City of Fairfax Summer Camp
During the City of Fairfax Summer Camp I was delighted to work with local artist Jennifer Judelsohn, as an Artist in Residence for the Camp. During the week she was with us, she worked with each of the classes in all four of our venues, encompassing a total of nearly 600 campers ranging from ages 4 to 14.
Jennifer helped the campers think about the importance of trees in creating a vibrant, sustainable community; experience the joy of creating pieces of artwork that reflected their individual vision; learn the value of collaboration in creating a communal piece of artwork; and experience the pride of seeing their work on display for their parents and the community.
The finished piece consists of two 48” x 60” canvases, designed to be hung together, and depicts four trees (symbolizing the four Camps), as well as birds, insects, animals, and flowers. After this mural was finished it was unveiled at the city’s Stacy Sherwood Community Center, where their parents and members of the community were able to see what the campers had accomplished. The hope is that the diptych will eventually be hung at City Hall so that everyone can see the work of local campers and the campers and parents can see and visit their work. I heartily recommend Jennifer Judelsohn as an Artist-in-Residence!
– Joanna M.Ormesher, MIoD, CPRP
Cultural Arts & Marketing Director , City of Fairfax
Family Learning Program at CBE
I have admired the work of Jennifer Judelsohn as an artist and teacher since 2003 when I enrolled in a class she taught for the Washington Board of Jewish Education entitled “Art in Jewish Education.” I was so enthralled with the content and delivery of that class, I immediately invited Jennifer to work with me in my role as Family Education and Religious School teacher with Congregation Beth Emeth, Herndon, VA.
Our first project together was an innovative presentation by the Confirmation Class (10th Grade culmination of Jewish studies) of 2003, in which students delivered a vocal chorale of original writing. Jennifer helped shape the presentation and choreograph the movement. She brought a theatrical and artistic eye to the proceedings, establishing a model for all future Confirmation presentations in the school.
Next, we began a long collaboration in the very successful Family Learning Program at CBE. Once a month, throughout the school year, we developed a program of learning for parents and children on a cycle of themes: Israel, The Synagogue, and Shalom Bayit. Each program included a variety interactive learning activities, and most important, the creation of artwork that reinforced the themes and messages.
Our goal was to provide an opportunity to create art that was more engaging and more worthwhile than traditional Hebrew School “tchotchkes.” Jennifer and I met for several hours before each program to discover the art project that encompassed the right visual media and content to create a takeaway that parents and students would keep and that would continually remind them of our learning experience. Jennifer is highly skilled in conceptualizing projects that are slightly beyond the capability of children, thus requiring collaboration between them and their parents. So the work is not only a learning experience but a bonding experience. Jennifer is also a brilliant teacher, able to explain the creative process so that people inexperienced in art can produce beautiful work.
Most important, she taught me that the final product is not as important to the learning as the process of creating it.
I also worked along side Jennifer when we both taught in the Hebrew High School at Beth Emeth. Jennifer’s course was very popular with the teens, and each semester culminated in an exhibit of student work. In each exhibit I could see Jennifer’s philosophy on arts education at work. The final projects, while always impressive and always gallery worthy, reflected a deep engagement in learning of Jewish themes. The artwork revealed, more than any academic essay ever could, how much thought the students had devoted to the subject matter.
In conclusion, I would not hesitate to recommend Jennifer as a program facilitator whether in a formal classroom setting or an informal educational experience. Jennifer will apply her teaching skills, depth of experience and diverse artistic talents to any program she creates, and students of any age will likely be thrilled with the result.
– Michael Wikes
MA Jewish Education, Jewish Theological Seminary
North Bergen, NJ
Vow Renewal Ketubah
Thank you for creating our Vow Renewal Ketubah. Our Rabbi suggested we contact you to create a Ketubah that was personal to us for our Vow Renewal ceremony. I had looked at Ketubahs online, but they were just generic Ketubahs with nothing personal to us. We already have a generic Ketubah from our wedding. It was really important to us that the Ketubah for our vow renewal was truly personal.
I loved the process of working with you. Originally, I was concerned that distance was going to be an obstacle. You made it easy, having several phone conversations with us together and individually to gather information and discuss design ideas, and you continued to stay in touch by email throughout the entire process. Knowing that we would not meet you until the piece was completed, I was concerned that you may not be able to capture the essence of what we discussed. After seeing the Ketubah for the first time, my concerns were immediately replaced with admiration and gratitude! We were in awe!
Our Ketubah is amazing. We never envisioned what it would look like! This was a whole new experience for us. We never had anyone ask us to “trust the process” before. We are so glad you did. You are very diligent about gathering information, drawing out our intentions, and meditating on all the pieces necessary to create a special artistic view of the subjects, in this case, Tom and me. Every part of the Ketubah has meaning for us. Your attention to detail is amazing including a true to life picture of our Sheltie, Rebel, without even having met him (or even seeing a picture of him). The coloring on his picture was true to life. You have a gift to be able to transcend your thoughts into art.
I would definitely recommend you as the creator of sacred art for life cycles. I know that the piece of art you are going to create will be sensitive, respectful, high quality, and uniquely personal to the recipient. You have a beautiful and powerful way of expressing deep spiritual meaning in your art. In a nutshell, you are just plain good!!!!!
