Be'chol Lashon Newsletter: July 2012
Oklahoma City man's faith journey leads him to Judaism
Juan Mejia once dreamed of becoming a Roman Catholic monk, but a life-changing discovery that began with a joke set him on a different path. A relative made an off-color remark, an anti-Semitic joke actually, that made his paternal grandfather very upset. Someone at the gathering urged the older man to explain why he was so upset, and his answer took everybody by surprise: The family descended from Jews.
Space still available! Camp Be'chol Lashon
Camp Be'chol Lashon is a new overnight Jewish camp for children who want to be part of a global Jewish community.
Interracial marriage: Mixing in matching
While Americans' support for interracial marriage has become nearly universal, according to a recent national poll, and mixed marriages are twice as common as they were 30 years ago, dating across ethnic lines still carries some apprehension.
In Germany, Ruling Over Circumcision Sows Anxiety and Confusion
The ruling on June 26 by a court in Cologne, banning circumcision, has sent ripples of anger and anxiety throughout the country and beyond. It has raised vexing questions about the boundaries of religious practice and freedom in an increasingly secular Germany.
US-born sprinter to compete for Israel
Donald Sanford was added to Israel’s Olympic delegation for the 2012 games on Thursday night. In 2010 Sanford began his citizenship process, and in 2012 he represented Israel at the European Championship.
Spreading Joy of Swimming, Ex-Olympian Finds It Again
As the first swimmer of African-American heritage to make a United States Olympic team, Anthony Ervin was both a pioneer and a prodigy. His father is also part American Indian, while his mother is Jewish.
Italian son of Jewish foster mom leads team into Euro 2012 final
Italian soccer star Mario Balotelli, who grew up as the foster son of a Jewish mother, has led Italy to the Euro 12 soccer championship game.
For the most part, the “others” have not flocked to the organized Jewish scene, in part feeling unwelcome, says Diane Tobin, the San Francisco-based director of Be’chol Lashon (Hebrew for “In Every Tongue”), which supports racially and ethnically diverse Jews. “Interpreting lack of denominational affiliation as lack of caring has negative repercussions and can become a self-fulfilling prophesy,” she says.
Drake — the rap star who performs at Bar Mitzvahs
Drake has created a new paradigm for rap - the tormented solipsist, forever showing his emotions and scrutinizing his actions. In so doing he has divided opinion between those who believe he is the antithesis of the authentic, street-wise hip hop hood, and those who have been won over.
A Quebecker convert
"The State of Israel resembles the province of Quebec in Canada in more ways than the residents of either one would assume," says Richard Marceau, an 11th generation Quebecker from a staunch Roman Catholic family.
Playing Jewish Geography in Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is a small town, especially when you are an expat. Yet as connected as we are, there are two very distinct ways that Phnom Penh Jews practice their religion. In this town with such a small Jewish population, is there room for two different Jewish communities?
Jewish Life in Shanghai's Ghetto
While much of the city’s Jewish Quarter has disappeared in the years since the end of World War II, the Ohel Moshe Synagogue is a constant reminder of how this Chinese city saved tens of thousands of Jews fleeing the Holocaust.
"Be sure not to wear a kippah on the street," a veteran Hungarian-Israeli businessman cautioned as we disembarked at Budapest's Ferihegy Airport. With public opinion surveys showing it to be among the most anti-Semitic countries in Europe, I took warnings to be Jewishly discreet to heart throughout our visit to the Hungarian capital.
Joann Sfar Draws from Memory Profiles a Star of the “New Wave” of Graphic Novels
Take a journey with award-winning graphic novelist Joann Sfar as he finds inspiration in his Algerian-Jewish heritage and the lively streets and cafes of his current home in France.
In his new book, Last Journey of the Ark, J.J. Gainer tells an exciting story inspired by Operation Solomon, the May 24-25, 1991 covert airlift that brought 14,000 Ethiopian Jews and possibly brought the Ark of the Covenant to Israel.
Religious hip-hop artist puts his complex identity onscreen
There’s a telling moment, midway through “Y-Love” — a new documentary named for its subject, the boundary-breaking black Orthodox Jewish rapper — in which the artist contemplates his public and private identities. Yitz Jordan, he explains, is the regular person. Y-Love is the hip-hop sensation. The artist recently added one more piece to the identity puzzle.
For Crypto-Jews of New Mexico, art is a window into secret life
Artist Anita Rodriguez’s “aha” moment came after reading “To the End of the Earth: A History of the Crypto-Jews of New Mexico.” It suddenly dawned on Rodriguez, a Catholic from Taos, that her neighbors may have been reticent to talk about religion because of secret family histories. Rodriguez is one of several artists planning to exhibit Crypto-Jewish-themed paintings and folk art at the conference of the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies in Albuquerque.
Joann Sfar Draws from Memory
Joann Sfar Draws from Memory, director Sam Ball’s documentary portrait of the French comics artist and filmmaker, tracks his odyssey through the Algerian and Eastern European Jewish heritage that serves as the wellspring of his work.
400 Miles to Freedom
In his new film, 400 Miles to Freedom, director Avishai Mekonen breaks his 20-year silence about the kidnapping he endured as a child in Sudan during his community’s exodus out of Africa.
Y-Love, the “premier Orthodox Jewish entity in hip hop” has a new documentary painting a poignant portrait of a perennial outsider: a Black, Jewish, gay orphan searching for a home.
Jewish LGBTQ Monthly Bay Area Mixer
Join Global Circle for cocktails and conversation with
Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, Executive Director of AJWS grantee partner Equal Ground and Co-Secretary of the International Lesbian and Gay Association.
Info Session: Wilderness Torah Nature Based Mentoring for Youth
This groundbreaking program weaves Jewish teachings, story, and song with personal challenges, outdoor skills, non-parental mentorship, peer group community building, and nature awareness activities to provide an embodied way for youth to explore coming-of-age.
You are invited to participate in a research study on individuals who choose to convert from one religion to another.
Be'chol Lashon Washington, DC Discussion Groups
Individuals, Couples and Parents Groups are all meeting on Saturday, August 4th at Magen David Sephardic Congregation in Rockville, MD for Shabbat services. RSVP required. Sponsored by Be'chol Lashon. If you are interested or for more information please email Meka at DC@BecholLashon.org.
If you want to book a speaker, screen a film or for press inquiries, contact Speakers@bechollashon.org or 415.386.7900.