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 artists—visual artists, musicians, and of course, writers—in Jewish life.
In this class, parents and their children will study together—exploring critical texts on Jewish thought, history, and traditions—and 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
Dr. Dara Horn
Dr. Dara Horn is the award-winning author of five novels: In the Image (2002), The World to Come (2006), All Other Nights (2009), A Guide for the Perplexed (2013), and Eternal Life (2018). One of Granta magazine’s ”Best Young American Novelists,” she has twice won the National Jewish Book Award and has received numerous other honors for her books, which have been translated into twelve languages. A scholar of Yiddish and Hebrew literature with a doctorate in comparative literature from Harvard, Dr. Horn has taught these subjects at Sarah Lawrence College, Harvard University, and Yeshiva University, and has lectured on Jewish literature in over 200 universities and cultural institutions throughout North America, Israel, and Australia. Her nonfiction work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Smithsonian, and Jewish Review of Books, among many other publications, and she is a columnist for Tablet. She lives with her husband and four children in New Jersey.
Meet the Instructor
Tikvah aims to make all of our courses available to as many qualified students as possible. In the event that Tikvah needs to add additional sections, this course may be taught by a different faculty member with a similarly high level of expertise.