<![CDATA[B'nai B'rith International - Digital Exclusives]]>Wed, 25 Nov 2015 08:19:55 -0500EditMySite<![CDATA[Funny Jews]]>Tue, 25 Aug 2015 18:58:14 GMThttp://www.bnaibrith.org/digital-exclusives/funny-jews
In the Fall 2015 issue of B’nai B’rith Magazine, we feature an article on Jewish humor. For the piece, we interviewed four very funny Jewish comics. Watch these kvetching comedians by clicking on the videos below:

<![CDATA[Zera Israel]]>Tue, 25 Aug 2015 18:28:42 GMThttp://www.bnaibrith.org/digital-exclusives/zera-israelPicture
In Ethiopia, 6,000 members of the Zera Israel community face persecution at home and dream of making aliyah to Israel. In the meantime, there are two main organizations working to improve their lives at home:


10 Camley Park Drive
Berkshire, UK
Phone: +44 (0)7526 189352
Email: info@meketa.org.uk

North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry

255 West 36th St. Suite 701
New York, NY 10018
Phone: (212) 233-5200
Email: nacoej@nacoej.org

<![CDATA[Orthodox Women]]>Tue, 25 Aug 2015 18:28:13 GMThttp://www.bnaibrith.org/digital-exclusives/orthodox-women
As the world evolves, so does Orthodox Judaism. Women are starting to play a larger role and some are even able to become members of the clergy. The list below contains educational institutions with religious programs aimed at women:

Yeshivat Mahara

3700 Henry Hudson Pkwy,
Bronx, New York 10463
Phone: (718) 796-0590
Email: info@yeshivatmaharat.org


Drisha Institute for Jewish Education

37 West 65th Street, 5th floor
New York, NY 10023
Phone: (212) 595-0307
Email: inquiry@drisha.org



The Alisa M. Flatow Building
Berel Locker 26A, Pat
Jerusalem, 93282, Israel
Phone: 972-2-6404333
Email: info@nishmat.net



30 Rashbag Street,
Jerusalem 9108001, Israel
Phone: 972-2-5944555
Email: info@matan.org.il


Yeshiva University

500 West 185th Street
New York, NY 10033
(212) 960-5400
Email: scw@yu.edu

<![CDATA[Letters to the Editor]]>Tue, 25 Aug 2015 18:27:37 GMThttp://www.bnaibrith.org/digital-exclusives/letters-to-the-editor3 Dear Editor:

In the Summer 2015 edition of the magazine, there is an article titled: “Lincoln and The Jews” by Cheryl Kempler. It refers to General U.S. Grant’s action with respect to Jews “under his control.”

You may not be aware of the high regard in which Jews were held in the Confederacy and the heroism and service they rendered to the South in the War for Southern Independence. There were no Jews in Lincoln’s cabinet, whereas, Judah P. Benjamin, highly respected, held the office of Confederate attorney general, secretary of war, and lastly, secretary of state.

So far as I know, there were no high-ranking soldiers in the Union Army, whereas, in the South, there were many: notably Col. Abraham C. Myers (for whom Fort Meyers in Washington is named), Major Adolph Proskauer of the 125th Alabama, Major Alexander Hart of the Louisiana 5th, and also the matron of Richmond’s Chimnorazo Hospital, Phoebe Levy Pember.

Best Regards,

Robert H. Moore, Jr
Richmond, Va.

Dear Editor:

It was my happy augury to feature in our Lodge Bulletin, the coming dedication in the Martyr's Forest, of the selfless and dangerous work in my birthplace of Volos, Greece, of the city's Rabbi Moshe Shimon Pessach, to save hundreds of coreligionists, as the Holocaust of Greek Jewry was about to commence.

My eyes filled with tears as I read and reread the summer edition of the B'nai B'rith Magazine, describing in gripping detail the rabbi's uncanny diplomacy, as he decidedly moved to have hundreds of his condemned flock spared, as he—with the collaboration of Metropolitan Ioachim, and even the humane German Consul Helmut Scheffel (who warned of the approaching disaster and has a street named in his honor in Volos)—shepherded them to stay with Christian compatriots.

Recently, Rabbi Pessach's grandson, Ilias, has located me on the Internet, and we have every intention to meet and exchange impressions of a period that must never be repeated nor forgotten. Thank you for making this story available, realizing that heroism is a quality reflected by leaders, but also common citizens.

