Archive for the ‘Jewish American Heritage Month’ Category

Students in TX stand strong with Israel – OneNewsNow

Students played an integral role in seeing that the Texas House passed a bill last week barring the state from engaging in business with companies involved with the anti-Israel BDS movement.

HB 89, sponsored by Representative Phil King, passed unanimously, 131-0. The bill strengthens ties with Israel, Texas’ fourth-largest trading partner, according to the Jerusalem Post. Jesse Stock of StandWithUs, a pro-Israel organization, says students did their part in promoting the bill.

“There was a ‘Stand With Israel Day’ at the capitol and we mobilized … close to 50 students who came to the capitol for the day and met with legislators and expressed why this legislation is important,” he shares with OneNewsNow.

Stock says high school students are a “huge part” of what they do in supporting Israel.

“We have five high school interns in Dallas, one in San Antonio, and one in Houston,” he describes. “All of them were active in trying to mobilize their friends to call their legislators as well to educate their peers about the importance.”

Rep. King explained to StandWithUs that he had multiple reasons for taking the lead against what he considers economic warfare against the Jewish nation:

“First, as a Christian, my religious heritage is intrinsically linked to Israel and to the Jewish people. Second, as an American, our national security is dependent in great part on a strong Israel, often our only friend in the Middle East. Third, as a Texas legislator, our state has a substantial Jewish population and this issue is important to them. Texans have historical ties and do a lot of business with Israel. Fourth, it’s just the right thing to do.”

The Senate passed its version of the anti-boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) bill in March. It is expected Gov. Greg Abbott will sign the bill early next month.

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April 25, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

Jewish American Heritage Month – Dr. Sheldon Cherry …

Jewish American Heritage Month – Dr. Sheldon Cherry Event information Start: Sunday, May. 7, 2017, 02:00PM End: Sunday, May. 7, 2017, 03:30PM Venue: Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU From Maimonides to South Beach, American Jews in Medicine In Recognition of Jewish American Heritage Month 2017 Theme: American Jews in Medical Research

Lecture by Dr. Sheldon H. Cherry Associate Dean, Clinical Affairs; and Professor FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine

Dr. Sheldon H. Cherry has built a national reputation as a clinician in the reproductive and women’s health field and has published numerous papers in reproductive medicine. He was the recipient of an NIH Grant on amniotic fluid physiology, and was a pioneer in the field of intrauterine diagnosis and treatment. As Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, he taught at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York and belongs to the American College of Surgeons, and the New York Obstetrical Society. Dr. Cherry was the senior editor of “Complications of Pregnancy”, a classic medical textbook in its fourth edition. Dr. Cherry is also the author of several lay books on woman’s health. He is a frequent expert guest on various media including television, such as “Good Morning America” and the “Today Show”. He has in the past been the monthly columnist for Parents Magazine on pregnancy and childbirth. He has been consistently named as a “Top Doctor In America” and named in “Who’s Who In The World”. Dr. Cherry was born in New York City and received his medical training at Columbia University.

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April 23, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

Every single movie coming out this summer – Los Angeles Times

The 2017 Summer Movie Preview is a snapshot of the films opening through early September. Release dates and other details are subject to change.

April 28

A fashion editor finds herself drawn into a steamy affair with another woman. With Natalie Krill, Sebastian Pigott, Erika Linder. Written by Stephanie Fabrizi. Directed by April Mullen. Gunpowder & Sky

A couple discover an evil, lustful presence inhabiting the basement of their new home. With Natasha Henstridge, Luke Hassel, Lin Shaye, Dominique Swain. Written and directed by Rolfe Kanefsky. Cleopatra Entertainment

The LAPD recruits a Russian police officer to help hunt a serial killer. With Alexander Nevsky, Kristanna Loken, Adrian Paul, Robert Davi, Matthias Hues. Written by Brent Huff, George Saunders. Directed by Nevsky. ITN Distribution

Meta-documentary by Kitty Green on the 1996 killing of 6-year-old JonBent Ramsey. Netflix

SEE OUR COMPLETE SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW

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A young woman experiences success at the world’s largest technology and social media company and is encouraged to live her life completely in the open. With Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Patton Oswalt, Bill Paxton, Karen Gillan, Ellar Coltrane. Written and directed by James Ponsoldt, based on the novel by Dave Eggers. STX Entertainment

Documentary explores the mid-20th-century battles between urbanization critic and activist Jane Jacobs and New York master builder Robert Moses. Directed by Matt Tyrnauer. Sundance Selects

Female war correspondent Alex Quade chronicles the stories of U.S. Special Operations Forces in the third film in the “Heroes of Valor” docu-action series. Featuring Wendy R. Anderson. Written by Eli Baldridge and Quade. Directed by Christian Tureaud and David Salzberg. Gravitas Ventures

In a cabin in northern Wales, two lost souls experiment with black magic. With Steve Oram, Catherine Walker. Written and directed by Liam Gavin. IFC Midnight

A physics student time travels as she attempts to solve her boyfriend’s murder. With Courtney Hope, Bruce Davison, Susan Blakely, Sarah Douglas, Lou Richards, Karan Oberoi, Christopher Backus. Written and directed by Kenneth Mader. Arcadia Releasing Group

A Boston homicide detective hunts his partner’s killer on Nantucket Island. With Eric Dane, Natalie Zea, Adrian Lester, Carolyn Stotesbery, Chris Meyer, Rebecca Gayheart. Written and directed by John Shea. Beacon Pictures / Broadvision Entertainment

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Eugenio Derbez stars as a struggling middle-aged gigolo forced to move in with his sister and nephew. With Salma Hayek, Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, Raquel Welch, Rob Corddry, Rob Riggle, Michael Cera, Raphael Alejandro. Written by Chris Spain, Jon Zack. Directed by Ken Marino. Pantelion

During Koreas Joseon Dynasty, King Yejong and his assistant investigate rumors that there will be an attempt on the throne. With Lee Sun-kyun, Ahn Jae-hong. Written by Kang Hyun-sung. Directed by Moon Hyung-sung. CJ Entertainment

The Los Angeles uprising after the Rodney King verdict is explored through archival footage in this documentary marking the 25th anniversary. Directed by Daniel Lindsay, T.J. Martin. National Geographic

At the end of the traditional Jewish mourning period after the death of his son, a middle-aged Israeli man chooses to see what makes life meaningful rather than return to his regular routine. With Shai Avivi, Evgenia Dodina, Tomer Kapon. Written and directed by Asaph Polonsky. Oscilloscope Laboratories

A single mom is abducted and learns she has a genetic abnormality that could cause her true alien nature to be revealed. With Noomi Rapace, Michael Chiklis, Peter Stormare, Kerry Bishe. Written by Steven Shainberg and Brian Nelson. Directed by Shainberg. AMBI Media Group

An eccentric family spend its summer in a coastal villa in early 20th century France. With Juliette Binoche, Fabrice Luchini, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. Written and directed by Bruno Dumont. Kino Lorber

A young street magician must use his mystical ways to rescue his kidnapped sister. With Jacob Latimore, Storm Reid, Seychelle Gabriel, Dul Hill, Sasheer Zamata, Cameron Esposito. Written and directed by J.D Dillard. BH Tilt

A young nurse in 1950s Tuscany believes the wealthy young mute she cares for is possessed by something within the walls of an isolated castle. With Emilia Clarke, Marton Csokas. Written by Andrew Shaw, based on a novel by Silvio Raffo. Directed by Eric D. Howell. Momentum Pictures

May 5

Biographical documentary on the songwriter and record producer whose hits included Twist and Shout, Hang on Sloopy, Here Comes the Night and Piece of My Heart. Narrated by Steve Van Zandt. Featuring Ronald Isley, Ben E. King, Solomon Burke, Van Morrison, Keith Richards, Paul McCartney. Directed by Brett Berns and Bob Sarles. Abramorama

Liev Schreiber stars as Chuck Wepner, the underdog boxer who inspired “Rocky.” With Naomi Watts, Elisabeth Moss, Ron Perlman, Jim Gaffigan, Michael Rapaport, Pooch Hall, Morgan Spector. Written by Jeff Feuerzeig, Jerry Stahl, Michael Cristofer, Schreiber. Directed by Philippe Falardeau. IFC Films

A gubernatorial candidate, his estranged brother and their wives confront a terrible crime committed by their teenage sons. With Rebecca Hall, Chlo Sevigny, Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Steve Coogan. Written and directed by Oren Moverman, based on a novel by Herman Koch. The Orchard

