“Our proccess helps people find something meaningful that is deep inside them”
Elyssa Moss Rabinowitz –“Kol HaOt workshops discuss concepts and values of Judaism, and then bring these to life through creative art. We are 4 co-founders, including our mentor David Moss, a leading Jewish content artist. Each one of us comes from a different world and point of view, yet we all share the same conception of art as an educational tool that makes Judaism more approachable for people.
Although we are ‘The People of the Book’, not everyone can connect to text, for two main reasons: The first is the lack of language and knowledge, and the second is that some prefer to consume information about Judaism in ways other than just reading.
Our experiences have taught us that art deepens and enriches the text, and makes more room for diverse interpretations of it. Our workshops usually have three components: First, we introduce participants to a famous and inspiring work of art; then they develop their own artistic creations; and lastly, a discussion is held whereby every participant presents and explains his or her piece.
Somehow, it always works. Even with the most cynical people, the one and a half hour of our workshop changes something in their perception, and they go out with a new understanding of what Judaism means for them.
For example, we conducted our ‘Mentschmaker, Mentschmaker, Make Me a Mentsch’ workshop, which deals with Jewish values. One of the questions in the workshop was, ‘What motivates you in life?’. A few months later, I met someone who had attended that workshop. He is an Israeli who, after living many years in New York, decided to make Aliyah. He told me that what ignited his Aliyah was our workshop! His art creation helped him to understand that living in Israel is a central part of his identity.
The most important part of what we do here is the process, not the art piece itself. For example, I don’t really remember what the guy who made Aliyah created. The process is what helps people scratch the surface, to find something meaningful that is deep inside them; something that had previously been unknown to them or had remained internally unexplored. And that is the true power of art – to touch these deep, unexplored places in our souls.”