Be'chol Lashon Newsletter: November 2011

Outside the Box NEW! DC Group for Racially and Ethnically Diverse Jews

Are you interested in meeting others, talking together about common experiences and building community? Groups for Black, Asian, Latino or Mixed Raced & Jewish groups now forming! Pre-registration required here.

Outside the Box In order to finish OUTSIDE THE BOX we need your support!

Help Lacey Schwartz finish her film about family secrets and duel identity! She needs additional funds to complete post-production and enter the film festivals in 2012. Please donate here!
Thank you to everyone who is helping make this project a reality!


Jewish Giving In The Global Village
By Brad Hirschfield and Erik Ludwig, The Jewish Week, November 22, 2011

Tzedakah remains a powerful creator and reinforcer of ethnic, cultural and religious values. Even as Jews from the baby boom and next generations give less to synagogues and religiously affiliated institutions, they report having deeply held beliefs about righteousness, justice and protection of the vulnerable.

Rabbi SizomuRabbi Gershom Sizomu Tours the US

Be’chol Lashon was delighted to bring Rabbi Gershom Sizomu, the leader of the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda, back to the United States for a Fall 2011 speaking tour, which took him to Orange County, Chicago, Park City, and Cleveland.
Did you miss his tour? You can still support him here!

CapersWhat does a Jew look like? Ask Rabbi Capers Funnye
By Riva Gold, Haaretz, November, 16, 2011

I started my journey, back in 1970. I began studying Judaism two years later in college and just continued to study. I met a group of young men from an African American congregation and studied with them. It was ironic because just as the pastor of my church told me ten years earlier that he thought I’d make a good minister, my teacher said he needed good educated men to come into the rabbinate and that I’d be a good rabbi.


Rachamin Ethiopian Israeli named Ambassador to Ethiopia
By eJewishPhilanthropy, November 8, 2011

Rachamim was one of the first Ethiopian Jews to make aliyah to Israel in 1972 at the age of 14. His struggles to make it to Israel are chronicled in the 1977 book by Arnold Sherman, In Search For Rachamim.

Keats New York Exhibit Highlights Books About African Americans
By Jane Friedman, Voice of America, November 7, 2011

Ezra Keats wrote and illustrated more than 20 children’s books. Most featured African American children - at a time when that was unheard of. Keats was born Jacob Ezra Katz.

Schools School keeps ethos in a changing market
By Jessica Elgot, The Jewish Chronicle, November, 10, 2011

Dialects from Africa and the Indian subcontinent can be heard in the classrooms and festivals such as Ramadan and Diwali are observed at home by the non-Jewish children who now account for one-third of the school's 400 student population.


Rabbi marries Orthodox gay couple
By Julie Gruenbaum Fax,, November 7, 2011

Two Orthodox men were married by an Orthodox rabbi at what might be the first Orthodox gay wedding. Rabbi Steven Greenberg, who has been an advocate for gays in the Orthodox community, married Yoni Bock and Ron Kaplan last week before 200 guests at Washington, D.C.’s, 6th and I Historic Synagogue.

Ten Young Jews, Making a Difference
By Michael Kaminer, The Forward, November 7, 2011

Even on YouTube, where you can watch her work, it’s impossible to turn away when spoken-word artist Kamone Felix starts declaiming. “I write and perform poems about anything I can’t keep quiet about,” said Felix, a student at City University of New York’s Hostos Community College.

Signs of life from Sephardi students
By Carly Silver, New Voices, October 25, 2011

Columbia University has a large Jewish population but, according to some Sephardi students, the Columbia-Barnard Hillel can’t satisfy all of its constituents. Some students have taken it upon themselves to diversify Hillel and founded New Yachad City.


Jewish Agency looks to bolster ties in Argentina
By Gil Shefler, The Jerusalem Post, November 14, 2011

There are about 200,000 Jews in Argentina constituting the largest Jewish community in Latin America. Earlier this year a study commissioned by Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina, the country's Jewish umbrella group, and the Anti-Defamation League pointed at a vein of anti-Semitism in Argentinean society.

The exodus from Jamaica
By David Regev, Ynet News, September, 11, 2011

Shahar Bar couldn’t believe his eyes. On a dusty carton bag, between the shelves loaded with material on the activities of the Joint during the Holocaust, he saw one word: "Jamaica." Unsurprisingly, his first thought was that the file ended there by mistake. "Jamaica reminds me of Bob Marley," he says. "What does the Holocaust have to do with Jamaica?"

Delhi Jews
By Fred de Sam Lazaro, PBS, October 7, 2011

In an ancient, crowded land with wide religious diversity, Judaism has a tiny footprint. In New Delhi, it’s in this quiet enclave. A small group of worshipers gathers here every Friday, a mix of foreigners and Indians. In India’s ancient religious mosaic, Judaism is a newcomer. Its roots go back only two millennia.