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Filmmaker James Gunn delivers Mixtape #2 as the team explores the mystery of Peter Quill’s heritage and fights galactic baddies. With Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Tommy Flanagan, Laura Haddock, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell. Walt Disney Pictures

The life and work of the painter and filmmaker are chronicled in this documentary. Featuring Mary Boone, Jeff Koons, Vito Schnabel, Willem Dafoe, Bono. Directed by Pappi Corsicato. Cohen Media Group

Debra Winger and Tracy Letts star as a long-married couple whose serious affairs with other people rekindle a spark in their own relationship. With Aidan Gillen, Melora Walters, Tyler Ross, Jessica Sula. Written and directed by Azazel Jacobs. A24

Documentary on the work of the New York Times obituary writers. Written and directed by Vanessa Gould. Kino Lorber

A voyeur is framed for murder by a young lady in this restored version of the1946 adaptation of Georges Simenons Mr. Hire’s Engagement. With Michel Simon, Viviane Romance, Paul Bernard, Max Dalban. Written by Julien Duvivier, Charles Spaak. Directed by Duvivier. Rialto Pictures

Oscar-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras documentary on Julian Assange. Neon

Pat Healy directs and stars in a black comedy about a man who specializes in simulated abductions. With Taylor Schilling. Written by Mike Makowsky. The Orchard

Elle Fanning, Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon star as a family living under one roof in New York adjusting to a teen’s decision to transition from female to male. Written by Nikole Beckwith. Directed by Gaby Dellal. Weinstein Company

Also: Alienate Horror/Sci-fi. Gravitas Ventures Black Site Delta Action. XLrator Media Buster’s Mal Heart Sci-fi thriller. With Rami Malek. Well Go USA Elian Documentary. Gravitas Ventures Enter the Warriors Gate Fantasy adventure co-written by Luc Besson. EuropaCorp The Founders Sports documentary. Level 33 Lady Bloodfight Martial arts action. Vertical Entertainment Mom and Me Documentary. Uncorkd Entertainment Tomorrow Ever After Sci-fi comedy. Thier Productions

May 12

Artist Chris Burden, whose work included dangerous stunts, iconic sculptures and installations, and the vintage streetlights outside LACMA, is profiled in this documentary. Directed by Timothy Marrinan & Richard Dewey. Magnolia Pictures

Documentary recounts the romantic and creative partnership of storyboard artist Harold Michelson and film researcher Lillian Michelson. Featuring Danny DeVito, Mel Brooks, Francis Ford Coppola. Directed by Daniel Raim. Zeitgeist Films

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A new imagining of the Excalibur myth finds Arthur once more searching for his rightful place in the kingdom. With Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Bergs-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Jude Law, Eric Bana. Written by Joby Harold and Guy Ritchie & Lionel Wigram; story by David Dobkin and Joby Harold. Directed by Ritchie. Warner Bros.

Two women find deep friendship at an Italian mental hospital and help each other navigate in the real world when they inadvertently gain their freedom. With Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Micaela Ramazzotti. Written and directed by Paolo Virzi. Strand Releasing

An East L.A. street artist feels caught between the old-school car culture of his father and ex-con brother and his own means of self-expression. With Gabriel Chavarria, Demin Bichir, Eva Longoria, Theo Rossi, Melissa Benoist, Tony Revolori. Written by Cheo Hodari Coker & Elgin James. Directed by Ricardo de Montreuil. Telemundo Films / BH Tilt

A Frenchman restores the love of life for a neglected American wife. With Diane Lane, Arnaud Viard, Alec Baldwin. Written and directed by Eleanor Coppola. Sony Pictures Classics

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Amy Schumer stars as an impulsive young woman who recruits her rigid mother, played by Goldie Hawn, for a jungle vacation. With Joan Cusack, Ike Barinholtz, Wanda Sykes, Christopher Meloni. Written by Katie Dippold. Directed by Jonathan Levine. 20th Century Fox

Two U.S. soldiers are trapped with only a crumbling structure between them and an Iraqi sniper. With Aaron Taylor-Johnson, John Cena. Written by Dwain Worrell. Directed by Doug Liman. Amazon Studios / Roadside Attractions

Residents of a Scottish island attempt to liberate 50,000 cases of whisky from a stranded ship in this remake of the 1949 Alexander Mackendrick comedy. With Eddie Izzard, Ellie Kendrick, James Cosmo. Written by Peter McDougall, based on the novel by Compton Mackenzie. Directed by Gillies MacKinnon. Arrow Films

A young woman’s privileged life in 19th century Normandy is slowly eroded by her husband’s unfaithfulness and pressure from family and community. With Judith Chemla, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Yolande Moreau, Swann Arlaud. Written by Stphane Briz and Florence Vignon, based on a novel by Guy de Maupassant. Directed by Briz. Kino Lorber

Also: Angkor Awakens Documentary. Directed by Robert H. Lieberman. Photosynthesis Productions Dead Awake Horror. FilmRise Folk Hero & Funny Guy Comedy with Alex Karpovsky. Gravitas Ventures Get Me Roger Stone Documentary. Netflix Hounds of Love Horror. Gunpowder & Sky Long Live the King Documentary. Indie Rights Sacred Documentary directed by Thomas Lennon. Argot Pictures Tracktown Drama with Alexi Pappas. Samuel Goldwyn Films Urban Hymn Crime drama. Level 33 Violet Drama. Ryan Bruce Levey Film Distribution

May 19

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The crew of a colony ship makes a terrifying discovery after landing on what seems to be an uncharted paradise on the far side of the galaxy. With Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demin Bichir. Written by John Logan. Directed by Ridley Scott. 20th Century Fox

An affair threatens the idealistic cooperative an upscale Copenhagen couple establish in their home. With Ulrich Thomsen, Trine Dyrholm, Fares Fares. Written by Tobias Lindholm, Thomas Vinterberg. Directed by Vinterberg. Magnolia Pictures

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The family takes a road trip and Greg schemes to become famous as a new cast takes over for the fourth installment based on Jeff Kinney’s comic youth novels. With Jason Ian Drucker, Charlie Wright, Owen Asztalos, Tom Everett Scott, Alicia Silverstone. Written by Kinney and director David Bowers. 20th Century Fox

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An 18-year-old woman, confined to her house in a protected environment because of an illness, forms an attachment to the boy next door and yearns to experience the outside world. With Amandla Stenberg, Nick Robinson, Ana De La Reguera, Anika Noni Rose. Written by J. Mills Goodloe, based on the book by Nicola Yoon. Directed by Stella Meghie. Warner Bros./ MGM

Directors Sebastian Junger and Nick Quested map the regions turmoil in this documentary. National Geographic

Verit documentary follows three White Helmets volunteer first responders who rush in to some of the most dangerous areas in Syria. Directed by Firas Fayyad, Steen Johannessen. Grasshopper Film

The suicide of a young artist brings together his girlfriend and mother as they confront their grief. With Janet McTeer, Alia Shawkat, Rhys Wakefield, Nancy Kwan, Emily Rios, Alfred Molina. Written by Amber Tamblyn, Ed Dougherty, based on the novel by Janet Fitch. Directed by Amber Tamblyn. Imagination Worldwide

The nuptials are set, but an Orthodox woman has only one month to find a groom. With Noa Koler, Amos Tamam, Oz Zehavi. Written and directed by Rama Burshtein. In Hebrew with English subtitles. (1:50) NR. Roadside Attractions

Also: Devil’s Domain Horror film with Michael Madsen. Cleopatra Entertainment Fight for Space Documentary. Gravitas Ventures If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast Documentary. With Carl Reiner. HBO Documentary Films The Last Shaman Documentary. Abramorama 7 Witches Horror. Indican Pictures Solaris (1972) and Stalker (1979) Re-release of Andrei Tarkovsky films Janus Films The Survivalist Post-apocalyptic thriller. IFC Midnight

May 26

A renowned and uncompromising artist struggles against authoritarianism in post-World War II Communist Poland in director Andrzej Wajdas final film. With Boguslaw Linda. Written by Andrzej Mularczyk. Film Movement

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Dwayne Johnson steps into the formidable flip flops of David Hasselhoff as lifeguard Mitch Buchanan in this adaptation of the 1990s TV series. With Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario, Jon Bass, Kelly Rohrbach, Ilfenesh Hadera. Written by Damian Shannon & Mark Swift, story by Jay Scherick & David Ronn and Thomas Lennon & Robert Ben Garant, based on the series created by Michael Berk & Douglas Schwartz and Gregory J. Bonann. Directed by Seth Gordon. Paramount Pictures

