Self-Awareness and Spiritual Growth through Artistic Expression with Geula Twersky


The year spent in seminary in Israel is a very special and critical time in the life of a young Jewish woman. Within this relatively short span of time there is a disproportionately large amount of spiritual and emotional growth , which lays the foundation and sets the tone for one's continued path in life.

It is vital for time be set aside for reflection in order to allow for processing and greater self-awareness. Within the context of the art chug at MMY, participants are encouraged to share moments of inspiration which they have had over the course of their Israel experience, and share them with each other through artistic expression

Four projects are planned for the year. Each one is designed to guide each young woman express her own unique spiritual path. The first project focuses on an object of inspiration, and is based on a realistic approach to art. The second project will introduce abstract techniques as we explore the theme of inspirational places we have visited in Israel. The third project will introduce surrealism and symbolic representation as a tool for spiritual reflection. A group collage is planned as well, designed to foster camaraderie and creativity as a community.

The year has begun with a strong and positive reception for the art class. Everyone has begun to keep a diary of thoughts, feelings, and inspirations. We have started to share from our inner world and to plan out in a practical way how we may go about expressing ourselves through artistic medium.

Students are excited about this opportunity, albeit from different perspectives. One student, Ilana Kaufman, shared with us the “spiritual” reason she chose this particular chug.  “We are told in Sefer Breishit that we are created in G-d’s image and therefore we each have a G-dly element in us. I chose this chug since its goal is to extract that spirituality and to express it in a way that can showcase my individual and unique connection to G-d”. Sarit Perl, an artist in her own right, shares her “artistic” reason for choosing this chug.   “I've always found it hard to let go of perfectionism in my artwork. In the chug, the focus is learning artistic expression, using artistic principles to portray our feelings and experiences, rather than simply copying a photo. It is very liberating to learn how to not only accept that your picture looks slightly different from the reference, but to use that difference as a springboard for creative inspiration and build something that is uniquely your own."  And Shalva Gozland shared yet another personal perspective. “Art chug is an incredible way to relax, recharge and unleash our creative spirit outside of a conventional classroom setting”.

The fruits of our labor will serve as cherished reminders of a year filled with learning, travelling throughout Israel, and building friendships in Israel, at MMY.


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