Andy Horwitz photo by Meredith Zinner

April 2008

 
 
Dear Friends,

Central to Passover is one of the most cherished traditions of Jewish culture: storytelling. As we prepare to set the Seder table and recount pivotal moments of long ago, our office is overflowing with the remarkable stories of a more recent vintage. Last month, we received an astounding number of grant applications to our documentary filmmaking and theatre programs, all of which explore aspects of Jewish experience. For nearly fifty years, the Foundation has been a vibrant catalyst for the expression for Jewish culture, and our support of creative individuals feels particularly resonant at this time.
 
On June 12th, the Foundation will continue its celebration of creative life with the 2008 Jewish Cultural Achievement Awards (JCAAs). The benefit evening will honor Ohad Naharin, Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company, and Dr. Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Professor of Performance Studies at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and Head of the exhibition development team for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Poland. A Special Citation for Service will be presented to Macy B. Hart, Past Chair of the Council of American Jewish Museums. Performances by three Six Points Fellows* - whose exciting work you've read about in past E-news - will punctuate the awards ceremony.
 
See our special bulletin below to learn how you can join our growing and notable group of supporters at the Center for Jewish History for what promises to be an unforgettable evening.
 
 

Shabbat Shalom,
Elise Bernhardt
President & CEO
Foundation for Jewish Culture
 
*Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Artists is a partnership of Avoda Arts, the Foundation for Jewish Culture, and JDub Records, made possible with major support from UJA-Federation of New York.
 
 
In this E-news
:: JCAA BULLETIN
:: STAFF NEWS
:: SPOTLIGHT ON SIX POINTS
:: GRANTEE EVENTS
:: COMMUNITY EVENTS
 
 
 
 
JEWISH CULTURAL
ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
 
 

honoring
OHAD NAHARIN
and
DR. BARBARA KIRSHENBLATT-GIMBLETT
 
special citation for service to
MACY B. HART
 
 
 THURSDAY, JUNE 12
Center for Jewish History
New York City
6pm

 
Cocktails
Performances and Awards Presentation
Dessert
 
For more information,
or to purchase tickets or program ads,
please contact Joanna Romberg
at 212.629.0500 x216 or 
jromberg@jewishculture.org.
 

 **
 
 
 Performances by Six Points Fellows
Saar Harari, choreographer
Gabrielle Brechner, theater artist
Galeet Dardashti, musician
 
Honorary Chairs
 Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell
Judith Jamison
Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Dan Gillerman
Consul General of Poland Krzysztof W. Kasprzyk
Dr. John Ruskay
Israeli Consul General Asaf Shariv
Polish Ambassador Andrzej Towpik
 
Awards Presenters
Nancy Berman
Judy Bernstein Bunzl
Wilma "Billie" Tisch
 
Co-Chairs
Nancy Berman
Alisa Doctoroff
Karen Lehmann Eisner and David Eisner
 Jean Friedman
Lynn and Jules Kroll
Carol and Arthur Spinner
Malcolm Thomson
 

 
Past honorees have included such cultural luminaries as Robert Pinsky, Wendy Wasserstein, Arthur Miller, Philip Roth, Mierle Ukeles, Elie Wiesel, and Tony Kushner, among others.
 
 
 
Benefit participants as of 4.4.08.
STAFF NEWS

The Foundation for Jewish Culture welcomes Andrew Horwitz to our staff as Director of External Relations.
 
Andy Horwitz photo by Meredith Zinner
Andrew spent many years as an independent writer, performer and producer before becoming a full-time arts administrator in 2002. From 2002-2007 he worked at Performance Space 122, first as marketing director and then as producer, and has worked as a consultant with small theaters and independent artists. He teaches workshops on press, marketing and career development at the artist service organization The Field. He has served on many panels including the The Six Points Fellowship, HERE Arts Center's Resident Artist program, and LMCC's Swing Space program. He has been an adviser to the Carol Tambor Foundation's Best of Edinburgh Award and is co-curator of Prelude08, a festival of innovative theater at the Martin E. Segal Theater Center of the Graduate Center at CUNY. Prior to becoming a full-time arts administrator, Andy worked as an interactive producer at various advertising agencies, most notably Fallon Worldwide. Andrew is a graduate of Northwestern University. He is originally from Baltimore, MD.