The 30-year trek of the Grateful Dead as their organic approach to touring and getting the word out turned them into one of the most successful and popular live acts in rock n roll is chronicled in this documentary. Featuring Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir. Directed by Amir Bar-Lev. Amazon Studios

Cate Blanchett plays multiple roles in a series of vignettes inspired by artist manifestos. Written and directed by Julian Rosefeldt. FilmRise

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Captain Jack is down-on-his-luck and his survival depends on an alliance with an attractive astronomer and a Royal Navy sailor. With Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin R. McNally, Golshifteh Farahani, David Wenham, Stephen Graham and Geoffrey Rush. Written by Jeff Nathanson, story by Nathanson and Terry Rossio. Directed by Joachim Rnning and Espen Sandberg. Walt Disney Pictures

Bryan Cranston stars as a successful but overwhelmed businessman whose disappearance is not what it appears. With Jennifer Garner, Jason O’Mara, Beverly D’Angelo, Ian Anthony Dale, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Isaac Leyva, Victoria Bruno, Ellery Sprayberry, Tracey Walter. Written and directed by Robin Swicord. IFC Films

A four-star U.S. general is charged with ending the country’s involvement in Afghanistan. With Brad Pitt, Ben Kingsley, Tilda Swinton, Topher Grace, Anthony Michael Hall, Will Poulter, Keith Stanfield. Written and directed by David Michod, based on the book The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of Americas War in Afghanistan by Michael Hastings. Netflix

Also: Berlin Syndrome Psychological thriller. Vertical Entertainment Black Butterfly Thriller with Antonio Banderas, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Piper Perabo. Lionsgate Premiere Drone Thriller. Screen Media Films Legion of Brothers Documentary. Gravitas Ventures Spirit Game: Pride of a Nation Sports documentary. XLrator Media

May TBD

Also: Aida’s Secrets Documentary. Music Box Films Bugs Documentary. Kino Lorber NISE: The Heart of Madness Brazilian drama. Outsider Pictures / Strand Releasing The Penguin Counters Documentary. First Run Features

June 2

Director Errol Morris profiles portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman through her work with the Polaroid Land 20×24 camera and her Cambridge, Mass., studio, where she captured families, Beat poets, rock stars and Harvard standouts. Neon

A young couple attempt to work their marital woes out by starting a band and turning their fights into songs. With Adam Pally, Fred Armisen, Susie Essman, Hannah Simone, Ravi Patel, Jorma Taccone, Jesse Williams, Brooklyn Decker, Jaime Chung, Chris DElia, Colin Hanks. Written and directed by Zoe Lister-Jones. IFC Films

Animated adaptation of the hit illustrated book series by Dav Pilkey about a pair of wildly imaginative boys and their creation of a not-so-bright superhero. Voices by Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Thomas Middleditch, Nick Kroll, Jordan Peele, Kristen Schaal. Written by Nicholas Stoller. Directed by David Soren. 20th Century Fox / DreamWorks Animation

Brian Cox stars as the British prime minister in the tense days leading up to the D-Day invasion. With Miranda Richardson, John Slattery, Julian Wadham, James Purefoy, Ella Purnell, Richard Durden. Written by Alex von Tunzelmann. Directed by Jonathan Teplitzky. Cohen Media Group

Demetri Martin writes, directs and stars with Kevin Kline as a father-and-son dealing with grief and attendant life changes. With Gillian Jacobs. CBS Films

During WWII, a German soldier is sent to occupied Holland to monitor espionage surrounding the exiled Kaiser Wilhelm II. With Christopher Plummer, Jai Courtney, Lily James. Written by Simon Burke, based on a novel by Alan Judd. Directed by David Leveaux. A24

A love triangle emerges in the drag queen bars of Tokyo in this restoration of writer-director Toshio Matsumoto’s 1969 drama. With Pt, Osamu Ogasawara, Yoshimi J. Cinelicious Pictures

A Newcastle carpenter with a heart condition battles government bureaucracy after he is denied benefits and aids a struggling single mom with two children. Winner of the Palme dOr at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. With Dave Johns, Hayley Squires. Written by Paul Laverty. Directed by Ken Loach. Sundance Selects

A pre-World War I Cambridge man battles his homosexual urges in this 1987 adaptation of the E.M. Forster novel by producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory. With James Wilby, Hugh Grant, Rupert Graves, Ben Kingsley, Phoebe Nicholls. Written by Kit Hesketh-Harvey and Ivory. Cohen Media Group

The art worlds enfant terrible is followed from his early years through a recent Guggenheim retrospective. Directed by Maura Axelrod. Bond / 360

Two sisters in 1977 Jerusalem probe their stern father’s unspoken experiences in World War II Poland. With Nelly Tagar, Joy Rieger, Doron Tavory and Evgenia Dodina. Written and directed by Avi Nesher. Samuel Goldwyn Films

In 1930s Sweden, an indigenous teenage girl feels the sting of racism and vows to escape. With Lene Cecilia Sparrok, Mia Erika Sparrok, Maj-Doris Rimpi. Written and directed by Amanda Kernell. Synergetic Distribution

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The Amazonian princess gets her own movie and leaves her island paradise to fight a war to end all wars. With Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, Elena Anaya, Ewen Bremner, Lucy Davis, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Eugene Brave Rock, Sad Taghmaoui. Written by Allan Heinberg, story by Zack Snyder & Allan Heinberg and Jason Fuchs, based on characters from DC. Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston. Directed by Patty Jenkins. Warner Bros.

Also: All About the Money Action comedy with Eddie Griffin. Gravitas Ventures Dark Signal Horror. XLrator Media Handsome Devil Drama. Breaking Glass Pictures Vincent-n-Roxxy Romantic drama with Emile Hirsh, Zo Kravitz, Zoey Deutch. Vertical Entertainment

Documentary on the Chinese immigrant Sung family, owners of the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges stemming from the 2008 financial crisis. Directed by Steve James. PBS Films

A writer deals with the death of her wife, a deep desire to become a mother and falls into a love triangle with her two best friends. With Laura Heisler, Bryan Dechart, Annie Potts, Raoul Bhaneja, Anna Fitzwater. Written by Gretchen M. Michelfeld. Directed by Heather de Michele. First Run Features

Writer Mike White and director Miguel Arteta reteam for a satire about a dinner party where a successful immigrant health practitioner butts heads with a smug billionaire. With Salma Hayek, John Lithgow, Chlo Sevigny, Connie Britton, David Warshofsky, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, John Early. Roadside Attractions

A washed-up western actor changes his priorities after a cancer diagnosis. With Sam Elliott, Laura Prepon, Krysten Ritter, Nick Offerman, Katharine Ross. Written by Brett Haley, Marc Basch. Directed by Haley. The Orchard

Adult brother and sister twins confront their lack of emotional development when they date the same man. With Lucas Neff, Artemis Pebdani, Angela Trimbur. Written by Kristin Archibald and Doug Archibald. Directed by Doug Archibald. Magnolia Pictures

Writer-director Trey Edward Shults follows “Krisha” with a dystopian horror story about a man and his family under siege. With Joel Edgerton, Riley Keough, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo and Kelvin Harrison Jr. A24

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Every single movie coming out this summer – Los Angeles Times

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April 21, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

Photographer Irving Schild, former Safe Haven refugee, to speak – SUNY Oswego

Photographer Irving Schild, a wartime resident of the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter, will speak as part of SUNY Oswego’s Jewish American Heritage appreciation evening starting at 5 p.m. in the Marano Campus Center food and activity court on Monday, April 24 — the day widely observed as Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“We’re pleased to welcome Irving Schild back to Oswego,” said Earnest Washington, director of campus life at the college. “We look forward to sharing his remarkable story with the current generation of Oswego students, and with the wider community.”

Born in Belgium, Schild left Europe with his family in 1944 when he was 13. For eighteen months, they lived at the fort as part of the group of 981 mostly Jewish refugees admitted to the United States by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and temporarily interned at the facility, also known as Safe Haven.

Remaining in America after the end of World War II, Schild served in the U.S. Marine Corps and trained as a combat photographer. He built a successful career as a commercial photographer, producing work for major publications such as Glamour, Esquire, Life, and — for over 50 years — Mad Magazine. He also taught at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, serving as chair of the photography department.

Free and open to the public, the evening will include music by the Syracuse-based klezmer band, The Wandering Klezmorim, and a sampling of traditional Jewish foods.

