Laura Rosenspan: Judaic Arts Classes
In all my Judaic Arts classes, my goal has not only been to teach and share with others how to make items for their homes of lasting beauty but also to inspire the participants to, in turn, teach and share with their children, grandchildren, sisters and friends. I am constantly reminded of the importance of the idea of “L’dor v’dor” handing down from generation to generation. Throughout our history, devoted Jewish women have contributed to hiddur mitzvah – the practice of making esthetically pleasing items for their homes and synagogues – through the skilled and creative work of their hands. My greatest pleasure is re-awakening this spirit in people and surprising them with their own creativity and artistic sense.
My Judaic Arts classes at the Tiferet Center have been designed to be a “taste,” an introduction to Judaic arts – Hebrew calligraphy; and sewing techniques – patchwork and embroidery, in bite-size pieces. I planned these four classes so that they would be meaningful to those with no experience as well as those with experience.
Some of the comments overheard in class were, “Oh, now I get it” and “I never knew that” and “I have to show my daughter how to do this.”
It is a wonderful feeling of accomplishment to make something with ones own hands. It is almost a spiritual feeling to teach others how to use their hands, their eyes, and their imaginations to produce items of both practical and ceremonial use that will enable them and motivate them to teach others as well. And my hope is that the “taste” that my students experienced will lead them to continue to learn and create and teach what they have learned to others.
Laura Rosenspan has been teaching quilt making for over 20 years and concentrating on fiber arts for the past 10 years. Her own prize-winning quilts have appeared in The New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, and various schools, libraries, community centers and other exhibitions. She has been featured on cable television, and her work has been displayed in national magazines. Laura received her degree in Fine Arts and Education from Hunter College, CUNY and continued her studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, leading her to a career in Textile Design.
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