Timbrel Artists-in-Residence 2021: Ava Sayaka Rosen & Galeet Dardashti

Meet This Year’s Timbrel Artists-in-Residence


Each year the National Havurah Committee invites artists to teach at the Summer Institute and share their talents.  The Timbrel Artist-in-Residence presenters bring vibrancy to our program via music, poetry, cooking, writing, and more.  The Timbrel Fund generously sponsors these artists who enhance the Institute experience and its diverse offerings.  This year, we have two artists joining us; Ava Sayaka Rosen and Galeet Dardashti.  Check out their offerings to this year’s online Institute below!


Ava Sayaka Rosen– Storytelling Through Bookmaking

Ava Rosen is a multidisciplinary artist, musician and educator living in Oakland on unceded Chochenyo Ohlone land. Rosen earned an M.F.A. in Book Art and Creative Writing from Mills College and a B.A. in Literature with a Creative Writing emphasis from U.C. Santa Cruz. She co-founded Open Windows Cooperative, a shared studio space, print shop, gallery and artist residency. Ava teaches Jewish values through art at Congregation Emanu-El’s Youth and Family Education program, and coordinates unconventional art installations in San Francisco’s Excelsior district (where she grew up) that build relationships between local artists and businesses through Artspan’s Art-in-Neighborhoods program. She sings and plays bass with Galore, whose debut self-titled album was released on the Rocks in Your Head label in June. Ava is passionate about bridging art, nature and education; her work is firmly grounded in the belief that art is a powerful tool that can support personal and collective healing, and inspire stewardship of our more-than-human community.

Ava will be teaching:

  • Storytelling Through Bookmaking

In what ways do you see your story reflected in Jewish text, and what parts of your story still need to be written? What does it mean to be a “people of the book”? In this hands-on bookmaking course we will grapple with these questions together, considering Book as text, as object, as instrument, as midrash, and as part of a library. By creating our own books using materials we have at home, we will add to the library of living Torah.

Ava will be teaching (EDT):

Day- Monday, July 26 @ 11am

Day- Wednesday, July 28 @ 11am

Day- Friday, July 30 @ 11am

Day- Monday, August 2 @ 11am

Day-Wednesday, August 4 @ 11am

Capacity: NA

Ava is also offering a community-wide event (All paid tickets can access)-

  • Marbled Paper Matchboxes with Ava

All-ages, family friendly

Not only is it a mitzvah to remember and observe Shabbat, but to honor and delight in Shabbat. In this hour we will practice hiddur mitzvah, making our mitzvah beautiful, to help us honor and delight in Shabbat and all other candle-lighting rituals. Shaving cream marbling is a fun, messy, easy way to make decorative paper for our matchboxes, so that we may elevate the act of candle-lighting for Shabbatot and holidays to come!

Day- Friday, July 30 @ 4:00-5:00 pm

Capacity: NA


Galeet Dardashti– Integrating Sephardi/Mizrahi Vocal Repertoire Artfully and Respectfully

Iranian-descended performer/composer and anthropologist Dr. Galeet Dardashti has earned a reputation as a trail-blazing performer, educator and advocate of Middle Eastern and North African Jewish culture.  As a performer/composer, Dardashti is the first woman to continue her family’s tradition of distinguished Persian and Jewish musicianship.  She is widely known as leader/founder of the all-woman Middle Eastern Jewish ensemble Divahn, which released its newest album, Shalhevet, in 2020 and through her multi-disciplinary commissions The Naming and Monajat.  In The Naming, Dardashti interprets some of the compelling women of the Bible.  Time Out New York called The Naming “urgent, heartfelt and hypnotic,” and The Huffington Post described it as “heart-stopping.” In her multi-sensory piece, Monajat, Dardashti—accompanied by an acclaimed ensemble of Middle Eastern and jazz musicians—reinvents the reflective musical ritual of Selihot using digital technology to sing with recordings of her famed Iranian grandfather. Dardashti is currently working on recording Monajat as the Artist-in-Virtual-Residence at Indiana University’s Jewish Studies program. She is also Musician-in-Residence at JCP Downtown in Manhattan, NY.

As a scholar, Dardashti’s publications examine Israeli music/media and Mizrahi cultural politics; she is currently writing a book on the Mizrahi piyyut (sacred song) phenomenon in Israel. Dardashti has held postdoctoral fellowships at NYU and Rutgers and most recently was Assistant Professor of Jewish Music/Musician in Residence at the Jewish Theological Seminary.  As Affiliated Fellow at University of Pennsylvania’s Katz Center in 2020/21 she’s begun research on young North American Jews of Middle Eastern and North African background.  Dardashti offers lectures, workshops, and residencies on her artistic and academic work throughout the world.

Galeet will be teaching: 

  • Integrating Sephardi/Mizrahi Vocal Repertoire Artfully and Respectfully

This interactive two-part workshop will explore strategies for integrating Middle Eastern and North African melodies and texts into formal and informal Jewish communal spaces for ritual, prayer, and celebrations.  In addition to learning new melodies, texts, and Middle Eastern modes, we will devote time to exploring how to share these musical traditions artistically, why it is important to represent these traditions, and how can this be done with the utmost respect.

Day- Wednesday, July 28 @ 2:00pm

Day- Wednesday, August 4 @ 2:00 pm

Capacity: 25

Galeet is also offering a community-wide event (All paid tickets can access)-

  • Sephardi/Mizrahi Poetic Songs (Piyyutim)—From Pulpit to Pop Chart

Join prominent performer and cultural anthropologist, Galeet Dardashti, for this participatory program on Jewish Middle Eastern and North African piyyut traditions. Come hear, study, and learn to sing several of these artistic and beautiful religious songs, and gain an understanding of their shifting cultural significance throughout Jewish history and in Israeli pop and rock music today.

Date/Time- TBA


We express our deepest appreciation to the funder who makes this programs possible: The Timbrel Fund for supporting the Timbrel Artists-in-Residence.

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