The Voice Within

Submit your artwork by August 9th to be included in the online exhibition.  You may submit something whether or not you participated in a Kol Demama workshop. 

Rewind.  You're driving down Peppertree Lane for the first time.  The strangers sitting next to you aren't yet cherished friends.  You're working up the courage to step out of your comfort zone and experiment with new forms of creative, Jewish expression.  Soon you'll learn that, nestled within, is a beautiful, familiar voice hoping to be shared with the world. 

Amanda Herring

Amanda Herring is an experience curator and environmental/animal rights activist. Amanda is a 2011 graduate of Virginia Tech where she spent a semester at Haifa University and served as Hillel President. After graduation she worked at Hillel at VT, BirthrightNEXT in New York, and as Regional Director at the Israel on Campus Coalition. In 2018 Amanda received her Master’s in Experiential Education and Jewish Cultural Arts at GW, and completed the JOFEE Fellowship in Jewish, Outdoor, Food, Farming and Environmental Education with Hazon placed at OneTable in Washington, D.C. It was there that she combined her passions for Shabbat and sustainable food which together can nourish and heal communities and ecosystems. Amanda is the co-creator of The Jewish Planner, a weekly agenda book based in the luni-solar cycles of the Hebrew calendar. Amanda enjoys making greeting cards and eating amazing food with her Husband, Greg, who is a whole animal butcher and chef, and their two dogs Bubbe and Mensch.

Adeena Karasick

Artist-Educator (Creative Writing)
Photo of Adeena Karasick

Adeena Karasick is a New York based poet, performer, cultural theorist and media artist and the author of ten books of poetry and poetics. Her Kabbalistically inflected, urban, Jewish feminist mashups have been described as “electricity in language” (Nicole Brossard), “proto-ecstatic jet-propulsive word torsion” (George Quasha), noted for their “cross-fertilization of punning and knowing, theatre and theory” (Charles Bernstein) "a twined virtuosity of mind and ear which leaves the reader deliciously lost in Karasick's signature ‘syllabic labyrinth’” (Craig Dworkin); “one long dithyramb of desire, a seven-veiled dance of seduction that celebrates the tangles, convolutions, and ecstasies of unbridled sexuality… demonstrating how desire flows through language, an unstoppable flood of allusion (both literary and pop-cultural), word-play, and extravagant and outrageous sound-work.” (Mark Scroggins). Most recently is Checking In (Talonbooks, 2018) and Salomé: Woman of Valor (University of Padova Press, Italy, 2017), the libretto for her Spoken Word opera co-created with Grammy award winning composer, Sir Frank London. She teaches Literature and Critical Theory for the Humanities and Media Studies Dept. at Pratt Institute, is Poetry Editor for Explorations in Media Ecology, 2018 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Award recipient and winner of the 2016 Voce Donna Italia award for her contributions to feminist thinking and 2018 winner of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. The “Adeena Karasick Archive” is established at Special Collections, Simon Fraser University. 

Adina Polen

Artist-Educator (Applied Arts)
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Adina Polen is a visual artist, spiritual educator and founder of Atiq: Jewish Maker Institute, an applied arts yeshiva. Atiq partners with organizations around the country to bring sacred art making into a wide variety of contexts, and this March launched a community maker studio based in Berkeley, CA. Adina is also an illustrator, graphic designer, musician (alto sax), and former middle school teacher. After earning her BA in Music from Barnard College, she studied design at the Bezalel Academy and Hadassah College, and Jewish text at Midreshet Lindenbaum, the Pardes Institute and at Yakar, all in Jerusalem. Adina has channeled her love of weaving together Torah and arts into her work as a Counselor/Educator on the Nesiya Institute, and as a Maker Specialist for Edah Berkeley. Growing up in an observant family in Everett, a small industrial town outside of Boston, with parents who were constantly inviting all manner of guests for Jewish Holidays and gatherings in order to construct a Jewish spiritual community, Adina has been steeped in the do-it-yourself ethos of the Chavurah movement, Jewish Catalogue style creativity, and the teachings of Hassidut, from her earliest days. Adina lives in Berkeley with her husband and three young kids, where she improvises her way through the days. She believes that multi-sensory creative opportunities for spiritual quest, meaning making, and improvisation sustain us as individuals, and strengthen our communities in the most textured and layered ways.

Eric Nicolaievsky

Eric Nicolaievsky was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to Santiago de Chile with his family when he was very young. Apart from his native Spanish, he also speaks English, Portuguese and a bit of Hebrew! Eric is a psychologist with a Master's degree in Organizational Psychology, and he currently works independently doing coaching and workshops. Eric was part of the 2016 Aliyah and returned to BCI in 2019 to give back to the community which was a big part of his life.

Aki Yonekawa

Beit Midrash Educator
Photo of Aki Yonekawa

Aki is the Associate Dean of Jewish Education for Jewish Life at Gann Academy, a pluralistic Jewish high school in the Boston area. As Associate Dean, she oversees the school's celebration of the Jewish calendar, life cycle events, social justice and social action programs, and other school-wide educational programming. She enjoys working at BCI in the summer both because the program is such a beautiful Jewish community and also because she looks forward to her yearly return to Brandeis-Bardin where she lived and worked for many years before moving to Massachusetts. Aki has an MAEd and an MBA in Non-Profit Management from AJU and is an alumna of the Pardes Experiential Educators Program. She lives in an attic in Cambridge, MA which is a stark contrast to her hometown of Los Angeles, CA.  At BCI 2019, Aki taught the Women in Tanakh track in the Beit Midrash.