Jewish Studio Project’s Rabbi Adina Allen Receives 2018 Pomegranate Prize for Emerging Jewish Leaders

New York, NY – Nov. 14, 2018 -  This morning, Rabbi Adina Allen, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Jewish Studio Project (JSP), received the Covenant Foundation’s 2018 Pomegranate Prize, a prestigious award recognizing five rising leaders in the field of Jewish education. The cohort includes educators working in diverse settings across the country from Berkeley to Boston, each bringing fresh promise and deep commitment to continually elevating Jewish learning.

As Cheryl R. Finkel, Board Chair of the Covenant Foundation, stated today: “These five educators not only inspire us with their remarkable passion, but also, they give us hope. Now more than ever, it is essential that every Jewish place of learning is filled with the creativity, genuine enthusiasm and commitment to social change that these educators bring to their work.”

“We’re living in uncertain times when complex questions and emotions are coming to the surface. I’m grateful and excited that our work at JSP has been recognized today by The Covenant Foundation for innovating a new Jewish practice - one that invites people to tap into what is beautiful and alive within them and helps them move through that which feels stuck in our world,” says Rabbi Allen.

Daughter of a prominent art therapist, Dr. Pat B. Allen, Rabbi Allen grew up in community art studios. “When I faced a problem I couldn’t figure out, my mom would ask, ‘Have you made art about it, yet?’ This is the question I now ask our JSP participants. It is an invitation to go into their imagination to discover new ideas and insights that can transform their lives.”

Rabbi Allen’s groundbreaking methodology combines Jewish text learning and creative arts exploration to investigate our lives and tradition. JSP draws on decades of experience in the expressive arts and provides a unique mix of urban art studio and beit midrash (house of learning) with its home studio in Berkeley, CA. Launched in 2015 in Berkeley, CA, JSP is a leading resource for thought leadership and creative learning in Jewish communities across North America.

 The 2018 Pomegranate Prize recipients, with Covenant Foundation Board Chair Cheryl Finkel. From left to right: Hannah Kearney, Oren Kaunfer, Maiya Chard-Yaron, Ilana Gleicher-Bloom, Cheryl Finkel and Rabbi Adina Allen.

The 2018 Pomegranate Prize recipients, with Covenant Foundation Board Chair Cheryl Finkel. From left to right: Hannah Kearney, Oren Kaunfer, Maiya Chard-Yaron, Ilana Gleicher-Bloom, Cheryl Finkel and Rabbi Adina Allen.

“It’s amazing to see the impact Adina is having on individuals and organizations across the country,” says JSP Co-Founder and Executive Director, Jeff Kasowitz, “the way she is able to open participants’ hearts, expand their curiosity and empower them with new tools for exploring their lives. And she is leading JSP’s efforts to powerfully expand the reach and impact of our model nationwide.”

2018 Pomegranate Prize recipient Rabbi Adina Allen was ordained by The Rabbinical School of Hebrew College Rabbinical School in 2014 where she was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. She is a regular contributor to Huffington Post, Patheos, My Jewish Learning and The Jewish News of Northern California.

Jeff Kasowitz