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Jewish Studio Project: Built for Times of Uncertainty

January 7th, 2022

“I felt connected and at home. It was a massive relief—I have actually spent the years since smicha without a spiritual Jewish community that felt like my home, separate from anywhere I was serving as a leader. Jewish Studio Project spoke my spiritual language.”
– Participant in Jewish Studio Project’s Sunday Studio Immersive

Jewish Studio Project (JSP) believes that creativity is the best tool for exploring, adapting, and coming up with new ways to thrive in an ever-changing world. Since 2015, JSP has become a leading resource for creative learning and spiritual connection across the country. Through its immersive experiences, creative facilitator trainings, professional development partnerships and community programming, JSP has served over 15,000 participants and collaborated with over 100 organizations seeking creative approaches to Jewish engagement.

Student in Jewish Studio Project

“This course was even better than I expected and rather than a course that promotes art as just a “feel-good” or meditative activity, I felt really connected to my work at Hillel and in the Jewish world. Not only did this content give me student programming ideas, it also made me reflect on how I work.”
-Participant in JSP’s track at Hillel International’s virtual Dwell conference

Amid times of challenge and uncertainty, JSP’s collaborations with individuals, organizations, and communities across the country invite and inspire people to “make art about it.” Whether the “it” is  grief, bewilderment, fracture, or feelings of uncertainty, JSP provides sacred spaces in which new stories, prophetic imagination, and hope-filled possibilities can emerge. More than ever, individuals and organizations need tools and support to navigate the uncertainty of the moment and imagine a better future. In the midst of a pandemic, JSP digs deep into the wellspring of collective creativity to bring about profound shifts in the way people live, work and connect as a community and broader society.

These efforts are guided by the Jewish Studio Process, a unique methodology that combines creative practices from the field of art therapy with Jewish learning techniques and spiritual community building. For nearly six thousand years, our ancestors honored creativity as a sacred undertaking, interpreting and reinterpreting scripture not only so that the text might speak to the challenges and needs of their times, but itself as a spiritual practice to cultivating creative habits of mind. JSP combines this creative process inherited from Jewish traditions with the creative process of art-making from the field of art therapy to create a vital new pathway into Judaism, social change, and into each person’s own soul. Individuals and teams are empowered to activate their imagination and bring emotions and intuition into their engagement with Jewish life. The outcome is an ever-more resilient and resourced people, able to continually reimagine lives and recreate the future.

Student art project

“This program helped me to grapple with and release many of the pressures and difficulties I was experiencing during this last year. From Covid, housemates to racism and worldly horrors. This was a creative release and processing of emotions, difficulties and trauma. I loved the concepts, the writing and I really loved the reflections on our work.”
– Participant in JSP’s Creative Resilience Program, a three month immersive professional development cohort for young adult professionals in the Bay Area


Now in its seventh year, aligned with this year of shmita (of rest and release), JSP dove deep into an intensive strategic planning journey – “Immersing to Emerge Anew” – to chart JSP’s next chapter. JSP has a bold plan for the next three years that is “courageous, inspiring and achievable,” centered around four key focus areas: thought leadership, creative practice, network building, and R&D. As the organization begins this exciting new chapter, JSP is poised to engage far more people and inspire networks, helping them connect deep Jewish experiences with the power of creativity as a vital resource for social transformation.

The Jim Joseph Foundation is a supporter of Jewish Studio Project. Learn more at jewishstudioproject.org.