Based in Syracuse, The Wandering Klezmorim is a versatile group that plays in the klezmer traditions from Eastern Europe, the Lower East Side and the Middle East. Ken Frieden, professor of Judaic studies at Syracuse University, founded the group in Atlanta. Since then, it has performed concerts and celebrations in Europe, Israel and the Northeast U.S.

In 2017, Holocaust Remembrance Day begins at sunset April 23 and ends the evening of April 24, commemorating the 6 million victims of the Holocaust carried out by the Nazis during World War II. The day occurs on 27 Nisan on the Jewish calendar.

Jewish American Heritage Month appreciation evening is one of the “I am Oz” programs scheduled throughout the academic year, celebrating campus diversity and community.

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April 20, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

Globe Briefs April 14 – thejewishchronicle.net

Ohio buys record $61 million in Israel Bonds

The state of Ohio bought a one-day record of $61 million in Israel Bonds.

The largest single government purchase of Israel Bonds, which took place April 3, makes Ohio the largest holder of Israel Bonds with $165 million, the Cleveland Jewish News reported.

State Treasurer Josh Mandel told the newspaper that the purchase in part was in response to the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

First and foremost, we are making this investment because its a good investment for the taxpayers of Ohio, said Mandel, who is Jewish. Second, we are making this investment in an effort to combat the bigotry of the BDS movement. Third, we are making this investment to stand with the only country in the Middle East that shares American values.

In December, the Ohio Legislature passed a law prohibiting the state from contracting with companies that engage in boycotts of Israel. The measure also included language that increased from 1 percent to 2 percent the amount of funds the state treasurer or country treasurers may invest in foreign bonds meeting specified criteria, including Israel Bonds.

Ohio treasurers have been investing in Israel Bonds since 1993, according to the newspaper.

Mandel, who has served as state treasurer since 2011, announced in December that he would run a second time for the Senate.

Israeli firm to provide drinking water from the air

An Israeli company whose technology made a splash at last months AIPAC conference has signed deals to produce drinking water by extracting it from the air in India and Vietnam, two countries that have long faced shortages.

Water Gen inked an agreement with Indias second largest solar company to produce purified water for remote villages in the country. Earlier, the company arranged with the Hanoi government to set up water generators in the Vietnamese capital.

The government of Vietnam greatly esteems the technological developments in Israel, and I hope that the Israeli technology that we supply to Vietnam will significantly help to improve water conditions in the country, Water Gen President Mikhael Mirilashvili said after the signing in Hanoi, according to a statement.

The memoranda of understanding are worth $150 million in total, according to Water Gen, which was founded in 2009 and creates technology that extracts water from the air for use by civilians and soldiers who do not have access to clean sources.

Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz demonstrated Water Gens technology on stage at AIPACs annual policy conference in Washington, D.C., on March 26. He touted the device, which he said can produce 15-20 liters of drinkable water a day, as a weapon against worldwide water scarcity and the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

There is no weapon more powerful in the fight against BDS than for Israel to develop technologies that the world cannot live without, he told the crowd. You cannot boycott products that you cant live without.

About 1.2 billion people, nearly one-fifth of the worlds population, live in areas of water scarcity, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. More than 75 million of Indias 1.25 billion people lack access to clean water, according to a report last year by Water Aid, a water and sanitation nonprofit. And Vietnam has struggled to provide its 95 million people with water because of contamination, poor infrastructure and heavy agricultural demand.

In India, Water Gen technology is to supply drinking water to remote villages with solar power from Vikar Solar. The Vietnam project is to generate tens of thousands of liters of water a day for the people of Hanoi.

Jewish descendants, says court, can sue Germany for return of Nazi loot

A U.S. court has cleared the way for descendants of Jewish art collectors to sue Germany in the United States over objects allegedly obtained from their ancestors under duress during the Nazi era.

In what lawyers for the complainants are calling a landmark decision, the District Court for the District of Columbia ruled March 31 that claims regarding a collection known as the Guelph Treasure can be filed in a U.S. court.

Three years ago, a German investigative commission found that the original owners of the collection, which the Dresdner Bank purchased on behalf of Hitlers deputy, Hermann Goering, in 1935, were not forced to sell it by the Nazis.

It is the first time that a court has held that Germany can be sued for the return of Nazi-looted art and artifacts under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

For several years, heirs to the consortium of Jewish collectors that bought the 82-piece collection in 1929 as an investment have been demanding the return of the portion sold to Goering. They have estimated its value at approximately $227 million.

The collection is on display at Berlins Bode Museum.

Attorneys filed the suit in the United States in February 2015 against Germany and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, one year after the Limbach Commission, the German advisory board for Holocaust-related claims, rejected the plaintiffs contention that the 1935 sale had been forced.

In its ruling, the court rejected the German defendants contention that the Limbach Commission recommendation bars later litigation in a U.S. court. It also agreed with the plaintiffs that the sale may be considered a taking of property in violation of international law.

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Globe Briefs April 14 – thejewishchronicle.net

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In Atlanta’s suburbs and exurbs, a Jewish candidate gives Democrats hope – Jewish Post

Editors note: Democrat Jon Ossoff will face Republican Karen Handel in the June 20 runoff election. Ossoff won 48.1% of the vote April 18; Handel won 19.78%

WASHINGTON (JTA) One candidate has the endorsement of a civil rights giant. Another boasts that he changes his oil in his pickup truck. A third coached soccer at the local community center.

Its politics as usual in Georgia, except that these three candidates among the 18 running in the special election on April 18 in Georgias 6th Congressional District are Jewish.

The election is a jungle, or blanket, primary, an open race in which the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, face off against one another in a June 20 runoff barring the unlikely event that one candidate tops 50 percent.

Race figures prominently in this election in the Atlanta suburbs, as does traditional values (another candidate is prominent in the right-to-life movement). But all politics is local attracting jobs to the district and improving mass transit are major campaign themes.

The election is atypical, however, in two ways: Democrats see it as their first opportunity to wound President Donald Trump, and the presence of the Jewish candidates, notably Jon Ossoff, a Democrat attracting national media attention as the likeliest to pull off an upset.

That one-sixth of the candidates are Jewish in the 6th is something of an anomaly, said Steve Oppenheimer, a businessman who backs Ossoff.

What are we, 2 percent nationwide? asked Oppenheimer, who has served on the national boards of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and Hillel. If we were twice that here and that may be a stretch we [Jewish voters] are not going to be the swing vote.

Not that Ossoff, a scholarly and serious 30-year-old, is reluctant to chat about his Jewish upbringing if he is asked.

I was bar mitzvahed at The Temple, which is a Reform synagogue, he told JTA, somewhat didactically. My Jewish upbringing imbued me with certain values, a commitment to justice and peace.

Ossoff is perhaps best known as a muckraking documentary filmmakerwho once was an intern to Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. and now is being endorsed by the civil rights giant. (Ossoff was later an aide on national security policy to another Georgia Democrat, Hank Johnson, who also has endorsed him.)

That biography and Trumps surprisingly poor performance in November in a district that for decades has been solidly Republican has propelled Ossoff to the front of thediverse pack of candidates. A poll commissioned by zpolitics, a website tracking politics in Georgia, had him at 41 percent on Monday, while his closest two contenders, both Republicans, are tied at 16.

Tom Price, the previous incumbent, won the district by more than 20 points in November, but Trump beat Clinton in the district by barely a percentage point. Trump tapped Price to be his health secretary, and Trumps poor performance led Democrats to smell blood. (Ossoffs slogan? Make Trump furious.)

Ossoff, youthful and personable, soon emerged as a national Democratic favorite, and a fundraising drive led by the liberal website Daily Kos, among other factors, has made him the candidate to beat, with $3 million reportedly in his campaign coffers. The Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have deployed resources to his campaign.

That, in turn, has led to coverage in the national media, including front-page treatment in The New York Times and profiles in the New Yorker, Esquire and the Los Angeles Times.

Every one of those treatments includes a requisite skeptical note from impartial observers of Georgias politics: Ossoff, they say, is gobbling up Democratic support, and likely will place on April 18, but the notion that he can win in the runoff in the historically red district is far-fetched.

Typical of the pundits is Kerwin Swint of Kennesaw State University, who on Feb. 27 told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that a Democrat could conceivably sneak into the runoff, but that Democrat would almost surely lose the runoff. The numbers just arent there yet.

