Jewish American Heritage Month!

Gordon Haber

May is Jewish American Heritage Month, and this week I’m delighted to point Compendium readers towards some of the fabulous work being done by CANVAS grantees both in the U.S. and beyond. Allow me to add a brief personal note: this is the 50th edition of the CANVAS Compendium. It’s been a wonderful experience to delve into Jewish arts and culture with you, and I submit this week’s newsletter with humility and gratitude. Looking forward to 50 more.

Joey Weisenberg in Concert

In celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month, The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History is hosting Joey Weisenberg in concert.

Weisenberg is known for reinvigorating the creation and singing of nigunim, or Jewish spiritual melodies. He’s also the founder of Hadar’s Rising Song Institute, a CANVAS Emerging Network Grantee, where he teaches and produces albums for Rising Song Records. Weisenberg’s enthusiasm for Jewish music—as well as his own singing and melodic guitar playing—has resounded throughout the world of Jewish arts and beyond.

Weisenberg will perform all the songs from his inspiring new album L’eila with a four-piece band. You can see and hear it live — or online, if you can’t get to Philly. The concert is Thursday, May 26th, 7:30-9pm; in-person tickets available here; click here for livestream tickets.

Yiddishland Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

The Venice Biennale is known for its national pavilions. This year the Biennale gets a transnational presence with the Yiddishland Pavilion. It’s a collection of multimedia works—food, photography, sculpture, performance, video, augmented reality—shown in collaboration with the countries that have Yiddish connections. The countries include the obvious, like Poland and Lithuania, and the less obvious, like China. Curated by Maria Veits and Yevgeny Fiks, the pavilion received support from Asylum Arts, a CANVAS grantee, and artworks from many Asylum alumni.
Of course it would be great to go to Venice. But if you can’t make it the website is worth your time. You can see Zsuzsi Flohr’s video On the ground, the possibilities, a moving examination of Roma aspirations for a homeland, and selections from Shterna Goldbloom’s photographic seriesFeygele and Shabbos. The Yiddishland Pavilion also maintains a calendar of online events between now and November.

Jewish Art Salon’s PAUSE: Jewish Heritage Month/Ways of Being

The Jewish Arts Salon (JAS) is a global network of artists and arts professionals exploring Jewish themes though visual art. It’s also another CANVAS Emerging Network Grantee. It’s latest exhibition, PAUSE: Jewish Heritage Month/Ways of Being, explores the multi-dimensional nature of Jewish identity and the unexpected ways Jewishness manifests in visual art. 
The artists vary in language, tradition, and religious observance, making for an engagingly eclectic exhibition. PAUSE is at 81 Leonard Gallery in New York City through June 12th. You can make an appointment to view it here. (Image: detail of Joel Silverstein’s Merkabah Misadventure.)


  • The Jewish Book Council has suggestions for summer reading.
  • While we’re talking about La Serenissima, check out this New York Times piece on restoring three historic Venice synagogues.
  • Visit the Jewish American Heritage Month online exhibits curated by the Library of Congress, National Archives, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

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