About The Artist

Harriet R. Goren

I'm a graphic designer specializing in identity, print, and Web design (www.goren.com). In 2011, after years away from creating art by hand, I began to play with Hebrew letters and color, and Goren Judaica is the result.

Why did I start making these tallitot and prints? The answer involves some history. As a teenager with serious doubts about religion, I stopped attending the Orthodox synagogue where my family belonged. A lifelong amateur choral singer, I had already fallen in love with Bach, Brahms, and other sacred music, certain I was connecting to something greater than myself — something decidedly non-Jewish. I was confused, to say the least.

Then, one day, I took the advice of a friend and went to a synagogue known for its dynamic musical services, and a funny thing happened: I liked it. The rabbis’ words from the bimah and the community’s commitment to social justice were, to my surprise, relevant and about real life, my life. I became an active member, and pursued my love of singing by learning how to chant Torah. I soon discovered that each Torah scroll has a slightly different and quirky personality based on the handwriting of its sofer, its scribe, and the designer part of me looked forward to seeing the shapes and rhythms of those words week after week.

I tried to imagine what other texts and prayers, and their music, would look like. I love typography (I created a font, Morire, that had its 15 minutes of fame in the 90s), and began to experiment with Hebrew letterforms combined with digital paint. (Please see the F.A.Q. page for more information about the process.) The resulting art is not always legible, or meant to be read literally, but rather tries to capture through shape and gesture how I experience some of my favorite Hebrew texts.

Here’s an essay I wrote for the wonderful collection Every Tallit Tells a Tale about what led me to wear a tallit for the very first time. To me it feels like being wrapped in comfort and safety, and helps me pray more honestly.

Exhibits and Shows: 
2024: “Vessels” exhibit, Jewish Cultural Center, Chattanooga, TN
2023: “Jews, Blues, and All that Jazz” exhibit, Jewish Cultural Center, Chattanooga, TN
2022: Stanton St. Shul "The Seventh Year: Shmita” exhibit, New York, NY
2019: Bet Am Shalom Judaica Craft Fair, White Plains, NY
2019: LimmudNYC artists’ shuk, New York, NY
2018: Bet Am Shalom Judaica Craft Fair, White Plains, NY
2018: “Jewish Words” exhibit, Jewish Cultural Center, Chattanooga, TN
2018: "A Journey Through Time: Works of the American Guild of Judaic Art,” Marcus JCC, Atlanta, GA.
2017: AGJA Group Exhibition, Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art, Tulsa, OK
2016: B’nai Jeshurun Mosaic Art Show, New York, NY
2015: “Bark” exhibit, Jewish Cultural Center, Chattanooga, TN
2015: “Water-Mayim” exhibit, Windsor Jewish Federation and Community Centre, Canada
2014: “Wings” exhibit, Jewish Cultural Center, Chattanooga, TN
2013: Bet Am Shalom Judaica Craft Fair, White Plains, NY

2017, 2018: Artwork featured in the American Guild of Judaic Art online exhibition and emails
2014: Featured artist, Women of Reform Judaism 2014-2015/5775 Desk Calendar
2013: Artwork selected for inclusion in the ShopRite Jewish Holiday Calendar

Please check back regularly or sign up below for the occasional email newsletter about new artwork. Thank you for visiting Goren Judaica, and I welcome your suggestions and feedback.

                                                                        — Harriet R. Goren