As Director of External Relations, Andrew will be working on many exciting initiatives including building a national distribution network for Jewish Culture.
 
Photo by Meredith Zinner.

SPOTLIGHT ON SIX POINTS

Andy Horwitz photo by Meredith Zinner

GALEET DARDASHTI

Just last week, Galeet Dardashti gave an exciting preview of her Six Points Project, Voices of Our Mothers: A Middle Eastern Musical Midrash for Today. The founder and leader of the eclectic all-female Mizrahi/Sephardi ensemble Divahn, Galeet pursues her passion for Jewish music as an accomplished singer and anthropologist. Not only has the Six Points Fellowship Program recognized her diverse talents; the Foundation for Jewish Culture awarded her a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in Jewish Studies in 2003-2004.
 
Voices of Our Mothers introduces fresh and provocative compositions that draw inspiration from the musical and cultural landscapes of the Middle East, inhabited by some of the compelling yet under-appreciated Jewish and non-Jewish Biblical women and their descendants. It is an innovative exploration of culture, religion, politics, and gender through the lens of Middle Eastern music.
 
To learn more about Galeet and Divahn, visit http://www.sixpointsfellowship.org/fellows/Galeet/ and http://www.divahn.com/
 
Photo by Brian Tamborello.
 
GRANTEE EVENTS
 
At Home in Utopia at the Maine Jewish Film Festival
April 4, panel discussion
Maine Jewish Film Festival
(also screening grantee films Keep Not Silent and Orthodox Stance) http://www.mjff.org/schedule.html
 
In 2004, director Michal Goldman received a grant from the Lynn and Jules Kroll Fund in Jewish Documentary Filmmaking toward the completion of At Home in Utopia, about the United Workers Cooperative Colony (the "Coops")--a radical utopian community that grew out of the yearnings and ideals of Jewish secular immigrants in the 1920s.  Exploring the history of these buildings over three decades, the film bears witness to lives lived with courage across the barriers of race, nation, language, convention, and sometimes even common sense.
 
Nationwide screenings throughout April: http://filmmakerscollab.org/films/at-home-in-utopia
 
Praying with Lior
Various Dates & Locations in North America
including Vancouver, Sarasota, Reno, Pittsburgh--and more
http://www.prayingwithlior.com/screenings.htm

The critics raved, three festivals bestowed Audience Awards for Best Documentary, and a record turnout in Philadelphia has led to an extended run in that city. This documentary by 2005 Film Fund Ilana Trachtman recently won the Association for Americans with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) Media Award and was hailed as, "Heartfelt and touching," on ABC News.

Westchester Jewish Film Festival
through April 17
*Praying with Lior, April 3 & 6*
*Blessed is the Match - Special Added Event - May 7*
Burns Film Center, Pleasantville, NY
www.burnsfilmcenter.org
 
Films by two recipients of grants from the Lynn and Jules Kroll Fund for Jewish Documentary Filmmaking - Praying with Lior (2005) and Blessed is the Match (2007) - will be screened at the festival. Q&A sessions and receptions to follow.  Sponsored by the American Jewish Committee.
 
Seattle Jewish Film Festival
April 3 - 13
Seattle, WA
http://www.seattlejewishfilmfestival.org
 
Three grantee films - Making Trouble (2005), Praying with Lior (2005), & Orthodox Stance (2006) - screen at this increasingly popular festival. Festival sponsored by the American Jewish Committee. 

Ofri Cnaani: MiArt 2008
April 4-7
Milan Art Fair, Via Varesina 76, 20156 Milano, ITALY
http://www.sixpointsfellowship.org/fellows/Ofri
 
Six Points Fellow Ofri Cnaani will present a solo show of new drawings as part of the GALLERIA PACK booth at the art fair.

Bart the Temp (Late Night Series)
April 4 & 5, 11pm
Whole Art Theatre, 246 N. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, MI
 
Whole Art Theatre, which received, along with playwright Steve Feffer, a New Jewish Theatre Projects grant in 2007-2008 for Ain't Got No Home, welcomes Feffer back for Bart the Temp, based on Herman Melville's classic Bartleby the Scrivener. Directed by Dann Sytsma.

