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The Art of Giving Back: An Exhibit on Tzedakah by Whittier High Students with Holocaust Museum LA for Be the Change L.A. 2023

By Jewish Arts Collaborative

Published Jul 26, 2023

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This Curation is part of Be the Change.

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The Art of Giving Back

Above: (3 min) Be the Change 2023 | Los Angeles | The Art of Giving Back with Jessica Handler of Holocaust Museum LA. Video by the Jewish Arts Collaborative.

 

ABOUT THE ART:

The Art of Giving Back: An Exhibit on Tzedakah is a collaborative project between Holocaust Museum LA and 11th-grade History students at Whittier High School in California. The project aims to inspire students to consider the Jewish value of Tzedakah from a universal perspective, prompting involvement in philanthropy and social justice.

After a tour of the museum and connecting students with a Holocaust survivor through Share Our Stories program, students were provided with cardboard Tzedakah boxes, which they personalized artistically, reflecting their own interpretations of Tzedakah and showcasing causes they passionately support. This created a diverse representation of voices through unique artistic styles and themes, bridging gaps between Jewish, Black, and Latino communities in Los Angeles.

Handler hopes the exhibit motivates students to effect tangible change in their communities, transforming their experiences at the Holocaust Museum LA into proactive commitments to justice and charity. In this way, the students’ personalized Sadaka boxes act as testaments to their dedication to creating a positive impact.

 

ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST MUSEUM LA:

Holocaust Museum LA is the first survivor-founded and oldest Holocaust museum in the United States. Its genesis dates to the 1960s when a group of survivors met and discovered that each of them had a photograph, document, or personal item from before the war. They decided that these artifacts needed a permanent home where they could be displayed safely and in perpetuity. They also wanted a place to memorialize their loved ones who perished and help to educate the public so that no one would ever forget.

Founded in 1961, Holocaust Museum LA is the only cultural institution in Los Angeles with a sole focus on the horrific impact and the enormity of the Holocaust that is free for students. Through customized tours, artifact-rich exhibitions, creative educational programs, and intergenerational conversations with survivors, the Museum teaches students and visitors to think critically about the lessons of the Holocaust and its social relevance today. Museum admission is always free for students from anywhere across the globe.

 

Learn more about Be the Change and explore more tzedakah boxes from Be the Change L.A. 2023.

The Art of Giving Back: An Exhibit on Tzedakah

Above: One side of The Art of Giving Back: An Exhibit on Tzedakah in Plummer Park, West Hollywood for Be the Change L.A. 2023. Photo by Brett Erickson.

The Art of Giving Back: An Exhibit on Tzedakah

Above: One side of The Art of Giving Back: An Exhibit on Tzedakah in Plummer Park, West Hollywood for Be the Change L.A. 2023. Photo by Brett Erickson.

The Art of Giving Back: An Exhibit on Tzedakah

Above: Close-ups of student-drawn and written phrases on The Art of Giving Back: An Exhibit on Tzedakah in Plummer Park, West Hollywood for Be the Change L.A. 2023. Photo by Brett Erickson.

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JArts’ mission is to curate, celebrate, and build community around the diverse world of Jewish arts, culture, and creative expression. Our vision is of a more connected, engaged, and tolerant world inspired by Jewish arts and culture. Learn more at jartsboston.org.

Reflections

1

The students were allowed to express their own values and causes they find important in their Tzedakah boxes. How do you think this choice to give students the freedom to express their own ideas promote the understanding of individuality within a shared, universal value?

2

The project is a partnership between Holocaust Museum LA and Whittier High School. The project seeks to bridge gaps between communities and age groups, with a focus on creating a more humane and dignified world. How do you think the themes of Tzedakah and Holocaust remembrance work together to inspire empathy, compassion, and understanding in both students and visitors to the exhibit? How can art and education foster a deeper connection between different communities and help promote positive change in society?

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