Be'chol Lashon Newsletter: March 2011

Rabbi Gershom SizomuElection
By Matthew Fishbane, Tablet Magazine, March 28, 2011

The Abayudaya of Uganda have been Jewish since a colonial-era chieftain decided to follow the five books of Moses. A century later, a descendant of those African Jews became a rabbi and ran for parliament.

Rabbi Ruth Abush-MagderNew articles by Be'chol Lashon Rabbi-in-Residence, Ruth Abusch-Magder

In the Forward, Rabbi Ruth talks about Hidden Foods for Purim and Japanese-Jewish Identity. Also, read her thoughtful and personal article, Assuming Identity featured in Sh'ma.

Juan MejiaIf I try to be like him, who will be like me?
By Rabbi Juan Mejia, Sh'ma, March 2011

Let’s stop focusing, for a moment, on what pushes Jews away from Judaism and start focusing on what compels Jews-by-choice, or converts, to choose Judaism.

Camp Be'chol LashonSend a Kid to Camp!
Make a difference in the life of a Jewish child

Donations of any amount are encouraged! A gift of $180 will help a child to splash, sing and learn at Camp Be'chol Lashon this summer. Memories to last a lifetime - Donate here!


Alana Goodman U.S. Office of Civil Rights to Investigate Anti-Semitism at UC Santa Cruz
By Alana Goodman, Commentary, March 15, 2011

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has opened an investigation into anti-Semitism at the University of California at Santa Cruz, according to the Institute for Jewish and Community Research (IJCR).

Most pastors would like more racial diversity in their white congregations Most pastors would like more racial diversity in their white congregations
By Helen T. Gray, The Kansas City Star, March 11, 2011

“I think the worship style and preaching style are huge factors for both Anglo congregations and African-American congregations,” [Rev. Bob Hill] said. “They both cherish their traditions and don’t want to let them go.”

Valerie JarrettObama advisor reveals Jewish roots
By Yitzhak Benhorin,, March 9, 2011

White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett revealed that she is of Jewish descent. Jarrett, who is African-American, was born in Shiraz, Iran to American parents who worked in the foreign country at the time.


Alvin Wong Discovered: The Happiest Man in America
By Catherine Rampell, The New York Times, March 5, 2011

For the last three years, Gallup has called 1,000 randomly selected American adults each day and asked them about their emotional status, work satisfaction, stress levels and other indicators of their quality of life. Gallup’s answer: he’s a tall, Asian-American, observant Jew who is at least 65 and married, has children, lives in Hawaii, runs his own business and has a household income of more than $120,000 a year.

Rabbi Enan Francis Women's History Month: Unique Rabbi-Cantor Follows Her Own Melody
By Rebecca Spitz, NY1 News, March 15, 2011

Singing in Hebrew is second nature for Angela Warnick Buchdahl. This summer will mark her fifth year as the senior cantor at Central Synagogue on the East Side. It is a long way from home for this daughter of a Jewish-American father and Korean Buddhist mother.

Zoe Kravitz Hailee Stenfield Matisyahu Did you know? Famous Diverse Jews in the News...

In Rolling Stone, Zoë Kravitz identifies herself as a secular Jew.

According to, Hailee Stenfield is Jewish and Filipino, European-American descent.

While it appears Matisyahu may not be down with Drake’s Jewishness, he does admit that he admires his talent.


Tiny Gambia community draws close to JudaismTiny Gambia community draws close to Judaism
By Gil Shefler, The Jerusalem Post, March 1, 2011

A group of about 40 people in the West African country of Gambia has discovered an interest in Judaism, adopting some of its customs and even building a synagogue, an Israeli diplomat told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

Dessie (Roni) AkaleDessie (Roni) Akale to Serve as ENP's New Director-General

Dessie (Roni) Akale has been appointed the new Director-General of the Ethiopian National Project, commencing his tenure on April 1st, 2011. He will replace Dr. Nigist Mengesha, who has led ENP since 2003.


Harlem Gospel ChoirThe Harlem Gospel Choir: A Multicultural Shabbat Concert
April 1, 8pm, JCCSF

Last season’s sold out performance by the soul-stirring, spirit-raising ensemble demanded a repeat! Their message of love and songs of inspiration truly touch the heart. You’ll be moved to stomp your feet, clap your hands, raise your voices and join them onstage to dance. Great for the whole family. Be'chol Lashon discount here!

FedFestHow Young Bay Area Jews Juggle Multiple Identities
FedFest 100: Sunday, April 10, 12:15-1:15pm
UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center, 1675 Owens Street, SF

In partnership with Be’chol Lashon and the JCF LGBT Alliance, young adults raised in multi-racial and LGBT households talk about their Jewish identities in a changing, complex environment.
FREE LUNCH! Register by April 4th and enter code "LUNCH".

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 who want to be part of a global Jewish community. Generous camperships are available.


Thursday March 31, 8pm , and Saturday April 2, 8pm
JCC Manhattan, NYC

In exploring his African, Jewish, and Native American heritages, McKinney dances the personal and the collective, the local and the global, and the present and the past. HaMapah invites audiences to consider and envision the possibility of a global Jewish identity.

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

"Purim: celebrating from a different perspective." RSVP required. Co-sponsored by Be'chol Lashon and JBFCS.

Yom Ha'Atzmaut
Monday, May 9
Dor Chadash, NYC

Save the Date. Honor, Remember, Celebrate with more than 100 leading Jewish Organizations. Co-sponsored by Be'chol Lashon.


Abayudaya UpdateAardvark Israel Immersion Program

Be'chol Lashon is partnering with Aardvark Israel to offer opportunities for Jewish students from around the world to participate in an exciting semester or year in Israel. Learn more | Help students participate

Go Global with Be'chol LashonGo Global with Be'chol Lashon

Be'chol Lashon advocates for a global understanding of the Jewish people that reflects contemporary identity. Get the word out there! Support diversity by putting a banner on your website and connect with Jews around world by joining the new Be'chol Lashon social network!


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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