Be’chol Lashon Newsletter: May 2009
Alma TikkunThe Alma Tikkun: Shavuot at the JCC Manhattan

Thursday, May 28 - 29, 10:00 PM - 5:00 AM
The JCC in Manhattan
334 Amsterdam Ave. at 76th St.
FREE admission

Learn, laugh, and nosh your way through an evening of music, film, dance, traditional (and not-so-traditional) study along with coffee, cheese cake and more! Educators and artists from New York and Israel will present engaging programs until sunrise in a contemporary twist on the age-old tradition of Tikkun Leil Shavuot, free and open to everyone at every level of Jewish observance or knowledge. Click here for more information.

In partnership with Be'chol Lashon, JCC Manhattan, Alma New York, Dor Chadash, and Hazon


Color of FunnyThe Color of Funny: A Multi-City Comedy Show
San Francisco: Wednesday, May 27, Victoria Theatre
Santa Cruz: Friday, May 29, Kuumbwa Jazz Center
Berkeley: Saturday, May 30, Julia Morgan Center for the Arts
Tickets: $20 advance, $23 door (general admission)

Kung Pao Kosher Comedy presents a multi-city comedy show featuring Diane Amos, Ali Mafi, Mimi Gonzalez, Joe Nguyen, Lisa Geduldig, Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, and Nathan Habib (Santa Cruz only). For more information and to buy tickets, please click here.

The Rabbi's CatLecture and Book Discussion on "The Rabbi's Cat"
Sunday, May 31, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

San Jose Public Library
150 East San Fernando St., San Jose

Join JIMENA and the San Jose Public Library for a lecture and discussion by Mary Saltzman, SJSU Lecturer in Art History. The event will be opened by SJSU English Professor, David Mesher, and will be focus on the highly imaginative book The Rabbi's Cat by Joann Sarr. Special guest Eric Benhamou, a native from Tlemcen, Algeria, will share vignettes of his childhood in Algeria (the setting for the book). Click here for more information.

Israel in the GardensIsrael in the Gardens 2009
Are you interested in being a Be'chol Lashon volunteer?
Sunday, June 7, 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco

Be'chol Lashon is delighted to sponsor the Interactive Kids Zone, bringing innovative activities representing African, Asian, and Latino Jewish culture to an estimated 20,000 people attending Israel in the Gardens. Celebrate Jewish Culture, Israel’s 61st anniversary and the Tel Aviv centennial with Israeli music, film, food. Click here for more information.

*After Party, 21+, featuring DJ Assaf Amdursky, DJ Sabbo, Beatboxer Tommy Shepherd (aka Soulati from Felonious) at Mezzanine, 5-10pm. Click here for tickets.

CampNEW Camp Be'chol Lashon - IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO REGISTER!

Week-long sleepaway camp
June 21-28
Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma

WELCOME TO ALL...children of racially and ethnically diverse families...and those who want to be part of a global Jewish community. Join us for arts, dance, music, ropes course, teambuilding, sports, swimming, leadership development, eco-Judaism and more! Click here for more information and to register your child.

Alysa Stanton First African-American female rabbi to take N.C. pulpit
By Sue Fishkoff, JTA, May 17, 2009

Alysa Stanton never chooses the easy path. A convert and single mother of an adopted daughter, 14-year-old Shana, she has been hired by Congregation Bayt Shalom in Greenville, N.C., a 53-member Conservative synagogue that also is affiliated with the Reform movement. So along with the usual settling-in challenges, she’ll be dealing with the politics of a merged congregation. Read on...

Fiesta Shalom L.A. Jewish, Latino communities to celebrate
By JTA Staff, May 11, 2009

The Jewish and Latino communities will join in a “Fiesta Shalom” at the spot where the Israeli flag was raised for the first time in Los Angeles. Thousands of people from the two communities, joined by Boyle Heights’ African Americans and Asians, are expected at the May 17 event. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other dignitaries are scheduled to address the crowd. Read on...

Crissy SmithObama is the new face of the mixed-race
By Carrie Steinweg, April 7, 2009,

Kids such as Obama are labeled by different terms -- multicultural, biracial, mixed race and interracial. But just as the terms change, times change, too, and for today's biracial kids and the parents who love them, it seems as if there is finally a recognizable face to match the term. Read on...

