Zekenim: Honoring Los Angeles’ Jewish Elders

Craig Cady, Shivanti Kariyawasam
La Vida Mundial de William, 2015
Acrylic, mixed media on canvas

Art by Elder Jewish Angelenos and Local Students

This exhibit features original artwork by area students inspired by key experiences and turning points from elders’ life stories, shared in a program called Zekenim, funded by the Jewish Community Foundation. Zekenim (meaning elders in Hebrew) aims to illuminate, illustrate, and honor the unique cultural characteristics of older Jewish Angelenos, while highlighting the common threads of aging that weave across cultural boundaries. It is an intergenerational life review and art-making program designed to bring together younger and older individuals and the community as a whole. Elder participants chart their life story and identify a key turning point from their life during three workshops. Participants’ life stories are then translated into visual art form by young artists who receive the wisdom of elders’ life experiences through art creation. Life stories and the art the stories inspire are then shared with the larger community through recognition receptions and exhibits.