Be'chol Lashon Newsletter: February 2012
Be'chol Lashon Updates

PurimSan Francisco: Purim Unmasked: An Off-Street Festival
March 11, 2012, JCCSF

Celebrating Jewish identity and survival, Purim is traditionally observed with a joyous, irreverent and carnival-like festivities. An afternoon of frolicking, food and fun, with face painting, hamentaschen, henna art, multicultural food and more! Co-sponsored by Be'chol Lashon.

AvishaiNew York: 400 Miles to Freedom at the American Sephardic Film Festival
March 20-21, 2012, Center for Jewish History

400 Miles to Freedom, a documentary executive produced by Be'chol Lashon, chronicles Avishai Mekonen's 20 year silence around the brutal kidnapping he endured as a child in Sudan, and his exploration of identity. A discussion following the screening with directors Avishai and Shari Mekonen; and Professor Ephraim Isaac. For information about screening the film in your community, click here

Camp Be'chol LashonCamp Be'chol Lashon
July 29 - August 12, Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma, CA Register today!

Sign up today for the early bird discount 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.

Media Awards Win $1,000! Be’chol Lashon Media Awards
Call for Entries for the 2011 Be'chol Lashon Media Awards honoring excellence in coverage of global Judaism. No entry fee. Deadline: March 14.

BL LogoJoin the Be'chol Lashon Team!

Be'chol Lashon is is seeking a talented program manager to be part of our team. The right candidate has experience in outreach and program delivery and the ability to oversee leadership retreats, summer camp, and community events. Being tech savy is a major plus. For more information email us!


Interracial CoupleStudy: Interracial Marriages At Record High In U.S.
The Associated Press, NPR, February 16, 2012

A Pew Research Center study details a diversifying America where interracial unions and the mixed-race children they produce are challenging typical notions of race.

Aryeh Cohen Justice in the City: An Argument from the Sources of Rabbinic Judaism
Aryeh Cohen, February, 2012

Justice in the City argues, based on the Rabbinic textual tradition, that a just city should be a community of obligation. That is, citizenship in the community assumes an obligation to the Others who are not always in view-workers, the poor, the homeless.

Jenna Weissman Jewish Culture Gets A ‘Master’ Class
Eric Herschthal, The New York Jewish Week, February 7, 2012

In the last decade, study after study has shown that Jewish culture — films and books — rather than traditional institutions like synagogues has become an increasingly important part of American Jewish identity.


Jonah Tobin How Is Biracialism Changing America – And The Jewish community?
Diane Tobin, RepairLabs in Social Justice, February 10, 2012

As the parent of a Black Jewish child, I want my son to feel at home in the Jewish community. It seems to me that it is in our self interest to welcome everyone with open arms, yet it occurs to me that we may need to be sensitive to what Alvin Toffler described in the 70’s as “Future Shock”—the stress and disorientation of too much change in too short a time. I wonder how much time is too short? And, what role does race and ethnicity play in being Jewish in America.

Sharyn Henry "All Jews don’t look like Barbra Streisand" Yitro; Exodus 18:1-20:23
Rabbi Sharyn Henry, The Jewish Chronicle, February 1, 2012

Yitro highlights something we often ignore: the diversity within the Jewish world. Jews have always been an amalgam of many peoples and that Jewish origin includes a multitude of languages, nations, tribes and skin colors. The story of the Jewish people is filled with interracial and intercultural mixing: Joseph married an Egyptian-African. Moses married Zipporah, an Ethiopian.

Erika Davis Black, Gay, And Jewish: Confessions Of A Former Pagan-Hippie
Erika Davis, Jewcy, February 1, 2012

Throughout my conversion process as I learned about Jewish holidays and why we and when we celebrated them, I kept interrupting my rabbi to comment that it all sounded really pagan. To most people, “pagan” means devil-worship, to me it means earth-based. The fact that Jews have not hidden our very earth-based, agricultural roots from our lives as 21st century Jews was welcoming to me.


PoolGoodbye to All That
Vox Tablet, Tablet, January 23, 2012

The Jewish community in Caracas has long been lively, prosperous, tight-knit, and devoted to the country that accepted so many of them as refugees during and after World War II. But in the years since President Hugo Chávez came into office, their sense of well-being has eroded significantly.

