Artist-in-Residence, Ruben Shimonov
Wednesday, November 9
Maktoub/Katuv: An Exploration of Hebrew and Arabic Calligraphy
In this interactive session and virtual gallery tour, students will dive into the rich visual worlds of Arabic and Hebrew calligraphy. Through historical, spiritual, linguistic and artistic lenses, they will discover the parallels between both languages. Educator, community builder, and artist, Ruben Shimonov, will take us on an exploratory journey of his multilingual calligraphy and the ways he has used his art to enrich Muslim-Jewish interfaith communities. In their classes after, our students will also have the opportunity to engage with these two languages through a hands-on calligraphy workshop and collaborative group art piece!
Wednesday, November 9
7:30 p.m. via Zoom
Sephardic? Mizrahi? Exploring Terminology That Will Deepen Our Understanding of Jewish Diversity
You might have heard the words “Sephardic” and “Mizrahi” before, but how much do you know about them? In this session, we will explore the multifaceted nature of these identity terms. Journeying through various time periods and geographical areas, we will deepen our knowledge of the eclectic mosaic of Jewish communities with deep roots in North Africa, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Central Asia. Our exploration will also shed light on the ways in which Sephardic and Mizrahi experiences fit into a broader conversation about Jewish history, diversity, and peoplehood.
This community offering will be a similar, more in-depth version of what he shares with students earlier that day.
Click the button below to register and to receive an email reminder with the Zoom link. We look forward to sharing this amazing opportunity with our community! No background in Arabic or Hebrew calligraphy necessary.
Currently based in Detroit—by way of Uzbekistan, Seattle, and New York City—Ruben is an educator, community builder, and social entrepreneur passionate about Jewish diversity. He previously served as Director of Community Engagement and Education at Queens College Hillel, where he had the unique role of cultivating Sephardic-Mizrahi student life and other inclusivity initiatives.
Currently, Ruben is the American Sephardi Federation’s National Director of Sephardi House and Young Leadership. Among his various roles at ASF, he serves as an educator and the director of a national student fellowship that seeks to infuse the warmth, wisdom, and diversity of the Greater Sephardic world into Jewish campus life. He is also the Founding Executive Director of the Sephardic Mizrahi Q Network, the sole international organization building a supportive and much-needed community for LGBTQ+ Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews, as well as Director of Educational Experiences and Programming for the Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee. As a visual artist, Ruben uses his multilingual Arabic-Hebrew-Persian calligraphy to build Muslim-Jewish interfaith bridges.
Ruben has been listed among The Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36” emerging leaders and changemakers. He is an alumnus of the Nahum Goldmann Fellowship and the Schusterman Foundation’s ROI Summit for his work in Jewish social innovation and education.
Ruben has lectured extensively on the histories and cultures of Sephardic and Mizrahi communities. Among his speaking engagements, Ruben has taught at New York University and University of Southern California, multiple Limmud conferences (United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Seattle, New York), Jewish Federations of North America, and Hillel International.
This Artist-In-Residence program was funded and made possible by the PTC's Be Innovative Grant (BIG), which allows faculty to apply for grants that engage their students and enhance learning through creative and innovative projects, programs and curriculum in the classrooms.