Be'chol Lashon Newsletter: January 2011

Media Awards Win $1,000! Be’chol Lashon Media Awards
Call for Entries for the 2010 Be'chol Lashon Media Awards honoring excellence in coverage of global Judaism. No entry fee. Deadline: January 31.

New category! Children’s books: Click here to view a selection of Children's Books

Ken MarcusKenneth L. Marcus receives an award for leadership and advocacy for Jews, Israel and human rights
What does it mean to be Jewish? This ancient question has become a pressing civil rights controversy. Kenneth L. Marcus's new book examines the legal and policy issues behind the ambiguity involved with civil rights protections for Jewish students.

Camp Be'chol LashonCamp Be'chol Lashon
July 31 - August 12, Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma, CA: Register today!

There is still space at Camp Be'chol Lashon, a new overnight Jewish camp for children from racially and ethnically diverse Jewish families and all those who want to be part of a global Jewish community. Generous camperships are available.


Mona Eltahawy Tunisia: the first Arab revolution
By Mona Eltahawy, , January 16, 2011

Every 23 July for the past 58 years Egypt, my country of birth, has celebrated its "July revolution" that overthrew King Farouk and ended the monarchy and British occupation once and for all. It was no revolution: it was a coup staged by young army officers.

Selling the Talmud as a Business GuideSelling the Talmud as a Business Guide
By Isaac Stone Fish, Newsweek, December 29, 2010

In China, notions of Jewish business acumen lead to a publishing boom—and stereotyping. Jewish visitors to China often receive a snap greeting when they reveal their religion: “Very smart, very clever, and very good at business,” the Chinese person says.

This Week in History: Jews expelled from 3 US states Jews expelled from 3 US states
By Michael Omer-Man, The Jerusalem Post, December 17, 2010

During Civil War, Grant blamed Jews for black market cotton trade; order was only in effect for a few weeks but a blemish in Jewish US history.“The Jews, as a class violating every regulation of trade… are hereby expelled from the department within twenty-four hours from the receipt of this order.”


Robin Washington Black Jews no longer in the background of US life
By Michael E. Ross, the grio, December 23, 2011

The idea of black Jews in America is more widely accepted than in years past, dovetailing with the nation's overall increasingly diverse demographic mosaic. But challenges exist in the integration of the black Judaic experience into a skeptical or disbelieving public.

Singer-songwriter Debbie Friedman, inspiration to thousands, dies at 59 Singer-songwriter Debbie Friedman, inspiration to thousands, dies at 59
By Sue Fishkoff, JTA, January 10, 2011

Early Sunday morning Friedman, who composed "Mi Shebeirach," a popular version of the Jewish prayer for healing, was unable to find healing herself. Friedman died after years of suffering from an undisclosed illness at age 59.

Ladino! Ladino!
By Yehudah Mirsky, Jewish Ideas Daily, January 13, 2011

Long overshadowed by its Yiddish cousin, Ladino—the "other" modern Jewish language, also known as Judeo-Spanish—has increasingly benefited from new waves of scholarly and cultural retrieval.


ChavezVenezuelan Jews report shift in tone from Chavez government
By Jasmina Kelemen, JTA, December 27, 2010

On a balmy tropical evening in early December, a few hundred families, mostly of Moroccan descent, gathered to inaugurate the first phase of what eventually will be a grand, two-story marble shul located in a wealthy Caracas neighborhood.

Cuba’s dwindling Jewish community fighting for its lifeCuba’s dwindling Jewish community fighting for its life
By Liz Harris, J Weekly, December 23, 2010

It’s not often Havana’s largest synagogue hosts a bar mitzvah. In a country once home to as many as 15,000 Jews, Cuba’s Jewish population is now down to an estimated 1,300. But with strong-willed leaders and financial assistance largely from Jews in North and South America, Havana’s Jewish community is hanging on.

Lost and FoundLost and Found
By Aryeh Tepper, The Jerusalem Post, January 9, 2011

In addition to possibly shedding light on Israel’s distant past, the story of the Bnei Menashe also touches deeply on questions of Jewish identity.


Jewish PalateRecipe: The Jewish Palate: Spanish twist on the Festival of Trees
By Chef Dennis Wasko, The Jerusalem Post, January 10, 2011

Tu B’Shvat begins on January 20th this year. Throughout the world Jews eat foods on Tu B'Shvat that are characteristic of the land of Israel...any fruit or nut that comes from a tree can be enjoyed as part of the holiday celebration Here is a recipe for a traditional Spanish (Galician) almond cake.

Sephardic SoundsMusic: Sephardic Sounds
By Vox Tablet, Tablet, November 22, 2010

Erez Safar, a producer and DJ who performs under the name Diwon, is enchanted by music and sounds from the Sephardic world. [His CD] includes songs by well-known musicians Matisyahu, Yasmin Levy, and Galeet Dardashti, who team up for a reggaeton-meets-Middle East pop track in French and Hebrew.

The End of the Reign in Spain Book: The End of the Reign in Spain
By Mark Cohen, The Jewish Daily Forward, December 29, 2010

The voices that come alive in “Sephardi Family Life in the Early Modern Diaspora” beat down the tiresome impulse to prove history relevant.They tell stories that reveal how besieged societies strain to hold on to their traditions and to civilized life.


Be'chol Lashon/JBFCS NY Group for Racially and Ethnically Diverse Jews
Wednesday, February 2, 7-9pm
135 W. 50th St., 6th Floor, Suite 4, NYC

Join us for a presentation: Being Jewish Can Be Cool. RSVP required. Co-sponsored by Be'chol Lashon and JBFCS.

Exhibit: Light and Shadows: The Story of Iran and the Jews
Until April 30, 2011
Beit Hatfutsot, Tel Aviv, Israel

"Light and Shadows" is an unprecedented exhibition devoted to the history, culture and contemporary life of Iranian Jewry, and is the first ever to present a comprehensive, in-depth portrait of Iranian Jewry.

Exhibit: The Book: A Contemporary View featuring Siona Benjamin
Dec 22, 2010 - Apr 17, 2011
Carole Bieber and Marc Ham Galler, Delaware

This exhibition addresses the themes of the book as object, subject, and concept. Stretching the definition of book, the show includes artist-made books, deconstructed books, and book installations. In an age where the printed book may soon be an anachronism, artists remain fascinated by the subject and materials of the book.

January 26 (Every Wednesday)
Westside JCC, Los Angeles, CA

Whether you're taking your first step toward conversion, studying to become an adult bat mitzvah or are knee-deep in Jewish learning, the IKAR of Judaism will propel and inspire you on your journey.


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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