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Call for Art by the Jewish Museum of Maryland: A Fence Around the Torah: Safety and Unsafety in Jewish Life

The Jewish Museum of Maryland (JMM) invites submissions of artwork for its upcoming exhibit, A Fence Around the Torah: Safety and Unsafety in Jewish Life, an artist-curated exhibit exploring safety and exclusion in Jewish communities on display in JMM’s Samson, Rossetta and Sadie B. Feldman Gallery from November 21, 2021 to February 13, 2022.

Deadline for Submission: Sunday, September 5, 2021

Exhibit Overview

Curated by Liora Ostroff, JMM’s Curator-in-Residence, A Fence Around the Torah: Safety and Unsafety in Jewish Life will explore manifold discussions on safety and exclusion in Jewish communities.

Judaism’s commitment to enduring collective identity is enshrined in the Mishnah, the first comprehensive written collection of Jewish oral tradition and law. Pirkei Avot instructs us to “make a fence around the Torah.” With the Torah at its center, Jewish law and practices—the fence—define the bounds of Jewish life and preserve the core values and ethics of Judaism. But safety practices, an integral part of this fence, which Jewish communities build today to protect communal life can also perpetuate unsafety and create barriers to participation for diverse Jewish populations and challenge relationships with our neighbors.

A Fence Around the Torah: Safety and Unsafety in Jewish Life explores manifold discussions on safety and exclusion in Jewish communities. American Jewish communities and institutions must, on one hand, respond to rising antisemitism and white supremacist violence; and on the other, acknowledge the ways that Jewish institutions have created physical and emotional danger for marginalized community members and neighbors marginalized by white supremacy and systemic oppression. The “fence” will be re-imagined as a conscientious fortification for Jewish life and complex Jewish identities.

Submissions

As a part of this exhibit, JMM seeks submissions from artists, musical performers, cultural innovators and poets that highlight the internal conflict over safety and exclusion within Jewish communities and institutions, including personal reflections on queer life and Judaism, racial justice in Jewish spaces, and dreams for inclusion and solidarity coming from within Jewish institutions and the organized Jewish community.

Submissions should address one or more of the following questions:

Guidelines

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