Acts of Kindness And Jewish Art - The Art of Tanya Fredman

Acts of Kindness And Jewish Art - The Art of Tanya Fredman

by Richard McBee in The Jewish Press June 17, 2011

Acts of loving kindness - this mitzvah is included next to Torah study in the precepts that have no limit, as well as the precepts that are rewarded in this world and in the World to Come. This is surly one of the choicest mitzvot available to us in our daily lives.  We are told that its object is the rich and poor alike, the dead as well as the living.   It is expressed in personal effort and involvement in the quietest ways imaginable.  And perhaps most surprisingly, it is found in the art of Tanya Fredman.

Fredman grew up in St. Louis, attended an Orthodox day school and then went on to Brandeis to study studio art, Near Eastern and Judaic studies.  After graduating with highest honors she volunteered at the Yemin Orde Youth Village in Israel for three months in preparation to work in a new Youth Village project in Rwanda. The Yemin Orde Youth Village was founded in 1953 to help Holocaust orphans and immigrant children. It developed a classic repertoire of programs to salvage and repair terribly traumatized children.  More than fifty years later it continues to serve orphans and children in need from around the world, shaping their Jewish and Israeli identities. Yemin Orde has supported other projects, notably the Agahozo Shalom Village in Rwanda.  This special project of the American Joint Distribution Committee and the Heyman-Merrin Family Foundation (under the direction of attorney and philanthropist Anne Heyman) is an orphanage for victims of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.  It is directly modeled on the Yemin Orde Youth Village in Israel.  

Raasha (Wicked) (2011) Oil & collage on canvas by Tanya Fredman
Courtesy Tanya Fredman
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