GJCC’s Under One Roof Sukkot Community Art Exhibit full of Hope, Renewal 












By Rachel Clark, Director of Marketing at Gordon JCC, and Sharon Benus, Jewish Community Program Director at Gordon JCC 

The Gordon JCC’s annual Sukkot art exhibit ran from September 17-26 with incredible works of art on display in our auditorium “sukkah.” Community partners throughout Nashville came together and created canvas panels interpreting this year’s theme, “Hope and Renewal.” Due to time constraints surrounding the High Holy Days, photos of the actual exhibit were not available at time of publication, however Jewish Community Program Coordinator, Sharon Benus collected these beautiful photos of the panels.  

Each organization submitted an artist statement along with their panel to explain their process, and how they interpreted the theme of Hope and Renewal. Students from the Akiva School used brightly colored acrylic paints on their piece. The sun depicted on their panel represents not only the hope and renewal that each new day brings to us all, but also renewed courage, strength, and hope. They also included a quote from Anne Frank, “Where there is hope, there’s life. It fills us with the fresh courage and makes us strong again.”  

In many ways, the work of the Metro Nashville Office of Family Safety is centered around Hope and Renewal. Their panel centered around a tool they use called the “Hope Score,” that focuses on the idea that hope is tangible and measurable and has a direct impact on wellbeing. According to the Artists’ Statement, “To create this artwork, our staff were given the chance to ‘provide a color’ for the mosaic by writing, coloring, painting, etc. Allowing them to infuse their own creativity into what become one small part of a whole tapestry of Hope.” Many symbols of renewal and growth are included on the piece including a cicada, a VERY southern symbol of persistence and perseverance. They might be buried for years but we know they always come back, louder than ever! 

The Matzevah Foundation is another collaborator whose work embodies Hope and Renewal. They work to restore and preserve Jewish cemeteries in Poland. Their panel is centered around this quote by Elie Wisel, “Just as man cannot live without dreams, he cannot live without hope. If dreams reflect the past, hope summons the future”.  

Thank you to all the artists who participated in the exhibit and all of the incredible artworks will be on display in the back gallery past the business offices at the J for the coming months. For more information about this program please visit nashvillejcc.org/underoneroof or contact sharonb@nashvillejcc.org  


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