Artist Adi Tzadok isn't afraid to take risks to follow her passions.
She quit her job to pursue art, she took a trip to Israel and ended up moving there, and she reached out to a Jewish activist and ended up partnering with him on a custom art piece.
I chose Tzadok as Jew of the Week for her beautiful, modern art that puts a new spin on Judaica. It's clean and simple but also intricate and bold. Once we talked on Zoom — she's in Israel, I'm in New York — it confirmed she's deserving of the title!
Representing Judaism through art
Tzadok is outspoken about Judaism — that's how I discovered her. She created a video on Instagram simply explaining that Jews can be from all over the world. She was born in Israel and 100% Yemenite and grew up in Toronto.
She experienced antisemitism at her small university in Canada. A lot of people would tell her she doesn't look Jewish or wonder how she could be Jewish. She realized a lot of people were ignorant about what it meant to be Jewish.
"People just didn’t know Jews don’t have one ethnic background," she said. "People just assume Jewish is to look a certain way or be a certain way — and that's just not the case."
Pursuing Adi Fine Art
Tzadok ended up creating art to celebrate Judaism and follow her creativity. She had always loved drawing and grew up watching her mom build her business, Osnat Fine Art, as an artist and entrepreneur.
While working as an account manager, she felt like something was missing. She saved up money to pursue life as an artist full time.
"I really wanted to apply that entrepreneurial spirit to something practical in the real world," Tzadok said. "[My mom] really instilled in me that drive, that passion, that hope that I can also make a career out of something that I enjoy doing just like she had."
She created her own way of showcasing Judaism digitally with line drawing and with shapes that is simple, elegant, and authentic. She wanted to make sure her art was something someone could hang on their wall.
"I really tried to make it as simple and elegant as possible," she said. "It doesn’t scream at you too much, it's more subtle."
Partnership with Rudy Rochman and 'We Were Never Lost' documentary
Tzadok had been a longtime fan of Rudy Rochman, a pro-Israel and Jewish rights activist.
"He really goes out and tries to challenge the way that society perceives Jews across the world," she said. "A lot of people have stereotypes against the Jewish community, are ignorant about the history of the Jews."
He's creating a documentary called "We Were Never Lost" about little-known Jewish communities in Africa to document the lost tribes of Israel. She connected with him and pitched an idea to create a custom art piece based on his vision to raise funds for the film. They worked closely together on several iterations to create the final piece.
It has a compass and a Judean lion to symbolize the 12 tribes that were lost, but the compass represents that we'll find them. The Judean warrior is a powerful representation of the Jewish people — “With its fangs out like, 'Don’t mess with us.'"
Follow Adi to keep up with her art here.
The JOW is revealed every week on social media and in a newsletter with other content relating to the JOW. See the archives and subscribe here!