Music: Golden Boys
By David Meir Grossman, Tablet, November 21, 2011

It might surprise you to learn that right now, as you read these words, you are living through the Golden Age of Jewish Rap. By which I mean that there are two popular rappers who are Jews, which is a 100 percent increase over last year’s total of one.

Book: The Last Kaiser Roll in the Bodega, by Vanessa Hidary

Native New Yorker and Sephardic Jew, Vanessa Hidary, AKA The Hebrew Mamita, grew up on Manhattan's culturally diverse Upper West Side. The Last Kaiser Roll in The Bodega is a collection of Vanessa's signature poems, prose, and excerpts of her nationally acclaimed one-woman show; Culture Bandit.

Exhibit: 'California Dreaming' celebrates pioneering Jewish spirit of the West
By Emma Silvers, Jweekly, November 10, 2011

The Jewish history here is just so rich with ideas and experiences, along with these moments that parallel the birth of San Francisco...and yet for so long there was this idea that the history of Jews in America meant the history of Jews in New York. We wanted to focus on what really makes the Bay Area's Jewish community unique.


Harissa, Honey & Hyssop: The Food of North Africa
November 13, 2011 - January 2012
JCCSF, 3200 California Street, San Francisco

Israeli photographer Nelli Sheffer captures and contextualizes the beautiful – and very local – food of Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco in this exhibit. Sheffer, who specializes in culinary photography and cookbook illustrations, has published two books on international food with art publisher Harry N. Abrams and contributed to more than 70 others.

The Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation presents the first pop-up Jewish record store in the world
December 1 - December 28, 2011
3191 Mission Street, San Francisco
Free with a suggested donation – RSVPs required

An eclectic series of live music, screenings, lectures, comedians, and more! Event includes re-releasing lost classics like Mazel tov Mis Amigos, a Jewish mambo party, and performaces of ”Jewface“ and ”Black Sabbath,” which recently reached #71 on Billboard’s Top 200 Album chart. Check out the line up here

Moroccan Jewish Cuisine
Friday December 2, 2011
JCCSF, 3200 California Street, San Francisco - RSVP required

The rich colors and flavors of Moroccan Jewish cuisine have developed over centuries. These are some of the most enticing flavors in Jewish food today. Learn how to cook a full meal, including a proper tagine (slow-cooked stew) and enjoy the results.

Be'chol Lashon New York GroupFestival of Lights: Hanukkah Celebration
Sunday December 11, 2011 12-3pm
Osher Marin JCC
200 N. San Pedro Rd. San Raff, CA

Buy unique handcrafted gifts for Chanukah and learn about Jewish communities around the world. Enjoy live music, arts & crafts, family events, delicious catered holiday treats, a local artisan marketplace, and much more!

Almost Chanukah: Pre-Chanukah Fair
Sunday December 11, 2011 12-3pm
Netivot Shalom
1316 University Ave. Berkeley, CA

Buy unique handcrafted gifts for Chanukah and learn about Jewish communities around the world. Join us as we celebrate the diversity of the Jewish people and remind ourselves of the preciousness of freedom.


Be'chol Lashon New York GroupBe'chol Lashon/JBFCS NY Group for Racially and Ethnically Diverse Jews
Wednesday, November 2nd, 7-9pm

This month: Wounded Healer Within- How do we transform our negative experiences into vehicles for growth, and social change? Moderated by: Gulienne Rollins with special presenter Akedah Fulcher. RSVP required. This event is co-sponsored by Be'chol Lashon and JBFCS.

New! Group forming in DC. Learn more here.

SionaMy Magic Carpet: Works by Siona Benjamin
September 15 - November 11
Flomenhaft Gallery, NYC

Benjamin has traveled near and far both physically and emotionally before returning to Mumbai, where she was born. Growing up in India she was a member of the Jewish Bene Israel group that settled there at least nine generations ago.

Flight of the Ibis
November 17th, 7pm
St. Peter's Church, Citicorp Building, NYC

Dr. Alan Roland, artist and friend of the Indian Jewish Community, is the playwright for "Flight of the Ibis", a wonderful interpretation of life in the 10th century Cordoba, Spain.

LaceyNCJW: The Changing Face of the American Jewish Community:
Opportunities and Challenges

December 11th, 7pm
820 Second Ave, 10th Floor, NYC

Lacey Scwartz, Be'chol Lashon Outreach Director, and Rabbi Linda Henry Goodman, Union Temple responding to Ruth Messinger.

SionaSephardic Music Festival
December 20-27th
Varying Locations, NYC

The Sephardic Music Festival showcases the remarkable diversity that exists within the Jewish community. Its tapestry of harmonies, rhythms, and cultural motifs are as rich, vibrant, and diverse as the Jewish world itself.

SionaSephardic Story Slam Now Accepting Submissions
December 27th, 7pm
The Triad Theater,158 West 72nd Street, NYC

Seeking stories of middle eastern upbringing or experiences, travels to Middle Eastern communities, family traditions from Morocco, Persia, Tunisia, Yemen, Israel and other countries. E-mail your headshot or picture and a short description of your story.


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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