For Chol Hamoed: Jewish Art

Show your family Jewish artistic works.

Ronn Torossian,

OpEds מוזיאון ישראל
מוזיאון ישראל

So often, people view the art world as liberal – yet there are many choices for art appreciation for the traditional conservative Jewish home.

There is the most famous Jewish artist ever, Marc Chagall who said that visiting Palestine (Israel) in 1931 gave him “the most vivid impression he had ever received,” and that he was deeply moved by the holy places. As he said, “In the East I found the Bible and part of my own being.” Chagall was raised in a hassidic home and deeply entrenched in Judaism, and noted “Ever since early childhood, I have been captivated by the Bible. It has always seemed to me and still seems today the greatest source of poetry of all time.” 

It’s gorgeous work – and of course there a Chagall hall at the Knesset, windows of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, at Lincoln Center, the U.N. and so many other places. Every Jewish home naturally would like great with a Chagall, but since for most of us that is not possible unless a copy, there are museums to visit this holiday.

And there are more:

Perhaps the most famous Israeli artist ever, Yaakov Agam makes beautiful, breathtaking, upbeat beautiful pieces.  He has designed so many gorgeous sculptures, monuments and more – and as an artist his passion for the Jewish people and the greatness of Judaism is very evident. His son, Ron Agam (who is a friend) makes amazing colorful gorgeous pieces as well – one of which I have in my home.  Just beautiful, colorful and upbeat.

Mel Bochner is an artist who uses strong words for art – and his choice of words show so clearly that the man is an American Jew.  From his piece entitled “The Joys of Yiddish,” which features Yiddish words in bright yellow letters on a black background, where he includes words like Nudnick, Pusher, Nebbish, Mensch, Schmooze, Schmo, and more.  Bochner started as a security guard at The Jewish Museum, and today has very valuable art which examines language and its meaning.  Some of the pieces are great strong, and perfect for tough Jews – I love his piece “Head Honcho” for the self-styled “King of The Universe.” 

Of course, there’s the awesome Eden Gallery which is in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and on Madison Avenue in NYC which shows various artists focused primarily on contemporary art – and showcase nearly exclusively Israeli artists.  They showcase awesome happy, feel good-work – ranging from David Kracov who makes a box with Albert Einstein which is hanging in the office of my PR firm to the breathtaking photography of Lirone. And a walk near the King David Hotel in Jerusalem or from the Alrov Mall up to and including Nachalat Shiva one passes other interesting galleries.

There is also Arutz Sheva writer Inna Rogatchi's husband Michael, a renowned artist who paints Jewish themes.

And if you are in Israel, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the Tel Aviv Museum and others are worth a visit with your family with an eye to the Jewish art.

Art helps inspire me, and is a great experience – and it’s wonderful to have great Jewish artists to enjoy. It will raise the pride of your family to see Jewish art.