December 14, 2023

The Art of Jewish Papercutting

with Rachel Asarnow

7:00 - 8:30pm ET

online via Zoom

$10 is suggested but any amount is appreciated. Donations support these events, leaders, musicians, and the Folk Arts Center.

Download resources from this presentation.

About the Program

Papercutting has been a common Jewish art form since the Middle Ages, connected with various customs and ceremonies, and associated with holidays and family life. It’s believed that Jewish merchants brought the concept of creating symbolic designs out of cut paper to Europe from their visits to China, where the art of papercutting is thought to have originated. Since then, the Jewish form of the art has evolved to include Jews from various countries and cultures, including Ashkenazi, Sephardic, and Moroccan traditions.

Rachel will speak about the history and elements of this style of papercutting and show examples of her art. She'll do a demonstration and then lead participants through a simple project or two so that they can try making Jewish paper-cut art for themselves.

What you need to participate in the paper-cutting along portion!

Please have on hand the following items:

  • an exacto knife
  • a pencil and eraser
  • a straight edge/ruler
  • tape (removable, if possible, so the paper does not rip at the edges)
  • a couple pieces of plain computer paper
  • small cutting mat (to protect your furniture)

A template of the design we will be working with will be added to this site when it is ready; you should print out the template before the presentation.

About Rachel

Rachel Asarnow is an artist, teacher, and organic gardener. She was a two-time recipient of a Folk Arts Apprenticeship grant from the NJ State Council on the Arts, giving her the opportunity to study traditional Jewish papercut art with her mentor Deborah Ugoretz beginning in 2017.