The Art of Commitment and Controversy

The Art of Commitment and Controversy

How can we present culture that celebrates Israel without becoming saccharine? How can we present challenging Israeli arts without offending?

There is a real need to learn how to program Israeli arts without losing our community’s support on the one hand, and without losing our integrity on the other.

First, we gather experiences and share concerns. Then, by looking at a few case studies of crises involving Israeli arts in Jewish spaces, we begin to draw out three key strands of this tangled issue:

  • What is art for?
  • What does supporting Israel mean?
  • What is Jewish about Israeli art?

Through the exploration of examples in practice we can better illuminate our current work, and consider future programming of arts events, as well as possibilities for communal “seamlining” (blending the arts experience with identity-building.)

Participants take with them several cognitive tools, including the following resources:

  • Makōm Matrix for Israel Engagement
  • “Provocative Facilitation,” a six-point guideline
  • Access to over ten film guides
  • Access to over twenty book guides


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