kolhaotfinal2Traditionally, Jewish learning has focused on the written word. This despite so much of contemporary culture being conveyed non-verbally.

Now, can you envision the possibilities that might exist through a Visual Beit Midrash? Jerusalemites Elyssa Moss Rabinowitz and Matt Berkowitz did.

Kol HaOt was conceived as a weaving together of creativity and aesthetics, arts and inspiration to convey the meaning of Jewish texts and ideas, history and values. Nurtured this summer at the PresenTense summer institute, Kol HaOt is a central address where exploration of Jewish ideas can take place in beautifully conceived environments – whether in their central Jerusalem location, their virtual home or in schools, communities or individual homes.

Here’s Matt: “Creating authentic, genuine artistic pieces that are substantially rooted in Jewish texts. I think the biggest challenge is the paradigm shift that needs to take place. We want to expand people’s range of experience, so that when they think of Jewish art, they think of more than just Judaica objects like a Kiddush cup or havdalah set.”

Kol HaOt also plans to train a core of visual educators to bring their visions into communities along with establishing a physical center in Jerusalem where [as Elyssa tells us] “educators, artists, lay-people and tourists can be surrounded by texts, art and learning while participating in workshops, experiences, performances and seminars.”

You can learn more about Kol HaOt, view some interesting images, or contact Elyssa and Matt through the project Website.