  Sincerely, and with fraternal affection,

  Prof. Asher J. Matathias, President ]]>
<![CDATA[Jewish Theater]]>Tue, 09 Jun 2015 17:49:13 GMThttp://www.bnaibrith.org/digital-exclusives/jewish-theater PictureAlex Dreier and Chuck Karel (right) in "Lies My Father Told Me," at National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene in 2003. Photo by Michael Priest.
Theater J

Aaron & Cecile Goldman Theater
Washington DC Community Center
1529 16th Street NW
Washington DC 20036
(800) 494-8497

Mosaic Theater Company of DC

1333 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 399-7993

Theatre Or

350 South Dalia St.
Denver, CO 80246
(303) 316-6360

Studio Theatre

1501 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 332-3300

Theatre Ariel

133 Heather Rd,
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 667-9230

Jewish Women’s Theatre

2912 Colorado Ave,
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 315-1400

National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene

(212) 213-2120 x204

<![CDATA[Hand in Hand]]>Tue, 09 Jun 2015 17:47:27 GMThttp://www.bnaibrith.org/digital-exclusives/hand-in-hand Hand in Hand is a state-supported organization that operates five Israeli schools with 1,100 Jewish and Arab students learning together. Photographer Debbie Hill visited the largest of these schools, the Max Rayne Hand in Hand School, in Jerusalem, and captured these images.
<![CDATA[Carasso Science Park]]>Thu, 12 Mar 2015 15:24:58 GMThttp://www.bnaibrith.org/digital-exclusives/carasso-science-park
Carasso Science Park, located in Beersheba, is the largest of its kind in Israel, at 4.25 acres. The park, which opened in 2013, was a project eight years in the making. It was originally proposed to the Education Ministry in 2005.

It features 12 exhibitions, designed for children in grades four through nine. It features lessons on science and technology—aimed at providing accessible technical, scientific education. Each exhibition focuses on a different area of science and uses creative methods to reach children.

In “Vision and Light,” for example, visitors explore the brain’s reaction to light by looking through machines that simulate distance, speed and other variables. In “Energy,” children manipulate mechanical arms and pretend to handle radioactive materials at the center of a nuclear reactor. Outdoors, the park has a “Science Garden,” with large interactive sculptures and games about sound, mechanics and energy.

To find out more about Carasso Science Park, visit: http://en.sci-park.co.il/
<![CDATA[Si Lewen, Modern Artist]]>Thu, 12 Mar 2015 15:21:52 GMThttp://www.bnaibrith.org/digital-exclusives/si-lewen-modern-artist
Milipede by Si Lewen
PictureSi Lewen in his studio. Photo by Michael Gold
Si Lewen, 96, is a well-respected modern artist. His beautiful work spans a wide range of mediums but is always personal and often painful to observe. To understand his work, it helps to understand the man.

Lewen was born in Lublin, Poland in 1918. At the age of 5, he became interested in painting and decided to become an artist while recovering from tuberculosis at a Swiss sanatorium. Soon after he returned home, his family was forced to leave Poland to escape pogroms. His dream was to move to the United States.

They left for Germany, which, after World War I, was under the rule of the Weimar Republic. For a few years before Hitler’s rise to power, Lewen was influenced by the German artistic renaissance.

“The Weimar period influenced my own work a lot,” Lewen said. “It was a period of a German expressionism. What I have added to it was a dimension of storytelling.”

After the fall of the Weimar government, Lewen and his family fled to France and then to the United States. By 1935, the entire family was living together in New York City.

When the United States entered World War II in 1941, Lewen enlisted. He became part of a mostly Jewish special military intelligence unit that trained at Fort Ritchie, Maryland and became known as the “Ritchie Boys” (Lewen was featured in a 2004 documentary by the same name).

He fought in France, Germany and helped liberate the Buchenwald concentration camp—facing there the grim reality of what would likely have been his fate had he stayed in Germany.

“World War II doesn’t so much inspire me. It powers me. I’d like to get away from it,” Lewen said. “But it pursues you. You can’t get away from it.”

His experiences in World War II influence a great deal of his artistic ouevre.  His work “The Parade” consisted of 55 drawings that told the story of how the armistice parades after World War I translated into the horrors of World War II. This resulted in a letter in 1951 from Albert Einstein, who wrote him, “Our time needs you and your work.”

Lewen received other accolades from critics and financial success—having exhibits in both the United States and Europe. In 1976, he started to become disillusioned with selling his work, removing his pieces from galleries. In 1985, he declared his work “no longer for sale.”

“I was never part of the art scene,” Lewen said. “Art became about fame and fortune. That was not for me.”

Since then, he has continued his work and become good friends with Art Spiegelman, the critically acclaimed 1991 graphic novelist, whose book Maus depicts the horrors of Nazism through the story of his father, a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor,. Spiegelman featured some of Lewen’s work in his show “Wordless.”

Unfortunately, while trying to build a stretcher bar (where artists mount their canvasses), Lewen injured his dominant right hand. Since his injury, he has had to teach himself to create using mainly his left hand. No one would think less of him for retiring at the age of 96. But for Lewen, it’s not a choice.

