CT News

WHAT’S HAPPENING – February 16 – March 18


“The Garden of the Finzi-Continis,” screening & discussion
Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust presents a screening and discussion of the 1970 classic film “The Garden Of The Finzi-Continis” on Feb. 11 at 2 p.m. Ricky Ian Gordon, composer of the operatic adaptation of the film, and Portia Prebys, longtime companion of Giorgio Bassani, join Italian film and history experts for a discussion on the film. Attendees will receive a private link to screen the film during the four-day period before the program. For more information on this virtual program, visit: mjhnyc.org/events

Exploring the history and evolution of Yizkor Books
Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust presents Z”achor: Yizkor Books As Collective Memory Of A Lost World,” on Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. on Zoom. Speakers include Avraham Groll, executive director of JewishGen; Joyce Field, former JewishGen VP for Research and Data Acquisition and Yizkor Book Project Manager; Lance Ackerfeld, director of the Yizkor Book Project; and Joel Alpert, coordinator of the Yizkor Books in Print Project.,Compiled from memory by groups of former residents of Eastern European towns in the immediate decades after the Holocaust, Yizkor Books are some of the best sources for learning about pre-war Jewish life in Eastern and Central Europe. For more information on this virtual program, visit: mjhnyc.org/events


Jewish Ethics, Social Justice, and the 21st Century Rabbinate 
Rabbi Stephanie Ruskay of the Jewish Theological Seminary will discuss “Jewish Ethics, Social Justice, Community Organizing and the 21st Century Rabbinate ” on Feb. 18 at 7:30 on Zoom, as part of the 2021 series of virtual lectures surrounding the theme of “The Jewish Roots of Social Justice,” presented by the ALEPH Institute, a learning initiative sponsored by the Mandell JCC and UConn Judaic Studies. Rabbi Ruskay will focus on raising the scope and profile of social justice work and community organizing skills in the role of the contemporary rabbi. For more information, visit judaicstudies.uconn.edu or mandelljcc.org. 

Beyond the Ghetto Gates with author Michelle Cameron

The book Beyond the Ghetto Gates by Michelle Cameron is set in 1796-97, a rare happy epoch in Jewish life when Napoleon marched into Italy and demolished the ghetto gates, freeing the Jews who had long been trapped behind them. This virtual book discussion with Cameron on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m., explores issues the novel raises issue that remain pertinent today, including antisemitism, the conflict between assimilation and religious tradition, intermarriage, and the struggle between love and familial duty. For more information, visit cbict.org/calendar.

A talk with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla

Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust presents “ Legacies: A Talk With Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla,” who has overseen the development of the world’s first safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, will discuss his experience as the son of Holocaust survivors and how his upbringing informed his accomplished career. He will be joined in conversation by Robert Krulwich, science and technology journalist and longtime host of the double Peabody Award-winning show Radiolab. Admission is complimentary with a suggested donation. For more information on this virtual program, visit: mjhnyc.org/currentevents.


JTConnect’s Pink Shabbat raises breast cancer awareness
In keeping with Sharsheret Pink Day 2021, a worldwide initiative to raise breast cancer awareness that will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 10, JTConnect will host its annual Pink Shabbat on Feb. 20, 7 – 8 p.m. Led by JTConnect teen engagement fellows and open to all ages, the evening will include Havdalah and a meal certified kosher by the HKC and ready for pick up by Friday, Feb. 19. JTConnect Pink Shabbat Boxes that include a pink Havdalah set, Sharsheret swag, mitzvah cards, and more, may be purchased for $36. Procees will benefit Sharsheret, a national non-profit that improves the lives of Jewish women and families living with or at increased genetic risk for breast or ovarian cancer. Reservations a must by Friday, Feb. 12. Zoom link will be sent upon registration. To register, contact cara@jtconnect.org. 


