Visual Studies

Back to Blog April 21, 2014

Garden of Time by Zoe Cohen Book Release

Author: AlleyDee
Colorful painted trees and fruit on the ground

Visual Studies is happy to share the announcement that Zoe Cohen, VS Adjunct Assistant Professor, has just released her book Garden of Time. To learn more about Zoe and her work, please visit

From her newsletter:

The Garden of Time Book Release Party!

Please join me in celebrating the release of this illustrated book for all ages that I have created in collaboration with Rabbi Jill Hammer!

Philadelphia Book Release Party
Sunday May 4th, 11 am - 1 pm
The Cedarworks: 4919 Pentridge St
West Philadelphia

This event is free and open to the public, and will include a book reading and signing and sales of the book. It's a potluck brunch too, bring something to share if you can!

Co-sponsored by Bindlestiff Books and Kol Tzedek Synagogue.
RSVP on Facebook

The Garden of Time is now available at select bookstores, including:
Bindlestiff Books, West Philadelphia
Bank Street Bookstore, Manhattan
( also hosting an event on Sunday April 27!)

The book is listed on Amazon but will not be released for shipping until September 1st. If you're not in Philadelphia or NYC, you can order it now for immediate shipping directly from Skinner House Books.


About the book....

Almost five years ago, I decided I wanted to illustrate a book that would walk the reader through the seasons of the Jewish year, and show how the Jewish holidays are deeply rooted in nature and the seasons, both historically and spiritually. I immediately thought to ask Rabbi Jill Hammer, a visionary and scholar of the earth-based connections and history within Jewish practice. I had gotten to know Jill in 2005 when I was living in New York.

Jill agreed to write the story, and came up with a beautiful and elegant structure for literally walking the reader through the seasons, by having us walk through the Garden of Eden along with the first two humans. Once Jill sent me her text, I began the process of creating the twelve images, which took me over two years to complete, as I was working part-time in my studio while also parenting my young son. When I became pregnant with my second child, I made a commitment to complete the art before she was born, and so the twelve pieces were complete by September 2012.

While I was completing the art, Jill began searching for a publisher. This project is unconventional in a number of ways, but after a full year of searching, we found our publisher at Skinner House Books. Skinner House is the publisher for the Unitarian Universalist Association, and they were excited to include our book as part of a series of children's books on the major world religions that UU liturgy draws from. Jill and I were also excited to be published by a press that would help us present the book to a diverse audience, as part of our vision was to make the book accessible to people of all backgrounds.