ARTICLE Drawing Strength from Community

Dear readers,

With the publication of this issue, we reach a milestone: our 30th issue of Sight Line and our third issue devoted entirely to the arts and creativity.

At The Covenant Foundation, we have deep respect for artists and an abiding passion for projects that combine Jewish learning with creative pursuits. In this issue, you’ll read about how theater, visual art, and music can help learners consider and redefine community, deepen Jewish identity, access texts in new ways, engage meaningfully in prayer, and more.

The past month has incredibly difficult for us all and we are still reeling from the shock of the atrocities committed on October 7th in Israel. The ensuing war has brought with it harsh and frightening realities that our friends, family and colleagues in Israel must face. We feel their grief, we feel their fear, and we understand their anger as we try to process our own feelings. We also feel the sadness of the loss of innocent life in Gaza. We can hold both these things at once.

College students around the United States have found themselves on the front lines. They are frightened, angry and many are at a loss of what to do when their friends and fellow students shout at them and in fact become violent. We will help them regain their footing and their power but the shock is all encompassing. We are so deeply grateful for the unfailing devotion and commitment of all the educators teaching in Jewish institutions. They are our heroes.

I recently sat with two multi-talented day school educators who are also past Pomegranate Prize recipients, Natan Kuchar and Oren Kaunfer.   As we were discussing what they might perform at this year’s Covenant Awards Dinner, they both said what is so true: Sometimes there just are no words.  We decided that only the power of a niggun, (a wordless song sung as a means of elevating the soul) in which all of our voices would be raised together, could display the strength, beauty and necessity of community in all days but ever more so in this time.  I hope you have the community you wish to have around you so that you may gather the strength we need in such times as these.

Finally: in this issue you’ll note the vibrant illustrations by Noa Mishkin, an Israeli artist living in Jerusalem. This is Noa’s Sight Line debut, and we hope to feature much more of her stunning work in future publications. I hope that you will enjoy her art and the articles collected here, and that some of what you see and read will lift your spirits and inspire you to create new opportunities for learning for you, your family and your students.

Joni Blinderman, Executive Director


Read more from Joni Blinderman, in Sight Line:

Finding inspiration as we look ahead (Sight Line, March 2023)

Reflections for the New Year, on the value of connection (Sight Line, Sept. 2022)

A moment to reflect: Nurturing toward a better future (Sight Line, March 2022)




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