Biweekly News & Views
Sept. 5-17, 2000
Open House in the Nation's Capital
Sunday, September 17, 2000 Ivri-NASAWI, the New Association of Sephardi/Mizrahi Artists & Writers International, celebrates the launch of a new fourth chapter in the nation's capital, with an Open House featuring Israeli author Yerah Gover, Turkish poet Murat Nemet-Nejat and Bosnian vocalist Flory Jagoda.
Flory Jagoda, second from right; click on the photo for a detailed bio.
The organization, established in 1996 in Los Angeles, opened chapters in New York and San Francisco in 1998.
Says the DC-Baltimore chapterís acting director, Leah Hadad, an attorney of Israeli-Yemenite descent [see accompanying story], "Our hope is to present a fuller spectrum of Jewish experience in DC by providing a stage for the creative, cultural, artistic, and intellectual achievements of the diverse Jewish communities of Sephardi and Mizrahi descent." Notes the organization's founder and executive director, Jordan Elgrably, whose family originates in Morocco, "We are also strongly committed to the principle of cross-cultural cooperation, so that we support the strengthening of ties within the Jewish community as well as between all peoples of Middle Eastern descent."
Ivri-NASAWI plans monthly public programs, including a book launch party for Hazzan Ramón Tasat on Sephardic music on October 18 and a panel, Morocco: North, South, East and West featuring scholars Gil Anidjar, Alegria Bendelac and Habiba Boumlik, November 9 at the Northern Virginia Jewish Community Center in Annandale.
The Open House, to be held at Bethesdaís La Promenade, will feature Yerah Gover, an Israeli sociologist and former screenwriter for Israeli director Moshe Mizrahi. Gover, author of Zionism: The Limits of Moral Discourse in Israeli Hebrew Fiction, will discuss the work of Sephardi/Mizrahi authors Shimon Ballas, Sami Michael and Albert Swissa. Turkish-born poet Murat Nemet-Nejat will read original and Turkish poetry in translation, and talk about growing up the son of Persian Jews in Istanbul's Sephardi quarter. Bosnian vocalist Flory Jagoda, a resident of Falls Church, will perform traditional Sephardi music of Sarajevo and the Balkans.
Sunday, Sept. 17, 6-9 pm, at Chef Ferrariís
La Promenade, 5225 Pooks Hills Rd., Bethesda. Free parking, Arcade Level,
Southside. Free, with kosher champagne and dessert. Reservations are
necessary as seating is limited. To RSVP and for further information,
Leah Hadad, 202-537-0708.
A New Director for a New Chapter
Leah Hadad is
an American attorney-at-home rather than an attorney-at-law, raising two
children. However, her story begins in Israel, where she was born to two
Yemeni parents, who emigrated to Israel on the "Magic Carpet" airlift of
1949. Leah wound
up studying philosophy and sociology at Tel-Aviv University; she later
completed her B.A. in Philosophy at the University of Maryland, then returned
to study law, and received a J.D. degree from Howard University School
of Law, in Washington D.C. "At Howard," she says, "I gained a new perspective
on the African-American community and the different social issues it faces." Leah
is a member of the Bars of the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland. As the Acting
Director for the new Washington, DC-Baltimore chapter, Leah
Hadad is primarily interested in representing
the achievements of Sephardi/Mizrahi Jews to a wide variety of organizations
and individuals in the region. She welcomes your feedback, suggestions
and volunteerism, and will continue to work with other area activists and
members of Ivri-NASAWI, notably attorney Jeffrey Weinstein and educator
Esther Robbins. Email:.
Za'atar, is a Bay Area ensemble of mostly younger Jewish performers, who are furthering their musical repertoire and love for the music of the Jews of Arab/Muslim lands. "Mizrah" or East is their second CD, and reflects a deep affection for the tones and rhythms of Middle Eastern music, coupled with the desire to sing in Sephardi-accented Hebrew. (Intentionally, this music will put you in mind of Moroccan piyutim and Syrian pizmon, orliturgical singing.) Folklorists at heart, they are also interested in what new possibilities fusion can bring, and this CD represents an improvement and a deepening of what they accomplished on their first effort in 1998. "Hokhma Bina" includes words by Pinhas Bobo, for example, and music by Farid Al-Atrash; a traditional Yemenite tune is "Eshal Elohai" with words by Rabbi Shalom Shabazi; and there is a traditional Algerian piece, "Ki Eshmera Shabbat," with words by Rabbi Avraham ibn Ezra. The group has performed at some heavy-hitting events, including last year's World Festival of Sacred Music, and continues to evolve. Za'atar features John Erlich on oud, Ron Elkayam on percussion, Amit Bleiweiss on ney, Scott Armel on saz, Daniel Ratner on bass, Ittai Shaked on violin and Daniel Eshoo on kanun; all of the musicians perform vocals, with Amit Bleiweiss the featured vocalist. For purchasing information, go to www.cdbaby.com/zaatarband.
Jews and Latinos?
September 8, 2000 / 1 Elul 5760
Ethnic Ties That Bind
By: Daniel Belasco, Staff Writer
From the arts to politics to the academy, Jews and Latinos are increasingly adding each other to the extended family.