Democrats, giddy at Ossoffs surge in the polls, believe the numbers are coming in. Ossoff says hes running to win outright on April 18, although that tends to get even his supporters eyes rolling.

Sheri Labovitz, a longtime Democratic activist, has not formally endorsed Ossoff among the five Democrats running, but she believes he has momentum.

Hes got a machinery working with him that has some very good research, hes got bodies knocking on doors every day and every weekend, she said. If you can turn your voters out, youve got a great shot.

And Labovitz said Jewish interest is unexpectedly strong. She expected perhaps 30 people to show up last month at a salon she organized for Jewish Democratic women that featured Ossoff and two other candidates: Ron Slotin, a former state senator who also is Jewish, and Sally Harrell, a former state representative who has since withdrawn. Instead, 200 people packed the room.

Ossoff said he was wowed by the turnout.

Jewish women are leading a lot of the political engagement in the community, he told JTA.

Still, Labovitz is reserving judgment on a final call until she sees which of the 11 Republicans in the raceemerges to compete with Ossoff.

Its a gerrymandered district, she said. Can a Democrat make the runoff? I really think so. Can a Democrat win? I would like to think so.

The two Republicans who are ahead in polls would provide a sharp contrast with Ossoff.

Karen Handel earned national notoriety in 2012 when, while she was vice president at Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a charity that combats breast cancer, cut off its relationship with Planned Parenthood.

In the ensuing controversy Komen, which was founded by a well-known Jewish Republican philanthropist, Nancy Brinker, who named it after her late sister, reinstated the relationship with the reproductive rights and womens health group. Handel then left the organization, becoming something of a hero for abortion opponents.

Bob Gray, a former council member in the town of Johns Creek, has an ad that opens with Trump pledging to drain the swamp. It fades to Gray, in overalls, draining a swamp literally to the twang of blues chords on an acoustic guitar.

Republican ads target Ossoff as an interloper in a conservative redoubt. The Congressional Leadership Fund, a national Republican political action committee, uncovered video from his days at Georgetown University wielding a light saber as a bare-chested Han Solo and extolling the virtues of beer.

Not ready, the ad said.

Ossoff says the attack on him by a national superPAC is a signal of how serious his bid is. His current incarnation clean cut, well turned out and soft spoken, and the CEO of a documentary film company that delves into cutting-edge issues like corruption in Africa and the mistreatment of women by Islamist terrorists deflects bids to portray him as unripe.

Ossoff is more sensitive to charges that he is a carpetbagger; he lives just outside the district boundaries. That gets him testy.

My significant other is a medical student at Emory and she needs to walk to work, he said.

Casting him as an outsider resonates with some voters in a mixed rural-suburban district. Jere Wood, the mayor of Roswell, a town in the district, told the New Yorker earlier this month that Ossoffs name alone would alienate voters.

If you just say Ossoff, some folks are gonna think, Is he Muslim? Is he Lebanese? Is he Indian? Wood said.

Ossoff likely would enjoy the jab; he wears his progressive badge with pride. He turned up at Atlantas Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on the Saturday night that Trumps first executive order banning refugees and other travelers from Muslim-majority countries went into effect, and identifies with them as a matter of heritage.

American Jews all share that immigrant story, he said, and that perspective hardens my resolve to fight for an open and optimistic vision of our country where if you work hard you can get ahead, where we welcome those who come here to build the country.

Ossoff also signals familiarity with the Middle East. His campaign biography notes that when he was at Georgetown, he studied under Michael Oren, the historian and former Israeli ambassador to Washington. Oppenheimer, Ossoffs backer, says as a congressional aide the candidate helped draft Iran sanctions, but also is quick to note that Ossoff had left the job by the time Democrats were backing the Iran nuclear deal that so riled AIPAC.

He was not involved in the deal President Obama made, Oppenheimer said with emphasis.

If Ossoff and his backers are right and distaste for Trump and hard-line conservatism threatens to turn this district blue, then David Abroms would be a formidable adversary in the runoff. But this Jewish Republican is not registering in the polls, finishing next to last among the eight candidates named in the zpolitics poll with under 2 percent of the vote.

Abroms, 33, avoids mentioning Trump in his campaigning. He focuses instead on his business converting vehicles to running on natural gas and how he hopes to bring to Washington his ideas of energy independence from the Middle East.

A lot of wealth goes overseas to the Middle East to people who dont like us very much, it hampers our national security, it hampers Israels national security, he said in an interview.

Abroms, who interned for former Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, now the U.S. attorney general, is relaxed with both his Southern and Jewish heritages.

I consider myself a paradox, he said. Im a Jewish accountant, but I drive my pickup truck and I do my oil changes, and I listen to country music.

Slotin is another moderate albeit a Democrat who likely wont make the cut. The zpolitics poll, with 625 respondents and a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points, had him just ahead of Abroms at 3 percent. A state senator in the 1990s who ran unsuccessfully against Cynthia McKinney for Congress McKinney went on to become one of the bodys most strident Israel critics he is reviving his slogan from that era, Votin Slotin, and campaigning on bipartisanship and bringing jobs to the district.

Slotin, 54, is an executive headhunter who once owned the Atlantic Jewish Life magazine and coached soccer at a local JCC. He touts his role aspart of the government team that crafted tax credits that brought TV and movie production into the state.

What I bring to the district is stronger against any Republican candidate than what [Ossoff] brings to the district, he said.

The zpolitics poll suggests that might be true: A question asking for a second choice indicative of how the runoff might play out had Slotin by far the leader with 34 percent, while Ossoff got 5.6 percent.

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In Atlanta’s suburbs and exurbs, a Jewish candidate gives Democrats hope – Jewish Post

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Weekend calendar – Quad City Times

April 20 Songs of the Civil Rights Movement

1:30-2:30 p.m. Bettendorf Public Library, 2950 Learning Campus Drive. Illinois musician Chris Vallillo will perform songs of the era that spoke of the yearning for equal rights and the struggle and determination to win freedom. Refreshments will be served after the program. Free.

5:30 p.m. Davenport Country Club, 25500 Valley Drive, Bettendorf. Temple Emanuel will host this art auction featuring a wide variety and price range of framed art and sports and music memorabilia as well as original art. Hor’s d’oeuvres and desserts will be served. for more information or to purchase tickets, call 563-326-4419 or email office@qctemple.org. $30 at the door, $25 by April 15.

6:35 p.m. Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S. Gaines St., Davenport. $5 to $14.

7 p.m. Central DeWitt Performing Arts Center, 519 E. 11th St., DeWitt. $25 adults, $5 students (K-12).

7:30-8:30 p.m. Bettendorf Public Library, 2950 Learning Campus Drive. Bret Dale, Director of Programming and Education at the RME, will present this installment of Trax from the Stax. Free.

7:30 p.m. Redstone Room, 129 Main St., Davenport. $12 day of show, $10 in advance.

8-11 p.m. Harrington’s Pub, 2321 Cumberland Square Drive, Bettendorf. This will be an outdoor show, weather permitting. Free.

1-8:30 p.m. Putnam Museum, 1717 W. 12th St., Davenport. Featuring displays, demonstrations, indoor planetarium shows, solar/night sky observing (weather permitting), Moon Rock on loan from NASA, meteorites, crafts and more. There also will be a special program, “How and Where To View The Great American Total Solar Eclipse,” by Dr. Paul Sipiera at 7 p.m. Free.

5-8:30 p.m. Putnam Museum, 1717 W. 12th St., Davenport. This edition of Family Fun Night will feature the fully immersive Discovery Dome planetarium open with free showings throughout the night, Dr. Paul Sipiera will give a presentation, “How and Where to View The Great American Total Solar Eclipse,” at 7 p.m., there will be telescopes for solar/night sky observing (weather permitting) and more. Free for fun night activites with museum admission required to visit the Museum and Science Center.

5:30 p.m. Camden Centre, 2701 1st St. E, Milan. The Arc of the Quad-Cities Area will celebrate spring with this busines casual event featuring an assortment of hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, deejay entertainment from Master Blaster and live and silent auctions. For more information or to register, call 309-786-6474 or visit arcqca.org. $280 per table, $70 per couple, $40 per person.

6-11 p.m. Waterfront Convention Center, 2021 State St., Bettendorf. Featuring dinner, a program including the success story of a youth who went through the program as well as silent and live auctions. Proceeds benefit Family Resources. $85.

6:15 p.m. Davenport Speedway, Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds. $12 adults, $10 students/senior citizens, $5 youth 7-12 years.

