Jewish Futures: An Arts and Culture Salon

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November 30, 2023

Photo by Shay Markowitz

What future do we want to create together? How can the past and presentation of memory help to inform our present? How do we share our stories to guide our futures?

With the support of the Prosserman JCC and the Toronto Holocaust Museum, collaboratively programmed a 1-day conference for over 100 multi-disciplinary Toronto artists and cultural workers on November 26, 2023. The conference for Toronto’s Jewish artists and cultural workers explored the future of Jewish cultural and artistic life. The event was supported by CANVAS and UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, with promotional support from Niv and the CJN’s Culturally Jewish podcast.

The program emphasized networking, communal learning, and the exploration of Jewish and artistic identity and practices. This first conference of its kind, in Toronto, provided the foundation for building resilience and leadership for Toronto’s Jewish cultural community.

The 1-day conference included conversation with specialists and local artists, community building activities, showcasing of Toronto’s Jewish arts organizations, and facilitated conversations about artistic and Jewish identity. Participants represented the spectrum of Toronto’s cultural scene, including visual arts, theatre, film, music, dance, writing, curatorial, arts administration, museums, and heritage.

Click here to learn more about the day, speakers and program!

Thank you to all the partners, artists and cultural professionals for your time and support in creating such a special program!

Missed the day? Here’s a summary of the conversations and workshops. Photos by Shay Markowitz.

Arriving Workshop

Aviva Chernick and Evelyn Tauben

An interactive workshop to create a space of welcome and connection with the opportunity to meet new folks and get to know who is in the room.

Creative Jewish Communities

Sara Yacobi Harris, Lauren Schreiber Sasaki Orly Zebak, Jérémie Abessira, Aviva Chernick

A conversation with innovative leaders working to establish and strengthen inclusive and inspiring spaces for Jewish communities long into the future.

Preserving Memory for the Future

David Koffman, Michelle Fishman, Lenka Litchenberg, Erica Lehrer

A conversation around preservation of Jewish narratives, centering on memory and storytelling for the next generation

Self-Guided Visit to the Toronto Holocaust Museum

The THM inspires visitors to think deeply about the tragedies of the Holocaust and make connections between this history and contemporary Canadian life.

The Art of Jewish Futures

Sharoni Sibony

Using the Jewish Studio Process, we’ll reflect briefly on the ideas and questions that are percolating for us at the conference and engage in side-by-side art- or mark-making.

Young Professionals Meet Up

Hanna Schacter

Meet up with other arts professionals under 35 for this quick networking session!

Tour of “The Manor”

Faye Blum

Take a tour with an archivist to learn more about the Ontario Jewish Archives’ exhibition celebrating Jewish life in Bathurst Manor.

The Pitch: Workshop

David Sax, Orly Zebak, David Eisner, Evelyn Tauben, Rachel Libman, Jordan Nahmias

Participants can present project ideas and receive supportive feedback from cultural producers. Note – our “dragons” are friendly!

Jewish Infusions

Ilana Zackon, Meichen Waxer, Shaina Silver Baird, Rachel Matlow

Jewish creatives share insight on how they infuse Jewish ideas and identity into their personal and professional practices.

Keynote Lecture

Kendell Pinkney is a Brooklyn based theatre-artist, producer, and rabbi. He makes work that probes the intersections of race, narrative, collective memory, and sacred mythos.

Arts and Culture Schmooze

Chat with new connections and reconnect with old friends!

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