David CurielThe Coming of the Intermarried Rabbi
By Jeremy Gillick, April 23, 2009, New Voices

David Curiel didn’t intend to cause any controversy when he decided to become a rabbi in the summer of 2008. At 35, he was happy to have finally picked a career. Read on...


36 Under 36 2009 36 Under 36 2009: Juan Mejía, Beejhy Barhany, Y-LOVE

The Jewish Week, April 29, 2009

At 15, Juan Mejía was attending a prestigious Catholic high school in Colombia, hoping one day to become a monk. Little did he know that 16 years later, he would actually become a rabbi. Read on...

Editor's Note: We congratulate Rabbi Juan Mejía for the fantastic work that he did translating a traditional Sephardic siddur for Shabbat eve and night into Spanish, Kol Tuv Sefarad.

Felicitamos al rabino Juan Mejía sobre el trabajo fantástico que hizo traducir al español un siddur tradicional Sefardí  para víspera y noche de Shabbat, Kol Tuv Sefarad.

Montage by Kurt HoffmanThoroughly Modern Marranos?

By Miriam Shaviv, May 6, 2009, The Forward

Diego Arias was born a Jew in 15th-century Spain, but his parents converted him to Catholicism following a wave of anti-Jewish persecution. Later in life, he enjoyed chanting Jewish prayers—yet he did not consider himself the least bit Jewish and occasionally expressed skepticism about all religions. So, was Arias a Jew, a Christian or an atheist? Read on...

Robin MargolisWhy I Started the Half-Jewish Network

By Robin Margolis for

I started the Half-Jewish Network on Sept. 22, 2005, because the adult children and other descendants of intermarriage need the same resources that are available for interfaith couples: advocacy organizations, literature and Jewish outreach. Read on...

Madagascar Madagascar: An Almost Jewish Homeland

By Adam Rovner, May/June, 2009, Moment

Early Zionists debated a host of proposals to settle Jews in remote regions of the world, and one of them was Madagascar. I’m an American-born, naturalized Israeli citizen and sometimes I think it might have been better had Herzl dreamed of a Jewish state in a place less embattled than the Middle East. That’s why I am so curious about this would-be promised land that, at least until a recent military coup, was a relatively pacific republic in the Indian Ocean. Read on...

JodensavanneShake a Family Tree And a Jew Falls Out

By Adam Rovner, May 13, 2009, The Forward

Portuguese Jews fleeing the Inquisition arrived in Suriname in the mid-1600s via Holland and Brazil, giving this former Dutch colony claim to being one of the oldest Jewish communities in the New World. Read on...

Afridi Pathans Lost & Found: The Afridi Pathans of Malihabad

From The Sunday Indian, India

Does Malihabad, a sleepy town some 27 kilometres from Lucknow, one that yields some of the sweetest mangoes and even sweeter Urdu poetry, also hold a piece of one of the world's most fascinating puzzles – what happened to Israel's lost tribes? Read on...

Balkan Beat Box MUSIC
Balkan Beat Box: Remix Album

Balkan Beat Box shakes up their mix of Gypsy, Jewish, Arabic, and Mediterranean rhythms with a remix album for the dance-floor. Nu Made was released nationwide by JDub Records on CD and vinyl on April 7, 2009. Read on...

When Jewish Scholars Fled to the SouthEXHIBIT
When Jewish Scholars Fled to the South

By Lucette Lagnado, April 24, 2009, The Wall Street Journal

The Jewish scholars who had fled the Nazis and the young black students facing the hardships of the segregated South forged bonds that in many cases lasted long after the students had graduated and the professors had left the South for other posts. Read on...

Live and BecomeFILM
Ethiopian boy's new life in Israel gets epic treatment

By Michael Fox, April 16, 2009, J Weekly

“Live and Become,” Radu Mihaileanu’s gripping saga of an Ethiopian boy who gets a fresh start in Israel, spans two decades and three countries. Yet this is an unusually intimate epic, with the boy’s emotional state always taking precedence over the social and political context. 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, Submissions are subject to editing for content, clarity and style.

Special thanks to all the contributors who make the newsletter interesting and informative.

Top of Page