Art / Gender / Judaism: Transforming Identities

Date: Apr 11, 2016 - Apr 11, 2016

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Sponsor: Arts | Public Lectures and Events

Location: JTS

Category: Arts Public Lectures & Events

The Jack and Lewis Rudin Lecture

Shows like Transparent and Orange Is the New Black have brought issues of gender and sexual identity to the forefront of public discussion. This “mainstreaming” of gender nonconformity has been furthered by artists whose work focuses on understanding and celebrating those who have historically been considered as “other.”

Join us as we explore questions such as: What strategies do artists use to explore gender fluidity? How have Jewish artists advanced the current conversation around gender and sexual identity, which at times has included confronting their religious and cultural tradition?    


  • Danielle Abrams, Performance Artist; Faculty, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • Amichai Lau-Lavie, Spiritual Leader, Lab/Shul, New York City
  • Gil Yefman, Visual and Performance Artist, Tel Aviv 


  • Norman L. Kleeblatt, Susan and Elihu Rose Chief Curator, Jewish Museum, New York City

The program will be held in conjunction with the JTS Arts Advisory Board exhibition Traversing Tradition: Transformation in and of Contemporary Jewish Life. At 7:00 pm, you are invited to join artist Gil Yefman for brief remarks about his installation Zygote in the JTS courtyard. Light refreshments will be served.

Admission is free, but reservations are required.

Reserve Now

About the Participants

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

About the Rudin Lecture

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, Jewish Museum, JQY, Keshet, Lab/Shul, and Smack Mellon