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Be’chol Lashon Newsletter: January 2010
SPOTLIGHT: Growing a Global Jewish People

Jonah and JoshGrowing a Global Jewish People
By Diane Tobin, Torah at the Center, January 2010, Union for Reform Judaism

I love listening to the voice of my son Jonah practicing his Torah trope, ancient lyrics that he sings with a new, rich voice, adding another dimension to his repertoire of Jewish skills. He is proud of himself and is looking forward to his bar mitzvah, an important moment when he will affirm his Jewish identity—one of many identities he embodies.

NEWS

Haiti Israeli Team Heads for Quake-Struck Haiti; Fate of Jews Unknown
By Hana Levi Julian, Arutz Sheva, January 13, 2010

There are approximately 25 to 30 Jews left in Haiti at present, most of who live in Port-au-Prince. Israel and Haiti maintain full diplomatic relations, but the Jewish State does not have an embassy in the country, which is served by the embassy in the neighboring Dominican Republic.

Gearing up for a new FDNY Concluding the Falash Mura saga
By Eli Cohen, Jerusalem Post, January 2, 2010

Our hearts go out to the men, women and children who are sitting there for long months earnestly expecting to reach the Holy Land and reunite with their family members.

Rabbi Leib Tropper Obama visits with half-brother who has Jewish roots
By Associated Press, November 25, 2009

During his recent trip to China, President Barack Obama met briefly with a half brother who lives in China. Mark Ndesandjo is the product of Barack Obama Sr.’s marriage to his third wife, Ruth Nidesand, a Jewish American.

IDENTITY

Rabbi FrancisPrincipal at Hebrew school bridges religious, academic worlds
By Vanessa Inzitari, The New Haven Register, January 17, 2010

Through the work of Rabbi Enan Francis, Judaic and secular studies at Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy have come together like never before in the school’s 65-year history.

Latinos Discover Affinity for JudaismThe Jew from Kuwait
By Mark Halawa, Aish.com, Winter 2009

Standing there in the university library, this religious Jew, Dr. Block, looked at me and said, “In Muslim law, you’re considered Muslim, since the religion goes by the father. But according to Jewish law, you’re Jewish, since Jewish identity is transmitted by the mother.” My head started to spin.

The Boy From RangoonBrooklyn Family Keeps Latino-Jewish Traditions Alive
By Dana Rosenblatt, CNN, Winter 2009

Like most families in their Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, their Jewish Sabbath meal includes blessings over the wine and bread, the company of family and friends and excellent food. But for the Nunez family, the Sabbath table would not be complete without salsa picada and jalapeno dip.

COMMUNITIES AROUND THE WORLD

Ethiopian Jews Celebrate a Festival, Gain Israeli Attention for Their TraditionsBrazil sets day to honor Jewish immigrants, March 18
By JTA, December 23, 2009

Brazil has set aside a day to honor Jewish immigrants to the country. Brazilian Vice President Jose Alencar signed a measure setting March 18 as Jewish Immigration Day. The date coincides with the re-inauguration date in 2002 of the Brazilian synagogue Kahal Zur Israel, the oldest synagogue in the Americas.

Christians Rally Christians Rally to Support Greek Jews
By Hana Levi Julian, Arutz Sheva, December 30, 2009

Joining hands in a “human chain against racism and violence,” Christians in the small northwestern Greek city of Ioannina, surrounded the city’s Jewish cemetery to protest repeated acts of neo-Nazi vandalism there.

Mexico City Super-Shtetl in the South: Mexico City Is Rich with Life
By Alan Grabinsky, PresentTense Magazine, Fall 2009

Since the times of the Spanish Inquisition, Jews have been a part of this unique landscape. Crashing into the tropical, weathered streets of the Zocalo from all sides of the world, Turkish, European, and Arab Jews were forced to interact with the welcoming, if curious, poor indigenous classes of Mexico City.

ARTS & CULTURE

New Multi-Cultural Music New Multi-Cultural Music
By Alisha Kinman, New Voices, December 21, 2009

A plethora of Jewish musicians are recording in America. Here’s a quick look at a few Jewish artists from a range of genres, all of them hoping to cross over into the mainstream and be the next Matisyahu.

Columbus Was a Catalan-Speaking Jew, Scholar SaysBOOKS

New Year for a New World

By Alan Jay Gerber, The Jewish Star, December 30, 2009

1492, subtitled “The Year the World Began,” by Notre Dame history professor, Dr. Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, details the numerous events that occurred in the year that, according to the author, changed history forever. Among these events were those well-known instances like Columbus’s discovery of the Americas and the Spanish Inquisition.