6:30-7:30 p.m. Colona Public Library, 911 1st St., Colona. Paper-cutting artist Keith Bonnstetter will help participants make a spring “snowflake” design. Class size is limited. Attendees should bring scissors. For more information or to register, call 309-792-0548. Free.

6:35 p.m. Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S. Gaines St., Davenport. Promotion: Post-game Fireworks. $5 to $14.

7-11 p.m. Silver Spur Dance Hall, 1230 15th Ave., East Moline. Featuring deejay music for dancing. $7.

7-10:30 p.m. CASI, 1035 W. Kimberly Road, Davenport. Deejay Don will play music for dancing to couples, line and free style steps. $7.

7 p.m. RME Community Stage, 129 Main St., Davenport. Free.

7-10 p.m. the Coliseum, 116 Bryant St., Walcott. $10.

7-9:30 p.m. Square and Round Dance Hall, 323 1/2 17th St., Bettendorf. Featuring mainstream and plus square dancing with caller Tommy Russell and Charlie Swanson cueing. $6, free for spectators.

8 p.m. Kavanaugh’s Hilltop Tap, 1228 30th St., Rock Island. Presented by the Mississippi Valley Blues Society. $15, $12 MVBS members.

9 p.m. Redstone Room, 129 Main St., Davenport. $12 day of show, $10 in advance.

9 p.m. Rock Island Brewing Company, 1815 2nd Ave. Cover charge.

8:30-11:30 a.m. Nahant Marsh, 4220 Wapello Ave., Davenport. Volunteers can work on a variety of projects including pulling garlic mustard, hauling brush and picking up debris along the roadway and river bank. Gloves, tongs and safety gear will be provided. Participants should wear comfortable, durable clothes and shoes that can get dirty. There may be wet areas so rubber boots or water-resistant shoes are recommended. Free.

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Buffalo Community Center, 426 Clark St. Featuring garage sale items and vendors. The kitchen also will be open. Free.

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Quad-City Food Forest, 1599 Garden Ave., Davenport. During this work day participants can help redo fencing, sheet mulch an expansion area, plant veggies, build new raised beds and build a new compost bin. There also will be a variety of kids activities including make-n-take fairy gardens. Food will be available from a food truck from noon to 2 p.m. with a portion of the proceeds to go to the Food Forest. Free.

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dr. Sanders Chiropractic Office, 609 15th Ave., East Moline. Featuring an operating 2,000 square foot model railroad layout with 85 percent of the scenery completed. There also will be a Treasure Hunt for cildren and adults. Free with donations accepted.

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ragged Records, 418 E. 2nd St., Davenport. This international event will feature one-day only limited-edition titles. There also will be live performances including Speaking of Secrets, Dead Forms, The Right Now, Bill MacKay, Dog Hairs and more. Free.

10-11:30 a.m. Davenport Public Library, 6000 Eastern Ave. Hosted by Science Of Spirituality. Free.

10 a.m. to noon Veterans Memorial Park, 1645 23rd St., Bettendorf. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with the walk at 10 a.m. Free with donations accepted.

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. downtown Geneseo. Participants can view professional and amateur visual artists and musicians as they demonstrate their special talents throughout downtown. Free.

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Quad-City Veterans Outreach Center, 250 W. 35th St., Davenport. The Quad-City Veterans Outreach Center will host this event for soldiers and veterans to choose a dress suit choices. There also will be a free lunch for family members and drivers and the Book Exchange will be open. Soldiers and veterans must have a military ID or papers. For more information, call 563-529-4782. Free.

1:15 p.m. Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S. Gaines St., Davenport. Promotion: Irish Heritage Day/Logo Sunglasses Giveaway. $5 to $14.

1:30-2:30 p.m. Dairy Building, 410 N. Erickson St., Bishop Hill. Dr. Bill Hampes will present this scholarly program about the humor of President Abraham Lincoln. The 40 minute presentation will discuss the ways that President Abraham Lincoln used humor and also will utilize what psychologists and others have learned about humor to show how it reflected Lincoln’s complex personality. For more information, call 309 927-3899 or email bhha@mymctc.net or visit bishophillheritage.org. Free.

2-3 p.m. Davenport Public Library, 3000 N. Fairmount St. Featuring crafts, activities and a chance to design and decorate a clay pot complete with a seed planted and ready to grow. For more information or to register (required), call 563-326-7832 or visit davenportlibrary.com. Free.

3-6 p.m. SouthPark Mall, 4500 16th St., Moline. $3 donation for cars, free for spectators.

4-6:30 p.m. LeClaire Civic Club, 127 S. Cody Road. $10 at door, $9 in advance, $6 for children 10 years and younger.

6-7 p.m. Metropolitan Community Church of the Quad-Cities, 2930 W. Locust St., Davenport. Worship will include music, inspirational readings and an open table for Holy Communion. Special guests from the Sage Sisters of Solidarity will perform. Following the service there will be board games and a potluck with participants encouraged to bring a dish to share. There will be complimentary coffee and tea provided and soft drinks available for purchase. For more information, call 563-324-8281. Free.

7 p.m. to midnight Bierstube, 415 15th St., Moline. This will be an all-ages show until 11 p.m. $5.

7 p.m. Rogalski Center, St. Ambrose University, Davenport. Featuring mulligans and doublers. Participants may bring snacks with drinks available for purchase. Childcare will be available with a donation at the Children’s Campus. Reservations required for childcare. Proceeds benefit the Alumni Association and the St. Ambrose Children’s Campus. For more information or to register a table, call 563-333-6290 or email alumni@sau.edu. $80 per table, $64 per table by April 19.

7 p.m. Arrowhead Youth and Family Services, 12200 104th St., Coal Valley. This trivia night with tables of eight players also will feature raffles for a children’s John Deere Gator and youth made wooden items. Participants can bring snacks and beverages or purchase them at the event. No alcohol. To register a table, visit arrowheadyouth.org. Proceeds will support the programming for at risk youth at Arrowhead. $80 table, $10 per player.

7:30 p.m. First Lutheran Church, 364 E. Water St., Galesburg. Featuring the Nova Singers. $18 adults, $15 senior citizens (62 years and older), free for students.

7:30 p.m. Unitarian Church, 3707 Eastern Ave., Davenport. Chamber Music Quad-Cities will present this evening of chamber music with David Bowlin, violin, and Tony Cho, piano. For more information, call 309-797-0516 or visit chambermusicqc.com. $15 adults, $5 students.

8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Jim’s Knoxville Tap, 8716 Knoxville Road, Milan. Free.

9 p.m. My Place The Pub, 4405 State St., Riverdale. Free.

9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Van’s Pizza Pub and Grill, 425 15th St., Moline. Cover charge.

9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Hawkeye Sports Bar and Grill, 4646 Cheyenne Ave., Davenport. Free.

9 p.m. Rock Island Brewing Company, 1815 2nd Ave. Cover charge.

11 a.m.-5 p.m. Logger House, 256 S. State Ave., Hampton. Blackhawk Chapter ABATE of Illinois will host the first ride of the season with sign in beginning at 11 a.m. The ride will end at Crabby’s in Coal Valley. The route and length will be determined by the weather. $5.

Noon to 4 p.m. Golden Leaf Banquet and Convention Center, 2902 E. Kimberly Road, Davenport. Featuring new and used tanks, equipment, decor, plants and live fish including Angel Fish, Discus, African Cichlids, Goldfish, over 100 bettas and more. Free.

1-4 p.m. Hanson Hall of Science, 726 35th St., Rock Island. Chemistry professors and students will be performing and explaining science demonstrations including color changes, explosions and more. there also will be a hands-on kids room and some of the labs will be open for viewing. Free.

1 p.m. Whitey’s Ice Cream, 3515 Middle Road, Bettendorf. This short family-oriented relaxed walk, run or ride on the trails in Bettendorf will start and finish at Whitey’s. Free ice cream certificates will be distributed to the first 50 youth participants. The City will provide light refreshments at the end of the event. Free.

1:15 p.m. Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S. Gaines St., Davenport. Promotion: Family Funday/Bark In the Park/Post-game Run the Bases. $5 to $14.

4 p.m. St. Paul Lutheran Church, 2136 Brady St., Davenport. Featuring the Nova Singers. $18 adults, $15 senior citizens (62 years and older), free for students.

7 p.m. Temple Emanuel, 1115 Mississippi Ave., Davenport. Featuring keynote speaker Doris Fogel. For information, call 309-793-1300. Free.

