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International Symposium on Jewish Expression in Art and Design

The symposium took place on February 25, 2007 in the Impressionist Gallery at The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. The Adi Foundation, together with The Israel Museum, presented the symposium in an attempt to explore the characteristics of Jewish expression in art and design, and to conduct this exploration from both a current and historical perspective.
Since its inception, The Adi Foundation has sought to encourage a public discourse on the relationship between Judaism and art. As part of this endeavor, the Foundation initiated biennial competitions, offering The Adi Prize for Jewish Expression in Art and Design. Awareness and acknowledgement of Jewish expression through art and design has increased dramatically in the six years since The Adi Prize for Jewish Expression in Art and Design was first offered. Concurrent with the competitions, The Adi Foundation and The Israel Museum presented exhibits and books which served to focus and deepen the dialogue of Jewish expression through art and design.
Recognizing the need to continue and strengthen the depth and focus of this exploration, premier artists, museum directors, members of academia from art departments in various colleges and universities, as well as critics and intellectuals from around the world were invited to attend the symposium and participate in this quest.
Some of the topics presented and discussed were: the relationship and link between Jewish expression, Jewish art and visual art overall, as a reflection of the Jewish experience; the questions of national, religious and historic identity as portrayed in the visual arts; the distant concepts of center and periphery, of “outsiders” and “insiders”; similarities and differences in artistic expression in Israel and the Diaspora; comparative discourses in defining religious, national and ethnic expression as part of the general concept of visual arts, and more.
A booklet was prepared prior to the event with position papers presented by some of the symposium’s participants. These served as a catalyst for dialogue and discussion during the symposium. There was a tremendous response to the symposium and we anticipate that the heightened awareness to the topics under discussion will continue to accompany all the participants in their daily endeavors.

  • It is possible to acquire a copy of the booklet (in Hebrew and English) for the amount of 30 NIS at the offices of The Adi Foundation

Please click on the names below to read the Position Papers:

Ziva Amishai-Maisels, Muli Ben-Sasson, Almut Sh. Bruckstein, Robin Cembalest, Rachel Elior, Chaya Friedberg, Sander L. Gilman, Zali Gurevitch, Israel Hadani, Felicitas Heimann-Jelinek, Ezra Mendelsohn, Yehuda Moraly, Joshua Neustein, Gideon Ofrat, Chava Pinchas-Cohen, Robert Pincus-Witten, Nessa Rapoport, Renana Raz, Avigdor Shinan, Daniel Sperber, Adin Steinsaltz, Talia Tokatly, Micha Ullman, Yair Zakovitch

The Symposium Program

Artists Workshop

The Adi Foundation hosts a three-day workshop for artists from a broad range of visual and performing arts, as well as authors, poets, intellectuals and members of the academic community. The link between Judaism and art is explored, along with the topics of the biennial competition for The Adi Prize for Jewish Expression in Art and Design. Many of the participating artists acknowledged the workshop’s impact and influence on their own creative processes.
The workshop offers a unique opportunity for artists and intellectuals to meet and further develop an awareness of those ideas cherished by Adi.

A project for teenagers together with Matan (The Arts and Culture Project for Youth)
Together with Matan, The Adi Foundation initiated a program to help teenagers develop their talents in the field of visual arts in various locations throughout the country. The program focused on the relationship between artistic expression and Jewish and Israeli identity. In 2006, the topic of “The I and the We” focused on social, family, personal, Jewish and national expression.
The program included workshops, meetings with artists, and a week-long seminar that took place during the summer.
Adi Prize Competition in Cooperation with the Ministry of Education
In 2006, The Adi Foundation, together with the Ministry of Education, held a competition for The Adi Prize for Jewish Expression in Art and Design on “The I and the We”. Participants included students studying visual arts in the junior high and high schools. There were several stages to the competition:
· A workshop for art teachers focusing on the topic, “The I and the We”. The focus was both on the Jewish as well as the artistic perspective.
· A workshop for students focusing on “The I and the We”. This was an opportunity to introduce the topic to the students and help familiarize them with the relevant Jewish sources.
· The students that participated in the competition dealt with the topic, “The I and the We,” and the relevant Jewish sources, throughout their 12th grade year and at the end of the school year presented their artistic creations. The artistic works were recognized by the Ministry of Education as contributing to the students’ matriculation examinations.
· A panel of judges from The Adi Foundation and the Ministry of Education judged the entries and the student with the winning entry was awarded a monetary prize.

The competition also awarded a monetary prize to one of the participating schools that contributed most to the organizational and professional planning for the competition.

The prizes were awarded at a festive ceremony, with the participation of the Minister of Education, Professor Yuli Tamir, at The Israel Museum, Jerusalem in December, 2006.

First Prize
Reut Nissan, Untitled,
Ulpanat Neve Hana, Gush Etzion
Second Prize
Hadar Levy, Siamese Twins, The Yitzhak Rabin School, Kiryat Gat
Ofer Avnon, I Saw Through the Window, Shaked School, Kibbutz Sde Eliahu Diana Odinaiev, The Spot that Remains, Ulpanat Tiberias
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