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wisdom exchange PROJECT

How do we reconnect in community?
Gather together. Gather wisdom.
Exchange wisdom to clarify our values and learn from each other.


The Wisdom Exchange Project brings together organizations and individuals in the Jewish community to create a monumental, interactive artwork that reflects the wisdom gathered by Boston's Jewish community.

How is each member of the community both a receiver and giver of wisdom? Living with Covid has caused many to reflect on what we hold most dear. The Wisdom Project invites the Boston community to reflect and exchange letters of personal wisdom, and together create ceramic vessels to hold that wisdom. Inspired by the 75th anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient texts preserved in ceramic jars for centuries, participants can contribute letters, create ceramic vessels, and view the ongoing archive in the installation.

The Wisdom Project has engaged over a hundred people from ages 6 to 96.  Participants have come from organizations such as 2Life Senior Center, Camp Yavneh, the Jewish Community Day School, the Brookline Art Center, and Temple Beth David.  


The Wisdom Exchange Project

Short Documentary (13 minutes) 

Watch here

The film that documented The Wisdom Exchange Art Project. By director, Weiying Olivia Huang 

Wisdom Exchange workshop HIGHLIGHTS

participant testimonials

 “I am honored to have participated in the Wisdom Exchange Project with talented local artist Shirah Rubin. During these challenging times, Shirah invited us to consider our core values and legacy - what we hope to pass on to others. This will be an especially memorable educational experience for our Temple Beth David teenagers. They were encouraged to ask questions, reflect on their Jewish identity and values, and infuse their creative spirits into a meaningful and lasting project for the next generation. These kinds of memorable moments are most needed in Jewish education. I am deeply grateful to Shirah for the opportunity to participate along with the diversity of Jewish community, and to add our voices to the ongoing chain of Jewish tradition.”


- Rabbi Karen S. Citrin, Temple Beth David, Westwood, MA


“I was moved to tears when I visited the Wisdom Exchange Project. I loved the weaving of ancient symbols - writing on parchment, collected in clay vessels - with the heartfelt words of contemporary Jews of all ages. When I wrote a letter to my son at the exhibit, I felt stitched into Jewish history in a new way. Thanks to Shirah's work, my deepest values and family ties were now written into our people's collective search for meaning, connection, continuity, and love.”



- Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman


“Hearing the Legacy Letters of my friends gave an insight into the diversity of our backgrounds. We had wonderful conversations about our backgrounds. We still have conversations about where our parents and grandparents emigrated from and about their different journeys.


I enjoyed seeing each participant's heirlooms and hearing about them. I was glad there was a film created as a culmination of the whole project. I was glad that young people were involved in the project.”


-Shelley Weil from 2Life Brown House

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