Toratah: The Artistry of Transformation
Fridays, 7:15–8:00 pm and Wednesdays, 12:30–2:00 pm
In Person (Pavilion)
“The Toratah project is transformational. Its translation does more than flip gender, it forces us to rethink all our assumptions about power, position, sexuality, and the Divine. To apply this regendering to our sacred text is nothing short of revolution.” -Rabbi Angela Buchdahl, Central Synagogue’s Senior Rabbi
What if the Torah centered women the way it centers men? Would we understand our sacred text – and ourselves – differently? Explore these questions with art inspired by Toratah, artist Yael Kanarek’s provocative rewrite of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) in which all genders are reversed. By offering a matriarchal structure, Toratah reveals new possibilities for people of all gender identities. The works in this exhibition act as visual midrashim (commentaries), challenging us to reexamine how our foundational narratives shape our perspectives on identity, morality, the Divine, and ourselves.
Israeli-American artist Yael Kanarek is the founder of BeitToratah.org, and the creator of the linguistic method for bringing Toratah to life. In her work, Kanarek explores the relationship between Toratah and Torato (the traditional Bible) by synthesizing textual meaning with formal representation. Her inspirations range from the tradition of Talmud page layouts and Shivitis, to modernist artists such as Hilma af Klint, El Lissitzky and concrete poetry. Ultimately, Kanarek hopes her work will challenge her viewers to examine (and perhaps re-build) our cultural foundations.
Join us on Thursday, February 29 at 7:00 pm for Songs of Toratah, an album release concert in conjunction with this exhibition.
Join us on Wednesday, March 20 at 12:45 pm for History and Artistry: A Guided Tour, featuring our Main Sanctuary and exhibition space.
Join us on Thursday, March 21 at 7:30 pm for Megillat Mordekhai: A Topsy-Turvy Purim Story, a text study and Purim celebration in conjunction with this exhibition.
Listen to Yael Kanarek on Shalom Hartman's Identity/Crisis podcast.
Public viewing hours for this exhibition are Fridays from 7:15-8:00 pm (following Shabbat services) and Wednesdays from 12:30-2:00 pm in the Pavilion, located in the Sanctuary building (652 Lexington Avenue; entrance on 55th Street). The exhibition will be open until June 12, 2024. The exhibition will not be available for viewing on March 13, March 22, and May 15.
For viewing requests outside of public hours and more information, please contact Marina Bardash Nebro.