October 15th, 2014

Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival opens Oct. 23

The 2014 Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival, formerly the Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival, will bring the community together by featuring international award-winning feature films, documentaries and shorts from around the world on themes of Jewish culture and identity.

The festival, a partnership of the Sabes JCC and the St. Paul JCC, runs Oct. 23–Nov. 2.

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Prior to the official opening, there will be a screening of Dancing in Jaffa 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19 at the Sabes JCC, 4330 Cedar Lake Rd. S., St. Louis Park. It will be followed by a tango dance lesson and reception.

Under the context of Israeli-Palestinian relations, Dancing in Jaffa demonstrates the powerful role that dance can play in enabling communities to overcome prejudice and build personal ties with one another.

Opening night will feature the Minnesota premiere of The Sturgeon Queens, a documentary of a famed New York fishmonger shop and deli, with guest appearances by the director and author. The festival will also include the Minnesota premiere of Above and Beyond, the true story of the volunteer foreign airmen in the War of Independence. That screening will feature guest producer Nancy Spielberg and honor local hero Leon Frankel, who is seen in the film.

For a complete schedule of events and to purchase tickets, visit: www.tcjfilmfest.org. Tickets can also be purchased by calling 952-381-3499 or e-mailing: tickets@sabesjcc.org.


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October 15th, 2014

Professor to discuss Mideast’s ‘complicated relationships’

As part of its annual community lecture series, the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Minnesota will host Professor Ido Zelkovitz 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22 at Temple of Aaron, 616 S. Mississippi River Blvd., St. Paul.

Zelkovitz will present “Israel and the Palestinians: A Post-Arab Spring Overview of Complicated Relationships.”

Ido Zelkovits

Ido Zelkovits

He will discuss the impact of the Arab Spring on the struggle for political dominance in the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and will analyze the threats and the opportunities for Israel from Palestinian Unity.

Zelkovitz is a research fellow at the Ezri Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies, and teaches in the Department of Middle Eastern History at the University of Haifa.

The event is free and open to the public, and a reception will follow. For information, visit: jwst.umn.edu.
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October 15th, 2014

Heidi Chronicles on stage through Oct. 26

The Heidi Chronicles continues its run through Oct. 26 on the Wurtele Thrust Stage at the Guthrie Theater, 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis.

The brilliant Wendy Wasserstein play, directed by Leigh Silverman, follows the eponymous protagonist, noted feminist art historian Heidi Holland — played by Kate Wetherhead — from high school in the 1960s, through the ’70s and ’80s, as she navigates career and personal choices. Silverman told the AJW that Heidi expresses the competing priorities facing women, and “the emotional resonance of those issues is as current today as it was in the ’70s” (9-12-14 AJW).

For tickets, call the Guthrie box office at 612-377-2224, or go to: guthrietheater.org.

Noted feminist art historian Heidi Holland (Kate Wetherhead, second from right) accepts an invitation to appear on Hello, New York, a TV talk show, in the Guthrie Theater’s production of The Heidi Chronicles. (Photo: Joan Marcus)

Noted feminist art historian Heidi Holland (Kate Wetherhead, second from right) accepts an invitation to appear on Hello, New York, a TV talk show, in the Guthrie Theater’s production of The Heidi Chronicles. (Photo: Joan Marcus)


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October 15th, 2014

D.C. rabbi Barry Freundel arrested, charged with voyeurism

(JTA) — Rabbi Barry Freundel, the longtime spiritual leader at Kesher Israel in Washington, D.C., was arrested and charged with voyeurism.

Freundel, 62, was taken away Tuesday in handcuffs after uniformed officers and plainclothes detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department searched his home in the Georgetown section of Washington, Washingtonian magazine reported.

Barry Freundel

Barry Freundel

According to the Washington Post, the D.C. police declined to provide further details beyond the charge.

The Forward reported that a witness allegedly saw Fruendel installing a hidden camera above a shower stall at his synagogue’s mikva. The story also detailed a Rabbinical Council of America investigation into allegations over the summer of “ethical issues that came up regarding an issue with a woman.” The allegations were investigated, but no action was taken.

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October 15th, 2014

Atlanta Rabbi Shalom Lewis calls for ‘holy crusade’ against radical Islam

By NATHAN GUTTMAN / Forward

This was likely the first time a Rosh Hashana sermon was covered by Iran’s national TV.

“An American rabbi has called for the genocide of all Muslims,” said the announcer on PressTV, Iran’s English language government-run network.

Shalom Lewis (Photo: Courtesy of Congregation Etz Chaim)

Shalom Lewis (Photo: Courtesy of Congregation Etz Chaim)

And while this report grossly misrepresented the words of Rabbi Shalom Lewis, his sermon on the second day of Rosh Hashana was explosive enough to explain the national and international attention it brought to him and to his suburban Conservative synagogue just outside Atlanta.

Speaking to nearly 2,000 congregants attending High Holiday services at Congregation Etz Chaim in Marietta, Georgia, the veteran rabbi delivered a 10-alarm warning about the threat that he sees posed by Muslim extremists.
Read more: http://forward.com/articles/207015/atlanta-rabbi-shalom-lewis-calls-for-holy-crusade/?p=all#ixzz3GE5YM08d

 
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October 8th, 2014

Herb Alpert lives the creative life

Herb Alpert and his wife, Lani Hall, return to Minneapolis for a three-night stand at the Dakota Jazz Club

By MORDECAI SPECKTOR

Trumpeter and bandleader Herb Alpert shot to worldwide fame with the 1962 song “The Lonely Bull.” The song begins with a mariachi brass band fanfare and the cries of “Olé!” from thousands of spectators at a bullfight.

