About this project
This project was dreamed up by some Jews who were tired of using chabad calendars with advertisements for cemeteries as their only reference for Jewish holy days. This is a collaborative effort between friends and many contributors. All proceeds will go to artists and design contributors, which include farmers, rabbinical students, candle makers, facilitators, radio hosts, body workers, rock stars, carpenters, Kohenet priestesses, organizers, and more. This calendar is a celebration of Jewish culture that is intersectional, queer, feminist, anti-racist, and that challenges and builds a Judaism and Jewishness beyond Zionism. Because you’ve always wanted to find out when Ta’anit Esther and the anniversary of the BDS Call are, all in the same place.
Calendar production team:
Content Editor, Jessica Rosenberg, makes meeting agendas, tuna noodle casseroles, and, now, calendars. She enjoys getting up with the sun, organizing for the just redistribution of resources, and propagating wandering Jews of all kinds
Art Editor, Elissa Martel has been a weird art kid since childhood, and peaked in 4th grade when she sang with Celine Dion. Most recent peak has been working on this amazing calendar with a team of babes, obvi.
Layout Editor, Ariana Katz learned how to do layout from being a nerdy high schooler hiding in the newspaper office and making zines. She likes ritual, intergenerational revolutionary learning, remembering birthdays, and parshat hashavuah.
About the artists
The 5778 Calendar features the artwork of:
Photo: Elena Jackendoff @elena_jackendoff
Inspiration: Jews with Tattoos Calendar
You shall make tassels on the four corners of the garment with which you cover yourself.
In February 2017, friend, fellow artist, and co-conspirator Rainer Waldman Adkins shared the depicted Yiddish saying with me (and others). He wrote, "Here's a Yiddish saying that is sooooo relevant (though maybe not harsh enough) for the present time. Anyone want to illustrate this?!" Transliteration: Er drayt zikh arum vi a fartz in rosl. Translation: He blunders around like a fart in (pickle) brine. Commentary: The person doing so has no idea of what they are doing, why they're doing, or where they're supposed to be going. They are bubbling frantically, but their bubbles have nothing to do with fermentation.
Marlene D’Orazio Adler
I am intrigued with ancient history that is connected Judaism. In this art work I chose to focus on women from ancient history who were in their own way leaders and always had the better good for others in their acts of kindness. This work is a section from a larger piece. The three names that are seen in this section are Esther, Miriam and Sarah. They were mentors for other women of their time. The month of Cheshvan is a busy time preparing for the Jewish holidays ahead. I like to think that the woman from this ancient time did many of the same things we do today to prepare for the holidays that follow after the month of Cheshvan. The colors and patterns represent the strength and vitality of these women who shed light and hope to their families and their community.
Judith’s city is under siege. Frustrated by the inaction of the men in her community, she leaves the city walls for the enemy camp. Judith captivates the Assyrian general, Holofernes and in his tent she cuts off his head. Smuggling the head back into the city, she shows the people that the siege is over. We grow up with Haddasah becoming Esther—the heroic female act is one that requires assimilating oneself into the halls of power in order to benefit from authoritarianism. The Jews will be saved with a Jew in influential places. We will be safe if we can pass. But Judith has a more radical answer to Esther and those of us who live in the belly of the beast.
I painted this amulet while rolling around with these questions: What magic can we draw upon from our lineages that might help us live into a new imagination of collective wellbeing and liberation? What kinds of protection and visions of safety can we dream up or maybe re-enliven that are outside of and resist carceral and military technologies? As a Sephardi/Ashkenazi Jew, I can feel how so many of our deep practices have been lost or hidden in assimilation and colonialism; how do I reach back into collective/dream memory to bring vital and beautiful resources that might support us to resist and undo the spells of white supremacy and to nurture more justice and love in the present and beyond?
Cee Lavery, art
David Zinman, text
The Bund was the largest Jewish political organization in the Warsaw Ghetto and, before the Holocaust, the largest in Europe. We created this image because today’s Zionist remembrances of the Holocaust consistently erase the history and ideals of the Bund, not just from the Holocaust but from all of Jewish history.
