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February 2021 • JAI Newsletter
President’s letter

Dear JAI Members and Friends,

This year, 2021, marks the 17th year since JAI began. JAI is committed to fostering the Jewish experience as it is expressed through art whether as an artist or arts professional or as a community supporter. In reflecting on the history and accomplishments of JAI, the board recently convened to discuss – What is the Jewish Artist Initiative? 
The Jewish Artist Initiative is about being part of a community, primarily based in Southern California. Through coming together to support each other, JAI fosters creativity and learning. Key to JAI is the central theme of art and culture as seen through the Jewish experience fostered by identity, heritage, and a respect for both secular and religious observance levels.  

JAI prides itself on creating a space that encourages belonging through sharing ideas, the work we each create, and coming together as a community – from emerging artists to established artists. JAI is committed to growing connections, both within JAI and with the larger community, while staying true to our mission. JAI also recognizes that there is space for change and transformation as defined through the Jewish artist’s lens.  

In the spirit of who we are, we welcome new applications for membership in JAI. Opportunities are available for both Artists and Arts Professionals and are posted on our website.

Please join us at our upcoming programs. The next JAI Cafe is scheduled for Monday, February 22, 2021 featuring JAI member Sagi Rafael, Curator and Art Advisor, Los Angeles-Tel Aviv. See below for how to register for the program.

You still have a chance to view the JAI virtual exhibit From a Narrow Place: Images of Resilience. The exhibit has been extended until February 28, 2021.

I look forward to seeing you at our programs or though contacting JAI at with your questions or inquiries.

Join the Jewish Artists Initiative (JAI) and The USC Initiative for Israeli Arts and Humanities as we talk about curators’ responsibilities today, Israeli art in LA and art collecting as Tikkun Olam, with Israeli-American curator Sagi Refael.
- Click to Register for this Special Zoom Event -
Monday, February 22, 2021 | 7:00 p.m.

Building on a previous talk exploring the roles and possibilities of curation, Refael asks us to consider: Who Needs Curators? #2. He will discuss his curatorial practice as a form of artistic expression, social and cultural commentary and a commitment to bridging the worlds of art and education.


You still have a chance to view the JAI virtual exhibit From a Narrow Place: Images of Resilience. The exhibition has been extended until February 28, 2021.
- Click Here to View Gallery -

Membership Dues and Donations
It is not too late to renew your membership or make a donation to JAI. Your membership dues and generous donations make it possible for JAI to continue to provide high quality programs and exhibitions. Through your support we can grow and expand the reach of JAI. Thank you to everyone who has already renewed your membership or made a donation.

Artist of the Month Updates

Starting in March 2021, JAI is expanding its Artist of the Month project. We will now feature two JAI artists each month. Anne Hromadka will be in touch with you when you are going to be featured.  We can include a picture of your artwork (selected by you) and a brief write up about you. We look forward to sharing our members work. 

Posting Artists' Announcements

Each month in the newsletter we include announcements from our members about upcoming events or activities. This can include exhibitions, new publications, panels or workshops in which you are participating. If you have something you want posted send it to Georgia Freedman-Harvey at no later than the 10th of the month in time for our upcoming newsletter.

Be sure to include good quality images and specifics about the event. The newsletter is a source for members to showcase what you are doing, and we welcome sharing your information with the JAI community. 

Our JAI Facebook group is also glad to accept your announcements. Please request to join if you have not.


Shape Shifters

Created from repurposed billboard vinyl, shapes and material articulate the shifting world of continuous change.

February 3-27, 2021

Anne Bedrick Fine Art
68895 Perez Rd, Building i, Unit 26
Cathedral City, CA 92234

Wednesday- Saturday 11-3  •  (914) 522-4127

Congratulations to JAI Arts Professional
Donna Stein on the recent publication of her new book: The Empress and I - How an Ancient Empire Collected, Rejected, and Rediscovered Modern Art published by Skira Editore, Milan.

Christie’s listed the book as #1 on its Art, architecture and design books to look out for in 2021.
Jodi Bonassi Art News 🎨

“I am finding a sense of peace in my new bird series. Even Noah looked to the bird for confirmation of land and life's continuance...”

Continue Reading
opening a new conversation

MEMORIALS: A Role for Artists in a Post-pandemic World
by Sandy Bleifer

Memorials have been in the news lately with the Black Lives Matter Movement spotlighting the impact of Civil War era statuary, and memorials have certainly been a staple of art practice throughout time. Memorializing human and global tragedy has been a recurrent theme in my own work – in particular, remembering the Holocaust and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  CONTINUED
Hillel Smith recently oversaw the 2020 Jewish Street Art Festival in December. As part of the Festival, nine artists painted eight Chanukah murals in eight cities around the U.S. and Canada, including one on Pico in Los Angeles. Hillel himself painted a mural at the JCC in Washington, DC.

Hillel founded the Jewish Street Art Festival in 2019 – ten artists gathered in Israel to paint 18 murals in Jerusalem during the Jerusalem Biennale.
Learn more about Hillel > HERE

Please join us on Facebook - click the logo above. We're a lively group with talented members from around the world - open to all JAI members and friends of JAI.


Copyright © 2021 Jewish Artists Initiative of Southern California, All rights reserved.

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