October 30th, 2014

Kids, enter the AJW Hanuka Cover Contest

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Want to see YOUR artwork on the cover of the American Jewish World?

It’s time to get out the paper and markers and enter the 23rd annual AJW Hanuka Cover Contest.

We’re looking for colorful drawings by budding artists (in grades 1-8). Drawings should be visual representations of the meaning of Hanuka.

The winning artwork will be published on the cover of the AJW’s Dec. 5 Hanuka special edition.

The artwork should be in a VERTICAL format.

For all the details, click HERE.

2013 AJW Hanuka Cover Contest winning artwork by Mara Fink.

2013 AJW Hanuka Cover Contest winning artwork by Mara Fink.

The deadline for artwork submissions is 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Entries should be sent to: AJW Cover Art, 4820 Minnetonka Blvd., Suite 104, Minneapolis, MN 55416.

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October 30th, 2014

At 105, ‘British Schindler’ celebrated in Prague

Sir Nicholas Winton organized eight trains that saved 669 children during World War II

By JAN RICHTER

PRAGUE (JTA) — A 105-year-old man known as the “British Oskar Schindler” — having saved hundreds of Jewish children from the Nazis — received the Czech Republic’s highest honor Tuesday.

Sir Nicholas Winton was flown on a Czech military plane to Prague, where Czech President Miloš Zeman awarded him the Order of the White Lion. Seven of the 669 children he rescued were present at Tuesday’s ceremony, which coincided with the Czechoslovak Independence Day.

“I want to thank you all for this tremendous expression of thanks for something which happened to me nearly 100 years ago,” Winton said after receiving the award.

Nicholas Winton at a London event honoring him in September 2009. (Photo: Peter Maciarmid / Getty Images)

Nicholas Winton at a London event honoring him in September 2009. (Photo: Peter Maciarmid / Getty Images)

Winton was 29 when he first arrived in Prague in December of 1938. He was planning to go on a skiing holiday in Switzerland but changed his plans when he heard about the refugee crisis in Czechoslovakia.

In the following months, he organized eight trains that carried children, the vast majority of them Jewish, from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to safety in the United Kingdom.

“I’m delighted that so many of the children are still about, and they are here to thank me,” Winton said.

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October 29th, 2014

Jerusalem light rail attack claims second victim

(JTA) — A woman critically injured in a terror attack in Jerusalem last week has died of her injuries.

The 22-year-old tourist from Ecuador died Sunday at Hadassah Medical Center, four days after a Palestinian man drove his car into a light rail station near Ammunition Hill, in northern Jerusalem, as passengers were disembarking.

She is the second person to be killed in the Oct. 22 car attack. The first was a 3-month-old American citizen, Chaya Zissel Braun. At least six others were injured in the attack.

The driver was shot by police as he attempted to flee the scene and died later in Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center. Abdelrahman Al-Shaludi, a Palestinian resident of the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, was buried Sunday evening after delays due to Palestinian rioting throughout eastern Jerusalem.
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October 29th, 2014

New Jewish museum in Poland ‘reveals hope’

The museum is part of a wider movement since the fall of communism to reconnect with the past

By RUTH ELLEN GRUBER

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — In a Europe wracked by fears of rising anti-Semitism, and in a country whose Jews were all but annihilated in the Holocaust, a dazzling new “museum of life” celebrates the Jewish past and looks forward to a vital future.

Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday jointly inaugurated the long-awaited core exhibit of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, a more than $100 million complex first conceived more than 20 years ago.

A view of the reconstructed painted ceiling of the wooden synagogue of Gwoździec, a key installation in the core exhibit of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. (Photo: Ruth Ellen Gruber / JTA)

A view of the reconstructed painted ceiling of the wooden synagogue of Gwoździec, a key installation in the core exhibit of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. (Photo: Ruth Ellen Gruber / JTA)

“It is not a museum of the Holocaust, it is a museum of life,” Rivlin, who was making his first trip abroad since his election this summer, declared at the opening ceremony. “It is the place that commemorates everything that is gone and will never return. And it reveals hope for a different future.”

Komorowski stressed the same hopes, declaring that the museum opening was a history-making event that bore witness to Poland’s development into a democratic state since the fall of communism.