Erica Lyons The Whole World Is Jewish
Erica Lyons, The Jewish Press, February 17, 2012

Our Jewish world is small but from his five-year-old perspective it is large, perhaps all-encompassing. The fact that in a population of over 7 million people in Hong Kong (95% of whom are ethnically Chinese) we as Jews collectively account for only about 4,000 or 0.05% of the population can be seemingly irrelevant.

Barbados Barbados beyond the beaches
Phil Carpenter, The Gazette, February 11, 2012

It was the sinister skull-and-crossbones carving on one, moss-covered and cracking, the tombstone was wedged between hundreds of others in this crowded 357-year-old Jewish cemetery crammed into Bridgetown, the seaside capital of Barbados. Were there Jewish pirates in Barbados?


Jiang Stein Reviewed: Deborah Jiang Stein’s “Even Tough Girls Wear Tutus”
Joe Winkler, Jewcy, January 31, 2012

Given some memoirists punish their readers with self-pittying drivel, I hesitated when I first read Deborah Jiang Stein’s Even Tough Girls Wear Tutus. Stein, adopted by white academic Jewish parents, finds out that her biological mother, a heroin addict, gave birth and weaned her for a year in prison. Yet it took me no longer than the first paragraph to fall a little in love with Stein.

Admiral General AlladeenDictatorial
Rachel Shukert, Tablet Magazine, February 24, 2012

Sasha Baron-Cohen, the most mischievously shape-shifting Jewish comedian/folk hero since Herschel of Ostropol, has been warned by the Academy in no uncertain terms not to turn up dressed as Admiral General Alladeen, his lavishly bearded Qaddafi-esque alter ego from his upcoming movie, The Dictator.

Painting Painter Kehinde Wiley Brings Hip-Hop Style to the Jewish Museum
Amy Zimmer,, February 22, 2012

The painter Kehinde Wiley became famous for his boldly patterned and brightly colored portraits of African American men posing as emperors and other nobles in the style of the Old Masters. His latest series though, focused on young men in Israel, from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds, painted on a background of Jewish ceremonial art.


SamsonIndian-Jewish Comedian Samson Koletkar Bay Area tour
Various dates throughout March, Various venues, Bay Area

Growing up Jewish in Mumbai was more perplexing to those around him than Samson himself. As a first generation Indian Jewish guy with zero historical knowledge of American Standup, Samson brings a refreshingly new approach to cerebral, witty, thought-provoking humour with a global perspective.

Purim Under the SeaChevra Thilim's Purim Under then Sea
March 8, 2012, Teglia Community Center

Come celebrate Purim by the ocean! With a sumptuous dinner buffet, underwater entertainment and multimedia Megillah reading this will be a wonderful event for the whole family!

LGBTQ FlagJewish LGBTQ Monthly Bay Area Mixer
March 14, 2012, Blush!

Come join us from 5:30-7:30 for the Jewish LGBTQ monthly Bay Area mixer at Blush, a nice quiet wine bar in the Castro. Every 2nd Wednesday come make some friends, and catch up with old ones. Although it is a no-host bar, we will have 25% off glasses of wine and a reserved table in the back.


Be'chol Lashon New York GroupBe'chol Lashon New York Discussion Group
March 7th, New York City

This month the group will have a check in with Lacey Schwartz and discuss the format for the upcoming year. RSVP required. This event is co-sponsored by Be'chol Lashon and JBFCS.

Sixth and IBe'chol Lashon Be'chol Lashon Washington, DC Discussion Groups

NEW! Be'chol Lashon and Sixth & I sponsoring new discussion groups in Washington, DC. Groups for individuals and parents starting in January.

Sign up here.

EqualityWe Want Equal Rights for All
March 1, 2012, Columbia/Barnard Hillel

In recent weeks, Israel and its people were awakened to increasing cases of overt discrimination against Israelis of Ethiopian decent. The evening will provide an opportunity to have an in-depth dialogue about the issues, what has been done, what could be done, and ways to advocate for positive change for the benefit of all Israelis.

Keren McGinityCurb Your Enthusiasm: Interfaith Romance, Gender, and Pop Culture
March 15, 2012, Newton Community Education

Have you or someone you know ever loved, or been highly attracted to someone outside your religion? Join Brandeis University Professor Keren R. McGinity for an evening of entertainment, history, and culture as she weaves together interfaith romance, gender, and popular cutlure.


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 Bryan. 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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