Alpert, who first picked up the trumpet at the age of eight, and the Tijuana Brass achieved amazing commercial success — in 1966, the group sold more than 13 million albums, outselling the Beatles — and won six Grammy Awards.

The group’s albums were on the A&M Records label, which Alpert founded with his partner, Jerry Moss, the “M” in A&M. In 1987, Alpert and Moss sold their label to PolyGram Records for a reported $500 million.

Herb Alpert & Lani Hall at the Dakota, Oct. 18-20

Along the way, A&M released a ton of records for other artists and musical acts, including Burt Bacharach, Baja Marimba Band, Sérgio Mendes and Brasil ’66, Quincy Jones, Captain and Tennille, Liza Minnelli, Wes Montgomery, Joan Baez, Cat Stevens and Joe Cocker. The list runs on; for a week, in 1977, A&M even had the British punk band the Sex Pistols. In a recent Wall Street Journal interview, Alpert said he doesn’t regret dropping the band: “These guys were ornery.”

Alpert spoke by phone with the AJW last week, from his home in Malibu, Calif., and talked about his newly released album, In the Mood (Shout! Factory); his career as a painter and sculptor; and his upcoming shows at the Dakota Jazz Club.

Alpert, and his wife, singer Lani Hall, return to the Dakota Jazz Club for three nights, Oct. 18-20.

Herb Alpert: When I play these familiar songs, I am very, very conscious of the lyric, as I am expressing the melody through the trumpet. (Chris Adjani)

Herb Alpert: When I play these familiar songs, I am very, very conscious of the lyric, as I am expressing the melody through the trumpet. (Photo: Chris Adjani)

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October 8th, 2014

Court dismisses Hebrew National lawsuit

Minnesota judge says it ‘would be unholy’ for courts to interfere in disputes over Jewish dietary laws

By MORDECAI SPECKTOR

Hebrew National hot dogs devised a popular slogan, in 1965: “We answer to a higher authority.”

As it turns out, civil courts, on both the state and federal levels, are not stepping up as the “higher authority,” in a long-running consumer complaint about Hebrew National products.

On Oct. 6, Judge Jerome B. Abrams, of the Dakota County District Court, granted a motion to dismiss a lawsuit charging that Hebrew National used non-kosher meat in its products.

“It would be unholy, indeed, for this or any other court to substitute its judgment on this purely religious question,” Abrams wrote, in the introduction to his 43-page ruling.

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Abrams said that the rules for kashrut (Jewish dietary laws) “have been around since time immemorial. Rules for kashrut are found in the Old Testament books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. These laws have been debated for millennia by religious scholars, and as argued at the hearing, continue to be debated.”

Abrams’ reference is to the July 31 hearing in state court, in Hastings, Minn. The judge heard arguments on a motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought by the defendant, ConAgra Foods, Inc., the parent company of Hebrew National. The 11 plaintiffs in the lawsuit (Melvin Wallace, et al. v ConAgra Foods) contested the motion.

“No court in the land can pick a side, interpretation or point of view as to whether those religious requirements are met or unmet in these circumstances,” Abrams continued. He noted that ConAgra Foods relied on a “qualified religious observer,” Triangle K, to certify Hebrew National products as kosher.

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October 8th, 2014

MJTC celebrates 20th anniversary season

Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company has staged five world premieres and won several coveted Ivey Awards; its next production will open Oct. 18

By DORIS RUBENSTEIN

The Twin Cities has seen theater companies come and go. Who would have thought that Theatre de la Jeune Lune would have disappeared, even after winning an Emmy? Others, like 10,000 Things, persist, but have no real home.

It is therefore remarkable that the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company (MJTC) is now celebrating its 20th season at Hillcrest Center Theater in the Highland Park neighborhood of St. Paul. What have been the components of its longevity?

Without question, Producing Artistic Director Barbara Brooks has been the heart, soul and glue of MJTC since its inception, but she graciously acknowledges the Twin Cities’ artistic and philanthropic communities that have contributed toward the company’s theatrical and financial success.

Local actress Sally Wingert won an Ivey Award for her portrayal of the title character in Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company’s production of Rose in August. (Photo: Sarah Whiting)

Local actress Sally Wingert won an Ivey Award for her portrayal of the title character in Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company’s production of Rose in August. (Photo: Sarah Whiting)

Brooks looks back and notes how pleased she was to see the company receive interest, involvement and support from across the entire Twin Cities community. Audience, volunteers, artists and board members alike represent diverse cultural and religious backgrounds.

“People from all parts of the Twin Cities, state of Minnesota, and even other states make MJTC a point of destination,” Brooks said.

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October 1st, 2014

Here comes the Community Guide

The 2015 AJW Community Guide, a comprehensive directory of Jewish resources in Minnesota, will be mailed to Jewish World subscribers and thousands of other households next month.

The AJW is again partnering with Sholom on this attractive, magazine-format publication — our ninth annual edition.

You can get 2015 Community Guide ad rates and specs HERE.

To advertise in the Guide, contact Mordecai Specktor at: editor [at] ajwnews [dot] com, or call 952.259.5234.

Kotel_0948---Mordecai-Specktor
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