Avigayle Adler – Jewish Arts Educator

Avigayle Adler is the founding director of the Open Studio in Jerusalem. She has been teaching art and creativity since she was in high school. She has a MA in Jewish Education from Hebrew University and is a graduate of the Pardes Educators’ Program.

Avigayle Adler

Avigayle made aliya from Denver, Colorado seven years ago and has been running the Open Studio every since. She has been an artist-in-residence at several summer camps, seminary programs and museums throughout the United States and Israel. Avigayle has been awarded the distinction of Oman Mitztayen, or “Outstanding Artist” by the ministry of absorption and highlighted in Celebrating 70 Extraordinary Women of Israel in The Times of Israel.

Avigayle specializes in mosaics, glass painting and paper-cutting, but her true talents lie in helping to bring out the inner-artist in each child and adult she works with.

Jaime Shear – Sofer Stam and Artist

jaimie Shear – Sofer Stam

For twenty-six years, Torah scribe, artist and educator, Jamie Shear has been creating hand-written, Hebrew scrolls on parchment to the highest standards of Jewish law, tradition and aesthetics. He has completed ten Torah scrolls for Synagogues in Canada, US, Israel and Hong Kong.

Jamie also fuses the ancient craft of the quill with a unique perspective to create art that adorns, signifies and commemorates.  He adds beauty to classic texts like the Ketubah, illuminating them using an array of mediums and artistic techniques.  Jamie has a special affinity with the Hebrew calligraphy technique known as micrography, the art of creating elaborate designs using the quill to form images comprised of select texts. When Jamie is not creating, he is teaching about his craft and shares the Torah ideas behind his art to people coming into his workshop / gallery in the Cardo of the Old City of Jerusalem.

Originally from Montreal, Canada, since 2006, Jamie has been living in Jerusalem with his family.

David Friedman – Artist and Jewish Spiritualist

Born in Denver, Colorado and raised in a Modern Orthodox family, David Friedaman developed a talent for art at an early age. As a teenager he was inspired by the artwork of album covers of the 60’s and the early 70’s music, and by the mystical art of Eastern mandalas. David attended the Rhode Island School of Design for one year and then left to study Torah and Jewish mysticism, with the late Rabbi B. C. S. Twerski.

David immigrated to Israel in 1977 at the age of 20, and spent two years studying Torah in Jerusalem, where he met his wife, Miriam and after they married, moved to Zefat. In Zefat, David immersed himself in the study of the Talmud and other classic texts of Judaism, including Kabbalah, and continued his art at night. In the 1980’s, he began to produce artwork that was based on Torah concepts in an attempt to integrate Torah and art. The first piece produced (The Orchard of the Torah) is based on the design of a Tibetan mandala, and continues to be a top-selling print.

After a bout with cancer in 1987 David started practicing meditation, and discovered that there was such a thing as Jewish Meditation.

David developed his own original system of translating kabbalistic concepts into graphic shapes and colors based mostly on Sefer Yetzirah (the Book of Creation), but also inspired from other texts. He has exhibited his work in North America and Israel, and his artworks can be found in many homes and art collections around the world.

David often lectures on Kabbalah and Jewish Meditation to groups of teenagers and adults, tourists, students or spiritual seekers from around the world,  using his art to simplify and clarify profound kabbalistic ideas. As they say: ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’.

David also plays the guitar and has recently taken up the fiddle.

Today, David still lives, works and teaches in Zefat, Israel with his wife Miriam  their five children and six granddaughters.