Be’chol Lashon Newsletter: August 2009

We are proud to release the following short films and welcome you to comment on them:

Health Center ConstructionDr. Gary Tobin 1949-2009
We mourn the passing of Dr. Gary A. Tobin, founder and president of the San Francisco-based Institute for Jewish & Community Research (IJCR), one of the foremost thinkers in Jewish life. Click here to watch and comment.

Health Center ConstructionBe'chol Lashon: A Global Jewish People
Watch a new film about Be'chol Lashon’s pluralistic and multicultural expressions of Judaism. Jews are an amalgam of many peoples and origins include a multitude of languages, nations, tribes, and skin colors. Click here to watch and comment.

Rabbi Juan MejíaSPOTLIGHT: Rabbi Juan Mejía and the Benei Anusim
With Dennis Ybarra, Be'chol Lashon Podcast, August 2009

This month, Be'chol Lashon introduces two new features to our popular monthly newsletter: a video podcast and a comment section. Each month we will feature a podcast interview with a trailblazer who works on behalf of global Judaism. In addition, we invite you to post comments about the podcast and about related articles in the spotlight section. This month, Rabbi Juan Mejía talks about his work with the Benei Anusim. Watch and comment...


The origin of malaria: As Dr. Livingstone presumed The origin of malaria: As Dr. Livingstone presumed
The Economist, August 5, 2009

Malaria has been known about since ancient times. Today, it kills over a million people a year, most of them young children. Where it originally came from, though, has been a matter of scientific debate for half a century. Read on...

Race and Diversity in the Age of Obama Race and Diversity in the Age of Obama
By Orlando Patterson, The New York Times, August 16, 2009

Barack Obama’s historic victory was made possible by two great converging forces that began near the middle of the last century: the civil rights revolution and the changes engendered by the Immigration Act of 1965. Read on...

Sheba, NYU researchers to draw genetic map of wandering Jew Sheba, NYU researchers to draw genetic map of wandering Jew
By Judy Siegel-Itzkovich, The Jerusalem Post
, July 20, 2009

Geneticists at Sheba Medical Center and New York University have launched the world's first comprehensive gene-mapping project of the Jewish people, in an effort to trace their wanderings to and from Israel and in the Diaspora over the millennia. Read on...

Adopting Forebears' Faith and Leaving Peru for IsraelAdopting Forebears' Faith and Leaving Peru for Israel

By Simon Romero, The New York Times, June 22, 2009

Scholars compare the Jews here with groups like the Hispanic crypto-Jews of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, the Lemba of southern Africa or the Bene Israel of India, who in varying ways have sought to reclaim a Jewish identity that had seemingly been weakened through time. Read on...

Sami JajouhanaNo right of return

By Mindy Belz, World Magazine, August 15, 2009

Little is said about the Jews forced out of their Arab homelands throughout the previous century, most notably since the creation of Israel, when 870,000 Arab Jews, known as Mizrahi, came to Israel as refugees. Read on...

Cuban Jews ambivalent about possible thaw in U.S.-Cuba ties Cuban Jews ambivalent about possible thaw in U.S.-Cuba ties

By Florencia Arbiser, JTA, June 8, 2009

The recent thaw in relations between Cuba and the United States is being greeted with caution by some Jews in Cuba. Read on...


There's a Mystery There: Sendak on Sendak
Opens September 8 at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

This major retrospective sheds light on the many mysteries of his life and art by exploring the intensely personal undercurrents in his work; and it does so using Sendak's own words, insights, and remarkable stories. Read on...

New generation seeks to reclaim Sephardic cultural roots MUSIC
New generation seeks to reclaim Sephardic cultural roots

By Amy Klein, JTA, July 12, 2009

DeLeon is part of a new crop of modern Jewish artists drawing on their Sephardic roots — from Spain and Portugal, to Morocco, Iran and Syria, to India and Greece. Read on...

Outing Iran: The Persian JewsFILM

Outing Iran: The Persian Jews

By Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Dish (The Atlantic), July 1, 2009

The roughly 25,000 Jewish people living in Iran constitute the second highest population in the Middle East (after Israel, of course). Two mini-documentaries exmine the status of Persian Jews in Iran and the United States. Read on...


REFLECT THIS: An Evening of Arts and EntertainmentREFLECT THIS: An Evening of Arts and Entertainment
Thursday, September 10, 7:00 - 10:00 PM
Swedish American Hall, San Francisco

In the spirit of Rosh Hashanah, a time of personal reflection, the SF-based Jewish Community Federation brings you REFLECT THIS, an evening of arts, ideas, and entertainment featuring spoken-word artist Vanessa Hidary ("the Hebrew Mamita"), actor Dan Wolf ("Angry Black White Boy"), comedian Mike Spiegelman, and more. Click here to buy tickets.

Be'chol Lashon RetreatBe'chol Lashon Retreat
Friday, October 2 - Sunday, October 4
Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma

You are invited to the 6th Annual Bay Area Be’chol Lashon Retreat for ethnically and racially diverse Jews, family, and friends. Activities will include Sukkah decorating, drumming, dancing, and learning with Rabbi Capers Funnye. Click here for more information and to register.

Rabbi Capers Funnye Sukkot Festivities Around the World

Sunday, October 4, 4:00-6:00 PM
Osher Marin JCC, San Rafael

Celebrate the global Jewish community in our Sukkah. Rabbi Capers Funnye will deliver a talk for adults, and Sukkot activities will be provided for children. Check our homepage soon for more information. Co-sponsored by Be'chol Lashon, Osher Marin JCC, and Congregation Rodef Sholom.


Group: Jews from racially and ethnically diverse backgroundsGroup: Jews from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds
Wednesday, September 2, 7:30 - 9:00 PM
Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services
120 West 57th St., NYC

Our topic will be educating our children about the many faces of Judaism, presented by Tamara Fish. Please RSVP to Judy Levitan or call 212-399-2685 ext 219.

We Are All BrooklynDiversity Night with the Brooklyn Cyclones
Wednesday, September 2, 7:00 PM
KeySpan Park, Brooklyn

Join We Are All Brooklyn, a coaliton of community groups that promotes Brooklyn's ethnic and racial diversity, to root on the Cyclones and pay tribute to the Independence Community Foundation, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and others. Click here for more information.


Health Center ConstructionIn this month's update on the progress of the Abayudaya Community Health and Development Project: construction begins on the Mbale health center, and the Abayudaya donate food for famine relief in Uganda. For the complete update and to read updates from 2007 and 2008, click here.

Synagogue Recommendations for High HolidaysSynagogue Recommendations for High Holidays
Be'chol Lashon is featuring a list of synagogues that support our mission of inclusiveness, with a focus on that which unites us, not that which divides us. Click here to see the synagogues that are committed to global Judaism. If you would like your synagogue added to this list, email us!


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.

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