Upcoming Exhibitions





by Nicole Nordstrom, Joyce Chang, and Kitty Hu

Exploring Living Testimony of 'Home' for Holocaust Survivors Living in Los Angeles

May 16th, 2018

6PM - 8PM, Gindy Gallery at UCLA Hillel





The inspiration for this project came during a trip to Yad Vashem this January. As I (Nicole) walked through the Children’s Memorial and witnessed one million lights representing the children who died in the Holocaust, I was deeply moved to meet those children who survived and lived in my neighborhood of Los Angeles. A few weeks later, I met Jacob Bresler, a 90-year-old Polish Jewish Holocaust survivor who sat in on my German History class. Spurred by desire to bear witness to his testimony, I sat down with Jacob twice a week for 2 months to learn the details of his Holocaust experience. At first, I was so uneasy around him, I was so afraid of asking the hard  questions. But time and time again, Jacob would tell me, “I live to tell; I live so that your generation will remember after I am gone.” My kinship with Jacob has created a deep personal connection to the Holocaust and the individuals that bear these narratives. Combining our passions for storytelling, videography, photography, and Holocaust Education, Kitty Hu, Joyce Chang, and I have crafted a project to honor these survivors and personalize Holocaust testimony to a Jewish and non-Jewish audience at UCLA.





Over the past two months we have interviewed and photographed seven Holocaust survivors from the Cafe Europa and UCLA Bearing Witness Community. Each interview has explored questions relating to home life before, during and after the war. We ask survivors to walk us through their childhood home and describe the sensations and significant people who defined this place. We explore life in the concentration camps by asking questions about what temporary homes they had during this time. Lastly, we invite survivors to tell us about the chapters of their lives that came after the war. We ask about how each individual has built a home in Los Angeles and what is their greatest sense of pride and joy to date. Ultimately, this interview footage will be projected alongside the printed photographs in the Gindy Gallery at UCLA Hillel.


Please Click Here in order to RSVP for the "HOME" Exhibit



We are honored that the esteemed artist Joshua Abarbanel has agreed to jury the Student Fine Art Show.




Annual Student Fine Art Show

Thursday May 24, 2018, 6-8 PM


We are honored that the esteemed artist Joshua Abarbanel has agreed to jury the Student Fine Art Show.

Hillel at UCLA will be having the Student Fine Art show opening in the Spring quarter of 2018. We invite all undergraduate students to participate in the contest and share their beautiful ideas and artistic work with Hillel and the public. We want students to have the liberty to create anything possible with their imagination so submissions can be anything. In previous years, we received paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, even collages, and strange and exotic pieces of work, and many more so we encourage students to get creative and get motivated! We will be giving out prizes to the winning students.

Prize title:

"The Phylliss and Lou Mann Prize for Excellence in the Arts at UCLA Hillel"

1st prize: $1000

2nd prize: $500

Deadline for submissions: Monday, May 21st, 2018

Contact Perla for additional information:

Perla@uclahillel.org | (310) 208-3081 Ext. 108

This event is curated by Felipe Navarrete and Lyon Sung.

This student Fine Art Show is generously sponsored by Mindy and Bob Mann and the Stratton-Petit Foundation.


FALL 2018
Thursday, October 25th, 2018


"DISASTER SERIES" by Jean Edelstein 




Jean Edelstein seeks the sacred. As she deploys the creative to approach the Divine, her art resonates with spirit. Edelstein's elegant aesthetic is melded with finely honed craftsmanship and expansive inventiveness into abstract icons, inspirational figural studies, innovative performances and compassionate political commentaries.

"The Disaster Series was inspired by black and white photographs accompanying journalistic accounts of world crisis. I was deeply moved by the tragedy and heroism of these anonymous men and women who suffer the ravages of military conflict."

-Jean Edelstein in a interview with Jewish Artists Initiative (JAI) of Southern California


will be on display in the Spiegel Auditorium



"LOVE THY NEIGHBOR" by Jessica Wohl



From the exhibition Love Thy Neighbor

The turning tides in this country have left our communities bifurcated and broken.  I am awakened by this chaos: active, engaged and concerned. These quilts attempt to mend this conflict, as they offer protection, warmth and comfort to those who seek respite from anger, pain and despair. I also use abstractions of neighborly structures; fences, gates, hedges, and walls, to separate the viewer from something lovely yet inaccessible beyond their reach. By putting the viewer on one side of this barrier, I recall redlining, gerrymandering and other systematic forms of racism and classism that divide communities with visible and invisible barriers.

A quilt, by definition, is an object that harmoniously brings together disparate pieces into one inseparable, functional form. The fabrics in these quilts have been found or purchased from thrift stores and yard sales across the country. They are hand-me-downs, throwaways, stained, smelly, loved, discarded and Someone Else’s. Like the makeup of our country, they are Others that become one, and their unification can call to attention the magnitude of what is possible when varied and different parts come together harmoniously. 



Will be on display in the Dortort Foyer






Since Syria’s civil conflict broke out in 2011, the Middle East refugee crisis has become one of the world’s largest humanitarian disasters, with over six million internally displaced and more than six million refugees fleeing into neighbouring countries. Since 2013, IsraAID has been deeply involved in the international response across 10 countries; from early relief distributions in Jordan and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, to medical services, psychological first aid and longer-term mental health support to refugees in Greece and Germany. Our teams welcomed literally hundreds of thousands of refugees as they arrived in Western Europe, following precarious journeys. As needs change, IsraAID is increasingly focusing on longer-term programs that deal with stress reduction, resilience building, integration, and community empowerment.




"Stories of Courage and Resilience", gives you a glimpse into how IsraAID responds to emergencies and supports local communities around the world - from crises and disasters, to rehabilitation and recovery. 



