JTS Panel to Explore the Intersection of Art, Gender, and Judaism

Press Contact: Beatrice Mora
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: bemora@jtsa.edu

March 31, 2016, New York, NY

The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) will host “Art/Gender/Judaism: Transforming Identities” on Monday, April 11, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. Speakers will include Danielle Abrams, performance artist and faculty at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Amichai Lau-Lavie, spiritual leader of Lab/Shul, New York City; and Gil Yefman, visual and performance artist, Tel Aviv. The program will be moderated by Norman L. Kleeblatt, Susan and Elihu Rose Chief Curator at the Jewish Museum in New York City. The speakers will identify the strategies artists use to explore gender fluidity and discuss how Jewish artists have advanced the current conversation around gender and sexual identity, which at times has included confronting their religious and cultural tradition.

At 7:00 p.m., join Gil Yefman for brief remarks about his installation Zygote in the JTS courtyard. Light refreshments will be served.

This program—JTS’s spring Jack and Lewis Rudin Lecture—will take place at JTS, located at 3080 Broadway (corner of 122nd Street) in New York City. Admission is free; register now at www.jtsa.edu/identities.

This program is being held in conjunction with the JTS Arts Advisory Board exhibition Traversing Tradition: Transformation in and of Contemporary Jewish Life.

Danielle Abrams, an American performance artist, builds on her biracial heritage to embody characters that represent a cross-section of races, ethnicities, genders, and cultures. A visiting faculty member at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, she has exhibited her work in the US and internationally.

Amichai Lau-Lavie is the founding director of Storahtelling Inc. and the spiritual leader of Lab/Shul. An Israeli-born Jewish educator, writer, and performer who has been hailed by Time Out New York as “Super Star of David,” he will be ordained as a rabbi by JTS this May.

Gil Yefman is an Israeli artist who deconstructs and transforms myths from numerous traditions to challenge and undermine the structured definitions and portrayal of the “other.” His installation Zygote—a living sculpture representing the proliferation of diverse gender and sexual identities—is on view at JTS beginning April 11.

Norman L. Kleeblatt is Susan and Elihu Rose Chief Curator at the Jewish Museum in New York City. He is known for his broad ranging exhibitions including the award-winning Action/Abstraction: Pollock, De Kooning, and American Art, 1940 – 1976 and Too Jewish? Challenging Traditional Identities.

The Jack and Lewis Rudin Lectures provide the opportunity for eminent academics, religious leaders, intellectuals, and public figures to discuss topics of interest with the JTS community and the public at large.

This program is cosponsored by A Wider Bridge, America-Israel Cultural Foundation, Artis, Columbia Barnard Hillel, The Jewish Museum, JQY, Keshet, Lab/Shul, and Smack Mellon.