8 p.m. Augustana College, 639 38th St., Rock Island. This event will begin in the Quad and will include a walk and information and activities designed to promote safe relationships. There will be representatives from RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) and SafePath, slam poetry and light refreshments. Free.

6:30-8 p.m. Moline Public Library, 3210 41st St. Featuring a screening of this new documentary by filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle that tells the story of barns in the Midwest by examining them through the lens of architecture. The film explores what building methods, barn styles and materials tell about the people who built them, the life they lived and the role these “country cathedrals” played in the settling and building of the Nation. There will be a Q&A with the filmmakers and other film participants following the screening. Free.

6:35 p.m. Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S. Gaines St., Davenport. $5 to $14.

7 p.m. Wallenberg Hall, 3520 7th Ave., Rock Island. Doris Fogel will present this annual talk by a Holocaust survivor, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Judaism and Jewish Culture. Fogel will discuss her life story and the importance of never forgetting the stories of those who lived through the Holocaust. Free.

7:30 p.m. Assumption High School, 1020 W. Central Park Ave., Davenport. Featuring Cody Birely, Davenport, on percussion and Mallory Weaver, Bettendorf, on clarinet. Free-will donation.

9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Vista Grande, 2141 16th St. NW, Clinton. In conjunction with Older Americans Month, this fair will bring businesses and organizations together in one location to provide information, demonstrations, door prizes and fun for the 50-plus population. There will be over 40 different businesses and services on hand including financial services, retirement residences, realtors and more as well as special health screening opportunities by Mercy Medical Center. For accurate results, participants should fast for 8-10 hours. For screening instructions, cost and general information, call Mercy Medical Center at 563-244-3539. Free.

11 a.m. Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S. Gaines St., Davenport. Promotion: Baseball In Education Day. $5 to $14.

7:30 p.m. Adler Theater, 136 E. 3rd St., Davenport. $38, $48 and $58.

6:35 p.m. Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S. Gaines St., Davenport. Promotion: Winning Wednesday with each person attending entered to win a Mega Blu-Ray Player. $5 to $14.

7 p.m.-1 a.m. Gunchie’s, 2905 Telegraph Road, Davenport. Free.

7:30 p.m. Redstone Room, 129 Main St., Davenport. $25 day of show, $20 in advance.

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Isabel Bloom, 736 Federal St., Davenport. Featuring an informative lunch about Rick’s House of Hope, a Vera French program that focuses on children experiencing grief, trauma or loss. Speakers will include Rick’s House of Hope staff, interns and community members. Lunch will be provided and a tour of the Isabel Bloom facility will be available after the program. For more ionformation or to reserve a spot (required by Thursday, April 20), email courvillea@verafrenchmhc.org. Free.

1 and 6 p.m. Scott County Extension Office, 875 Tanglefoot Lane, Bettendorf. Featuring an introduction to the butterflies of the Midwest, hummingbirds and other pollinators as well as the annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees the butterflies and hummingbirds enjoy in Midwest gardens. Participants can learn about the life cycle of butterflies and the role of gardens in promoting these fascinating and important pollinators. For more information or to register for classes, 563-359-7577 or visit extension.iastate.edu/scott/. $5.

5:30-8:30 p.m. Holiday Inn, 226 17th St., Rock Island. St. Joseph the Worker House will present this charity event to support homeless women and children in the Quad-Cities. The evening will feature beer, beverages, wings and more as well as emcee Tracy White and entertainment by Coleman Harris. $45.

7 p.m. Bettendorf High School Performing Arts Center, 333 18th St. This twenty voice official chorus for the United States Navy from Washington, D.C, will be accompanied by a three-piece rhythm section and will perform a variety of styles ranging from patriotic selections to Broadway showstoppers as well as everything in between. Tickets are required. To request tickets, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Navy Band Sea Chanters Concert, 3333 18th St., Bettendorf, IA 52722. For more information, call 563-332-7001. Free.

7:30 p.m. Redstone Room, 129 Main St., Davenport. $18 day of show, $15 in advance.

10 a.m. to noon Genesis Medical Center-Silvis, Larson Center, 855 Illini Drive, Silvis. Featuring keynote speaker Dr. Param Puneet Singh. There will be wellness and informational booths, including free screenings for body fat analysis, blood pressure, balance assessment, pulmonary screening and more. There also will be door prizes and snacks. For more information, call 309-281-4290. Free.

Noon to 12:45 p.m. Bettendorf Public Library, 2950 Learning Campus Drive. Featuring local musician Brundle’s high energy, Big Acoustic Show. Attendees are encouraged to bring a sack lunch. Free.

6-9 p.m. Hy-Vee Market Grille, 2930 18th Ave., Rock Island. Free.

6-9 p.m. Cool Beanz Coffeehouse, 1325 30th St., Rock Island. Free.

6-9 p.m. Buffalo Community Center, 426 Clark St. Featuring four Lula Rue consultants. The kitchen will be serving Hispanic cuisine with margaritas available from the bar. All proceeds will help the Buffalo Community Group send kids to Camp Abe Lincoln this summer. Free.

6:15 p.m. Davenport Speedway, Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds. $12 adults, $10 students/senior citizens, $5 youth 7-12 years.

6:30-11 p.m. Assumption High School, 1020 W. Central Park Ave., Davenport. This fundraiser will feature live and silent auctions, Cubano food stations, an open bar with rum drink specials and salsa music. Proceeds benefits all students in the areas of tuition, academics, athletics, fine arts programs and technology. $55 per person.

7-11 p.m. Silver Spur Dance Hall, 1230 15th Ave., East Moline. Featuring deejay music for dancing. $7.

8 p.m. Daytrotter, 324 Brady St., Davenport. $12 at the door, $8 in advance.

8 p.m. Redstone Room, 129 Main St., Davenport. $10 day of show, $8 in advance.

9 p.m. Rock Island Brewing Company, 1815 2nd Ave. Cover charge.

7 a.m. to noon Black Hawk State Historic Site, 1510 46th Ave., Rock Island. Participants can meet by the Black Hawk statue by Watch Tower Lodge and expert leaders will help to locate both resident and migratory birds. At 9 a.m. the event will move into the Lodge for refreshments, including wild violet jelly, and a short program at 9:30 a.m. Then at 10 a.m. small groups will observe and identify wildflowers. This is an all-ages event. Participants can come for any or all events and can bring binoculars or use the binoculars provided. For more information, call 309-788-9536 or visit blackhawkpark.org. Free.

8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Longview Park, 17th Street and 18th Avenue, Rock Island. Over 6,500 square feet of shopping for toys, trinkets, furniture, home decor, books, clothes, antiques, and more. Rain date for this event will be Sunday, April 30. Free.

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Grand Hannover Farm, 10700 160th St., Davenport. This non-profit horse club will sponsor a day of shopping, browsing and selling horse related items, tack and equipment, as well as baked goods, clothing feeders, buckets and more. Free.

9 a.m.-1 p.m. Quad-City Veterans Outreach Center, 250 W. 35th St., Davenport. The Quad-City Veterans Outreach Center will host this craft and gift show with all proceeds going to stock the Food Pantry. A variety of crafts, gifts and food will be available. Free.

9 a.m.-2 p.m. Faith Lutheran Church, 1611 41st St., Moline. Featuring over 40 vendors and homemade craft tables. There also will be lunch availabl;e for purchase and a bake sale. Non-perishable food donations for a neighborhood food pantry will be accepted. All proceeds will benefit activities for the elementary youth program. Free.

9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eagle Point Park Lodge, , Clinton. Featuring a day of presentations, discussions and a film-screening exploring some of the forgotten figures, untold stories and other arcane aspects of area history. For more information or to RSVP (encouraged), email bradleywiles1@gmail.com or visit thesawmillmuseum.org/history-conference.html. Free.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. RiverCenter, 136 E. 3rd St., Davenport , IA. Presented by the Quad-City Symphony Orchestra this day will feature music and arts for the whole family including local performances, an open stage hour, a musical instrument petting zoo, Scholastic Book Fair, musical plants and more. There also will be a Dr. Seuss Children’s Book Reading Marathon where all 49 children’s books written by Dr. Seuss will be read. Free.

11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lincoln Park, 1115 11th St., DeWitt. St. Baldrick’s Clinton County will host this event where participants shave heads to symbolize a walk in solidarity with kids who lose hair going through treatment and to raise funds for childhood cancer research. There also will be food vendors, music, kids’ activities, a bake sale and silent auction. Attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair and tailgate. Free with donations accepted.