In concert: Alex Nakhimovsky & Friends
Beth El Temple presents a Zoom concert featuring pianist pianist Alex Nakhimovsky and vocalists led by Cantor Joseph Ness. jazz and pop to classical and Israeli folk songs. Part of the 2021 BEMA online season. FREE. Register at https://tinyurl.com/BEMAandAlex


UJF Community Read to feature author Rachel Barenbaum
Author Rachel Barenbaum will discuss her debut novel A Bend in the Stars on Zoom, Monday, Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m. at the Community Read hosted by United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien. Set in Russia during World War I, in A Bend in the Stars Barenbaum melds the science relating to solving Einstein’s theory of relativity with a love story. The book was named a New York Times Summer Reading Selection and a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Barenbaum, who lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, is a reviewer for the LA Review of Books, the Tel Aviv Review of Books and DeadDarlings. She is an honorary research associate at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. To register for this free program, visit ujf.org/communityread, or email Diane Sloyer at dianesloyer@ujf.org. 

AFTERLIFE: What does Judaism say about the world to come?

Cantor Abramson of Congregation Shir Ami will lead a virtual exploration on the Jewish perspective on the afterlife and the concepts of heaven and hell on Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. For more information, contact Cantor Abramson cantorjea@gmail.com


Preserving Jewish Memory at Auschwitz
Since 2000, the Auschwitz Jewish Center (AJC), a Polish satellite location of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust and the only Jewish presence remaining in the vicinity of Auschwitz, has preserved Jewish memory in the town of Oświęcim and educated about the contemporary dangers of antisemitism and other forms of prejudice. Barbara Posner and Shlomi Shaked, the daughter and grandson of survivors from Oświęcim, who have both reconnected with the town over the past two decades, will explore the Center’s commemoration efforts in Oświęcim and their impact on descendants of the town’s Jewish residents, on Feb 23 5 p.m.For more information on this virtual program, visit: mjhnyc.org/events


Arthur Szyk & the Art of the Haggadah
Irving Ungar, rabbi and antiquarian book dealer specializing in history Judaica, will present the Samuel and Bettie Roberts Lecture in Jewish Art, and co-editor, The Szyk Haggadah, publisher and editor, Arthur Szyk: Soldier in Art (2017) on Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. The FREE webinar is part of the lecture series presented by Fairfield University’s Bennet Center for Judaic Studies. Registration required at fairfield.edu/bennettprogram. For questions, contact the Bennett Center at bennettcenter@fairfield.edu or call (203) 254-4000 ext. 2066.


Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy’s annual dinner goes virtual
Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy 65th Annual Celebration Dinner, to be held virtually on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 6:30 p.m,. will honor several community leaders, including: Guests of Honor Stephanie and Josh Bilenker; Young Leadership Award recipients Nicole and Jonathan Makovsky; Doris Zelinsky, recipient of the Morton G. Scheraga President’s Award; and the many school alumni who are currently serving in the Israel Defense Force. In addition, Jacqueline Herman, who will be retiring as Bi-Cultural head of school at the end of this academic year, will receive the inaugural Walter Shuchatowitz Award for Excellence in Education. For more information, call (203) 329-2186 or visit bchact.org.

Looking for God in All the Right Places with author Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin

Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin will discuss his book Looking for God in All the Right Places, on Zoom, Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. Rabbi Slakin is well known for his writing, teaching and activism. He has written or edited three Torah commentaries – two of which are for teens. Several of his books have won national awards. His award-winning blog, “Martini Judaism: for those who want to be shaken and stirred,” is published by the Religion News Service. He is currently spiritual leader of Temple Israel in West Palm Beach, Florida.For more information, visit cbict.org/calendar.


Creating Meaningful Experiences and Moments With Grandchildren
Jewish educator, Diana Gaber, MSW, a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Foundation and a recipient of the 2008 Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education, and director of Ideal 18 a non-profit bringing generations together through creative experiences, will discuss “Creating Meaningful Experiences and Moments With Grandchildren,” on March 3, 7 p.m., is the inaugural FREE event of the United Jewish Federation’s PJ Grandparents Group, hosted by United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford and PJ Library. To register and receive Zoom link, contact sharon@ujf.org, (203) 321-1373 x109. Email questions in advance to sharon@ujf.org.

