Today, as more and more people are exploring personal, creative approaches to their Jewish identity, arts and culture are playing an essential role. Instead of being an adjunct to Jewish identity, the arts are now its foundation. On the communal level, the arts enable us to reach and educate people of all backgrounds about the richness of Jewish culture.

The two fellows for this season’s CJP and Jewish Arts Collaborative community creative fellowship—Adriana Katzew and Yoni Battat—will engage the community through both artistic and spiritual practice, and will provide insight and interest to people throughout the community who are exploring their own Jewish artistic journeys. Through both personal development and community engagement, these fellows will create new work while exploring innovative ways to interact with and inspire others across the Greater Boston community.

All are invited to witness and engage in their creative journeys and we will share part of their process at the beginning of each month. This month we asked the Fellows:

2020 was an incredibly challenging year for us all, and we are all looking for hope and inspiration in 2021. How do you see your work and this fellowship playing a role in this?

“As a Jew of both Iraqi and Ashkenazi heritage, I am especially excited to connect with members of our community who haven’t always felt accepted or heard. In particular, I am excited to raise up the voices of Mizrahi, Sephardi, indigenous, Arab and Black folx in our community. The lived and ancestral experiences of these communities, along with the partnership of artist collaborators from Boston and beyond, will be a gift that inspires my creativity. And the music we create together will, in turn, be a gift back to the community that inspired it. Through this process of creating new music, I hope to help us move into and beyond 2021 with a renewed sense of who we are, and hopefully, a deeper level of acceptance and interconnectedness that will sustain us and nurture us into the future.”
—Yoni Battat (Find his post here)

“As part of the Community Creative Fellowship, I’m excited to explore the multi-layered and complex aspects of our Jewish identities. As I delve into the history of my own family’s migration from Poland to Mexico in the late 1920s, I have been excavating the threads of many stories. What stories do our families reveal, and which ones do they hide or bury? And what do these stories illuminate about people’s individual and collective decisions in the face of changing social, political, cultural and economic contexts? With these changing contexts or landscapes, what aspects of our identities are foregrounded, and which ones are relegated to the background? While 2021 will allow me as an artist to explore my family’s history, as well as my intersecting identities and cultures as a Jewish Latina (or a Latina Jew, depending on the day!), I am as eager to bring people together through a number of community-engaged workshops.”
—Adriana Katzew (Find her post here)

The Community Creative Fellowship is powered by CJP and JArts. To learn more about the fellowship, click here.

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