Be'chol Lashon Newsletter: December 2011
We want to share some of the successes you made possible over the past year. Be'chol Lashon provides tools and opportunities to explore identity and connect the Jewish people globally. We look forward to working together toward a stronger, more vibrant Jewish people, ensuring the participation of future generations in Jewish life. Please make a year’s end donation.
The life saving services of the Tobin Health Center ensure each day will be brighter for the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda as well as their Christian and Muslim neighbors. The Abayudaya celebrate Chanukah with their fellow Jews around the world.
In the News: Increasing diversity redefining America's Jewry
The face of Judaism in America is changing, as the community becomes more diverse through intermarriage, adoption, immigration and conversion. Be'chol Lashon is trying to foster an expanded definition of Jewishness, one that includes the diverse backgrounds of Jews around the globe.
In the News:
Lacey Schwartz Gets Outside The Box
Whereas Lacey’s life story is unique, her honest no-holds-barred approach to resolving questions and pushing boundaries is universally compelling, resonating with younger generations who are searching and whose Jewish identity is one choice among the many identities they navigate.
World Premiere: 400 Miles to Freedom
In 1984, the Beta Israel began a secret and dangerous journey of escape. Co-director Avishai Mekonen, then 10 years old, was among them. In this film, he breaks his 20-year silence about the kidnapping he endured as a child in Sudan during his community’s exodus out of Africa.
Benefits of Summer Camp: Creating Advantage in College
Summer camp had been a huge part of my personal development as a young man, and had even found its way into my college and graduate school applications. Yet the idea that "camp was like college" did not seem to make sense to me at the time.
Sign up for Camp Be'chol Lashon in Northern California today!
De Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam showcases Judaism's Global Diversity
Judaism: A World of Stories is part of a series of exhibitions at De Nieuwe Kerk on the cultural history of world religions. While the Jewish Historical Museum focuses primarily on Jewish culture, religion, and history in the Netherlands, De Nieuwe Kerk will use this special exhibition to showcase Judaism's global diversity, with the building as a spiritual site.
Two Non-Jews, One Jewish Marriage
Why would I want to participate in something leading to the lessening of the number of people involved, the weakening of the religion? Wouldn’t I want to just do the obvious and bring people in? What harm is there if I officiate with two non-Jews, a Jew and a non-Jew? No one has ever pointed out to me harm.
The Iranian Schindler: How thousands of Iranian Jews in America owe their lives to Paris diplomat
Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who employed over a thousand Jews during the Holocaust in an effort to save them from concentration camps, was memorialized in a famous book and Academy Award winning movie. His Iranian equivalent, Abdol-Hossein Sardari, is now getting some of his due press.
One small flame: Jewish family finds pride, faith through diversity
Chris Brown is accustomed to standing out from the crowd. Most people would say she doesn't look Jewish. She’s been Jewish her entire life, and although it hasn’t always been easy, through her faith she has embraced her identity and passed the same love on to her husband and four daughters -- just as her grandmother passed the Jewish faith to her.
What’s in a name? A lot!
Vayishlach, Genesis 32:4-36:43
In Sephardic communities, it is not uncommon for a child to be named after a living relative. There is talmudic support for this from a story when a child was named after a scholar who was still living. Both the Sephardic and Ashkenazic traditions are customs. They certainly carry much weight in their communities, but they are customs nonetheless.
Song of the Sea: Jewish Life in the Caribbean
A mezuzah, no matter how small or how grand, is the essential marker of a Jewish home. Now, thanks to the Latin American Masorti movement, homes in communities from Mexico to Argentina are marked as Jewish.
In tiny Gibraltar, an outsized Jewish infrastructure
Gibraltar's largely Orthodox and Sephardic Jewish community has grown substantially in the past decade, increasing its rolls by 25 percent in just the last three years. The Jewish primary school now has a record 140 pupils
Reform rabbi sworn in to Buenos Aires council
Rabbi Sergio Bergman made history when he was sworn in to the 60-member Buenos Aires municipal legislature. He became the first Jewish religious leader to assume public office in the Catholic-majority country.
Music: The Fame Monster
The hip-hop artist known as Drake has become one of the most interesting stars of the moment. The twenty-five year-old, born Aubrey Graham, is a biracial Canadian Jew who grew up in an affluent suburb of Toronto.
Music: The Rock Days of Disco
Born to a hip 14-year-old beauty in 1952, Rodgers was raised among bohemians, criminals and drug addicts in Lower Manhattan, the Bronx and Los Angeles by his African-American mother, his white Jewish stepfather and both biological grandmothers.
Movie: Settling Down
Chani Getter knew she was gay and could not stay in her marriage, but she also knew that she wanted to stay within the ultra-Orthodox community and raise an observant family. She is one of seven women profiled in DevOUT, a new documentary
"If you live in New York… "
Photographs by Julian Voloj
Comedian Lenny Bruce once stated that “if you live in New York … you are Jewish.” Using this reference in the title of his latest exhibition, photographer Julian Voloj explores the diversity of New York’s Jewish communities.
Artist Talk with Siona Benjamin
"Ishq: Paintings by Siona Benjamin" combines new and older works by the Montclair, New Jersey based artist, Siona Benjamin. All of the paintings and installations on view deal with the artist’s fundamental concern for tolerance of diversity in our trans-cultural world. Join her Tuesday the 3rd as she discusses her work with the public.
Be'chol Lashon/JBFCS NY Group for Racially and Ethnically Diverse Jews
White: A Memoir in Color
In this personal documentary, Joel Katz (Strange Fruit, NYJFF 2002) explores what it means to be white in America through the story of his own family across generations.
Will to Learn: A Day of Talks Honoring the Great Minds of Terezín
This day-long program is inspired by the memory of the remarkable inmates of the Terezín Ghetto and comprises a series of talks.
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 Esther Fishman. Submissions are subject to editing for content, clarity and style.
Special thanks to all the contributors who make the newsletter interesting and informative.