Be’chol Lashon Newsletter: January 2009
Be'chol Lashon invites you to the Opening Night of ZRUBAVEL
Screening followed by a Q&A with the director, brief musical performance and reception
To purchase tickets: Click here to pay via Paypal - Special Be'chol Lashon discount: $18
For more information: Email Lacey or call 212-217-0178
The Black Jews of Africa: The Challenge of Jewish Diversity
Wednesday, February 18, 7pm
The JCC in Manhattan Samuel Priest Rose Building
$10 member, $15 non-member
Dr. Lewis Gordon, philosophy and Judaic studies professor at Temple University, founder and co-director of Temple's Center for Afro-Jewish Studies, whose own ancestry reflects Jewish diversity (19th century immigrants from Jerusalem, Egypt, and Ireland on his mother's side) will explore the various contemporary examples of Jewish identity in Africa. Read on...
To register, call 646-505-5708 or click here
Under the Same Tent: Racially and Ethnically Diverse Jews
Call: 212-399-2685, ext 219 or Email Judy
Community education programs in partnership with JBFCS, Be’chol Lashon and The JCC in Manhattan.
BAY AREA EVENTS
Spanish, Hebrew and English Songs by David Broza
Sunday February 22, 3pm
Tickets: $50. Call 408-998-TIXS
To hear David Broza's music is to be moved. To see Broza in concert is to be mesmerized. David Broza transcends national and artistic boundaries by singing in English, Hebrew, and Spanish. With his flamenco-tinged, folk-rock melodies and keen talent for breathing musical life into snippets of poetry, Broza commands and captivates his audience's heart, mind and soul. Read on...
Purim: Unmasked! An Off-Street Purim Fair
Sunday, March 8, 3 - 5pm
JCCSF, 3200 California Street
Free and Open to the Public!
Be’chol Lashon and the JCCSF co-host a family Purim Festival celebrating the diversity of the Bay Area with costumes, food, games, and holiday traditions from around the world including belly dancing, tarot & palm readings, capoeira/ Brazilian martial arts and more! Although a Jewish holiday, the Purim themes of courage and triumph are universal.
Israeli Circumcision Experience Helps Fight AIDS in AfricaBy Dina Kraft, November 10, 2008, JTA.org
In a clinic in the hills of Swaziland’s capital, Israeli doctors have been training their counterparts in male circumcision, hoping expertise in the ancient technique will help in the battle against the modern scourge of AIDS. Read on...
World Jewish Congress Welcomed Commitment by Latin American Leaders
By firstname.lastname@example.org, December 18, 2008, PRNewswire-USNewswire
The presidents of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), Ronald S. Lauder, and the Latin American Jewish Congress (LAJC), Jack Terpins, have both welcomed the signing of a joint declaration by the presidents of Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela this week at a summit in Costa Sauipe (Brazil). In it, Presidents Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Hugo Chavez Frias unequivocally condemn "discrimination and religious intolerance, in particular, anti-Semitism and anti-Islamism" Read on...
Rabbis, Imams Launch Paris SummitBy JTA Staff, December 16, 2008, JTA.org
Senegal's president said at an interreligious summit that rabbis and imams have the "duty" to "calm frustrations where politics stop." Abdoulaye Wade is presiding over the third World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace's summit on interreligious dialogue and peace between Israelis and Palestinians, which opened here Monday at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Chief rabbis from Israel and imams from the Palestinian Authority are among the more than 85 religious dignitaries from over 21 countries attending the three-day event. Read on...
A Day Bright With SunshineBy Julius Lester, January 21, 2009, Forward.com
The tears in my eyes were there not only because there is now a president whose skin color is the same as mine, but also in gratitude for the generational transformation in this country. At long last, a majority of people believe that blacks have a place in our common humanity. Read on...
The Changing Faces of Judaism
By Steven G. Vegh, December 21, 2008, The Virginian-Pilot
Temple Welcomes Diversity
By Rebecca Beno, December 20, 2008, The Virginian-Pilot
“When you think about Judaism, you think white,” Walters said. “But being Jewish, being black and being involved is better in a smaller area. People seem to be more willing to accept you.” Read on...
By Andree Aelion Brooks, December, 2008, Hadassah Magazine
As a small boy growing up in the mountaintop village of Serrastretta in the Calabria regilon of southern Italy, Enrico Mascaro remembers how his grandmother would never allow a crucifix or an image of the Madonna in the house. Instead, “she would say, ‘This is not our tradition,’” he recalled, “which seemed very strange to us.” Later, while searching local genealogical records, he discovered that the name Mascaro did not appear in Italy until the 1500s - though it had been prevalent in Spain centuries earlier. Read on..
