"Ushpizin" Art Project at the JTS, NYC

JTS artist-in-residence, Tobi Kahn, has initiated a 5-year art project for its sukkah.
Each year a number of artists will be invited to paint a plexi-glass plaque in honor of one of the female ushpizin (Aramaic for "guests).

The JTS Adele Ginzberg Women's League Sukkah features the works of 7 artists: Aryeh Davidson, Gregory Gilbert, and Jewish Art Salon members Rachel Kanter, Richard Mcbee, Arlene Sokolow, Debbie Ugoretz and Yona Verwer.

In the traditional ushpizin ceremony, biblical figures are symbolically invited to the sukkah; until recently these were patriarchs or royalty.

Recently, it has become popular in some circles to invite matriarchs and other important women of Israel - Sarah, Rachel, Rebecca, Leah, Miriam, Abigail, Esther and others - either paired with the men or on their own.

Shirah Rubin, who received a master's degree in Jewish Education from the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education of The Jewish Theological Seminary in 2003 and whose support helped make the display of these works possible, wishes to dedicate it to the memory of her mother, "a teacher of art who saw the creative process as a spiritual act and who sought to inspire everyone to explore their creativity to the fullest."

A larger article about this project is on view at the JTS website here.

Photos below of the 2011 ushpizin, created by (L to R):

Arlene Sokolow, "Dina" by Yona Verwer, Rachel Kanter, "Serach" by Richard McBee, Gregory Gilbert, Aryeh Davidson, Debbie Ugoretz.

Arlene Sokolow

Yona Verwer
Rachel Kanter
Richard McBee

Gregory Gilbert

Aryeh Davidson

Debbie Ugoretz

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