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With gratitude to the Summer Undergraduate Research Program at Washington University in St. Louis, in the summer of 2020, I was able to pursue a project exploring the nature of collaboration within the arts and how it can be used as a way to foster connection when physically distanced from others. With this project, I was able to create a social space for artistic collaboration with those I longed to connect with. Through inviting others to partake in my artistic process, I aimed to strengthen these relationships through dialogue and joints act of creation.

I engaged with three collaborations over the course of this project: Jerusalem based artist and WashU alum Andi Arnovitz, who I had met on previous trips to Israel, my cousin Leora Weitzman, a graphic designer living in Israel; and my uncle, Jonathan Weitzman, a scientist living in Paris. In the midst of this unique historical moment, the collaborations explored similar themes of mourning, place, isolation, grief and longing in the context of Jewish ritual practice. There are three weeks in the summer that mark a period of collective mourning for the Jewish People. During this time, there are specific rules and practices that emphasize the importance of ritual and connection in helping us cope with loss. My goal was to explore these customs as a jumping off point for thinking about the current moment of global grief.  With this project, I wanted to explore a ritualized approach to coping with grief through collective art making in response to the pandemic. 


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