On March 11, Jewlia Eisenberg — singer, composer, bassist, cantor, and educator — died of a rare auto-immune disease. Jewlia was such a force of nature that it is hard to believe that she is gone.
The Creative Work Fund was fortunate to have a relationship with her for more than a decade, having supported The Bowls Project in 2008 — a collaboration with the ensemble Charming Hostess — that led to a sound sculpture and performance series adjacent to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. The project explored Babylonian Jewish women’s amulets, known as “demon bowls,” which were inscribed with a householder’s desires and buried under the front door. Jewlia and her co-collaborators worked with architect Michael Ramage, who created a double-vaulted masonry dome that resembled up-ended bowls. The project was unveiled in 2010. Guests could sit inside the “bowls” to meditate, sing, and listen. Text from the ancient amulets served as Jewlia’s musical inspiration.
Jewlia was poised to begin a new, Creative Work Fund-supported project, Fierce as Death, with the Contemporary Jewish Museum (the CJM). The CJM writes, “Jewlia Eisenberg embodied the values of the Bay Area Jewish arts, and her personal and artistic life was a gift to us all. 2020-21 was the commencement of a new collaboration between Jewlia and The CJM, supported by the Creative Work Fund. It was just the most recent in Jewlia’s long relationship to The CJM, reaching as far back as an inaugural exhibition in the current building. We are deeply saddened that she is no longer with us to light up the stage and our lives with her fiery intellect, musical talents, passion for social justice, kindness, and beauty. May her memory be a blessing.”
The Creative Work Fund sends its condolences to Jewlia’s wife, her family, her musical partners, and her community of admirers. We join you in keeping the memory of Jewlia and her creativity alive in our hearts.