Yetzirah: A Yeshiva of the Arts

Sponsored by The Blumenthal Family

In Memory of Bernice and Werner, z”l.

Exploring the Arts

From a Uniquely Jewish Perspective

It’s a place where Jewish culture, learning and identity come together to form new creative synergies in all three areas.  The essence of Yetzirah is a featured artist, composer, musician, writer, dancer, etc., who presents their work, and that work is accompanied by Jewish study, as well as deep-dive discussions.

The Goal of Yetzirah

…is to bring Jewish life and tradition to the arts, as well as the arts to Jewish text-study and discussion, thereby enriching both realms.  In the process, the goal of Yetzirah is a broader, richer, and more integrated vision of Jewish life, where Jewish wisdom and insight combine meaningfully with our culture, and the arts bring further depth and connection to Jewish life within the Jewish community.

Yetzirah Class Lineup

Fashioning the Golem: A Hands-On, Creative Exploration of the Jewish Longing for Safety in Frightening Times
Dec 7th, 2020 7 pm

With Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik and Rabbi Shawna Brynjegard-Bialik

Protection. Safety. Strength. Power. Right now we could all use a little more sense of well-being. The golem is the story of using ancient Jewish magic to create protection; we are going to use our hands to create our own symbols of protection and explore what makes us feel safe. Join Isaac and Rabbi Shawna to “make your own golem” out of paper and cut-up comic books, in a 90-minute workshop that includes visual learning about golems and a hands-on activity with materials provided. No experience, clay or magic spells required; just your enthusiasm.


Rabbi Yosef Goldman:  Nigun as Musical Art of the Soul

January 4th, 2021 7 pm

With Rabbi Yosef Goldman

Rabbi Yosef Goldman is the co-Director of Hadar’s Rising Song Institute, and a master teacher of Jewish music, prayer and niggunim.  In this workshop, we will explore the power of Jewish melody and niggun-singing as a unique artform, and trace its deep roots in Jewish texts, wisdom and spirituality.





Hillel Smith:  Multimedia Jewish Art for New Generations
February 1st, 2021 7 pm

With Hillel Smith

Hillel Smith is a rising-star millennial artist who expresses his Jewish soul through a wide variety of visual media–everything from videography, to mural art, to spray paint street art.  His bold creations are completely new, but at the same time sourced in Jewishness and in timeless Jewish struggles and narratives. Through his works and through our study together, we will explore how his works are in a living dialogue with traditional texts and ideas of the Jewish tradition.




Capital Jewish Museum:  Symbols of Jewish Women and Power
March 1st, 2021 7 pm

With Stephanie Frye, Museum Educator, Capital Jewish Museum

In honor of Women’s History Month, Yetzirah joins with the new Capital Jewish Museum of Washington to explore items in their collection relating to women and power in the Jewish world, most notably the famous collar of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that is in their collection.  We will explore this and other symbols of women, and how these symbols live in dialogue with typologies of women and power in Jewish texts and ideas.


Tyler Herman:  Jewish Prayer as Theater
April 5th, 2021 7 pm

With Tyler Herman

There are extraordinary intersections between ritual and theater, particularly in Judaism.  In many ways, Jewish prayer, or T’filah, is a kind of “theater” that involves the full participation of the davener to enter deeply into the inherent drama and “play” of the set liturgies.  By framing T’filah as theater, we can access the deepest intentions and meanings of the prayer-experience.  Actor and Theater J educator Tyler Herman will lead us in this exciting workshop where we will explore this deep theatricality of Jewish prayer, and how we can use this approach to deepen our Jewish lives.


The National Museum of American Jewish History: Open Book –  The “Talmud” of American Jewish History
May 3rd, 2021 7 pm

With Josh Perelman, Chief Curator and Director of Exhibitions and Collections at National Museum of American Jewish History

Join chief curator Josh Perelman of the National Museum of American Jewish History as he presents the museum’s innovative creation of pages of “Talmud”, that visually demonstrate how forces, dynamics, and ideas that have shaped American Jewish history are in living dialogue with a diversity of voices and opinions.  We will compare this to actual Talmud study and explore the rich and sophisticated way that the Jewish people have related to the world, envisioning a better and more just society.