Be’chol Lashon Newsletter: September 2009

Rahel MusleahSPOTLIGHT: Rahel Musleah and the Jews of India
With Francesca Biller-Safran, Be'chol Lashon Podcast, September 2009

In this month's Be'chol Lashon Podcast episode, Rahel Musleah talks about her Baghdadi Jewish family and their Rosh Hashanah traditions. Watch and comment...

Rosh Hashana, Tunisian styleRosh Hashana, Tunisian style
By Mary MacVean, Los Angeles Times, September 16, 2009

Exotic, delicious — and yes, kosher. The Sephardic community has its own way of celebrating the Jewish new year. In L.A., an expat is spreading the word about the spicy cuisine. Read on...

A Feast Fit for a Multicultural TableA Feast Fit for a Multicultural Table
By Francesca Biller-Safran, ColorsNW, August 27, 2009

Multicultural feasts have now become the center of joyous gatherings in my own home. With three daughters who are a blend of Japanese, Italian, Russian-Jewish, Polish, Irish, English, Scotch Welsh and little Spanish, what choice do we possibly have but to embrace ourselves as a proclamation of unity and ethnic pride? Read on...


See Baby Discriminate See Baby Discriminate
By Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, Newsweek, September 5, 2009

Kids as young as 6 months judge others based on skin color. What's a parent to do? At the Children's Research Lab at the University of Texas, a database is kept on thousands of families in the Austin area who have volunteered to be available for scholarly research. Read on...

Uriel Regev Campaign to Break Orthodox Monopoly
By Ron Friedman and Matthew Wagner, Jerusalem Post, September 15, 2009

Hiddush, a trans-denominational organization aimed at promoting religious freedom in Israel, was launched at a press conference in Tel Aviv on Monday. The new group challenges the status quo of the religious power structure in Israel and aims to build up grassroots momentum for change. Read on...

Why Americans Are Adoption Fewer Kids from China Why Americans Are Adopting Fewer Kids from China
By Kayla Webley, Time
, April 28, 2009

China's international adoption program, which opened in 1992, has become particularly popular due to its transparency and efficiency. But the stricter guidelines, intended to limit an overwhelming number of applicants, are proving effective. Read on...

Private Motive for Egypt's Public Embrace of a Jewish PastPrivate Motive for Egypt's Public Embrace of a Jewish Past

By Michael Slackman, The New York Times, September 7, 2009

Egypt has slowly, quietly been working to restore its synagogues for several years. It has completed two projects and plans to restore about eight more. But because of the perception on the street — the anger toward Israel and the deep, widespread anti-Semitism — the government initially insisted that its activities remain secret. Read on...

Id' rather be in Barbados I'd rather be in Barbados

By Cynthia Calvert, The Texas Tribune, August 25, 2009

Jews from Reclife, Brazil, settled in Bridgetown after persecution by the Portuguese; they built a synagogue, called the Kahal Kadosh Nidhe Israel, in 1654. They became merchants and brought expertise in sugar, settling mainly in the area called Speightstown. Read on...


Photo exhibit shows breadth of Mexican synagogues PHOTO EXHIBITION
Photo exhibit shows breadth of Mexican synagogues
By Emily Savage, J. Weekly, August 27, 2009

The exhibit, containing 30 photographs of Sephardic and Ashkenazi synagogues, is part of the JCCSF’s upcoming El Camino Judio program focusing on the Jewish roots in Latin culture. Read on...

An Interview with Esther David, Author of 'Shalom India Housing Society' BOOKS
An Interview with Esther David, Author of "Shalom India Housing Society"

By Ambrose Musiyiwa, Conversations with Writers, August 25, 2009

Jewish-Indian author, sculptor and art critic,, Esther David writes in English and Gujarati. Her novels include The Walled City (Syracuse University Press, 2002); The Book of Esther (Penguin Global, 2003); The Book of Rachel (Penguin Global, 2007) and Shalom India Housing Society (Feminist Press, 2009). Read on...

The Secret Shofar of BarcelonaCHILDRENS BOOKS

The Secret Shofar of Barcelona

By Jacqueline Dembar Greene

Musician Don Fernando longs to hear the sounds of the shofar on the High Holidays, but, like the other secret Jews in Inquisition-era Spain, he must hide his religion. Read on...

Rabbi Capers Funnye Sukkot Festivities Around the World

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

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. Click here 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, October 7, 7:30 - 9:00 PM
Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services
120 West 57th St., NYC

Our topic will be "The Journey of a Convert to Judaism: The Trials and Triumphs of One Woman's Path to Judaism," presented by Lori Pridgen. Please RSVP to Judy Levitan or call 212-399-2685 ext 219.

Co-sponsored by Be'chol Lashon.

Sukkah Party for Racially Diverse Jewish FamiliesSukkah Party for Racially Diverse Jewish Families
Wednesday, October 7, 6:30-8:30 PM
JCC Manhattan
334 Amsterdam Ave. at 76th St., NYC

$20 member, $25 nonmember
Limited number of Be'chol Lashon discounted tickets available by e-mailing

Come together for an evening of fun, learning, and sharing with other multiracial Jewish families. Parents and tweens/teens will have the chance to meet with their peers and talk about merging Jewish identities with that of other ethnic, cultural, or racial identities. Celebrate Sukkot in the Roberts Family Rooftop Sukkah and enjoy music, arts and crafts, a light supper, and socializing! Click here for more information.

Co-sponsored by Be'chol Lashon, the Jewish Child Care Association/Ametz Adoption Program, and JBFCS.

*If you are unable to attend this event but are interested in mentoring multiracial Jews or receiving mentoring for your child, please email

Jerusalem and the Jews of Spain: Longing and RealityJerusalem and the Jews of Spain: Longing and Reality
Thursday, October 15, 6:30-8:30 PM
American Sephardi Federation / Sephardic House
15 W. 16th St. (between 5th and 6th Ave.), NYC

Free for members, $8 nonmember

This evening launches a year-long series of programs and symposiums on The Jews of Spain: Past and Present. For centuries, a central theme among the Jews of Spain was their longing for a return to the Land of Israel. This was a romantic and religious desire of many Spanish Jews—a desire that eventually became a reality. Click here for more information.


Health Center ConstructionIn this month's update on the progress of the Abayudaya Community Health and Development Project: construction continues on the Mbale health center, and a profile of one of Rabbi Sizomu's yeshiva students, Alex Armah. For the complete update and to read updates from 2007 and 2008, click here.


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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