Be’chol Lashon Newsletter: November 2009

The New Jewish ConvertSPOTLIGHT: Rabbi Capers Funnye on Global Judaism
Be'chol Lashon Podcast, November 2009

Last month, Rabbi Capers Funnye, associate director of Be'chol Lashon, spoke at a Sukkot gathering at the Osher Marin JCC in San Rafael, CA and at the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts. Also featured is an article by the Wandering Jew, "Rabbi Funnye's Message of Inclusivity."

The New Jewish ConvertThe New Jewish Convert
By Joan Alpert, Moment Magazine, November/December 2009

Each denomination and sometimes individual rabbis have different understandings of the requirements for conversion, although they usually include a year of study. In this article, you will meet eight men and women who decided to become Jews by choice through conversion. Their stories remind us of the richness of Judaism.

Multicultural chavurah seeks to blend the Jewish color wheelMulticultural chavurah seeks to blend the Jewish color wheel
By Adam Kredo, The Washington Jewish Week, November 4, 2009

The group, called Chaverim L'Shalom, held its first African-themed Shabbat dinner last month, attracting a miniature United Nations of about 80 who feasted on both challah and traditional African dishes, while listening to the rhythms of an African drum circle.

Interview with Elinor Ruth TatumInterview with Elinor Ruth Tatum
By Charley J. Levine, Hadassah Magazine, November 2009

As publisher and editor in chief of Harlem-based New York Amsterdam News, the city’s leading African-American newspaper, Elinor Ruth Tatum is one of the highest profile Jewish black women in the country.


Jews of color come together to explore identity Who Is a Jew? Court Ruling in Britain Raises Question
By Sarah Lyall, The New York Times, November 8, 2009

The questions before the judges in Courtroom No. 1 of Britain’s Supreme Court were as ancient and as complex as Judaism itself. Who is a Jew? And who gets to decide?

Revitalizing the Law of Return for All Jews Revitalizing the Law of Return for All Jews
By Rabbi Asher Lopatin, The Jewish Journal
,November 19, 2009

Maybe if the masses of self-identifying Jews come back to the Homeland, in all their shapes and colors, then maybe those Jews from America and Europe, who have the proof that they are Jewish, will return as well.

Policy Chief Enters a New Phase Policy Chief Enters a New Phase
By Scott Wilson, The Washington Post, April 14, 2009

Mona Sutphen is the daughter of a white Jewish mother and an African American father. When her parents were dating, in the early 1960s, they lived in Kansas City, Mo., where interracial marriage was illegal.

Sub-Saharan Shabbat: Meet the first-generation Jews of GhanaSub-Saharan Shabbat: Meet the first-generation Jews of Ghana

Produced by Julie Subrin, Tablet, October 5, 2009

In 1974, prompted by the vision of an itinerant preacher, Joseph Armah and several other members of the Sefwi tribe in western Ghana declared themselves the descendants of one of the lost tribes of Israel.

Secret Mission Rescues Yemen's JewsSecret Mission Rescues Yemen's Jews

By Miriam Jordan, The Wall Street Journal, October 31, 2009

The secret evacuation of the Yemeni Jews — considered by historians to be one of the oldest of the Jewish diaspora communities — is a sign of America's growing concern about this Arabian Peninsula land of 23 million.

Ancient Venezuelan cemetery being restored Ancient Venezuelan cemetery being restored

JTA, November 1, 2009

Venezuelan Jewish groups partnered with a leading developer to restore the oldest existing Jewish cemetery in South America, located about six hours west of the nation’s capital, Caracas.


Mexican Hanukkah Menu Mexican Hanukkah Menu
Recipes from Bon Appétit, December 2009

In Mexico, Jewish communities combine Latin and Middle Eastern flavors at the Hanukkah table. Our menu brings heat and spice to the Festival of Lights.

Images of a Lost World MUSIC
Erran Baron Cohen Presents: Songs In The Key of Hanukkah

NPR, December 18, 2008

Every holiday season is the return of special traditions: stories you tell, foods you eat — or sometimes try to avoid — and the songs you sing. But who says you can't fold in some new traditions too?


Café Balkana: A performance by Jewlia EisenbergCafé Balkana: A performance by Jewlia Eisenberg
Thursday, December 3, 7:30 PM
BJE Library, 1835 Ellis St. (between Scott St. and Pierce St.), San Francisco


Café Balkana draws from both the violent, sexy rebetika music sung by Jewish women and the romantic and funny Sephardic folk music with its roots in Spain, North Africa, and the Balkans. Jewlia will perform the songs of the café aman, where rebetika meets Salonikan Jewish music. Co-sponsored by Be'chol Lashon.

The Sephardic Romancero: Tradition and CreativityThe Sephardic Romancero: A talk with musical examples by Samuel G. Armistead
Thursday, December 10, 7:30 PM
BJE Library, 1835 Ellis St. (between Scott St. and Pierce St.), San Francisco


The Sephardim, exiled from Spain in 1492, took with them to their new homelands the historically important poetic tradition of the Romancero, which had its origins in Medieval Spanish epic poetry. Co-sponsored by Be'chol Lashon.

Angella Nazarian Reads from 'Life As a Visitor'Angella Nazarian's 'Life As a Visitor'
Reading and book signing

Saturday, December 12, 2:00 - 4:30 PM
San Francisco Public Library, Main Branch

Forced to flee to the United States after the violent Iranian Revolution of 1979 at age eleven, author Angella M. Nazarian takes readers on a physical and emotional journey from past to present, from the exotic to the familiar, and from a country’s political struggle to her own inner struggle in search of home, family and sense of belonging.


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

Our topic will be “Tagging and Bagging: Is Ashkenazi Judaism Preaching Racism?,” presented by Shais Rishon. RSVP required to Judy Levitan or call 212-399-2685 ext 219. Co-sponsored by Be'chol Lashon.

Ethiopian Shabbat DinnerEthiopian Shabbat Dinner
Friday, December 4, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
JCC Manhattan
334 Amsterdam Ave. at 76th St., NYC

$30 member, $36 nonmember; pre-registration required

Join Riki Mulu and Chassida Shmella, a vibrant community founded by a new generation of Ethiopian-Israeli Jews in America, to celebrate the Sabbath with unique Ethiopian customs. Special guest will be Dr. Ephraim Isaac, director of the Institute of Semitic Studies in Princeton, NJ. Families are welcome. Co-sponsored by Be'chol Lashon.

Sephardic Music FestivalSephardic Music Festival
Saturday, December 12 - Saturday, December 19
Multiple NY venues

Featuring performances by Electro, Morocco, Diwon, Sarah Aroeste, Smadar Levi, Asefa, Pharaoh's Daughter and more! Click here for show times and locations.


Health Center ConstructionAbayudaya Update
In this month's update on the progress of the Abayudaya Community Health and Development Project: work continues on the health center, and Rabbi Gershom Sizomu wows audiences during his Fall speaking tour. For the complete update and to read updates from 2007 and 2008, click here.

Health Center Construction Be'chol Lashon Media Awards 2010
Established in 2007, the Be'chol Lashon Media Awards honor excellence in coverage of the ethnic and racial diversity of world Jewry. Open to staff or freelance reporters; editors; producers for newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and film; individuals and teams. No entry fee. Deadline: January 31, 2010. Click here to submit your work for consideration.

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