"ROOTS NON-VIOLENCE" by Saskia Keeley





I believe disparate cultures can be bridged through recognition of our common humanity. Fostering such empathetic connection is especially fulfilling for me when women, children, and people from less visible parts of the globe are brought out of darkness and into light.




Over the past two years photographer, Saskia Bory Keeley partnered with Roots, an initiative led by a Palestinian and Israeli settler committee who works at the heart of the conflict in the West Bank. 

Saskia conducted photo workshops for Orthodox Jewish Israeli and Palestinian women who would otherwise have no contact.  An important part of the program was to develop photographic skills (20 good-quality DSLR cameras were purchased and donated to Roots for this purpose.) Just as essential was the opportunity for women "from the other side" to interact in a daily setting, many for the very first time in their lives. 

The photos that came out of their assignments were striking and often touchingly personal in their portrayal of both loved ones in intimate settings (when they took the cameras home) and perceived enemies in the context of the workshop sessions.  Most importantly, the cameras created a human bridge, breaking down barriers and fostering contact as women took portraits of each other necessitating human connection.



Click here to learn more about Saskia Keeley. 




"EARTH RHYTHMs" by Betty Green




Betty Green is a fine artist whose work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. Green attended Cornell University and UCLA, where she studied painting under Richard Diebenkorn. In addition to painting, Ms. Green has worked as a graphic designer and is the winner of a Primetime Emmy Award for title design, as well as the recipient of an International Clio Award. She has created signature openings for many television and motion picture projects. Her contributions to the arts also include the development of an after school Art Enrichment Program at the Neighborhood Youth Association in Venice, California. She was
awarded The Certificate of Tribute – Accomplishments in the Arts by the City of Los Angeles for her work with these children. Green currently works in her Santa Monica studio where she experiments with a variety of mixed media techniques to create her canvases.






Betty Green’s mixed media series entitled Earth Rhythms presents a series of paintings inspired by the undulating patterns in nature and the pulsing energy connecting all living forms. Using natural and man-made materials, her canvases are layered with heavily textured materials such as sand, cord, wood scraps, steel wool, straw, and wire mesh to create an energetic surface. Color, applied by brush and palette knife, furthers the feeling of vitality. The combined effect creates a visceral liveliness, as shifting patterns play with our inclination to see recognizable objects in abstract shapes. Green’s paintings seek to create excitement and beauty on a tactile and emotional level. Her hope is that viewers will study her artwork and make their own discoveries and connections.


Click here to learn more about Betty Green.




Featured Artworks:



          "Days of Awe" by Zhenya Gershman



 "Faith in a Seed" by Joshua Abarbanel



Photo Exhibit: Ethiopian Jews still living 
in Ethiopia by Sophia Spitulnik


   Artwork by Beverly Bialik for 
Bread & Salt: The Art of Jewish Food


"Days of Awe" by Zhenya Gershman

Displayed on the third floor
On view from October 26 to December 17


ZHENYA GERSHMAN is an internationally renowned artist. She was born in Moscow, Russia and held her 1st solo exhibition in St. Petersburg at age 14. She was selected as a subject of the TV Documentary Film “Our Generation”, a project dedicated to searching for the five most talented teenagers in Russia, showing hope for the cultural future of the country. The youngest student to be admitted to Otis Art Institute, Zhenya graduated with Honors and later received her Masters of Fine Arts degree from Art Center College of Design. Today, Gershman's portraits are featured in public and private collections including Douglas Simon and Richard Weisman (she is included in the book "Picasso to Pop: The Richard Weisman Collection"). Gershman's portrait of Sting was acquired for the permanent collection of the Arte Al Limite Museum, due to open in 2017 in Santiago, Chile. Zhenya participates in important international exhibitions including Art Aspen, Art Miami, and Art Chicago. The GRAMMY MusiCares Foundation selected Gershman to create portraits of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. Her recent exhibition Larger Than Life was broadcast by Entertainment Tonight, Extra Television, and The New York Post. A documentary film, The Model's Artist, highlights Gershman's innovative approach to working with artists' models. In 2000, Gershman was a recipient of ALEX Award in Visual Arts from The National Alliance for Excellence, Honored Scholars and Artists Program, presented by Peter Frank, who is quoted as saying that Gershman’s effort evokes not only Whistler’s and Sargent’s, but that from which they took inspiration, Manet’s and Velazquez’s–masters of the figure who in their own ways avoided the banal literalities of their contemporaries for a rendition truer to the vagaries of vision, and (thereby) to the dynamics of human presence.

In addition to her artistic career, Gershman is an independent scholar and a museum educator. She has worked for over a decade in the internationally acclaimed J. Paul Getty Museum, and has contributed to such exhibitions as Rembrandt's Late Religious Portraits and Rembrandt: Telling the Difference. As a co-Founder of Project AWE, a non-profit foundation for the arts and education, Gershman has dedicated her scholarly and charitable work to provide new dimensions in understanding and experiencing the cultural icons of Western European heritage.  Gershman’s groundbreaking discovery regarding the presence of a hidden Rembrandt self portrait was published by Arion, Boston University and was brought to European audiences by Le Monde, one of the most important international magazines. She continues to work in her studio, and is currently writing a book and developing a TV series entitled “Secrets of the Masters”. 

Click here for an interview with Zhenya Gershman by Oren Peleg


The Dortort Center Galleries are located at Hillel at UCLA. The public is invited to view our exhibits Monday through Friday from 10:00am to 4:00pm (or at other times by special request) when school is in session.

For questions, please contact Perla Karney at 310-208-3081 x108 or perla@uclahillel.org