June Newsletter - Summer in the Studio

Friends,

Happy Summer! With days long and sun shining bright, Studio AM is blossoming: the walls of the studio are vibrating with the soulful harmonies of early morning singing; the words of Torah are intermingling with words of probing questions; wild new creations are coming into being. From the studio space to the community to the staff team - Studio AM is growing.

In this week's Torah portion, Korach challenges existing authority structures by asserting that the entire community is holy, all of them, and that the Divine dwellsbitocham - within them. The use of the word bitocham echoes God's promise in Exodus that if we create the mishkan - or sacred space - the Divine presence will dwellbitocham - within us.  

Playing on this word bitocham, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk teaches that we are meant not only to create external sacred spaces, but we are to build the sanctuary in our own heart so that God can dwell within us. This metaphorical mishkan is meant to mirror the physical mishkan we build together in the public square.

During this time of Summer spaciousness and warmth, may the internal sacred center in each of us connect us not only to God, but to the gifts, artistry, and spiritual longings of those with whom we share community.

(Read more about Parshat Korach in Rabbi Adina's latest piece in the Huffington Post.)

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May Newsletter - Ready for Revelation!

Friends,

The Studio is abuzz this month as we journey from Passover to Shavuot. It is a potent time full of possibility.

New Torah and wisdom comes through us and into the world on Shavuot. Tradition teaches that each and every one of us stood at Sinai and heard the Divine word. Of revelation at Mount Sinai, a midrash (rabbinic interpretation) teaches: Said R. Levi, the Holy One appeared to them like a picture which is visible from all angles. A thousand people may gaze on it, and it gazes upon all of them. Said R. Yose: according to each and everyone's personal capacities did the word speak to him.

Each and every one of us has the power to receive Torah. And Torah speaks to each of us in a unique way. Revelation is only fully realized when all of us are a part of this sacred process of receiving.

This Shavuot may we open up the channels within so that new wisdom and insight can come to us and through us - for our own benefit and for the benefit of all. May we make visible all the angles of the picture and, in so doing, make the Divine image more fully manifest in the world.

Chag Sameach and hope to see you in the Studio soon!

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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!

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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...

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