Tzohar students study Jewish texts during the morning hours, and in the afternoon they are immersed in a complete arts experience. This includes creative writing, play and screenwriting, theatre, filmmaking, visual arts, music, dance and animation. As they study the craft of each art, students are encouraged to explore profound psychological and spiritual concepts in their Jewish studies. Their discoveries find satisfying expression in the creation of art based on the ideas that they have found most meaningful to them. Although Tzohar students begin the year studying most of the arts we offer, in the second half of the year they may begin to develop an area of focus. This art may be further developed through apprenticeships with local artists.
Click below to hear Mrs. Amy Guterson's podcast interview with Elad Nehorai of Hevria.com about how Tzohar was started, how she found out that spirituality and the arts work together to make us better people, and how the Hasidic world is starting to embrace the arts, all in this powerful episode.
Arts Installation – “Chassidus, Art, and Identity”
Toward the end of first semester, students choose a concept in Chassidus that they’ve learned and identify with personally and express it through an art form of their choice. This enables each student to hear her own voice, develop her sense of self, and share her thoughts with an audience. The ability of our students to express deep Chassidic concepts through different art forms becomes a testament to their depth and understanding of the material as well as their G-d given talents, which they have developed and utilized for this purpose. They not only assimilate the information into their lives but are then able to communicate it in an artistic and universal way.
Collaborative Group Presentation
Students perform a culminating collaborative “graduation” project in which they use the individual artistic skills that have been developed over the year as well as group skills. Students create collaborative work such as theatre pieces and films that reflect a pooling of their creative talents and resources. For example, utilizing the skills they have learned from professional filmmakers in our community, students collectively create a short video -- from conception to writing, pre-production, shooting, editing, post production, and marketing. The students also create their own meaningful play production, studying and performing duties in playwriting, acting, directing, stage management, producing, marketing, set design, lighting design, and costume design. The students learn how to work together as creative artists, communicating a larger Jewish vision to the world.
Visiting Educators and Artists
Students have classes and workshops with special visitors throughout the year. Teachers who have special insights of infusing Chassidus into the arts and creativity, Jewish storytellers, writers, musicians, directors and performers especially connected to their Yiddishkeit and who express kedusha themes through their work, are brought in as living examples to the students during their course of study.
Outreach and Community Involvement
Tzohar students may volunteer at Yeshiva Girls School by teaching Parsha Through the Arts in grades 3 through 8. In addition, they are available to assist the schools with productions and special creative events. Our students also volunteer their time and talents for the seniors of our community, and are available to help at the local Chabad Hebrew schools, Shabbos Children's Programming, and Friendship Circle.