When she was still living in Florida, Cantor Natalie Young had a dream about bringing “all the talented people together to explore the rich culture we have to offer, to build up the leaders in the community and to build up Judaism through the arts.” Using theater, storytelling, puppet making, challah baking and other forms of creative expression, the event would “bring all generations together to be creative.”
In the realization of this dream, Temple Beth El will host the first annual B’Tzalel Arts Festival. Gifted artists from the community will share their talents through a series of visual, culinary and performing arts workshops during the month of May, culminating with the festival showcase on June 4 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Aliso Viejo congregation. A long and growing list of local artists will be participants.
“The concept of Gesher Shalom – a bridge of peace – is a theme accessible to artists that helps people to find a connection to Judaism, Jewish values and God,” Cantor Young said. “People in many congregations are coming together as a larger community to build relationships.”
She added, “We named this festival in recognition of B’TZALEL, the chief artisan of the Tabernacle who was in charge of building the Ark of the Covenant. He was said to be highly gifted as a workman, showing great skill and originality in engraving precious metals and stones and in wood-carving. He was also a master-workman, having many apprentices under him whom he instructed in the arts.”
For more information and to sign up for the workshops, visit the website at www.tbesoc.org/BTZALEL/Artist.html