Secret The Other Secret Jews
By Adam Kirsch, Tablet Magazine, January 12, 2010

Most readers interested in Jewish history know something about the conversos, the Spanish and Portuguese Jews forced to convert to Christianity in the 14th and 15th centuries. Much less is known, however, about a later, smaller, but perhaps even more intriguing group of Jewish converts, who emerged in the Ottoman Empire in the late 17th century.

NEW YORK EVENTS

Defining SephardicOff and Running Special Screening + Happy Hour
Sunday, January 31, 2010, at 4:15 PM
IFC Center in NYC

Special screening of the film Variety calls "engrossing...stirring and accomplished" with Q&A moderated by Carol Spinner. Happy Hour Mingler to follow at The Dove Parlour (228 Thompson Street between Bleecker and West 3rd Streets). Buy tickets here. Co-sponsored by Be'chol Lashon, JMN, Brooklyn Jews and UJA Women's Group.

Other screenings: January 29th - February 4th , IFC Center in NYC
Show times: 12:40, 2:25, 4:15, 6:10, 8:05, 9:50. Buy tickets here.

Group: Jews from racially and ethnically diverse backgroundsNY Group: Jews from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds
Wednesday February 3, 2010 at 7:30 PM
Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services
120 West 57th St., NYC

Mark you calendars for the next meeting for Jews from Diverse Ethnic and Racial Backgrounds.
RSVP required to Judy Levitan or call 212-399-2685 ext 219.
Co-sponsored by Be'chol Lashon.

Children of the BibleChildren of the Bible + Closing Night Reception
14th NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival
Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 7:00 PM

Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street
, NYC

Closing Night Film & Dessert Reception presented in cooperation with Be'chol Lashon. Limited number of Be'chol Lashon tickets available for $10 ($25 general admission). Get your tickets here!

CALIFORNIA EVENTS

The True Story of DefianceThe True Story of Defiance: An afternoon with Zvi Bielski, son of Partisan Hero Zus Bielski
Sunday, January 31, 2010
, 4:00 PM
Congregation Chevra Thilim
751 25th Ave, San Francisco
$15

Hear the inside story of how the Bielski Brothers stood up to the Nazis and saved 1,200 Jews, the story that inspired the 2008 movie "Defiance." Click here to RSVP or e-mail info@sfshul.org. Co-presented by Be'chol Lashon and the Holocaust Center of Northern California.

Limmud LALimmudLA Conference 2010
February 12-15, 2010

Hilton Orange County, Costa Mesa

Limmud is a grassroots, nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting Jews of all ages, affiliations, and orientations in Southern California through volunteerism and cross-communal learning.
Click here to register.

PurimPurim: Unmasked! An Off-Street Purim Fair
Sunday, February 28, 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
JCCSF
3200 California Street, San Francisco
Free and open to the public!

Celebrating Jewish identity and survival, Purim is traditionally observed with a joyous, irreverent and carnival-like festivities. Celebrate the holiday with food, wine, music and activities including face painting, henna art and hamantaschen baking. There's something fun for everyone! Co-sponsored by Be'chol Lashon.

Rabbi Caper FunnyeJoys of Jewish Learning, Jewish Diversity Programs

Temple Israel, Long Beach features a selection of adult education courses about Jewish diveristy. Classes scheduled for 2010 include Cooking Traditions from Jewish Yemen, Marranos, The Sepahrdic Crypto-Jewish Experience, and Iraqi-American author Arial Sabar speaking about his book, My Father's Paradise. Don't miss Rabbi Capers Funnye on May 20th at 7:00 PM! He will speak about the black Jewish community in Chicago and global Jewish identity. Click here for the course catalog.

BE'CHOL LASHON UPDATES

Health Center ConstructionBe'chol Lashon Media Awards 2009
Nominate your favorite article of 2009 here and win a prize!

The Be'chol Lashon Media Awards honor excellence in coverage of the ethnic and racial diversity of world Jewry. No entry fee. Deadline: February 26, 2010. Click here to submit your work for consideration.

Camp Be'chol LashonCamp Be'chol Lashon
July 25 - August 8, 2010
Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma, CA
Registration now open! New video!

Camp Be'chol Lashon's mission is to offer a safe, nurturing, challenging residential Jewish camp experience for children of racially and ethnically diverse Jewish families and those who want to be part of a global Jewish community. Register | Apply for staff

Health Center ConstructionAbayudaya Update
The basic construction of the new health center is almost complete! Also, Rabbi Gershom Sizomu to return to U.S. for spring speaking tour. For the complete update and to read updates from 2007 and 2008, click here.

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THANK YOU

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.

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