Rachel Daniels is participating in Eser 2013: Top Ten Influential Jews. She grew up in Framingham, spent her first year out of college on Project Otzma and loves Israel & Israeli culture. She lives in Brookline and is a huge Red Sox fan.
All of the Eser groups met at Hebrew College recently, to explore their creative and artistic sides. The evening was in partnership with the Mem Project, which engages individuals through the artistic process as a means to explore Jewish identity. The Mem Project director, Tova, guided us through thought provoking – art projects that helped us give artistic expression to some of the discussions we’d been having in our individual Eser groups.
The two workshops involved pencils, watercolors, paint markers, mirrors, and exacto knives, but didn’t require any prior artistic experience. The projects had us reflect on how and where we saw ourselves in our community. In addition, we were asked to keep in mind the influential Jewish people we discussed in our groups and their places in their communities. Exploring this notion of community – our place in it, and our sense of what matters most about it – soon had us acting like a community by collaborating on and adding to each other’s drawings. But really the most fun and the most meaningful element for me, was our last of the evening.
Our last activity of the night was to think about our legacy: what mark we want to leave on our community, and how we want to leave it. At first I found this to be a challenging task even to think about. I had no idea how I could or would put my thoughts into a creative drawing. As I pondered my legacy, I watched my table-mates. Some were very quick to sketch out their ideas on paper, while others were sharing their thoughts. The twist to the project was that we were asked to draw our legacy on a circular mirror. Once I decided to take some creative license and start by drawing where I am now, the picture came into crystal clear view. I then got to work depicting how, and with which issues I am struggling in my community, and in my life. When I finished drawing on my mirror, the reflection I saw was myself parceled out into the fractured pieces that made up my drawing. I know that with hard work, dedication, and maybe a little luck I’ll be able to fulfill the legacy I strive for today.
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