Two Artists in Residence join the faculty of each NHC Summer Institute, funded by a grant from the Rita Poretsky Foundation. Artists in Residence participate fully in the Institute, as do all who teach. Using their art form, artists explore or develop a theme that relates in some way to Jewish history, culture, or personal experience. The Artist-in-Residence grant is ideal for trying out a new project or thematic idea in a supportive community. Each Artist in Residence performs, exhibits or demonstrates his or her work in one community-wide evening program. Each artist is also asked to develop a program for the community's teenagers or children's program where appropriate. The NHC selects artist-teachers who can help others become art makers for the week and who will participate in building the community that forms at each Institute. For information on how to apply for a Poretsky Artist-in-Residence, contact the NHC office.
2009 Artists in Residence
Aviva Chernick is a versatile and passionate singer working within the Jewish community and performing beyond. She is a cantorial soloist and has been a guest teacher, guest soloist and shlichat tzibur at several congregations and Hebrew day schools around Toronto and at Temple Israel in West Bloomfield, Michigan. Aviva’s recordings include the debut album with the global fusion band Jaffa Road and Under the Canopy, a collection of Jewish love songs, released by The Huppah Project at the 2008 Ashkenaz Festival. Aviva co-leads a Kabbalat Shabbat service, Shabbat Fusion, which features some of Canada’s foremost world musicians playing traditional and contemporary compositions for tefilah from around the Jewish world. Aviva can be heard on Mitch Smolkin’s Yiddish music project, A Song is Born, with Klezmer Buenos Aires. Upcoming endeavors include a new Latino music project inspired by the music of Flory Jagoda and a continued collaborative project inspired by the Song of Songs with Arabic music master, George Sawa.
Walking in All Songs Ways
Alejandra Czarny is a professional singer, born in Argentina in 1960 , who has been performing Latin American and Jewish songs for more than 20 years. She has recorded 2 CD´s with Yiddish songs (“Under the white stars” and “Songs about songs”), that include some compositions of her own. Nowadays, she is also performing her own songs in Spanish, based on Latin American rhythms. She used to conduct her own musical program in a Jewish Radio station in Buenos Aires. Ms. Czarny graduated from the University of Salvador in Buenos Aires as a Music Therapist. She is a professor of Musical Expression and has worked as a teacher trainer, delivering courses on such topics as “Music, games, and body expression in children’s education” and “Games, learning, and teachers' work”. She presently is the Music Director at Temple Sinai in Hollywood, Florida and performs at different events, concerts and festivals in the USA and abroad.
About Rita Poretsky
Rita Poretsky was a photographer, an artist, a dancer; she was passionate about Israel, about Judaism, about havurot. She was an active member of Fabrangen in Washington, D.C., the Germantown Jewish Centre upstairs minyan, and Philadelphia Pnai Or, and a participant in many National Havurah Committee Summer Institutes. Rita Poretsky died on New Year's Day of her 40th year of life after almost a year of battling cancer. In August of the year before her death, she decided to take a class at the NHC Institute on Hevra Kaddisha, the holy community that performs the mitzvah of preparing a body for the release of the soul after death and before burial. Shortly after, Rita turned to several of her friends and said that she couldn't simultaneously focus on living and dying; she asked them to focus on her death—by following explicit directions—so that she would be free to focus on her life. With all of her strength, with all that medicine and meditation and prayer and psychology and the arts and nutrition could offer, Rita gave herself fully to living during that last year. The Rita Poretsky Foundation was set up in her memory.