Orthodox Stance: Los Angeles Theatrical Release
April 11 - 17, Various Times Daily   Andy Horwitz photo by Meredith Zinner
Laemmle's Music Hall, Beverly Hills, CA
www.laemmle.com or 310-274-6869
 
Director Jason Hutt received a grant from the Lynn and Jules Kroll Fund for Jewish Documentary Filmmaking in 2006 for Orthodox Stance, a portrait of the seemingly incompatible cultures and characters working together to support Dmitriy Salita's rare and remarkable devotion to both Orthodox Judaism and the pursuit of a professional boxing title. In the end, the film is about not only boxing and religion, but a young man's search for meaning in life.

The Wedding in Jewish Life: a Colloquium
April 13, 10am-9pm, Free, Reservations Required
The Center for Jewish History, NYC
212-868-4444 or www.smarttix.com

Weddings provide abundant opportunities for considering the intersection of media and religiosity in Jewish life. This engaging colloquium will feature sessions with renowned scholars, including Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett,  the Foundation's 2008 JCAA Scholarship Honoree, and past recipients of the Foundation's Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships Jeffrey Shandler (1992-1993), Jenna Weissman Joselit (1976-77), and Mark Kligman (1992-1993).
 
Presented by the Working Group on Jews, Media, and Religion, Center for Religion and Media, New York University.

Ofri Cnaani at the Israel Museum
April 18 - 30
Weisbord Pavilion, Israel Museum, Jerusalem
http://www.english.imjnet.org.il/htmls/article_274.aspx?c0=13416&bsp=12895#RealTime
 
As part of the project Sixty Years of Art in Israel, six major Israeli museums are each presenting artwork from one of the decades of the nation's history. The Israel Museum's exhibition, which presents a comprehensive survey of Israeli art from the past ten years, includes pieces by some forty artists working in the mediums of painting, sculpture, photography, video, and installation.
 
Run for Your Life at the Tribeca Film Festival
April 27 - May 3
Various NYC Cinemas
 
Judd Ehrlich received a grant from the Lynn and Jules Kroll Fund for Jewish Documentary Filmmaking in 2000 for Mayor of the West Side, about Mark Puddington, a Jewish teenager with multiple disabilities, known on the Upper West Side as "the Mayor". In Run for Your Life, Erlich focuses on the relentlessly ambitious and endlessly quirky founder of the New York City Marathon, Fred Lebow.

 
 
COMMUNITY EVENTS

 
**
SAVE THE DATE
 
Yom Ha'atzmaut at Radio City Music Hall & Kodak Theatre
NYC, May 7
LA, May 10

www.60at60.org
 
 
Abraham, Inc.
May 3, 8pm
The Apollo Theater, 253 West 125th Street, NYC
www.apollotheater.org or 212-531-5305

An unprecedented collaboration between three cultural visionaries--David Krakauer, champion of klezmer music and world-class chamber clarinetist; funk legend Fred Wesley, celebrated for his work with James Brown; and hip-hop renegade and beat architect Socalled--Abraham, Inc. heralds a time when boundaries are eroding, mutual respect is presumed, and musical traditions can hit with full force without concession or appropriation. Abraham, Inc. is a head-on musical collision, one that signifies new possibilities for cross-cultural respect and engagement.
 
 
JCC Maccabi Artsfest
July & August 2008
Register now: www.jccmaccabiartsfest.org
 
**
 

Zeek: Russified, Release and Reading
April 6, 5pm-7pm, FREE
KGB Bar, NYC
www.zeek.net
 
An evening of celebration and readings, featuring Foundation for Jewish Culture fiscal sponsoree Zeek magazine contributors: Val Vinokur; Matvei Yankelevich; Margarita Shalina; David Stromberg; and more. Co-presented by the 14th St  Y. Free Zeeks available. First 30 guests also receive a free shot of vodka.
 
Jellyfish
Starting April 4
Various times and NYC locations
 
Poignant, often witty and exceedingly cinematic, the award-winning Jellyfish tells the story of three very different Tel Aviv women whose intersecting stories weave an unlikely portrait of modern Israeli life.

