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Chaverim – AGJA Circle of Friends 

Collectors, Educators, & Friends
Supporting Judaic and Jewish Inspired Art USA-Canada-Israel-and around the world

The American Guild of Judaic Art introduces a new membership category, Chaverim – AGJA Circle of Friends, for collectors, educators and  friends who support Judaic and Jewish inspired art and those who create it-artists from the United States, Canada, Israel and around the world.

To thank those individuals who wish to support the mission of the American Guild of Judaic Art with monetary support starting at $80, contributors will be recognized on a special AGJA website page.

Their gifts help insure the continuity of  the spirit of the authentic value of Judaica and Jewish inspired art to bring greater awareness of the rich cultural gifts of Jewish tradition, its heritage from the past and present for future generations.

2015 Chaverim – Circle of Friends:
Melvin Fastow, Bayside NY
Rita Rosen Poley, Elkins Park PA
Denise Rosenberg, Hastings on Hudson NY
Ann Shaffer, White Plains NY
Karen Walanka,  Deerfield IL

From the Collection of Karen Walanka, artwork by AGJA Member, Leah Sosewitz

From the Collection of Karen Walanka
Artwork by AGJA Member, Leah Sosewitz

For the love of collecting and appreciating Judaic Art!
By Karen Walanka, AGJA President 

As the current president of the American Guild of Judaic Art (AGJA), I am a collector of all kinds of Judaic art, but not an artist myself.  My collection includes fine art, ritual Judaica items such as over 40 Hannukiot; 25 or more sets of candlesticks, too many dreidels to count, along with numerous Seder and Matza plates, Challah and Matza covers and “ladder” sculptures designed with a Judaic theme.

My collection began in earnest when my husband and I received 4 Hannukiot as wedding gifts.  Our collection includes Hannukiot which use candles of all shapes and sizes, or the more traditional oil. Our “ladder” collection includes paper cuts, paintings, metal or ceramic sculptures, and was inspired by “Vayetze”,  the Parsha the week we got married which includes the famous commentary about “Jacob building a ladder to heaven.”

While serving as the Executive Director of Moriah Congregation, a Conservative synagogue located in Deerfield, IL, just outside of Chicago, I conceived the All-Judaic Art & Jewelry Fair to support artists who created Judaic Art. As part of that commitment, Moriah joined the AGJA prior to our first show in 1997 and has continued that support since.

“Chaverim – AGJA Circle of Friends” is a new membership category for those who may not be artists, but rather are collectors, like me, or who may want to support those who create Judaica and art inspired by Jewish tradition, text, or our history.