There was something unusual about the news release for a screening of highlights from last weekend's New York International Latino Film Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Instead of featuring directors like Felipe Galindo or Edwin Figueroa, the two bold-faced names in the headline were Danny Hoch and Seth Zvi Rosenfeld.
"Everyone was wondering why we were showing Danny's movie," says Calixto Chinchilla, director of the festival. Actor and writer Hoch plays a number of Latino characters in "Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop," the film version of hit one-man stage show. "But audiences have loved it. Itís so Nuyorican," using the word for New York Puerto Rican style.
Neither Hoch nor Rosenfeld is Latino. Both are New York-born Jews who exemplify the growing cultural and political ties between Jews and Latinos now emerging in the country, a trend that reaches from the corridors of power in Washington to the hip-hop generation in downtown New York to academic identity politics.
read the complete article by Daniel Belasco in this week's Jewish Week at
Sept. 16, L.A., 5:00 pm. Reception for Artist Jacob El Hanani, Mark Moore Gallery, Bergamot Station A-One, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. El Hanani, whose work is collected in 25 American museums, was born in Casablanca and now lives and works in New York. 310-453-3031.
D.C, 6-9 pm. Open House/Salon for New DC Chapter The
nationís capital is organizing a new chapter to support/celebrate Sephardi/Mizrahi
cultural expression. [See lead story, above.] The evening includes Yerah
Gover speaking on Sephardi/Mizrahi writers in Israel, including Shimon
Ballas, Albert Swissa and Sami Michael; Turkish poet Murat Nemet-Nejat
will talk about growing up as a Persian Jew in Istanbul and perform his
poetry; and Bosnian Sephardi performer Flory Jagoda presents a selection
of music. Free, kosher dessert and champagne. Chef Ferrari's La Promenade
restaurant, 5225 Pooks Hills Rd., Bethesda, MD. Arcade level, southside,
free parking. RSVP 202-537-0708. Email: .
Sights Film Festival The Center
for Contemporary Arab Studies a co-sponsor of Arabian Sights:
Contemporary Arab Cinemaas part of the Washington, DC, International Film Festival. The fifth annual Arabian Sights film series, which includes six films, offers some of the newest and finest cinema from the Arab world today. All films in this series are provided with English subtitles. All showings will be at the Loews Cineplex Foundry Theaters, 1055 Thomas Jefferson Street, NW (Georgetown, off M Street between 30th and 31st Streets). Admission is $8 per person for each screening. Tickets for any film in the series may be purchased at the theater starting one hour before the show. Tickets for the six films will be available as a special package for $40 at the start of the series only. For more information on films and schedules, call 202-724-5613 or visit www.filmfestdc.org.
11 am Morocco:
Jews and Art in a Muslim Land, Jewish Museum, 5th Ave. at 92nd St.
Exhibit, which runs through Feb. 11, 2001, focuses on Morocco's multicultural
art and traditions and the history of Jewish life in Morocco for over 2,000
years. More than 180 objects, among them Orientalist paintings by well-known
European artists such as Eugene Delacroix and Alfred Dehudenocq; beautiful
jewelry and ceremonial objects of silver and gold; sumptuous textiles and
costumes; and 19th and 20th century photographs will be on display. "The
exhibition will depict a culture frm the vantage point of 'outsiders'---Orientalist
painters and photographers---and from the 'insider's' perspective of the
objects Jews created for themselves and others. Vistors will be encouraged
to consider the impact of Muslims, Jews, and Europeans on Moroccan cultureóa
venerable culture that developed from Berber traditions." 212-423-3200.
Conversations on Roots & Identity
2, on October 25, will feature
3 on November 29 will feature
Special thanks to new and renewing members, including Supporting members Renée and Ed Sokolski, Palos Verdes, and Morris and Karen Watts Zagha, San Francisco, along with Simon Edery, Los Angeles, Saul Mathalon, Woodland Hills, Rita Fecher, New York, and Ella Shohat, New York. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to new Benefactors, Abraham and Marian Sofaer of the Sofaer Foundation, of Palo Alto.
Sept. 12 DC-Baltimore The Action Committee of Ivri-NASAWI DC-Baltimore Chapter, Sephardi/Mizrahi & Middle Eastern Cultures will hold its September meeting on September 12, 2000, at 7:30 p.m, 2807 Ellicott Street, N.W.,Washington, D.C. 20008. Everybody who is interested in finding ways to preserve and promote Sephardi/Mizrahi culture and traditions is invited to come and hear about Ivri-NASAWI and its mission, to share ideas, and to help in setting up the DC-Baltimore Chapter. 202-537-0709, email: .
Oct. 3 Los Angeles The Programming Committee of the Los Angeles chapter meets Tuesday evening, Oct. 3, 7:30 pm, home of Miriam Benchetrit Creamer, 443 S. Alandele, in Park La Brea. 323-650-3157 or .
Author member Gloria de Vidas Kirchheimer has published a collection of short stories, Goodbye Evil Eye (Holmes & Meier Distribution, 1-800-698-7781) and will be giving readings in the New York area in October. Watch for a review and reading schedule in our next issue of News & Views.
Sephardi/Mizrahi events produced by other organizations.
Please be sure to call in your programs with 30 days advance
notice whenever possible. To inquire about our affordable
web rates, call (323) 650-3157 or email
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