Radical Jewish Calendar, art editor
I once heard a rendition of “Hava Nagila” by Celia Cruz, on an NPR episode about Jewish-Latin music. Celia is a really important Cuban musician and icon, one I grew up on. My family is Cuban-Jewish (aka Jewban), so I was super excited about this discovery! Celia was powerful, larger-than-life, with huge hair, and a deep, sensual voice. She had vibrant, sequin-covered-style, and an unforgettable presence. I like to think of her as a femme ancestor. This piece is my imaginary, across-time-and-place, vision for a revolutionary klezmer band led by women, artists, Latinx folks, queers, scholars, and feminists. Hava nagila means “let us rejoice” which I mashed up with one of my favorite songs by Celia Cruz, “La Vida en un Carnaval”. The lyrics mean “there’s no need to cry, life’s a carnival, and it’s more beautiful to live singing.”
In the deep dark of winter, we find Kislev, the month of dreaming, of receiving messages from our psyches and following the sweet beckoning of mystery. The images in this piece come from the dream world; a long-legged beast & the Goddess Diana, mother of creatures, lunar virgin, huntress and destroyer. This is a prayer, a spell, an offering. That she may bless us with the stirrings of the Great Turning, that we can smash what needs smashing, re-enchant the disenchanted, and lift up the divine feminine.
I've known the "bread and roses" slogan forever, but I didn't research its originator, Rose Schneiderman, until I encountered references to her in Elana Dykewomon's amazing novel Beyond the Pale. She was a tiny redheaded Polish Jew, a labor organizer who helped plan some of the biggest garment strikes in U.S. labor history and a feminist activist. Her politics were imperfect but she tried and she was fierce. So I wanted to make a little tribute to her, the Red Rose of Anarchy.
Kat Macías (KMAC)
I found this portrait of a bar mitzvah boy at Boomerangs (a thrift store in Boston that supports AIDS Action, New England’s largest AIDS service organization). Finding a photo of someone’s grandpa donated to a thrift store in Jamaica Plain (a very queer neighborhood) felt like it really called for a queering. As soon as I saw the piece I bought it and knew I would be putting this Bar Mitzvah boy in drag. The original artwork is not mirrored, in fact it hangs in my room in the frame I found it in at the thrift store, it is titled “Gay Mitzvah”. For this calendar I mirrored the image to format better and titled it “Double Mitzvah”, a play on words nodding both to this being a double image of a bar mitzvah boy and the idea that having sex on Shabbat is double the mitzvah.
rosza daniel lang/levitsky
Active community self defense, including armed struggle, is a constant in the interwoven feminist struggles against colonialism, white supremacy, and capitalism. Here, jewish anti-nazi resistance fighters are at the midpoint of 150 years of struggle: from Harriet Tubman (new afrikan), Yaa Asaantewa (asante), and Eghisabet Sultanian (armenian); through non- and anti-zionist partisans Sara Fortis (greek), Mira Shelub (litvak), Sara Ginaite (litvak), and an unnamed woman near pinsk; to Regina Brave (oglala lakota), Leila Khaled (palestinian), Joan Little (new afrikan), Aileen Wuornos (euro-american), and an unnamed zapatista from chiapas. The pomegranate (a jewish antifascist symbol), nopal/sabr, birch grove, and olive tree link landscapes and flavors: iran/ashkenaz; oaxaca/palestine; ashkenaz/gichigami-ziibi; palestine/catalunya. The text reads: [yiddish] mir veln zey iberlebn / we will outlive them; [arabic] baqiyat wa a'mar al-tughati qisaru / the people stay on but tyrants' lives are short. The english is by Audre Lorde.
This collaborative piece explores the relationship between the vulva and the sephirot on the kabbalistic tree of life, connecting divine to divine. The piece was originally designed for a Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute virtual temple class.
This painting is based on a photograph of Leslie Feinberg speaking at a rally. You can see hir wisdom and focus in the image. Generations of queers, radicals, communists, and revolutionaries have been nourished by this wisdom and focus through hir written and recorded words, which constantly push us to deepen the connections between our movements, to feel and understand our rage and our love, and to stay in the fight for liberation. Feinberg’s last words were “remember me as a revolutionary communist,” so we wanted to honor hir as such.