Connecting with the Natural World Through Jewish Ritual and Art Making

By: Artist in Residence, Leah Gold

I am so honoured to work with the DJC community as the very first artist in residence. Over the next three months, I will be facilitating a series of workshops for community members of all ages, culminating in collaborative artworks to be displayed in the shared space of the DJC. During these workshops we will consider ways that our Jewish practice can be deepened by an appreciation for the natural world. We will look at the plants coming into bloom in the Toronto springtime, and anticipate what it means to experience the harvest season in the late summer. Throughout, we will learn about blessings and rituals that connect us to the natural world.  I am looking forward to this residency as an opportunity to deepen my understanding of Jewish ritual and tradition, and to connect my cultural heritage to my work as an artist and educator. 

About Leah:

Leah Gold is a visual artist and community arts facilitator. Her drawings and ceramics use playful and fantastical imagery to explore emotional states and imaginary worlds, and have been exhibited locally and internationally. As a community artist and educator, Leah has facilitated projects for such organizations as TIFF, The Koffler Centre of the Arts, Arts Etobicoke, Lakeshore Arts, and the Kapisanan Philippine Centre for the Arts. Her recent projects include a residency at Maria Shchuka Library, where Leah worked remotely with library patrons to produce a kaleidoscopic print and collage installation that transformed the windows of the library into a psychedelic garden of the imagination. Leah holds a BFA from Concordia University, and is currently based in Toronto.

For updates, please follow the artist-in-residence instagram: @djcartist

Upcoming Workshops with Leah Gold

Celebrating Spring, Anticipating Harvest: Drawing and Printmaking on Paper and FabricWorkshop Series with DJC Artist- In-Residence Leah Gold

5 Sunday sessions, 4pm to 6pm, April 24; May 1, 8, 29; June 12 


Join us for a series of five art workshops with DJC artist in residence Leah Gold. In these workshops we will be using a variety of drawing and printmaking techniques to create individual artworks, and to contribute to a larger collaborative textile work that will hang in the DJC sanctuary. Inspired by Jewish rituals connected to the blossoming of spring and the fall harvest season, we will be looking at all of the good growing things around us through a Jewish lens. This series includes one field trip to make artwork en plein air. Open to all levels of artistic experience (including none at all). Free. Advance registration is strongly encouraged.

Family Art Workshop with with DJC Artist- In-Residence Leah Gold

Sunday May 15, 1-3pm

All ages

Join artist in residence Leah Gold for  some collaborative art-making, as we create a textile work to hang in the DJC sanctuary. This workshop will be part of an ongoing collaborative project, therefore the theme and techniques will be updated closer to the date as we determine what needs to be created to help complete our wall hangings! Adults and children welcome, no experience necessary. Free.

Spring Greeting Cards

Open Community Workshop with DJC Artist- In-Residence Leah Gold


All ages

Members of the DJC and other faith communities who share the Eastminster space are invited to take part in this spring greeting card workshop. We will be using collage and printmaking to create unique cards that can be shared with friends, or framed and hung as artwork in your home. Adults and children welcome, no experience necessary. Free.

In addition to offering workshops that are open to the community, Leah will be working with the students at the DJC school and in the B’nei Mitzvah program to create their own artwork for the DJC sanctuary. She will also work with the DJC school teachers to explore techniques for incorporating the arts into their Jewish studies teaching.

Artist in Residence Leah Gold walking us through the first art project in our series – Check out our youtube playlist for all art prompts and more!

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