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Contemporary ArtJewish Culture & Ideas

California Jewish Open

Jun 6, 2024–Oct 20, 2024

The Museum’s first major open call exhibition invited Jewish-identifying artists in California to submit artworks in response to a central question: How are artists looking to the many aspects of Jewish culture, identity, and community to foster, reimagine, hold, or discover connection?  

The resulting exhibition brings together the work of forty-seven artists reflecting on their connection to Judaism, the world, and their own history. Through a wide range of media, including paintings, sculptures, interactive video games, video works, photographs, and more, the California Jewish Open illustrates some of the myriad ways in which these artists’ Jewish identity informs their connection to the world at large—and offers a window into the universal human need for connection in all its complexity. 

The California Jewish Open is organized around four sections that explore connection with the Earth, other humans, the past/future, and the divine. These subthemes provide platforms to present different, and sometimes conflicting, viewpoints on wide-ranging topics. The inevitable friction that emerges is reflective of a core piece of Jewish culture: a belief in dialogue, debate, and questioning as a meaningful way of sparking discussion. The exhibition aims to offer visitors opportunities to open themselves to varied expressions of creativity that reflect thriving Jewish life in the past, present, and future. 

This exhibition is guest-curated by Elissa Strauss, artistic director of LABA Bay Area, a Laboratory for Jewish Culture and author of the upcoming book When You Care


This exhibition is included in your general admission ticket. Become a Member to receive free admission.

Exhibition preview

View accessible exhibition text, or explore more accessibility resources at The Museum, below.

Participating artists

The artists whose work will be exhibited in the California Jewish Open are Richard H. Alpert, Cheselyn Amato, Alexis Arnold, Marianna Baker, Robin L. Bernstein, Emily Bogin, Leon Borensztein, Natalya Burd, Kim Kyne Cohen, Beth Fein, Rebecca Fox, Deborah Benioff Friedman, Elina Frumerman, J. Ruth Gendler, Rebekah Goldstein, Amadi Greenstein, Ash Hay, Christine Huhn, Ken Kalman, Marty Katzoff, Mirka Knaster, Lisa Kokin, Anna Landa, Liz Lauter, Terri Loewenthal, Bernie Lubell, Stela Mandel, Bonny Nahmias, Irene Nelson, Vanessa Niederstrasser, Meirav Ong, Rebecca Ora (rora), Laura Puras, Forest Reid, Georgina Reskala, Kim Schoenstadt, Ronit Shalem, Laurie Shapiro, Tiffany Shlain, Deborah Stein, Alex Stern, Vanessa Thill, Adam Thorman, Amy Trachtenberg, Anne Wolf, Steven Wolkoff, and Holly Wong.

Programs & Events

Support for the California Jewish Open is generously provided by Judith and Robert Aptekar. The Contemporary Jewish Museum is supported in part by a grant from Grants for the Arts.

Media sponsorship is provided by BART, Marin Magazine, San Francisco Magazine, and Silicon Valley Magazine.