Deli Man Reservations are Closed

Deli Man Event Poster

Deli Man @ Temple Israel Portsmouth, June 4th

The good news? We at the Shaines Library have had an overwhelming response to the upcoming Deli Man event, with 70 people planning to attend!

The bad news is that we now must close reservations. You may, however, join us for the movie at 7 even without a reservation! We also have more exciting programs in the works, so please look for more this summer.

We are happy to welcome a number of guests from our neighbors at Ahavas Achim in Newburyport, with fun giveaways provided by the Deli Man himself, delicious food from Larry Levine’s, the acclaimed documentary, and a fun time with an amazing community.

Special thanks to the Cultural Endowment Fund for its support, and to Lorrie and Dick Grossman for arranging the catering.

January Movie Night’s a Wrap

Another good turnout for this month’s movie night– great to see everybody! After the documentary, we had a great discussion about Arab and Jewish kids growing up in Israel and some of the constant struggles they have, making sense of the world around them while having limited interactions with kids of different backgrounds.

Movie night snack spread

Movie night

We’ll be glad to let you know when the next movie is coming!

Movie Night in Portsmouth

Time to show some real love for Israel and celebrate positive interactions between children of different backgrounds! Recommended by several congregation members, this wonderful, award-winning movie may remind us of the power of understanding and the importance of just being kids.

Join us Thursday, January 22nd at 7:00 for the next Movie Night, sponsored by us at the Nancy Mae Shaines Memorial Library. Free event with Middle Eastern snacks on us 🙂

Dancing in Jaffa: Thursday, January 22 7pm @Temple Israel Portsmouth

Dancing in Jaffa: Thursday, January 22 7pm @Temple Israel Portsmouth

Summer @ the library

Library Committee with Rabbi and Wife

Library Committee and Special Guests; Left to Right: Al Spaien, Elissa Senter, Rabbi Senter, Allison, Meryl Wein, Sara Lesley Arnold

We had great feedback from some of the attendees of the Book Thief screening and discussion with Rabbi David Senter that took place on July 17th. Some members of the group had either read the book or seen the movie previously, so the discussion included valuable input from many perspectives. The consensus seemed to be that even though the general idea of Death as a narrator is morbid, that element lets the viewer take the role of a similarly helpless onlooker, seeing as objectively as possible the characters build relationships and come of age.

With an audience comprised mostly of Jews, we discussed the generalities commonly associated with holocaust survivors, bridging those experiences to those of the main character of Liesel Meminger, a non-Jewish German girl who experiences her own horrific tragedies.

Viewers agreed that although the film depicts such a tragic time in world history, it provides a reminder of the humanity that can shine through a blanket of darkness.

I must say, it was wonderful to watch the film in a room of engaged viewers, after watching it on my own the first time. Geoffrey Rush and the other actors give amazing performances; the filmmakers really do a tremendous job transmitting the biblio-centric world of the novel into a new medium, allowing the audience to take part in the story and fall in love with the literature.

We have a few thoughts about additional programming this coming year and will keep you informed as events are scheduled. We are currently planning new religious school programs and will have our annual book sale going on in the Schmooze beginning September 7th for the start of school.

 

Krembo

Limmud Boston

Along with my fellow staff members at the Temple Israel Hebrew school (with the initiative of Joan Nagler), I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend Limmud Boston yesterday, a conference with seminars celebrating Jewish identity and learning.  I chose to check out the following bunch of seminars, mostly library and education related, but some for fun. Even though I enjoyed these, I did leave the conference with an uneasy feeling.

In Open Source Judaism 2.0 we explored the openness of Jewish resources, as well as references to such openness in Jewish texts. Marc Stober, the presenter here, pointed out that the Torah was given out for free in a public place, one important aspect of our culture that we should remember when considering sharing our work with others.

Marc Stober teaching seminar

Marc Stober’s Open Source Judaism Presentation

In addition, the talmud explains that a candle for one is a candle for one hundred– we may share information with our community without depriving ourselves of that information. At the same time, however, we learn in Leviticus that we shalt not steal… In this information age, there is sometimes a fine line between sharing and stealing, so we must be cognizant of others’ intellectual property rights while consciously contributing information for use by our brothers and sisters.

Rabbi Charlie Schwartz

Rabbi Charlie Schwartz

In Masculinity and Marshmallows: the Role of Krembo in Israeli Cinema, we met Rabbi Charlie Schwartz, who runs some of the Brandeis High School programs. After studying cinema in college, I was tickled that this seminar was offered.  I had no idea, however, that Krembo was a tasty marshmallow treat with a chocolate shell and a cookie bottom:

Krembo

Krembo

We looked at three films in which Krembo appears, analyzing those scenes to determine how the treat diminishes characters’ masculinity, making them seem more juvenile. Information on these films can be found by following these links:

Mivtza Zavta (Operation Grandma)     |       Beaufort      |      Close to Home

I also attended my colleague’s presentation on Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences in the Jewish classroom, where Cheryl Berman shared some useful tools for addressing various learning preferences in the religious school classroom.

Cheryl Berman

Cheryl Berman, Temple Israel Portsmouth

Although my purpose in posting this was to share these wonderful experiences, I feel compelled to also share my disappointment in many members of the greater Boston Jewish community. One important reason for attending such an event as Limmud is to find camaraderie from within your Jewish community– to be as one for a day, sharing common interests in our common heritage. As a first-time attendee I felt as if this was not an important factor to those around me, that everyone was in it for himself and not the greater good.

The behavior of those attending the seminar on the two-state solution in Israel was abhorrent, including hateful language and disrespect to other Jews in the room. These thirty people share more than just a religion, and should be ashamed at their blatant disregard of the peace process and their negative effect on human kindness. We should all be working toward a peaceful world. Let’s remember that this begins with how we treat each other.