Contact email@example.com From North America: (510) 550 1173 In Israel: (077) 662 1230
Women of the Book was founded in 2007 by community artist, educator and Torah scribe, Shoshana Gugenheim. Shoshana’s vision for Women of the Book grew from her experience as a Torah scribe intimately engaging the Torah text and wrestling with challenging passages within it. Tradition dictates that the scroll be copied and recorded exactly how it was received. Any mistake, missing letter or word renders the entire scroll invalid. Therefore, any commentary or interpretation must be left to another forum. Traditionally, the form has been men's written word.
As a woman and Jewish artist, Shoshana was compelled to see how she and other Jewish women artists would interpret these texts, all of the text, in visual imagery — a visual commentary on the Torah. Women of the Book became the tool for placing Jewish women's voices alongside those of men in the canon by helping them find a way to their own visual and visionary voices that arose from within the text.
Shoshana’s background in community arts, Jewish education and scribing has helped to shape this international collaboration, spanning seven countries and five continents. She recently completed a Torah scroll for The Women’s Torah Project (womenstorah.com), the first ever to be scribed by women. Shoshana served as the lead scribe for the project, coordinating the work of the other five scribes, consulting to the project committee and holding the vision of the international and communal effort to create this unique Torah scroll. She is one of eight (and counting) women scribes in the world.
Shoshana has worked with a variety of communities in Israel, Palestine and the USA engaging the arts as a means of dialogue, personal growth and transformation. She was a founding member of the Vertigo Eco Arts Village at Kibbutz Netiv HaLamed Heh where she also helped to coordinate community arts events and other educational programming. Before coming to Israel in 2000 on an arts fellowship with the Arad Arts Project, Shoshana worked extensively in the Jewish Environmental movement as an outdoor educator, curriculum writer and program director. She has spent long periods of time in the wilderness, her home away from home, in solo expeditions and leading trips for Jewish women and youth.
As an artist, Shoshana is drawn to both craft and fine art. She is committed to the world of craft and the pursuit of maintaining a world that is hand-made , homegrown and safe from harmful chemicals and their residue. This has influenced her artistic pursuits leading her far from the darkroom where she first blossomed as an artist and into the fields to harvest plants for dyeing and paper-making. She has a passion for printmaking and book arts and anything that is of the written word. To this end, Shoshana, has studied a variety of non-toxic printmaking methods and is continually seeking ways to express her visions while leaving a small footprint.
The world of women and words has always been a theme in Shoshana’s art making. Her most recent works on fertility were shown at the 2008 Biennale in St. Petersburg. Mothers and daughters, pregnancy, infertility, fertility and motherhood have been and continue to be themes of her works in a variety of media.
Shoshana lives with her spouse, Andrew Tertes, and their son Gavriel Sapir on a moshav surrounded by carob, olive and almond trees, and the sound of pasturing goats in Emek HaElah, Pistachio Valley, in view of where David fought Goliath.