Shmita Shmita
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Shmita as a New Imaginary: Art and Artists Leading the Way

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Shoshana Gugenheim Kedem is an interdisciplinary artist, Torah scribe, curator and chutzpanit. She is the Founding Artist and Co-Curator of the Greensboro Contemporary Jewish Museum in Greensboro, NC and various other projects that dismantle normative power structures and redistribute agency to the public. Shoshana was one of the first women in modern times to train and practice as a Torah scribe. Today her work as a scribe manifests through her project, Or Hadash | עור חדש, an art and marketplace intervention into the parchment making industry that centers Jewish ethics in the production of sacred objects.

Beth Grossman is a San Francisco based socio-political artist. She has collaborated internationally with individuals, communities, corporations, not for profits and museums. Beth uses art as a creative force to stimulate conversation and focus attention on the environment, history and civic engagement – all aimed at raising awareness, building community and encouraging public participation.

Jessica Jacobs is the author of Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going, a memoir-in-poems of love and marriage, winner of the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award in Poetry and one of Library Journal‘s Best Poetry Books of the Year, and Pelvis with Distance, a biography-in-poems of Georgia O’Keeffe, winner of the New Mexico Book Award and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. An avid long-distance runner, Jessica serves as Chapbook Editor for Beloit Poetry Journal and lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her wife, the poet Nickole Brown, with whom she co-authored Write It!, a collection of writing prompts from Spruce Books, an imprint of Penguin/RandomHouse.She is currently at work on parallel collections of essays and poems exploring spirituality, Torah, and Midrash. 

Join socio-political artist, Beth Grossman, poet, Jessica Jacobs, and artist/curator, Shoshana Gugenheim Kedem, for a conversation at the intersection of art, ecology and Judaism. This facilitated dialogue and presentation of select works will highlight the important and impactful role that creatives are playing to help move spiritual ecology practices forward by offering avenues for interpretation and understanding beyond the academy. Together we will explore the core question: What will the interweaving of ecology, culture, and Judaism look like in a post-pandemic shmita year and beyond?