“An artist—a real artist—is not in full control,” “Lewen said. “I have this imagery. I can’t stop.”

To see more of Lewen’s work, visit www.silewen.org/.

<![CDATA[Louis Armstrong's "Russian Lullaby"]]>Thu, 12 Mar 2015 15:17:07 GMThttp://www.bnaibrith.org/digital-exclusives/louis-armstrongs-russian-lullabyPicture
Born into poverty in New Orleans, Louis Armstrong was forced to find work selling coal and matches in the Red Light District and the Irish Channel neighborhood at the age of 7.

Luckily, the Karnofskys, a Jewish-Lithuanian family in the city, helped him along the way. In his long essay detailing his Jewish connection called “Louis Armstrong + the Jewish Family in New Orleans, La., the Year of 1907,” Armstrong recalls singing a song with the family called “Russian Lullaby.” In 1950, he recorded a song under the same name (featured below) at Decca Studios in New York City:

<![CDATA[Letters to the Editor]]>Thu, 12 Mar 2015 15:10:57 GMThttp://www.bnaibrith.org/digital-exclusives/letters-to-the-editor2 Dear Editor:

At 67 years old and (mostly) retired from advertising and "Hollywood," I read with interest "What Ails the Aging?  Stereotyping, for One" in the Spring 2014 issue of B'nai B'rith Magazine.

Yes, there is discrimination in the workplace.  But I believe good companies want to keep good workers.  Retiring them only because of age doesn't make good sense.  Usually there's another reason.

Like you, I'm sensitive to how we women are portrayed.

Context is important.  If a Jew says, "You're acting like a Jew" to another Jew, it's different from if one or neither party is Jewish.  Likewise with “I’m having a senior moment.”  Seniors I know say this—with a smile—to each other (It's healthier than lighting up a cigarette!).

Much of what we see on TV is written and ruled by young men.

The young and middle aged have no clue what being a senior is like.  Years ago, there was a TV commercial with this dialogue: "I've fallen and I can't get up."  I didn't understand why the spot infuriated—and hurt—seniors I knew.  Today, when I struggle to increase my bone density and avoid a fall—well, if I were to see that commercial today, I might cry.

We move slowly, because we don't want to fall.  We forget, but so do the young.  Grumpy?  We hurt.  Too trusting? We need help.  Distrusting? We've been let down too many times by too many forces—including Medicare.  Talk about our aches and pains?  We need to talk, and sometimes, when we do, the listener gives us sound advice.  Interested in romance and sex?  Yes, but not in the way of a twenty or forty year old.

Given our large numbers, we should have our own cable and satellite TV channel.  And broadcast our own awards show.  The nearest resource to this that I know of is AARP.  The organization is wonderful.  But they can't do it all.

Images do matter. As a writer, I was taught if the villain is, say, a senior, I should balance him or her with at least one older mensch.

I watch very little TV, because I'm legally deaf.  Reading is easier and more enjoyable.

Those of us who can't hear are—like the elderly—different from other stereotyped groups.  While we may—or may not—be born with hearing loss, it's something that often comes or accelerates with growing older—whatever our race, religion, culture, and so on.

In 2013, the year I went on Medicare, I discovered I have Jewish blood.  Through studying on my own, I learned my parents, of beloved memory, reared me with Jewish values, ethics and beliefs.  I now identify as a Jew.  Now that I have (mostly) retired, I have time to read the many great and wonderful Jewish books and periodicals written by gifted and caring individuals like you!

Lucy Taylor Chapman
Birmingham, Alabama

Dear Editor:
I am one of the lucky ones! I am a Holocaust Survivor from Theresienstadt. I was born and raised in Denmark. I have lived in the U.S. for over 50 years.

I am sure you can imagine I read the article (“Denmark’s Jewish Museum: 400-plus years and counting,” Fall 2014) in B'nai B'rith Magazine with a great deal of interest. I may add that I visited the museum a few years ago.

I do, however, as a former inmate of Theresienstadt take exception with the following sentence:

“… and also for the hundreds who, for various reasons, stayed behind and were interned in the Theresienstadt concentration camp or killed.”

(1) I do not think any of us stayed behind on purpose. We lived in the middle of the country and were not warned. Most of the focus has been on the majority of Danish Jews (95%) who escaped to Sweden.

(2) We were prisoners; maybe the phrase "interned" covers that phrase.

(3)  I am not aware of any Danish Jews who were killed. About 50 prisoners died in Theresienstadt mostly from starvation, including my father after less than six months, of various illnesses. A number of Danish Jews committed suicide rather than being taken by the Nazis; others drowned on the way to Sweden.

Please visit my website: www.steenmetzneverforget.com.

I have also published a book called A Danish Book in Theresienstadt.

Steen Metz
Sanibel, Fla.