The JCA J Institute is the place in Jacksonville for adults of all ages to learn, explore, socialize and grow.

J Institute provides the unique opportunity for members and the community to develop new skills, explore the world, improve personal wellness and socialize with others of varying interests. We offer an ever-changing array of innovative classes, programs and events to inspire and educate. With cultural arts offerings, enrichment opportunities, inspirational speakers and exceptional entertainment, there’s something for everyone.

J Institute guest speakers and panel discussions highlight issues of importance to the Jewish community and the community at large. Through insightful lectures, members and guests gain an understanding of challenges facing the world and possible solutions.

J Institute has an assortment of art classes to introduce JCA members and the community to modern and traditional art techniques, including oil, acrylic, watercolor, ink and pastel painting, beginner through advanced pottery, print making, drawing, flower arranging, candle making, photography and more. Other cultural arts programming, activities and special events include annual festivals, concerts, artist talks, film series, book clubs, author readings and other opportunities to explore your creativity, meet renowned artists and writers and share in a culture of artistry with others in the Jacksonville community.

J Institute brings physicians and other wellness professionals to the JCA for discussions on an array of health and wellness related topics. Sit and Get Fit weekday chair exercise classes keep our mature adult members fit and social. Other programs cover topics such as prostate cancer, gastrointestinal health, autoimmune disease, spinal health, stress and emotional health, cancer wellness and more.

J Institute is committed to bringing the Jacksonville community exceptional enrichment and cultural arts programming and has been recognized twice with Innovation Awards by the Jewish Community Centers Association of North America. See for yourself and experience the difference that the J Institute can make in your life!

The JCA offers year-round art classes and workshops that utilize an assortment of media and techniques. If you’re a new artist, experienced creative looking for community or just want to explore your creative side, cultural arts at the JCA offers a variety of classes throughout the year. All classes offered are for beginners and up.

Pottery: The JCA has a pottery studio and kiln onsite where you can learn clay forming basics or fine tune your handbuilding or wheel throwing skills. High-fire glazing techniques are also taught. Craftsmanship, creativity and an appreciation for the elements of well-made, functional pottery are emphasized. Clay is provided.

Oil Painting: Local artist instructors help you explore basic painting techniques while developing visual awareness and artistic self-expression. Principles in 2-D art, use of materials, painting techniques and color mixing are studied through a variety of subject matter.

Drawing: Learn to draw through inspiring exercises and a variety of drawing media and techniques with professional, experienced staff.

Pastel Painting: Local artist instructors teach the basics of painting with pastels as well as methods and techniques for working with the medium.

Chinese Ink Painting: This class introduces you to basic through advanced techniques of Chinese brush painting. Explore simple brush strokes and take inspiration from flowers, small animals and landscapes to create an evocative painting.

Art in the Afternoon: These monthly art workshops explore various forms of arts and crafts such as art journaling, Shibori tie dye, candle making, wreath making and button art.

At the beginning of each year, the JCA welcomes world-renowned, emerging young musicians to Jacksonville with the JCA Young Concert Artists Series. In cooperation with Young Concert Artists, Inc., classical musicians from around the world take the JCA stage as part of our efforts to provide premier musical and cultural events for the Jacksonville community. Upcoming musicians include Omer Quartet, Violinist Randall Goosby and Pianist Aristo Sham.

For more information on Young Concert Artists, Inc., visit their website here.

Thanks to the generosity of the Berman Family, the JCA Young Concert Artists Series concerts are free and open to the entire community.

All artwork is available for sale. If you have questions or would like to purchase please call (904)730-2100 ext. 233, 228, or 221. Or you can email Heather.billy@jcajax.org.

 

Artist: Betty McKee

Betty McKee, a realist oil painter from Orange Park, presents an exhibit noting the beauty of form and substance around us—both inside with still lifes of everyday objects and in nature with botanicals and landscapes.  Also, Betty has included in this exhibit some of her calligraphic art, designed to invite contemplation, interpretation, inspiration, and enjoyment.

 

Betty’s background in art began as a pen and ink artist capturing local churches and historical sights in Clay County as a young mother. Beyond that she studied calligraphy for a number of years, attending two international calligraphic conferences and engaging in a year-long study with Reggie Ezell. She eventually traded pen and paper for brush and canvas and began working in acrylic. She now enjoys the challenges of an oil painting.

Betty’s work has won numerous awards at exhibits sponsored by the Art Guild of Orange Park and the Saint Augustine Art Association. Her works are hung in various homes in our area.

The JCA Sunday Film Series offers a fantastic collection of movies each season that are selected to reflect the range of human experience and for their cultural and entertainment value. All showings are free and open to the community.

In addition to the Sunday Film Series, other movie nights and film screenings are planned throughout the season. We hope you will join us to enjoy our latest showings!

Each November, the JCA celebrates its annual Jewish Cultural Arts Festival with literary, film and arts events, including films, theatrical performances, a book club, family events and its signature event, the Annual Jewish Book Festival, which showcases renowned authors you won’t see anywhere else in Jacksonville!

