The Arab Jewish Community Center for Tolerance and Peace

Movie night on Thursday! I recommend Dancing in Jaffa for older kids as well as adults, but with parental guidance since there is some talk about the conflict. Very uplifting, though, and a wonderful message of peace.

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

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

Optional donations to the community center featured in the film that is devoted to interfaith activities for all ages: The Arab Jewish Community Center for Tolerance and Peace in Tel Aviv.

Arab-Jewish Community Center Handout

Arab-Jewish Community Center Handout


Limmud Boston 2014

Everyone this year seemed up for meeting new people, one seeking more info on the gorgeous necklace a stranger is wearing and another offering his place in the coffee line to someone who looked like they needed a more immediate fix.

Attendees really stopped to help each other and chat– I suppose this should not be news, but after last year’s experience it was refreshing. It’s a relief to see the Jewish community in Greater Boston showing their solidarity in learning and journey to understanding.

Some of the goodies I picked up for the library are 3 cds that showcase the performers in the Boston Jewish Music Festival the past few years. Performers will also be showing up in New Hampshire! Keep an eye out for events in Nashua, Manchester, and the Klezmatics at the Portsmouth Music Hall in March.

Click here for the Boston Jewish Music Festival Website and schedule

Hear-O-Israel CD cover, Boston Jewish Music Festival

Hear-O-Israel, Boston Jewish Music Festival

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.



Good Deeds Day 2013

Good Deeds Day is coming up everybody! What project are you planning to help somebody in your community?

Since its inception in 2007, Good Deeds Day has grown to have 250,000 participants in Israel last year, and thousands more worldwide. Apparently MTV has been involved in marketing the cause, and several large sponsors help the organization to continue growth and outreach.

You can help too! Need some ideas?? Check with a local nonprofit or religious organization to see how you might be able to help out on March 10th, or visit a neighbor to see if they need help with any home projects! Grab some friends and make someone else smile. You can make it happen.

BTW, if you’re in Israel you get to do your mitzvah early on March 5th 🙂