“One of the central themes in our drive to freedom was to put right the account of history that had been corrupted, manipulated and distorted in so many ways during the non-democratic communist era,” Komorowski said.

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October 29th, 2014

Yemen Blues to perform at Cedar

World music sensation Yemen Blues, a seven-member Sephardic music ensemble, will perform 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20 at the Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Vocalist Ravid Kahalani leads the group, whose original music mixes Yemen and West Africa influences with the blues, jazz and funk.

Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 on the day of the show; visit: www.thecedar.org or call 612-338-2674.

Here is a video of Yemen Blues recording  the song “Um min al yaman.”


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October 23rd, 2014

Rabbi Marc Liebhaber dies at 97

A Shoah survivor, rabbi, teacher, businessman and philanthropist, he lived a long life full of both joy and tragedy

By MORDECAI SPECKTOR

Rabbi Marc Liebhaber began writing a column in the American Jewish World around 40 years ago. The popular feature was titled “From Friday to Friday,” and topics ranged from communal Jewish issues — local, national and global — to Israel.

The Jewish state was a frequent topic. Rabbi Liebhaber often reported on his travels to Israel, and relayed his concerns about social and political developments there.

Remembrance

In March 1980, Liebhaber, who had served in the pulpit of Tifereth B’nai Jacob Synagogue, in north Minneapolis, realized a longtime dream when he purchased the newspaper from Norman Gold and his partners. He ran the Jewish World — and continued to write his column — for 26 years, until he sold the paper to Minnesota Jewish Media, LLC, the current parent company of the AJW.

On Oct. 14, Rabbi Liebhaber died at his home in Boca Raton, Fla. He was 97. Funeral services took place this week in New York City.

Rabbi Marc Liebhaber speaks at the 2013 Liebhaber Prize awards ceremony in Jerusalem. (Photo: Mordecai Specktor)

Rabbi Marc Liebhaber speaks at the 2013 Liebhaber Prize awards ceremony in Jerusalem. (Photo: Mordecai Specktor)

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October 23rd, 2014

Spinoza story spins a great tale at MJTC

David Ives’ play, New Jerusalem, engages the audience during a historic legal interrogation

By DORIS RUBENSTEIN

What do the portrayals of Wolfgang Mozart in Amadeus and Baruch de Spinoza in New Jerusalem have in common? In both plays, the main characters are child prodigies and they are both depicted as sort of wild and crazy guys.

Much more is known about Mozart’s early life than about Spinoza’s life. David Ives’ play, New Jerusalem, The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam, July 27, 1656, now on stage at Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company’s Hillcrest Theater in St. Paul, attempts to fill in some of that gap.

The play’s mood is set before the houselights are even dimmed when the muffled voices of a sizeable crowd bleed through the sound system (creatively used by sound designer C. Andrew Mayer), melding with the voices of the audience that is just being seated. It’s a hint to those paying attention that they will become part of the play itself.

New Jerusalem’s main action takes place in the Talmud Torah Synagogue. It imagines what was a legal interrogation — not a religious one, per se, since it is not conducted by a beit din (rabbinical court) — by Talmud Torah’s administrative leaders, ex officio leaders of the Amsterdam Jewish community.

The object of the interrogation is one 22-year-old member of the community: Baruch de Spinoza. The audience is the Talmud Torah congregation, witnessing the “trial.”

Michael Hugh Torsch (Baruch de Spinoza) and Rachel Weber (Rebekah de Spinoza) star in Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company’s production of New Jerusalem, The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam, July 27, 1656. They are pictured with James Ramlet (Van Valkenburgh, far left) and George Muellner (Rabbi Mortera, second from left). (Photo: Sarah Whiting)

Michael Hugh Torsch (Baruch de Spinoza) and Rachel Weber (Rebekah de Spinoza) star in Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company’s production of New Jerusalem, The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam, July 27, 1656. They are pictured with James Ramlet (Van Valkenburgh, far left) and George Muellner (Rabbi Mortera, second from left). (Photo: Sarah Whiting)

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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 1st, 2014

Community Guide 2015 is coming down the track

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.

Jerusalem light rail train (Photo: Mordecai Specktor)

Jerusalem light rail train (Photo: Mordecai Specktor)


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