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The Artist in Modern Jewish Literature

Jewish tradition has long expressed ambivalence around art, forbidding divine images that were common in other cultures. The modern age brought a new tension between artists and traditional Judaism, especially when artists were celebrated as individuals who challenge communal conventions. Does Judaism have a meaningful place for the artist? What is the purpose of creativity in a tradition devoted to a divine Creator? What does the apparent disconnect between Jewish and Western ideas of artistic individuality mean for people driven to create? What are the limitations and possibilities for artists responding to extraordinary dislocation and disaster? In this course, we will read Hebrew and Yiddish literature from the late-19th to the early-21st century to better understand the role of artistsvisual artists, musicians, and of course, writersin Jewish life.

In this class, parents and their children will study togetherexploring critical texts on Jewish thought, history, and traditionsand create a shared language that allows for a rich learning experience.

Student applicants for this class will be asked to identify their adult learning partner during the application process. Students may elect to learn with a parent, grandparent, mentor or another important person in their lives.

Generously supported by Diane Troderman