Hinenu: We Are Here

This installation explores Queer and Trans Jewish visibility in a summer camp setting, arising from a workshop co-led by Machane Lev and LGBTQ+ at the J.

Type of Exhibition: Art

A Pride Month Exhibit

About the exhibit

The Hebrew word “hinenu” means “we are here” and is a powerful phrase asserting personhood, identity, and presence throughout Jewish texts. This installation explores Queer and Trans Jewish visibility in a summer camp setting, arising from a workshop co-led by Machane Lev and LGBTQ+ at the J. Riffing off the common graffiti tagline ” was here”, we intentionally created space for Queer Jewish youth, aged 11-17, to write, scribble, collage, leave handprints, doodle, and claim camp as their own. We leaned into campy aesthetics and mediums, using friendship bracelets, weathered wood, name tags, and chalk to create the pieces you see here. We also opened up virtual participation opportunities that you can see sprinkled throughout the exhibit, displaying memories and vignettes of Queer Jewish campiness across time and place. Queer and Trans Jews have always been here, and will always be here. By supporting our community’s visibility, we are drawing attention to the power and necessity of queer Jewish playfulness, friendship, and care.

About Machane Lev

Machane Lev is an 8 day, Jewish overnight camp and Tkaronto based, in-city community organization for youth who are LGBTQ+ or who come from LGBTQ+ families/communities. It provides an open space for the affirmation and celebration of all LGBTQ+ identities and gender expressions in a pluralist Jewish setting.

About LGBTQ+ at the J

At LGBTQ+ at the J there is no right way to be Queer, and no right way to be Jewish; there’s certainly no right way to be both. Our programs aim to support diverse, pluralistic, and accessible community at the intersection of LGBTQ+ and Jewish identities and experiences. We bring Queerness into Jewish moments and bring Jewishness into Queer life, striving for spaces where everybody can bring their full self. We both celebrate and amplify LGBTQ+ Jewish people and stories, in recognition of their inherent value.

This exhibit runs from June 1 – July 1, 2024.

Opening reception is taking place on Sunday, June 9 from 6-8 pm.

Presented by:

A Kultura Collective Member

Start Date:

June 1, 2024

End Date:

July 1, 2024

M-F 6am-10pm
S-S 7am-7pm

Downtown Toronto

Miles Nadal JCC
750 Spadina Ave. (at Bloor)

Accessibility

If accessibility options not listed, please contact the venue to confirm

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