07 Feb

  “Every psalm, every poem, every song, every breath is an invitation to show up with quiet curiosity.”   

  Rabbi Adina Allen, a creative writer for the Jewish Studio Project, describes the connection between spirituality and creativity in her post, “Yom Kippur Day Drash 2021/5782,” on the project’s website. The column tells of Allen’s own spiritual reflections while on a family retreat in the woods.  

    The project is devoted to using the arts as a way to communicate with God.  

   “Jewish Studio Project cultivates creativity as a Jewish practice for spiritual connection and social transformation,” the project’s website states.   

  Virtual classes are offered by the project combining music, art activities and Torah portion reflections. A creativity commentary group is being hosted at 8 a.m. Feb. 9 starting with a song before leading into Torah discussions and creative writing.  

  Besides art classes, Jewish devotional lessons are also featured on the website.  The project has 15,000 participants and training sessions are available for Jewish organizational leaders.   

  Those leaders should not be hard to find, as art therapy is commonly found in Jewish communities across the United States.  

  For instance, an art therapy group commemorates Jewish holidays at Village Shalom in Overland Park, Kan. The senior living community is featured in, “Jewish Art Therapy Group Helps Seniors with Self-Expression,” found on arttherapyblog.com.   

  In one class, art therapist Sherri Jacobs has senior citizens create “Elijah cups” to represent a Hebrew prophet. Each participant is handed a cup with Hebrew letters to paint. 

  Jacobs tells about leading an art class of Holocaust survivors. Participants decorated small boxes expressing their identities before placing pictures of keys in their boxes.  

   “The one thing every survivor had was a key because they thought they would be able to go back home when the Holocaust was over,” Jacobs told the blog writer. 

  In Jacobs’ classes, art is used to bring hope along with healing.  

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