Iran, Israel, and the U.S.: Confrontation or Engagement in 2008?
April 6, 1pm-5:30pm, $75
AJU's Familian Campus, l5600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air, CA
More information: Judy Cole at (818) 461-8180 or jcole@washingtoninstitute.org
 
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy presents its Southern California Symposium.
 
Stepping Up! A Community Conference to Prevent Hate Crimes
April 9, 8:30am - 1pm, FREE
Brooklyn College Conference Center, Brooklyn, NY
 
A conference to engage professionals, community leaders, activists, advocates, agency executives, educators and case workers incultivating practices, tools, and resources for fighting hate crimes in their work and daily lives
 
V to the Tenth
April 11-12, starting at $25
New Orleans Arena and Louisiana Superdome
 
Join Salma Hayek, Oprah Winfrey, Faith Hill, Jane Fonda, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Hudson, Glenn Close, Ali Larter, Calpernia Addams, Rosario Dawson, Kerry Washington, and Charmaine Neville for V-Day's mega two-day anniversary celebration. Featuring international performances of The Vagina Monologues, musical guests, V-Day activists from across the globe including Kenya, Afghanistan, Iraq, The Philippines, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eastern Europe , men standing up for women and much more.
 
Israeli Women: A Portrait in Photographs
April 11-August 10, FREE
Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA
 
Honoring Israel's sixtieth year of independence, this exhibition presents a panorama of images of Israeli women and girls. Displaying more than thirty journalistic and documentary photographs taken since the nascent years of the Jewish state, the exhibition portrays the distinctive femininity that has evolved with modern Israel. 
 
Re-envisioning Difference: Notes from the Forefront of Culturally Specific Museums
April 10,  6 pm, extended gallery hours until 8 pm, $8  / $5 Students
Spertus Museum, Chicago
 
In conjunction with Spertus Museum's inaugural exhibition The New Authentics: Artists of the Post-Jewish Generation, Robin Cembalest, executive editor of ARTnews and an award-winning investigative reporter, moderates a panel discussion exploring the challenges and missions of culturally specific art museums in the 21st century.
 
Israeli Cinema Showcase
April 12-14
London, UK
 
In recent years Israeli cinema has flourished, receiving critical acclaim both at home and abroad, and winning the hearts and minds of audiences worldwide. At this important juncture, the UK Jewish Film Festival is dedicating a special program to Israeli cinema, presenting the old and the new, the popular and the cutting edge side by side, offering a stage and a context for the growing industry of films made in Israel.
 
Kitka & Davka In Concert: WLIW Broadcast
April 15, 10pm, April 16, 2am
WLIW TV - Channel 21 Andy Horwitz photo by Meredith Zinner
 
Acclaimed musical groups Kitka and Davka come together for this award-winning concert of Old and New Jewish World Music, produced and written by Leonard Merrill Kurz, directed by Ashley James, and edited by Kathryn Golden. From Forest Creatures Entertainment, a fiscal sponsoree of the Foundation for Jewish Culture.
 
Photo: Kitka & Davka in Concert, Forest Creatures Entertainment, by Richard Bermack.
 
Joshua Nelson in Concert
April 26, 7:30 pm
$18 Gen. / $9 Stud. / $36 Rsvd. Seating / $72 Patron Party, 6:30pm dinner, Rsvd. Seating
Temple Sinai, New Orleans
www.templesinaino.org or 504.861.3693
 
Israel's Meitav Choral Group opens for the acclaimed Joshua Nelson and the Kosher Gospel Singers. Joshua has performed with Mahalia Jackson, Wynton Marsalis, Aretha Franklin and Dizzy Gillespie, among other stellar musicians. The concert will be followed by a dessert reception, where guests can meet the artists.
 
PEN World Voices Festival: Rewriting Family
April 30, 7pm
Housing Works Used Book Café, NYC
 
Copresented by the Foundation's fiscal sponsoree Habitus: A Diaspora Journal and Housing Works Bookstore Café. Join writers P. F. Thomese, György Dragomán, and Yael Hedaya for a reflection on the role of family in their lives and work, and on the challenges of defining a modern approach to the family experience in literature. Introduced by Habitus editor Joshua Ellison.