This year the festival will be entirely virtual, featuring programming streamed live through Zoom. In order to practice safe physical distancing, we’re excited to share with you this new format, filled with the even more events, authors, and streaming performances than before.

The festival also includes a pop-up bookstore with visiting authors’ books for sale, and a great selection of books curated by the Jewish Book Council is available for a nominal donation to the JCA.

All festival events are free and open to the entire community. For additional details about the festival or how to get involved, contact Lior Spring at (904) 730-2100 ext. 318 or lior.spring@jcajax.org.

 

To donate to cultural arts programming at the JCA, click here.

To view a list of JCA virtual programming, live videos and resources, please visit here.

Art Classes

The JCA offers year-round art classes and workshops that utilize an assortment of media and techniques. If you’re a new artist, experienced creative looking for community or just want to explore your creative side, cultural arts at the JCA offers a variety of classes throughout the year. All classes offered are for beginners and up.

Pottery: The JCA has a pottery studio and kiln onsite where you can learn clay forming basics or fine tune your handbuilding or wheel throwing skills. High-fire glazing techniques are also taught. Craftsmanship, creativity and an appreciation for the elements of well-made, functional pottery are emphasized. Clay is provided.

Oil Painting: Local artist instructors help you explore basic painting techniques while developing visual awareness and artistic self-expression. Principles in 2-D art, use of materials, painting techniques and color mixing are studied through a variety of subject matter.

Drawing: Learn to draw through inspiring exercises and a variety of drawing media and techniques with professional, experienced staff.

Pastel Painting: Local artist instructors teach the basics of painting with pastels as well as methods and techniques for working with the medium.

Chinese Ink Painting: This class introduces you to basic through advanced techniques of Chinese brush painting. Explore simple brush strokes and take inspiration from flowers, small animals and landscapes to create an evocative painting.

Art in the Afternoon: These monthly art workshops explore various forms of arts and crafts such as art journaling, Shibori tie dye, candle making, wreath making and button art.

Young Concert Artists Series

At the beginning of each year, the JCA welcomes world-renowned, emerging young musicians to Jacksonville with the JCA Young Concert Artists Series. In cooperation with Young Concert Artists, Inc., classical musicians from around the world take the JCA stage as part of our efforts to provide premier musical and cultural events for the Jacksonville community. Upcoming musicians include Omer Quartet, Violinist Randall Goosby and Pianist Aristo Sham.

For more information on Young Concert Artists, Inc., visit their website here.

Thanks to the generosity of the Berman Family, the JCA Young Concert Artists Series concerts are free and open to the entire community.

Vandroff Art Gallery

All artwork is available for sale. If you have questions or would like to purchase please call (904)730-2100 ext. 233, 228, or 221. Or you can email Heather.billy@jcajax.org.

 

Artist: Betty McKee

Betty McKee, a realist oil painter from Orange Park, presents an exhibit noting the beauty of form and substance around us—both inside with still lifes of everyday objects and in nature with botanicals and landscapes.  Also, Betty has included in this exhibit some of her calligraphic art, designed to invite contemplation, interpretation, inspiration, and enjoyment.

 

Betty’s background in art began as a pen and ink artist capturing local churches and historical sights in Clay County as a young mother. Beyond that she studied calligraphy for a number of years, attending two international calligraphic conferences and engaging in a year-long study with Reggie Ezell. She eventually traded pen and paper for brush and canvas and began working in acrylic. She now enjoys the challenges of an oil painting.

Betty’s work has won numerous awards at exhibits sponsored by the Art Guild of Orange Park and the Saint Augustine Art Association. Her works are hung in various homes in our area.

Film Series

The JCA Sunday Film Series offers a fantastic collection of movies each season that are selected to reflect the range of human experience and for their cultural and entertainment value. All showings are free and open to the community.

In addition to the Sunday Film Series, other movie nights and film screenings are planned throughout the season. We hope you will join us to enjoy our latest showings!

Discover Culture

Each November, the JCA celebrates its annual Jewish Cultural Arts Festival with literary, film and arts events, including films, theatrical performances, a book club, family events and its signature event, the Annual Jewish Book Festival, which showcases renowned authors you won’t see anywhere else in Jacksonville!

This year the festival will be entirely virtual, featuring programming streamed live through Zoom. In order to practice safe physical distancing, we’re excited to share with you this new format, filled with the even more events, authors, and streaming performances than before.

The festival also includes a pop-up bookstore with visiting authors’ books for sale, and a great selection of books curated by the Jewish Book Council is available for a nominal donation to the JCA.

All festival events are free and open to the entire community. For additional details about the festival or how to get involved, contact Lior Spring at (904) 730-2100 ext. 318 or lior.spring@jcajax.org.

 

To donate to cultural arts programming at the JCA, click here.

Virtual Programming

To view a list of JCA virtual programming, live videos and resources, please visit here.