Sadly, the closest Captain Jack and I’ll get to the 2013 DCJCC Washington Jewish Music Festival / photo by Rachel Mauro
It is with a heavy heart in the middle of two weeks of constant assignments that I inform you that I will not be able to make it to the 2013 DCJCC Washington Jewish Music Festival this year. There were a lot of really enticing choices this year, often falling during one of my evening classes, and with the crunch time on my final grad school projects squeezing me in, I had to make a sacrifice.
It’s a shame, too, when it comes to Joshua Taylor, because I’ve actually heard of him. A friend gave me his CD a few years ago, raving about this rare mix of Judaism and gospel music. I was looking forward to seeing him in concert! But alas, at the moment I’m more looking forward to getting one of these final paper monkeys off my back as quickly as possible.
But if you haven’t yet been to the Music Fest, and have no pressing plans tonight, I urge you to go to this one. Don’t miss out on one of the seminal local Jewish events of the year! I’ll be sure to be back next year.
And remember: keep voting for Sixth & I through May 10!
President Bill Clinton and Holocaust survivor and founding chairman Elie Wiesel help dedicate the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in April 1993 / photo courtesy of USHMM
In perhaps the most fitting way to herald in May as Jewish American Heritage Month, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, today and tomorrow, celebrate their 20th anniversary in downtown DC. Click here for their national calendar of events, Museum timeline, multimedia coverage of public programming and collections building, and an online form to submit your own impressions.
Be sure to visit the official site, and JAHM pages at the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Humanities, The National Park Service and USHMM.
And in local fare, a look at what’s coming up at The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington:
May 5: Walking Tour, Arlington National Cemetery, in partnership with the Foundation for Jewish Studies and the Jewish Museum of Maryland
May 9: Featured Speaker: Gerda Wiessman Klein—Author, Humanitarian, Holocaust Survivor, hosted at the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives
May 19: Walking Tour, Downtown Jewish Washington, in partnership with the Foundation for Jewish Studies, Jewish Study Center and the Jewish Museum of Maryland
And in more fortuitous timing, Sixth & I is currently a contestant in the Partners In Preservation’s competition for a $100,000 prize. If the synagogue wins, it plans to use the funds to repair the historic stained glass windows. You can vote daily through May 10 by clicking here!
Past JAHM coverage on JewishDC: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009.
Before we get too far along into Pesach, I wanted to take time off from school, work and a sudden flu to quickly present by annual Purim slideshow. This year’s pictures include from Adas Israel’s “Les Meshugenas” Purim Spiel and DCJCC GLOE’s camp-themed Purim masquerade. For a look at some of the video highlights from “Les Meshugenas,” click here! And click here to learn about GLOE’s actual summer camp experience, as well as other programming.
Also, check out GatherTheJews if you are still looking for local Passover plans this holiday. Chag sameach!
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Books in a staff member’s office overlook a repository of the names of Holocaust victims / photo taken by Rachel Mauro
With all luck I’m entering what should be my final semester of Library Science school. As a capstone experience for my master’s degree, I have to take part in a field study practicum. And I thought, what better place than the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum research library?
Unlike many museum libraries, this one is mandated by Congress to be free and open to the public. It caters to all manner of patrons, from grade school students to international doctorate candidates; genealogists looking for lost relatives and Museum staff creating a new programming event. The collection is ever-growing, including a multi-lingual array of books, journals, DVDS, VHS and audio, photographs, electronic databases, machine-readable microfilm and more. The reference staff also provides access to the Museum’s archival material found here. For the library catalog, click here.
I am grateful for this experience to round off my Library Science education in a hands-on, practical way, as well as the opportunity to work for another Jewish organization in DC. Be sure to check out the library the next time you’re at the Museum; it’s on the 5th floor and open weekdays 10-5:30!
Eve Annenberg and Lazer Weiss discuss their film under very bright lights. /photo taken by Rachel Mauro
A surprising bit of trivia from Thursday night where I and a packed house of people arrived at the DCJCC to watch “Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish”
as part of the 23rd annual Washington, DC Jewish Film Festival.
The film juxtaposes the world of the contemporary Hassidic Brooklyn with the world of Shakespeare. In the modern storyline, a bitter ex-Jewish grad student and some cast-off Hassids translate the English play and, with a little help from a fantastical Kabbalistic injection, re-tell the story from an ultra-Orthodox perspective, “in fair Brooklyn, where we lay our scene.” All joking aside, the allegory unfolded in a way where I realized that these cultures were very similar: arranged marriages, age-old feuding between similar communities, women sadly relegated to the background. The modern-day storyline was strangely more hopeful—despite drugs and homelessness and familial estrangement, the main group of disparate people ultimately formed a strong bond of friendship.
The film was made on a very modest budget, featuring some mediocre acting from amateur performers and occasional sound-editing difficulties. But the dialogue (and even subtitles, which translated both Yiddish and Shakespearean English) were witty, and the story was more clever and moving than I was expecting. In a post-viewing roundtable, Eve Annenberg (who wrote, produced, directed and acted) and Lazer Weiss (who co-translated, starred and served as much of the real-life inspiration for the plot) discussed their intention to highlight the gap between the secular and Orthodox worlds. Many attendees questioned Weiss about his break from the Satmar community, but I was personally more interested in the linguistic details: it took two years to translate Romeo and Juliet into Yiddish, even just using vernacular language rather than rhyming iambic pentameter. Even so, this bit of pre-production surely rivals any output by a movie blockbuster or Oscar contender!
“Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish” was co-sponsored with Yiddish of Greater Washington and co-presented with The Shakespeare Theatre. The Washington, DC Jewish Film Festival continues until Jan. 13. Check out my earlier-year reviews of “Love During Wartime,” “Judios en el espacio” and “La Cámera Obscura”.
Happy new year! Looking forward to more blogging about the DC Jewish community. Stay tuned this month for the DCJCC Jewish film festival. Yay!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 10 years to get that many views.
Click here to see the complete report.
Once again belated…as we prepare for the secular new year, take a look back at some Chanukah celebrations around DC. Pictures include from Adas Israel’s Hanukkah Festival and Installation of Cantor Brown, Sixth & I’s Chanukah Shabbat with Rick Recht and my own lit menorah overlooking downtown Silver Spring. Click to view!
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