Six Points Jewish Arts Fellowship Closes With No Renewal of Federation Grant

Innovative New York Program Dies as Funding Dries Up

Avant Garde: Innovative arts programs like Ofri Cnaani’s Sota Project were made possible by the 6 Points Fellowship.
ofri cnaani
Avant Garde: Innovative arts programs like Ofri Cnaani’s Sota Project were made possible by the 6 Points Fellowship.

By Ezra Glinter

Published May 24, 2013, issue of June 07, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Life in the arts is never easy, especially in a bad economy. For some Jewish artists, it’s about to get a lot harder.

The Six Points Fellowship, a program of the Foundation for Jewish Culture that has given away some $1.26 million to artists over seven years, is shutting down its flagship New York fellowship program after the local Jewish federation decided not to offer it a new grant.

The program’s director, Rebecca Guber, will be leaving her position at the end of May and will be replaced in an interim capacity by Josh Feldman, its Los Angeles-based associate director.

“Six Points was revolutionary to be giving experimental, emerging artists really significant grants. It was the first time in the history of the Jewish community it had ever been done,” Guber said. “Without Six Points in New York and potentially in other places, it could be a huge loss for artists.”

Since 2006 Six Points has supported 30 artists in three “cohorts,” two in New York and one in Los Angeles. Each fellow received at least $40,000 over two years, split between a living stipend and a project grant.

The smaller Los Angeles branch, which has an independent funding stream, will keep running until the end of 2013. Its future after that is uncertain, although leaders hope it can continue indefinitely.

Ariella Goldfein, a UJA-Federation official, said it never planned to fund Six Points forever. The group is considering moving resources to support programs involved in Israel education and Jewish engagement, she said.

“There’s been a complete proliferation of new startup organizations, and it became very clear to us that very few of them are going anywhere near Israel,” Goldfein said. “That seemed to us like a very solid gap in the field, and so we’re picking that up and looking at that more closely.”

Besides providing financial help, Six Points in New York helped fellows with marketing, budgeting and other business skills. It also helped build a community of artists who were committed to exploring Jewish themes. The most recent New York program was a 65-person artist retreat called “Asylum,” which took place in March.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.