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I’m Dahlia Raz.

I am an Israeli-American artist based in New York. 

Since 2020 the focus of my art has been surreal animals and plants. I have always aimed to create art that inspires whimsy and 

Now I feel called to make art inspired by my Judaism and Israeliness. My goal is to create art that inspires Jewish joy, optimism, and lightness. 

This art is for you whether you’re Religious, Secular, or on a Journey.

Whether home is Israel, America, France, England or anywhere else.

You are a Jew and I love you more than anyone can hate you. 

I celebrate Jews.

I celebrate you.

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Why cats? 

My Jewish art at the moment is entirely focused on cats. I began drawing cats on a trip to Israel in 2022, with my then fiance (now Husband), Dan. It was his first trip to Israel and through his eyes I got to enjoy a fresh view on a place I had begun to take for granted in some ways. The joy my husband took, in being in Israel for the first time was absolutly contagious.

One of the special experiences we had on that trip was Dan wrapping Tefillin for the first time! It was at one of the Chabad Tefillin stands by Shuk Hacarmel in

Tel-Aviv. It was such a special moment. For some reason I felt called to draw that moment with Dan and the young man who helped him wrap - both as cats!

After that first drawing of the Tefillin-wrapping cats, I asked the question - what else from Israeli life could I draw cats doing? I drew cats playing Matkot, and snorkeling in Eilat. 

The following year I drew Hannucats - cats themed for Hanukkah. I even wrote them a song.

And Recently in conversation with my artist friend from Tel-Aviv, she asked if I was still making Israeli cats. 

I realized how special these cats are. Cats are an oddly large part of life in Israel. There are so many street cats in Israel. We are told not to pet them, but everyone has a cat or two that becomes a friend.

Through the cats my aim is to share Jewish and Israeli joy and humor. 

If you have any ideas for more activities I could illustrate the cats doing please send me an email or DM me on Instagram. 

This is only the beginning of the Jewish cat universe I am creating. 

Why make art focusing on Jewish joy during dark times?

Optimism is the bridge from the past to the future. The belief that there is something good waiting for you on the other side as you cross over darkness. Optimism is what keeps you going, it's what allows you to get there. 

I grew up in America and I went twice a year to Israel until I was 18 and roughly once every year or so since. My entire extended family lives in Israel.

Through my time and through my family in Israel I have experienced first-hand so much Israeli trauma. I have realized the only thing that has gotten me through darkness is the light from behind and the light on the other side. Optimism is the bridge. 

So how do you build optimism?

Through joy, through lightness, through humor.You say - there has been good, there is good, there will be good.

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