Below are sample of interactive workshops that have been delivered at a variety of conferences and programmes (all include visual art slides and film clips to illustrate concepts):


Biblical and Modern Story

SESSION DESCRIPTION: This creative class will explore the concepts behind narrative, from biblical story to contemporary cinema. There will be an analysis of the meaning of story combined with an exploration of narrative – investigating biblical narrative, midrash, Hassidic tales and film. Participants will be given the opportunity and space to develop personal ideas and images toward a short story with a personal theme.



Judaism & The Visual Image

SESSION DESCRIPTION: Can Judaism be represented through the visual image? The realm of visual representation tends to traditionally lie with Greek culture, however through an exploration of the imagery within tanach, midrash, kabbalistic and hassidic literature coupled with that of work by Jewish visual artists - the complex and contradictory paradigms of Jewish thought will be discussed. This class will analyse the films and art of those such as Rothko, Polanski and Kubrick.



The Jewish Male in Cinema

SESSION DESCRIPTION: The representation of masculine Jewish identity in Jewish cinema. A selection of films that tackle Jewish subject matter and male Jewish identity. The films would be analysed in segments and their meaning discussed. Especially explored would be the transformation from the feminine shtetl male to the over masculinated Zionist male. Films to be analysed: 'Portnoy's complaint' 'The Believer' 'Zelig' and 'Exodus.'



Spirituality & Cinema

SESSION DESCRIPTION: Spiritual cinema is a breed of cinema that is beyond the sum of its parts. It is cinema that shakes us to the core of our being and speaks to us on a level that cannot be rationally explained. Tied with Jewish philosophy and mysticism, the series will liken cinema to dream - the projection of our deepest consciousness and experience of being human. Analysing works by Resnais, Tarkovsky and Maya Deren, the course will aim to show that cinema is the new medium for the visionaries of the 21st century. You will leave this course with pulsating images that you will never ever forget.



CREATION

SESSION DESCRIPTION: What is creativity? What is art? Unity of form and content? What is the impulse to create? The metaphor of giving birth? How does the preconceptual manifest itself as reality?
How does a concept in the mind become a drawing? THE ARTISTIC PROCESS?
What is the mental state of the artist?

This session will analyse and attempt to theorize the creative process. It will investigate the meaning of art and the impulse to create. Taking in notions of the pre-conceptual, order and chaos as well as the connectivity of metaphors and reality, the session will be defined through Jewish philosophical paradigms, text and images.



The Horror of Seeing - Jews and the Horror Film

SESSION DESCRIPTION: This session will analyse the horror genre and the vast contribution Jews have made to horror movies. Looking at works by Kubrick, Polanski, Friedkin and Raimi, the course will look at gothic notions of seeing, morality and the terror of visualizing our deepest fears. There will be an analysis of Jewish folklore such as the Golem and its symbolism – from the oppressed Jew in exile to the physicality of the body. The influence of Jewish tradition, philosophy and mysticism on horror will also be discussed. Those of a nervous disposition should seriously stay away!



Jewish Sci Fi – Mind and Mysticism

SESSION DESCRIPTION: Going farther than any course before, Jewish Sci Fi will take you to the outermost transcendental realms. This course will take you deep into the psyche of the Jewish genius, venturing there with the film ‘Pi’ by Darren Aaronofsky and deep into the far reaches of outer space with ‘2001: A Space Odyssey.’ Exploring notions of the exotic and mysterious other and the limits of the physical world, we will tie things up with the visions of the mystics and the plasticity of the mind. Please leave rational logic at home, this will be a trip beyond your wildest imagination!



Kabbalah & the Arts

SESSION DESCRIPTION: A meditative and transcendental journey into the world of the kabbalah, through film, art and literature. The session will focus on an expression of the inner soul through visual media – such as the Hebrew letters, notions of unity and God in cinema, colour – light and depth in painting. This will be a soulfully enriching journey into the creative imagination of the artist, as they distil their messages of energy and love from the ultimate creator. We will end toward a goal that sees art and its messages as prophecies of light for our troubled times.