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In the Case of In That Case: A Curator Chat


In That Case: Havruta in Contemporary Art Helena Keeffe and Jessica Prentice 
Photo by Johnna Arnold.

The Contemporary Jewish Museum's (CJM) Associate Curator Lily Siegel and Curatorial Associate Claire Frost sat down to discuss working with artists and looking at contemporary art. In That Case: Havruta in Contemporary Art is an ongoing exhibition program at The CJM that encourages learning through fellowship for Bay Area artists, established professionals, museum staff, and the entire CJM community.  



My Roots: A Reflection on the "Our Roots" Project

Image: A short reflection I wrote upon this project.

My name is Hope Kogod and I’m one of thirteen Teen Art Connect (TAC) interns at The Contemporary Jewish Museum (The CJM). As a part of the TAC program, we apprentice during the school year with Museum staff, help at CJM events, and get to be part of interesting art projects such as Our Roots.

Malcolm Margolin Reads a Menu

Malcolm Margolin reading  A Menu for Recognizing Invisible Forces by  Helena Keeffe and Jessica Prentice

Photo: Malcolm Margolin reading 
A Menu for Recognizing Invisible Forces by 
Helena Keeffe and Jessica Prentice. 
Courtesy of Helena Keeffe.

When Helena and I first met and began the conversation about collaborating on a Havruta project, she asked me what I was reading. It happened to be The Ohlone Way by Malcolm Margolin, and she mentioned that she had also read much of it. This book became the inspiration for many of our conversations as it wove in many of our shared interests.

Artist Helena Keeffe Talks About Collaboration




A Menu for Recognizing Invisible Forces  by Helena Keeffe and Jessica Prentice
A Menu for Recognizing Invisible Forces
by Helena Keeffe and Jessica Prentice

In That Case: Havruta in Contemporary Art is based on the Talmudic principle of havruta—the study of religious texts by people in pairs. The root word haver—“friend” in Hebrew—emphasizes the communal nature of learning, and the havruta learning model reflects the Jewish affinity for asking questions and grappling with complex topics, together. Each local artist invited to participate is given the opportunity of working with an established writer, scientist, thinker, or academic in a field of their choosing.

For the second iteration of In That Case, San Francisco artist Helena Keeffe collaborated with Richmond, CA-based chef and food activist Jessica Prentice. Helena spoke about the collaboration with Curatorial Associate Claire Frost.


The POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews Reclaims Jewish Memory



Photo: W. Kryński. Courtesy of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
 Photo: W. Kryński. Courtesy of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
I attended the October 2014 opening of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. The new museum is a work of genius from every aspect—conceptually, architecturally, programmatically, and intellectually.

The POLIN Museum stands across from and in dialogue with the monument to the heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 during World War II. Both are sited in what used to be the Warsaw Ghetto, where the Jewish resistance opposed Nazi Germany’s command to transport the remaining population to the Treblinka extermination camp.