Be'chol Lashon Newsletter: June 2011

roses Stop and Smell the Roses

This weekend we chatted with hundreds of thousands of diverse passers-by at our booth with a rainbow Israeli flag at the San Francisco Pride festival. Our joint Be’chol Lashon, LGBT Alliance/SF Federation, Contemporary Jewish Museum booth was a small beacon of Jewish life in a sea of competing corporate, commercial, and non-profit interests. Thank you for all the volunteers that came out to help. See photos here.


Memory Jews and Memory: How Judaism Perpetuates Memory
By Nadine Epstein, Moment, May/June 2011

Jews are known as the “People of the Book.” Before scribes began to write words on scrolls, were we the “People of Memory?”

Israel Flag Jewish Agency gains power to approve Orthodox converts for aliyah
JTA, June 15, 2011

The Jewish Agency for Israel will now be responsible for approving the eligibility of Orthodox converts for aliyah, Israel's Interior Ministry announced the change in a letter Tuesday to the Knesset.

Millennials The Applied Research Center - Millennials Report
The Applied Research Center, June 7, 2011

The “Millennial Generation” (born post-1980, ages 18-30) is the largest, most racially and ethnically diverse generation the US has ever known. It is clear that race continues to play a role in their lives.


father's synagogue In My Father’s Synagogue
By Dianne Cohler-Essess, The Jewish Week, May 24, 2011

Like virtually all Syrian Jews, my father was a staunch traditionalist. A faithful synagogue goer every Shabbat, he would never have considered Reform or Conservative Judaism as an option for himself or for his family.

Rabbi Heidi Raised by a Pastor, and Now Leading a Synagogue
By Tim Stelloh, The New York Times, May 30, 2011

Before Heidi Hoover became a rabbi in Brooklyn, she was a pastor’s daughter in Pennsylvania. Now, she is leading a synagogue in New York.

child They Needed Parents and We Needed Children
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, June 2011

Sometimes, people ask me if my children are adopted. These people usually answer their own question before I have to. But my favorite question is, "So, did you want to have children?" I am tempted to respond that we adopted by accident, or that we woke up one day and found we had a child..."


SpainRabbi Praises Spain's Progress in Jewish Relations
By Raphael Minder, New York Times, June 6, 2011

“We are not asking for the official abolition of the edicts of expulsion because they have no legal relevance now and are like a plate which has been used and should just be thrown away,” he said. “Trying to work out what exactly convinced people here to issue such edicts would require an infinite amount of work, when we should instead be looking to the future and not the past.”

Rabbi Juan Amigos in San Miguel de Allende: A Shavuot Story of Conversion
By Rabbi Daniel Mehlman, Jewish Journal, June 1, 2011

Very few Jews settled in East Bengal, as opposed to West Bengal, which had a thriving Jewish community of more than 5,000 at its peak in and around Kolkata (then Calcutta).

Talmud Torah Talmud Torah blends many Jewish traditions
By Todd Babiak, Edmonton Journal, June 2, 2011

For those who study the Edmonton public school board's innovative decentralized approach to management, 1977 was a crucial year. Talmud Torah entered the public system, demonstrating to other potential operators of private schools that excellence, and culture-specific instruction, was possible in the public system.


Siona Benjamin Kosher Indian; Artist Siona Benjamin describes her art
By Eric Herschthal, The Jewish Week, May 31, 2011

“I started to explore the long-term questions about being a Jew,” she said. “And after a while, I felt like I had to do what’s deeply connected to me…This feeling of finding home has always been there: Is home India? Is it America? Is it Israel?”

LadinoLadino-singing DeLeon makes for summertime party
By Justin Jacobs, The Jewish Chronicle, June 20, 2011

Bright melodies and danceable rhythms feel good in any language. That’s a message DeLeon thrives upon with its new album “Casata,” out June 14 on JDub Records. The CD has 11 tracks that flow with the warmth and fun that only comes from the early days of summer.

Price of Escape A Passage To Guatemala
By Eric Herschthal, The Jewish Week, May 31, 2011

“The Price of Escape,” follows a Jewish refugee who flees Nazi Germany and ends up in Guatemala. The story was inspired by the strange journey Unger’s own father. It charts the psychic toll of immigration, particularly for cultured European Jews who found themselves transplanted to exotic foreign lands.


Next year in BombayNext Year in Bombay Screening at The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
July 28, August 4, 6 & 7 in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Berkeley, Marin

Be'chol Lashon is co-sponsoring the film Next Year in Bombay which explores the diversity of India’s Jewish populations, while maintaining their culture and traditions as their populations dwindle. Be'chol Lashon is hosting a chai & chat after the screening on August 6th at the Roda Theater in Berkeley. RSVP here.

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.

Just Added! Camp Be’chol Lashon needs a Song Leader! Do you know a passionate candidate, well versed in Jewish songs, who can bring the beauty of music to camp? Email Esther for more info.

Camp Be'chol LashonBe'chol Lashon Retreat
October 14 - 16, Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma, CA Register today!

Be part of a vibrant growing global Jewish community. Celebrate Sukkot with family and friends at the Bay Area Bechol Lashon Retreat!


Be'chol Lashon/JBFCS NY Group for Racially and Ethnically Diverse Jews
Wednesday, July 6, 7-9pm

Join a group of racially and ethnically diverse Jews to meet and discuss related topics. This month: Kashrut in the conservative movement. The presenter will be Tamara Fish and will be moderated Joel Sanchez. RSVP is required. This event is co-sponsored by Be'chol Lashon and JBFCS.

Finding Home: The Art of Siona BenjaminFinding Home: The Art of Siona Benjamin
May 18 - July 28th
JCC Manhattan

In the vibrant world created by Indian Jewish artist Siona Benjamin (originally from Bombay, now living in the US), Biblical characters appear as blue angels faced with problems and dilemmas of the contemporary world.

Gloria GoldenJCC: The Crypto-Jews of New Mexico
May 16 - July 24
Roland Exhibition Corridor of the Leon & Toby Cooperman JCC

Photographer, author and lecturer Gloria Golden traveled through North Africa and Spain to find remnants of Judaism there. She reveals 500 years of the difficulties of the Sephardim and shows how the soul of Judaism endures in this ambitious project.


Robin WashingtonErin Washgton's Wedding & Robin Washington talks about race

Mazel Tov to Erin Washington, daughter of Robin Washington, on her recent marriage to Gene Pelikhov. Be’chol Lashon associate director, Rabbi Capers Funnye officiated the wedding. Read more here. Recently Robin sat down with Be'chol Lashon Research Scholar, Lewis Gordon to talk about race. Read more here.

BCCBCC Looks to Future With New Home & Davi Cheng writes about Identity

Mazel Tov to BCC on their new building. BCC, the world's first LGBT synagogue today is an inclusive community open to all. Davi Cheng, Be'chol Lashon's regional representative in Los Angeles writes about identity in Reform Judaism Magazine. Read article here.

Asa FederickMazel Tov to the Kone-Miller Family

Mazel Tov to San Francisco Be'chol Lashon Family, Michael Miller and Nzinga Kone on birth of their child Asa. We wish you many years to come filled with health and happiness.

Leavitt-Kim-FamilyOn Raising Asian-Jewish Children

Noah Leavitt and Helen Kim, Be'chol Lashon research scholars, were interviewed about the recent Forward article “Raising Children on Kugel and Kimchi, and as Jews".


Aardvark Israel Immersion ProgramAardvark 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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