies, summa cum laude, at Colgate University. While in Israel, he studied at Pardes and The Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies. He was ordained from JTS in 1999, is a Wexner Graduate Fellow alumnus, and most recently an alumnus of the Hartman Rabbinic Leadership Institute, Class V. 




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Thu, August 5 2021 27 Av 5781