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The Jewish Art of Paper Cutting

Tuesday, April 27 [7:00pm] Guest Speaker: Diane Palley

Everyone who has attended a Zoom service at BHT in the past year has seen examples of Jewish papercutting in our siddur PowerPoint slides. Papercutting is a universal art form that has found uniquely Jewish expression. In this presentation, you will see varied forms and functions of papercutting that go far beyond the familiar ketubah. You will also learn some of the symbols that distinguish Jewish papercutting from that of other cultures. Diane will present examples of traditional Jewish papercuts, modern papercuts from the “Papercutting Revival” after WWII, and current applications of this traditional artform in the Jewish world, including the work of Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik, who cuts up comic books and reassembles them behind papercut grids to create current Jewish works of art. She will also present papercuts created by 12-year-old students at Nahalat Shalom as part of their B’nai Mitzvah process. 

The presenter 

Diane (Dena) Palley is Executive Director of Nahalat Shalom, a Renewal synagogue in Albuquerque, NM. Diane began her career in papercutting by learning how to cut stencils for the silkscreen process. In the 1970's in New Mexico, she created dozens of silkscreen posters for various peace and justice causes. She also created her first piece of Jewish art as a linoleum cut illustration of a Passover folk song, "Had Gadya". 

In 2005, she created two silk-screened/etched panels for the new Goodson Chapel at the Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina. She was a Finalist in the 2000 Philip & Sylvia Spertus Judaica Prize Competition for her Torah cover, she and was awarded the American Institute of Architects Excellence in Religious Art Award in 1994 and the Massachusetts Fellowship in Folkart in 1989.  


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Wednesday, May 12 [7:00pm] Making Blintzes for Shavuot with Ben Goldstein!


Learn to Play Mah Jong

*During this time of social isolation, the mahjong group is playing virtually on line with one another.  If you’re interested in joining a game, download the app REAL Mahj jongg. Contact Connie Covey or Esther Letven to receive directions on joining a group.



Wed, April 21 2021 9 Iyar 5781