By Lisa Hostein, December 17, 2008, JTA.org
According to the legend, Rabbi Hai Taieb lived a pious life from approximately the mid-18th century to the mid-19th century, spending all of his time studying Torah, writing commentaries and influencing miracles. All his work was produced in one room, which his wife was not permitted to enter. When she snuck in one day when he wasn't home, she was so shocked by the accumulated papers and chaos, she proceeded to burn everything. Upon seeing the loss of all his work, he took to drinking boukha, the Tunisian fig liquer that is often used today as a substitute for Kiddush wine. He drank and drank until his death, continuing to offer his wisdom to Tunisian Jews. Read on...
Against Backdrop of Mumbai Terror, India's Oldest Jewish Community to Celebrate First Wedding in 21 yearsBy Haaretz Service and News Agencies, November 12, 2008, Haaretz
The oldest Jewish community in India is poised to celebrate its first wedding in over 20 years, The Times of India reported recently. The Kochi community in the southern state of Kerela - a once flourishing group now comprising only 48 members - will see the union of Shelomo and Susan on December 28 at the 400-year-old Dutch Cochin-Jewish synagogue in Jew Town in Mattancherry. Read on...
Am I Now American? A Conversation with Siona BenjaminBy Samuel Thrope , December 2008, Habitus: a Diaspora Journal
Born in Bombay to a family of Bene Israel Jews, Benjamin was educated in Catholic and Zoroastrian schools and earned her degree in Fine Arts before immigrating to America almost twenty years ago. “The feeling I have of never being able to set deep roots no matter where I am is unnerving,” writes Benjamin, “but on the other hand, there is something seductive about the spiritual borderland in which I seem to find myself." Read on...
Book Review: Dictionary of Sephardic SurnamesBy Myer Samra, Australian Journal of Jewish Studies, volume XXI, 2007
Dicionario Setaradi de Sobrenomes / Dictionary ot Sephardic Surnames by Guilherme Faiguenboim, Paulo Valdares and Anna Rosa Campagnano
Book Review: Unearthing Jewish Legacy in JamaicaBy Alfred Sangster, December 21, 2008, Jamaica Gleaner
The Knell of Parting Day- A History of the Jews of Port Royal and The Hunts Bay Cemetery by Marilyn Delevante
The title is appropriate for the book, for it digs deep into the past and brings to light the story of those of the Jewish faith who passed on many centuries ago, but who are now remembered.
The search and restoration of heritage and historical sites is more often, not only a labour of love, but also one that often brings pain at the memories that emerge from that search. In this case it is a personal and loving search for ancestors from a distant past. Read on...
Seattle: Noah Leavitt and Helen Kim
Throughout 2009, Leavitt and Kim will use survey responses as a springboard for conducting more in-depth interviews with selected couples. Eventually, they hope to publish their findings as an academic book. Read on...
To learn more about the study or participate, click here.
Chicago: Rabbi Capers Funnye
New York: Lacey Schwartz
Lacey Schwartz, 31, also places personal conflict front and center. Outside the Box, still in production, documents her attempt to confront her dual black and Jewish identities—and that of 400,000 black Jews in America. It opens with a series of stark statements: “Lacey Schwartz’s high school friends never asked why her parents were white. Neither did she. On her college application she had to state her race by checking a box. Unable to answer the question, she attached a picture instead.” Georgetown University enrolled her as a black student, which eventually blew the lid off the family secret: Her biological father was black. The revelation changed her life. Read on...
For information about upcoming Be'chol Lashon events in New York, click here.
Los Angeles: Davi Cheng
L.A.'s Top Ten Mensches: Our fourth-annual salute to big-hearted Angelenos
By Julie Gruenbaum Fax, December 31, 2008, LA Jewish Journal
"Rabbi Lisa Edwards [of Beth Chayim Chadashim] started to talk to me, saying that life is not about doing, it's about being," Yael recalls. "I had internalized that identity and self-worth are about what we do, especially about what we do for a living, and that wasn't there anymore. I had to develop some sort of identity and find meaning in my life that wasn't connected to what I do." Read on...
We welcome your participation in the Be’chol Lashon Newsletter!
Please send us information about events in your community or articles of interest that relate to Jewish diversity. E-mail newsletter submissions to Esther Fishman, Esther@BecholLashon.org. Submissions are subject to editing for content, clarity and style.
Special thanks to all the contributors who make the newsletter interesting and informative.