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Kabbalat Torah Art Exhibition 2020 / 5780

As a focus for our art work Yael introduced a story to us, the story of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. Something that stuck out to me about the different themes in the story was the emergence of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai with his son from the cave. This year we have done a lot of emerging ourselves, having completed our B’nei Mitzvot we have not explored a number of other Jewish areas of interest. We have tackled a lot of big topics from diaspora Jewry to human rights, racism to self care. And it’s your children, our young people at the synagogue that sat down in September and spoke about these being the topics that they wanted to know more about, things that mattered to them.  Sofi Shall (Kabbalat Torah teacher)

Tesa Getter

I have created picture, representing part of the story we have read. It shows two men, Jose and Simeon, walking out of a cave in which they have been held for twelve months. As they walk out they see that people have begun to practice the Sabbath, after having not before they were in the cave. Whilst they were in the cave they studied Torah every day. To me, this represents the studying I have done in Kabbalat Torah, which has included learning about Sukkoth, Refugees, Diaspora Jews, Human Rights, Privilege, Racism, Pluralism, denominationalism and self care. I think that Jose and Simeon leaving the cave, for me represents using that which I have learnt in classes in my life beyond the classes. In this coming year I would like to learn, how to do this and more about how I can use knowledge in the future and try to implement it in my life as this story has shown that this is very important. 

 

Raphaël Cassin

In my project there is a cave with six holes on it. Each hole includes a picture symbolizing a value that as a teenager, I have to learn before leaving school and facing the real world. Those are the values that I’ve learned this year, at the Kabbalat Torah program.

The six values are :

  • Tolerance
  • Volunteering within the Jewish Community
  • Jewish Festivals
  • Jewish Studies
  • Being part of a group
  • Family values

From the Kabbalat Torah program with Sophie and Yael, I have learned about being tolerant and welcoming people such as refugees. I’ve learned about the declaration of human rights and René Cassin. From my first year of GCSE religion, Janet taught me about Jewish beliefs and practices. I would like to thanks them.

This year, I was involved in a Jewish community called « Project Impact » volunteering with the Jewish community like helping disabled people, baking for the NHS and writing to isolated people during lockdown.

 

Jemima Killick

This piece represents the journey taken by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai from a dark place (the cave) through to the enlightenment and knowledge. This represents what I have learnt because learning takes a person from being in the dark to metaphorically being in the light, and having more knowledge and more experience than before. Moving forward, I would like to use the learning from Kabbalat Torah to be more mindful of others, from when we learnt about equality and also to be more mindful of myself, from when we learnt about wellbeing. This year, I am learning a lot because I am working towards my Bat Mitzvah, and therefore would like to learn more Hebrew and take my Jewish learning into everyday use.

Clara King

This year in Kabbalat Torah, I have learnt about everything that’s important to me such as family and friends. I have learnt a lot about my Jewish heritage, as well as stories from the past. Moving forward, I want to follow the examples that my Jewish leaders have set and shown for me, in order to be better in day to day life. While there’s nothing specific that I’m working towards, I have areas that I want to improve in, and changes I want to make. I also want to continue volunteering at a local primary school, as I loved my time with the children. My experience at Kabbalat Torah, and my time in B'nei Mitzvah, has given me lessons I can apply in the future, when striving to achieve these tasks. I would love to continue learning more about my ancestors and Jewish community, and keep a close relationship with Westminster Synagogue as I grow up.

 

Sofi Shall

My art focuses on the word ‘emerge’ - I’m so thrilled that I’ve been able to see and explore these topics with these young people and am excited to see them continue to emerge in the future - both in terms of who they are as people and emerge themselves in Jewish values and ideas. I have no doubt they will do wonderful things.

 

Yael Roberts 

For my piece of art, I wanted to envision the cave as a site for growth. The collage I created uses real rosemary from my garden - and shows it flying off as it leaves the confines of what it has known and goes out into the world. I see our Kabbalat Torah class as a real incubator for growth amongst our teenagers. Much as the lockdown has put us all in isolation like Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, Kabbalat Torah is a wonderful environment for our students to learn and reflect as they prepare to fly of into becoming adult members of our community and agents of change in the world beyond. We can all learn from them to challenge what we think we know and to explore new possibilities for our own emergence.

Sat, 4 July 2020 12 Tammuz 5780