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Experiencing Jewish Texts and Identity through the Arts

Course Developed by: Dr. Matt Reingold
Tanenbaum CHAT

Art provides us with a lens and a mirror to examine Judaism’s most profound teachings. Experiencing Jewish Texts and Identity through the Arts is a course that will introduce students to classical and modern artistic representations of Jewish texts and provide students with an opportunity to create their own artistic interpretations of Jewish texts. Students will explore such topics as illuminated and illustrated Hebrew manuscripts, the history of how artists have interpreted Passover haggadot, visual representations of Talmudic stories, and contemporary musicians’ use of biblical texts.

Throughout the course, we will study biblical, rabbinic, medieval, and modern Jewish texts (with English translations) and explore ways that artists have used their gifts to create works that convey their own unique insights and interpretations. Students will have the opportunity to analyze the choices artists have made, and craft their own artistic interpretations. The course will appeal to students who are interested in learning through and about the arts, and also to students who are interested in the ways in which interpretation of Jewish texts can lead to new understandings of their Jewish identity.

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Dr. Reingold has been teaching at Tanenbaum CHAT in Toronto since 2008. He teaches Jewish History, Jewish Philosophy and Tanakh and coaches several sports teams at the school. Dr. Reingold was a student at a Reform Jewish day school and a community Jewish high school and spent some time learning in yeshivot in Israel. He recently finished his Doctorate in Education at York University in Toronto and was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. Dr. Reingold’s interest in the arts comes from his observations that students learn
differently through the arts and from his own study, reading and research about Jewish graphic novels.

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