Love and shalom,
– Sharen (and Tom) Peters
Artist In Residence
Jennifer Judelsohn is a very creative human being, both as a visual artist and as an artist of display. As a visual artist her vivid Mandalas with subtle but electric colors always attracted me. I am a fan of light in all of its manifestations.
My experience of Jennifer as an artist of display was in her role in persuading me to have my own photo show under her curation at Beanetics in Northern Virginia. First, it had never entered my mind to have a photo show. Jennifer had seen my photos over the years and had the creative insight that I would enjoy — and perhaps others would enjoy — seeing my photos organized into a thematic show. After some persuasion from her and from my wife, Virginia, I enthusiastically reviewed about 25,000 of my photos around the theme of “First light, Second Sight.” The process of moving from 25,000 photos to a dozen for the show was an exercise of socratic encounter with Jennifer. I kept asking her to make choices but she kept telling me I had to make the choices and limit them before she would intervene. When there were final decisions between one photo and another Jennifer finally played her hand, always with insight.
The actual show location confirmed Jennifer’s ability to see beyond the ordinary in a way that created the extraordinary. Beanetics is not an obvious gallery. It is a strip mall coffee roasting and drinking establishment. However, Jennifer single-handedly turned it into a display space for a variety of artists. Her choices about where and how to hang my photos created a complementary and complimentary sequence of visual experiences.
Finally, I was extremely pleased with Jennifer’s use of the internet to display and market my photos. She used the internet to allow an audience not in attendance to see my work and also created a vehicle for monetizing my hobby. Once again an outcome I had never imagined.
So I have been the beneficiary of Jennifer as an artist of the display of visual creativity — in this case of my work. She taught me much during the exercise of creating the show. That exercise was an experience of further artistic creativity for me.
– Irving Spitzberg (September 2011)
Jennifer has created five sacred mandalas for me, two for bar and bat mitzvahs, one for a 60th birthday gift, one for a soul sister who was ill, and one for a dying relative. I encourage prospective clients to trust her, trust her process, let her lead you. Jennifer is experienced, grounded, and guided. Jennifer’s process is collaborative; it flows from your input and her meditations. I expect that, as her client, you will learn something valuable for yourself, perhaps unanticipated. The art piece you commission will be wonderful and perfect, a treasure.
– Virginia Thorndike
Your Amazing Life: A Vision Board Workshop
This was a wonderful opportunity to take stock and figure out what’s important to me as I begin this next stage of my life. Jennifer structured the environment to be safe and accepting, which made it possible for me to be open and honest with myself and the group. My vision board will occupy a position of honor in my home where it will remind of the important things in my life. Thanks, Jennifer!
This came at a good time, as my retirement is fast approaching. It was helpful to reach back and think about things that I have not thought about very much. This will be helpful to me as I think about a plan for the next phase. The questions Jennifer posed helped to jog my memory, and I came up with some unexpected answers.
Making a vision board under Jennifer Judelsohn’s direction was empowering. It meant really looking deeply within myself and deciding what do I want and how do I want to get there. With Jennifer’s guidance, I was able to move through the process in a loving environment. Her gentle guidance and her amazing resources empowered me to look into my soul and then create a tangible map of how I may ultimately reach for my hopes and my dreams.
As a musician I recognize that the power of music is not made manifest until it is shared. The same holds true for creating your vision! In a vision boarding session masterfully facilitated by Jennifer Judelsohn, I had the opportunity to share my vision of the life I want to create for myself and my family. During this powerful experience, I began to see my purpose more clearly and identify the steps I want to take to manifest my dreams. The biggest gift from this process was the realization that I was already living the life I have always imagined. How cool is that! For me, time stood still as I reflected on my deepest desires and envisioned a future that I had the power to create. It was magical—and I imagine it will be the same for anyone who decides to take the journey of collective vision boarding!
Mandala Journal Workshop: Manifesting Prosperity and Fortunate Blessings
Thank you, Jennifer. I loved the topics of discussion and use of the mandala process you taught provoked deep thoughts and insights! Great job!
– Susan T.
The friendly atmosphere really helped me feel comfortable in this class. I liked the visual exercise of creating mandalas. I enjoyed learning a new process and the power of intention.
– Antoinette B.
Thanks to the exercises Jennifer provided, I got a clearer picture of what is holding me back.
I was struck by the power of using mandalas as a means to address and overcome issues that may otherwise impede manifestation.
– John C.
Through this workshop, I gained an important insight: There is a relationship between the clutter in my home and my not getting what I want in my life. The “Ideal Life” exercise with the “what comes up for you” section was really helpful in reminding me that my unconscious thoughts may be creating obstacles, and I can choose to let those thoughts go.
I really liked the process Jennifer created because it is simple enough to be able to do and keep doing. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It can be “jotting” or “scribbling” something down. It doesn’t have to take more than a few minutes and then you can get on with your day. Very powerful and easy to do!
– Barbara T.
I liked everything about this workshop. The progression was really nice. At the end, I felt an increased sense of balance and centering. And I was reminded that I need to “get out of my own way” and trust the universe to deliver. Thank you, Jennifer! I really enjoyed the class and the group.
– Sarah H.
I enjoyed the creative method in which to meditate and manifest. The visualizations were helpful in realizing a “blockage.”
– Kate B.