A Jewishly Inspired Public Art Movement
reimagining the tzedakah box and sparking change in cities across the U.S.
Be the Change is an art and activism initiative that is inspired by the Jewish tenet of justice and drawing from the ritualistic Jewish Tzedakah box. Be the Change is about making space to talk about injustice – and to give us all action steps to be agents of change in our local and global communities.
The tzedakah box (based on the root word tzedek, Hebrew for justice) is a small box in which Jews traditionally collect loose change on Shabbat and other occasions to be donated to the needy. Beyond just giving money, the goal of Be the Change is to help us all become artivists – activists through the art.
Be the Change 2023
On display in the Fenway Neighborhood, Opening August 2nd
Free to Learn
Ruth Kathryn HenryAcademic Censorship
In Other Eyes
Wen-hao TienMulticulturalism and Spatial Justice
Searching For Home
Chanel ThervilHistorical Impact of Redlining
Cicely CarewMental Health, Stigma, and Healing in BIPOC Communities
The Power of the Vote
Dana WoulfeVoter Suppression
Julia CsekoImmigration Reform
I Am My Sister’s Keeper
Caron TabbReproductive Justice
2023 global ambassadors
We are honored to announce our 2023 Global Ambassadors who are lending their leadership and voices to Be the Change as we move into the national spotlight.
Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Pearl and Ira Meyer Scholar-in-Residence at UJA-Federation New York and founder of Rabbis Against Gun Violence
Former President and CEO of American Jewish World Service and Global Ambassador and Project Inspiration for Be the Change
Be the Change, Project Visionary
CEO, Avodah: Sparking Jewish Leaders. Igniting Social Change
President and CEO, HIAS: Welcome the stranger. Protect the Refugee
Rabbi Jill Jacobs
CEO, T’ruah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
President & CEO, Keshet- For LGBTQ Equality in Jewish Life
Rabbi Claudia Kreiman
Senior Rabbi Temple, Beth Zion Brookline
Rabbi Jonah Pesner
Director, the Religious Action Committee of Reform Judaism
Rabbi Jennie Rosenn
Founder & CEO, Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action
Interim Regional Director, ADL New England
Be the Change 2022
launched in 3 cities across the u.s.
From Boston, to Cincinnati, and LA, Be the Change 2022 featured 6 pieces of public art in each city by local emergent artists and over 30 community partnerships. Click below to meet the artists and community partners behind Be the Change 2022.
In Boston, the Jewish Arts Collaborative , is the lead producer of Be the Change launching the national project in August of 2022 in the Fenway neighborhood in Boston. Artist Caron Tabb was inspired to create the exhibit concept in partnership with Ruth Messinger (former CEO and President of American Jewish World Service).
From there, Ish takes the lead in Cincinnati, in collaboration with Cincy Nice, in Fall 2022 and then the Skirball Center for the Arts in Los Angeles in 2023.
Making Real Change: Using Art to Drive Policy
The Be the Change sculptures make space for us all to understand how we can make change in our community. To guide this, each piece in Be the Change is underpinned by active legislation, defined in collaboration with JALSA (Jewish Alliance for Law & Social Action).
made possible by
Dennis Schuman Charitable Foundation
The Jewish Arts Collaborative, lead producer, launches in the Boston Fenway area in Fall 2022 in collaboration with Samuels & Associates .
Ish takes the lead in Cincinnati, in collaboration with Cincy Nice in Fall 2022 (September – November).
The Skirball Cultural Center in LA joins us in 2022/2023 (details TBD).
Tzedek Box will be a lead online partner, co-hosting events, and conversation via their Tzedek Box app throughout the duration of the project.
Boston Program Partners
Partnerships with diverse local organizations are central to Be the Change. Each of the host cities will partner community groups, schools, senior centers, and more to engage community through the art.
Eastern Woodlands Rematriation Collective
Jewish Community Relations Council of Boston