Friday, November 3, 2017

A Legacy of Giving and Art in Orange County

JCFOC's official post-event post
Congratulations to the Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County on a wonderful day – the fifth annual "Endowment Book of Life" Community Celebration was a great success, and it was a pleasure to be with you!

Not pictured: the incredibly cute and delicious
mini falafel served at the luncheon.

Rabbi Shawna and I were so honored to be the featured speakers at the celebration, talking about the confluence of art and Judaism and legacy, and also presenting the final artwork from the workshops we led last month.

As my my wife said in her portion of our remarks, “We continue to create spaces for God to dwell in when we come together as a community. The work that you are doing to ensure the future of the Orange County Jewish community helps create opportunities for people to come together, to work together, to celebrate together, and to continue to build the places where God will dwell.”

Participants in one of the JCFOC workshops pose with their finished art
So much incredible art was created by volunteers from the many organizations that comprise the JCFOC – all dedicated to strengthening the OC Jewish community and leaving a lasting legacy for the future.

The guiding theme for the workshops was the yearly cycle of holidays and observance, and we started with a simple task: we asked everyone to share a memory about a holiday, whether from the past or the present. We were so moved to hear all of the traditions that — for many — went back generations and shaped their love of Judaism.

All of the workshop participants were given a particular holiday to focus on and some texts to spark their creativity; we asked everyone to spend some time thinking about the holiday and the objects and symbols connected to it — to think about what sort of legacy had been passed on to them or what they hoped to pass on in the future.

Each of the artists — so many of whom were with us at the celebration — designed a papercut which expressed this sense of celebration and legacy that they felt in connection to their holiday, expressed in myriad ways. And behind the menorah, and the dreidel, and the lulav, and the candles, and the wine – behind all of this beautiful holiday imagery — they placed images of heroes, bit of stories, colors and textures and words they helped them to communicate their vision — the wisdom of their hearts.
Papercuts created by people from the same volunteer organization
were framed together for display in their offices

One last thing – we made a poster featuring all of the papercut work from the workshops, and unveiled it at the celebration.
Isaac with the poster featuring everyone's artwork

The JCFOC also made sets of greeting cards for everyone
featuring the papercuts from the workshops

Shawna and I once again extend our thanks to Wendy and Anne and everyone at JCFOC who invited us to work them to create a wonderful celebration of the work they do! (For more information about what we do, check out website at