Two women talking: A rabbi and a pastor sit down for coffee
The Open MINDS Institute of Fairfield University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts present “Women Who Transform Tradition: Or, What Happens When a Female Rabbi and a Female Pastor Sit Down for Coffee,” on March 3 at 1 p.m. Rabbi Sarah Marion of Congregation B’nai Israel in Bridgeport and Reverend Vanessa Rose of First Church Congregational in Fairfield, talk about about women who serve as religious leaders: their history, opportunities, and challenges. No registration is required for this FREE virtual program. For more information, visit quickcenter.com or call (203) 254-4010.


ALEPH presents: “Performing Judaism and Social Justice” 
How to both teach and deconstruct the dominant stereotypes that Jews reinforce when teaching about Jews and Judaism is the focus of “Performing Judaism and Social Justice,” will be presented on Zoom on March 4 at 7:30 p.m., as part of the 2021 series of virtual lectures surrounding the theme of “The Jewish Roots of Social Justice.” The Zoom-theatrical performance will feature Kendell Pinkney, a Brooklyn based theater-maker, Jewish-life consultant, and JTS rabbinical student; Avi Amon, a Turkish-American composer, sound artist, and educator; and Rebecca S’manga Frank, an actor, writer, director. The performance is part of the ALEPH Institute learning initiative sponsored by the Mandell JCC and UConn Judaic Studies. 

For more information, visit judaicstudies.uconn.edu or mandelljcc.org.

Klezmer musician Michael Winograd & The Honorable Mentshn in concert 
The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust continues to bring live music to audiences at home through the Live from Edmond J. Safra Hall concert series, presented from its state-of-the-art theater. Next up in the series: A live performance by the celebrated klezmer musician Michael Winograd & The Honorable Mentshn on March 4 at 8 p.m.. The group will play hits from Winograd’s 2019 LP Kosher Style, classics from the golden age of Yiddish theater and Klezmer music. Winograd will lead the concert on the clarinet, joined by trombonist Daniel Blacksberg, accordionist Will Holshouser, pianist Carmen Staa, bassist Zoe Guigueno, and drummer David Licht.

For more information, visit mjhnyc.org.


Jewish and Christian Women as Allies in Anti-Racism
15th Annual Lecture in Jewish Christian Engagement: “Lift Every Voice and Sing: Jewish and Christian Women as Allies in Anti-Racism,” with guest speaker Ann Millin, PhD, historian, Ida E King Distinguished Visiting Professor of Holocaust Studies, Richard Stockton University. A FREE webinar presented March 16 at 7:30 p.m. Co-sponsored by the Bennett Center for Judaic Studies and the Center for Catholic Studies at Fairfield University.Registration required at fairfield.edu/bennettprograms. For information: bennettcenter@fairfield.edu or (203) 254-4000 x2066.


Blacks, Jews, and Black Jews
Susannah Heschel, The Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College, will explore the intertwined dimensions of relations between African Americans and Jewish Americans, Jewish involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, Jewish memory of the Civil Rights Movement in recent decades in light of the rise of white nationalism, and scholarship on racism and what they might contribute to our understanding of antisemitism, in her lecture “Blacks, Jews and Black Jews,” to be held on March 18 at 7:30 p.m. The lecture is part of the 2021 series of virtual lectures surrounding the theme of “The Jewish Roots of Social Justice,” presented by the ALEPH Institute learning initiative and sponsored by the Mandell JCC and UConn Judaic Studies. For more information, visit judaicstudies.uconn.edu or mandelljcc.org.

“The Soap Myth” in West Hartford
Fresh from the oven
Lots of Love

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