What is Holy Sparks and how did it come to be?
In 2009, Ronda Spinak begins a project interviewing women rabbis to record their unvarnished experiences and personal stories as they break barriers in a male-dominated field. Nearly 200 filmed interviews result and are compiled in a Story Archive of Women Rabbis which Spinak creates with co-director Lynne Himelstein. In 2010, the work leads to a landmark stage production, Stories from the Fringe, produced by The Braid (of which Himelstein is Board Co-Chair). The show features actors vividly bringing to life 18 of these rabbis’ revealing true stories. And now, the legacy of these trailblazing women has finds expression in a new medium: the visual arts. Spinak, Himelstein, and The Braid partner with Jean Bloch Rosensaft, Director of the Dr. Bernard Heller Museum at HUC to pair 24 cutting-edge, Jewish women artists each with a pioneering woman rabbi to create 24 original, stunning works of art — each one inspired by the individual rabbi’s personality, geography, and biography.
What ensues is an historic exhibition, Holy Sparks: Celebrating Fifty Years of Women in the Rabbinate.
Past & Future Exhibition Locations
The collection tours around the country — never in the history of art has so many female spiritual leaders been depicted in portraits.
Dr. Bernard Heller Museum New York City (2/1/22 – 5/15/22)
Skirball Museum HUC-JIR in Cincinnati, Ohio (5/19/22 – 9/4/22)
Enjoy the Experience On Demand
Virtual Art Talk with The Braid — Click Here to Watch the Replay
Reception with Rabbis and Artists — Click here to Watch the Replay
Read the press release here.
Hadassah Magazine: Holy Sparks: Celebrating Fifty Years of Women in the Rabbinate Read Article
SoCal Jewish News: SoCal rabbis featured in ‘Holy Sparks’ art exhibit celebrating 50 years of Jewish female pioneers Read Article
Jewish Telegraphic Agency: In Manhattan, 24 women artists celebrate 24 women rabbis who blazed a trail Read Article
Jerusalem Post: In NYC, 24 women artists celebrate 24 women rabbis who blazed a trail Read Article