Our Passover Zine!

WHOMEVER ELABORATES ON THE TELLING OF THE PASSOVER STORY IS PRAISEWORTHY
-- The Haggadah

On Passover, As we tell the story of the Israelite’s journey from oppression to liberation, we are encouraged to seek out its relevance to the present day.

  • What significance does this holiday have today? What do the rituals mean to me?

  • In wat ways do I see myself in the story of my ancestors?

    Thirty questioners came out on a rainy Thursday evening in Berkeley for Dare to Prepare Passover to explore these questions. This collection of images and words illustrates their creative exploration. 

Check it out! Our Passover Zine!

Songs of praise, art of resistance at newly open Studio Am

J. The Jewish News of Northern California

BY DAVID A.M. WILENSKY

Early last Tuesday morning, a dozen people gathered to welcome the month of Nisan with song, study and art at Studio Am, the recently opened space of the Jewish Studio Project. JSP’s mission is offering a way into Jewish spirituality and texts through creative endeavors.

Each Rosh Hodesh (the first day of the Jewish month), we sing Hallel, a cycle of several psalms of praise. Typically, this happens during Shacharit (the morning service), but at Studio Am, we sang Hallel on its own. Hallel is also said on festival holidays, such as Sukkot and Passover. Keep Reading...

March Newsletter - Opening The Doors

Friends,


Passover is a holiday of radical imagination. The Mishnah teaches that each year we are to see ourselves as if WE are the ones going out of Egypt. In this way, tradition compels us to take a leap of imagination, placing ourselves into the Passover narrative. As we retell the story of our ancestors, we touch upon the places in our own story where we reach towards freedom from the narrowness and oppression in our lives and in the world.

The seder begins and ends with a call to imagine. In closing the seder, we open the door and rise to welcome in Elijah the Prophet. Harbinger of a better world to come, Elijah represents our visions for a world of justice, healing and liberation for all. This Passover, may we have the audacity and courage to let our imagination run wild and, in so doing, open the doors to a world redeemed.

Happy Passover from all of us at JSP and STUDIO AM!

Here's what's in this month's newsletter... 

Continue Reading...

Exciting News! R. Adina selected for inaugural Open Dor Cohort!

Thrilled to announce that JSP's R. Adina Allen has been accepted into the inaugural cohort of the Open Dor Project! With deep gratitude for this generous grant, we introduce STUDIO AM ("The People's Studio") - an emerging spiritual community in the Bay Area and creative force for good in the world. Excited for this next chapter of co-creation! Thank you to all who have helped JSP and STUDIO AM get to this stage and to the dozens of inspiring spiritual start-ups across the country providing a home for connection and possibility. Congrats to our cohort-mates: The WellBecause Jewish and Cohere.

Read the announcement from eJewishPhilanthropy

Shout Out from the J Weekly on JSP's New Studio!

The Jewish Studio Project, which fosters Jewish learning through artistic expression, has moved into a new home in Berkeley.

JSP was started in 2014 by the husband-and-wife team of Jeff Kasowitz and Adina Allen to help people connect with Jewish texts using creative tools. Its new home is at 940 Dwight Way. Kasowitz, a musician, and Allen, a rabbi, have led workshops for Jewish professionals in the Bay Area and Los Angeles...

Read more

Feb Newsletter - JSP's New Home!

"Public spaces like studios assist all of us in reclaiming our collective power to create the world we want to live in."  -  Janis Timm-Bottos
Friends,

As of a few weeks ago, the Bay Area has a new Jewish studio space! In this month's JSP Newsletter, we give you a glimpse of it. As we ramp up programming, we look forward to welcoming you to the JSP Studio - a place where, together, we can explore, imagine and create the world we want to live in. 

Here's what is in this month's newsletter... 

  • Introducing our new Berkeley Studio
  • Join us for JSP's Dare To Prepare PURIM this Thursday at Urban Adamah!
  • Read Rabbi Adina's teaching on Chidush'Is. Was. Will Be.' from the latest issue of Sh'ma Now.
  • Program highlights from February.

Read all about it here!

JSP ED Dishes About New Album

Check out Jeff Kasowitz's interview with Upstart!

What inspired you to make the album?

The Arba’im Shanah (40 Years) project began two years ago around my 40th birthday. My family had just moved back to California and I was coming off a year as a stay at home dad and working on the launch of the Jewish Studio Project. Adina, my partner and JSP Co-Founder, gave me this amazing birthday book in which she collected references to the number 40 in Jewish texts and commentaries. One of the texts talked about forty being both a completion and a new beginning and that really resonated with me and the life transitions I was experiencing.

Leading up to that time, a bunch of melodies had come to me while I was spending time with my first son, Remy, during the early months of his life. During our drive across country, these melodies started to live with me and in some ways become the soundtrack to shifts that were taking place around my 40th birthday. Adina was really into the melodies and saw, well before me, that perhaps they should be part of a  larger project that could be shared. So she and some other family members bought me some recording studio time to begin the process.

What was the process?

This project was really a giant leap into the unknown for me and one that took me way out of my comfort zone. I really didn’t know where it was all going until maybe a year in. The project evolved organically and I just trusted the creative winds to take it where it was meant to go. This was probably the greatest learning. 

One thing that became clear pretty early on was that the project was essentially about interpretation through melody and arrangement – spending time with Jewish texts and themes (some well known and others less so), asking questions about them, and exploring them through music to find relevance and new meaning. Sometimes the melodies came first, others it was the text. Then the work in the studio creating the arrangements really solidified the interpretations of the prayers and passages...

Read more!