The Shmita Prizes
On September 6th, 2021 / Rosh Hashanah 5782, with the heralding of the Jewish New Year, the Jewish people entered the shmita year in our cycle of the seasons. Jewish tradition teaches about a shmita year occurring every seven years, a time of release with Biblical and contemporary applications to our relationships with land, food, debt, work/rest, equity and more.
Jewish tradition is rooted in ritual objects, texts, music and practices that facilitate both a personal and collective engagement with the Jewish cycle of the year. At Hazon and with our international partners, we harnessed the power of the arts to explore the intersection of the shmita wisdom teachings with contemporary Jewish life. The Shmita Prizes award artists and creatives – from all levels of experience and age groups – for works of art that bring into focus the relevancy and application of shmita values in our contemporary world. These art works offer creative avenues with which to prepare for, mark and engage with the shmita year.
The Shmita Prizes formally closed during Chanukah 5782. This web page houses a living archive of the creative responses submitted. This shmita creative arts library serves as a source of inspiration, while building a global network of Jewish artists committed to engaging with the teachings and values of shmita. A committee of professional artists selected one artist in each category to be awarded first place prizes.
The Shmita Prizes Invited Works in the Following Artistic Categories
Mazel Tov! Thank you to all who entered.
First Place winners are:
Honorable mentions are awarded to:
*Asterisk denotes they are youth winners (under 18)
- Banner image: Turpan Prefecture, Xinjiang, China from the USGS on Unsplash
- Ritual Object: Synagogue Donation Recorder from The Jewish Museum
- Fine Art: Untitled Mural Study by Lee Krasner
- Film: Photo of Robert Capa by Gerda Taro
- Performance Art: Photo of Batsheva Dance Company by David Shankbone
- Written Word: Type Writer Keys Photo by Samuel Ramos on Unsplash