2:30 p.m. French Bluff State Natural Area, , Thomson. French Bluff will feature steep hills, ridge tops and terraced benches. The trail will begin with a long gradual climb up to the top and then winds around on the ridge top. Carpooling is encouraged as parking is limited. For more information, visit blackhawkhikingclub.org. Free.

2:30 p.m. Adler Theatre, 136 E. 3rd St., Davenport. Presented by the Quad-City Symphony Orchestra the Dr. Seuss classics, “Green Eggs and Ham” and “The Sneetches,” will be set to the full symphonic sounds and animated by on stage actors, video and narration. $3 to $20.

5:30 p.m. Lulac Club, 4224 Ricker Hill Road, Davenport. Featuring teams of eight players. Participants may bring snacks with drinks available for purchase. There also will be mulligans, bonus doublers, raffle items and more. $80 per table, $10 per person.

6-10 p.m. American Legion Hall, 702 W. 35th St., Davenport. Featuring dancing, drawings, raffles and trivia throughout the night. There also will be 50’s-style food available. 50’s attire encouraged. Price includes a t-shirt. For more information or to register, call 563-650-1933 or email at bjrebarcak@gmail.com. All proceeds benefit childhood cancer. $20.

7 p.m. RME Community Stage, 129 Main St., Davenport. Free.

9 p.m. Rock Island Brewing Company, 1815 2nd Ave. Cover charge.

9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Rivertown Grille and Bar, 2606 W. Locust St., Davenport. Free.

9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Generations Bar and Grill, 4100 4th Ave., Moline. Free.

9 p.m. Redstone Room, 129 Main St., Davenport. $10.

9:30 a.m. Two Rivers United Methodist Church, 1820 5th Ave., Rock Island. The choirs of Two Rivers United Methodist Church and the Church of Peace in Rock Island will combine for this concert. There will be a second concert 10:30 a.m. Sunday, May 7 at Church of Peace. Free.

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Weekend calendar – Quad City Times

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April 17, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

America’s Most Political Food – The New Yorker

Kathleen Purvis, a food editor, wrote, When I learned about Bessingers history, I stopped buying his products.CreditIllustration by David Sandlin

In February of 2015, Kathleen Purvis, the food editor of the Charlotte Observer, drove to Birmingham, Alabama, to attend Food Media South, an annual symposium. The keynote session, Hey, You, Pitch Me Something, was meant to be a friendly wind-down to a weekend of talks. Participants were invited to get up in front of the editor of the Web magazine the Bitter Southerner and, well, pitch him something.

There were several hundred people in the room. Purvis knew that in the name of politeness she should probably stay quiet, but she couldnt resist the opportunity to toss a good word grenade, she recalled later, into a clubby crowd that she felt tended to overlook, along with chiffon cakes and canning, some of the most complicated questions about Southern cuisine. She raised her hand, and the editor nodded her way.

Men are the new carpetbaggers of Southern food writing, she said.

He replied, Sold.

The resulting essay argues that the Southern food-writing world has been unduly influenced, usurped, yes, even invaded, by a barbecue-entranced, bourbon-preoccupied and pork belly-obsessed horde of mostly testosterone-fueled scribes, who dwell on hackneyed tales of Southern eccentricity without developing the clear-eyed vision to see them in a contemporary light. The piece generated controversy, though not as much as Purviss investigation into the racial dimensions of the practice of putting sugar in corn bread. Honest to God, I really hate that hokey-jokey Hey-us-Southerners-arent-we-cute stuff, she told me. Ive always said that my beat is food and the meaning of life.

Gamely, the organizers invited her to the conference the next year as a speaker. I was getting ready to get up and talk, Purvis said. I was sitting there very quietly in a corner, and a woman came up to me and said, So, is it O.K. to go back to the Piggie Park?

The woman was referring to Maurices Piggie Park, a small chain of barbecue restaurants, established in West Columbia, South Carolina, in 1953. The original restaurant occupies a barnlike building on a busy intersection and is presided over by a regionally famous electric marquee that features the boast WORLDS BEST BAR-B-Q, along with a grinning piglet named Little Joe. The Piggie Park is important in the history of barbecue, which is more or less the history of America. One reason is that its founder, Maurice Bessinger, popularized the yellow, mustard-based sauce that typifies the barbecue of South Carolinas Midlands area. Another is that Bessinger was a white supremacist who, in 1968, went to the Supreme Court in an unsuccessful fight against desegregation, and, in 1974, ran a losing gubernatorial campaign, wearing a white suit and riding a white horse.

In 2000, when the Confederate flag was removed from the South Carolina statehouse dome, Bessinger raised Confederate flags over all his restaurants. (By then, there were nine.) A king-sheet-size version went up over the West Columbia location, where he had long distributed tracts alleging, for example, that African slaves blessed the Lord for allowing them to be enslaved and sent to America. He was a figure whose hate spawned contempt, leading a writer from the Charleston City Paper to fantasize about how Satan and his minions would slather his body in mustard-based BBQ sauce before they dined.

In 2007, Bessinger, who suffered from Alzheimers at the end of his life, handed the business over to his two sons, Paul and Lloyd, and a daughter, Debbie. In the months before his death, in 2014, they took down the flags and got rid of the slavery pamphlets. Dad liked politics, Lloyd, who serves as the public face of the operation, told a reporter. Thats not something were interested in doing. We want to serve great barbecue.

By the time the news reached Kathleen Purvis, she hadnt eaten Bessingers barbecue in nearly three decades. She grew up in Wilson, North Carolina, where her father was an R.C. Cola salesman and barbecue sauce is made with vinegar. Early in her career, shed become a fan of the Bessinger familys line of packaged foodshandy for a quick dinner when I was working nightsbut, she wrote, in an article in the Observer in December, When I learned about Bessingers history, I stopped buying his products. I followed a simple policy on the Piggie Park: I didnt go there. Ever. During the flag scandal, thousands of South Carolinians made the same call, going cold turkey. I first made Maurices acquaintance when I was a child, the barbecue expert William McKinney wrote, on the Web site of the Southern Foodways Alliance. His barbecue was sold in the freezer aisle of the grocery store. It would bubble up in our familys oven, its orange sauce as vivid as a river of lava. My mother would pack his barbecue in my lunch bag routinely, and I ate those sandwiches all the way through high school, wrapped up in aluminum foil and still a touch warm once lunch time came around. It was as though Jif peanut butter or Katzs Deli had become irredeemably tainted.

The Piggie Park had bad vibes, but it retained a pull on the community. For barbecue obsessives, it held a special fascination as one of the few restaurants in the country to still cook entirely over hickory wood, using no electricity or gas. One prominent Columbia resident, a black man, told me that he was addicted to Bessingers sauce, but that he would never admit it in public. The regime shift, then, represented a touchy moment. Some people wanted to go only if things had changed (but, if they were going to go, they wanted to get there before things had changed too much). For others, no amount of change was ever going to mitigate the legacy of a man who had caused so much hurt. Even asking if it was O.K. to return was a form of blindness to that pain. They could change the last name, redo the building, then dig the old man up… it still wouldnt matter to those who continue to carry the chip on the shoulder mentality, a man named James Last, of Wilmington, North Carolina, wrote in response to Purviss article, prompting Durward White, of Katy, Texas, to reply, Are you saying no matter how vile and disrespectful his actions were we should move on? People still cant move on from Tom Brady and deflate gate and that was 3 years ago.

Barbecue might be Americas most political food. The first significant reference to it that the barbecue scholar Robert F. Moss has been able to find is in The Barbacue Feast: or, the three pigs of Peckham, broiled under an apple-tree, an account of a 1706 banquet in Jamaica. The revellers were English colonists, but the pigs were nicely cookd after the West Indian manner: whole, over coals, on long wooden spits on which they turned as a cook basted them in a spicy sauce (green Virginia pepper and Madeira wine), using a foxtail tied to a stick. Native Americans on the East Coast of North America used similar cooking techniques. But the main thing about barbecues is that they were social affairs, a days entertainment for the community. Between 1769 and 1774, George Washington attended at least six of them, he wrote in his diary, including a Barbicue of my own giving at Accotinck.

A whole hog can feed as many as a hundred people. Barbecues, often held on the Fourth of July, became overtly political in the nineteenth century. As Moss writes in Barbecue: The History of an American Institution, they were the quintessential form of democratic public celebration, bringing together citizens from all stations to express and reaffirm their shared civic values. They adhered to a ritualized format: parade, prayer, reading of the Declaration of Independence, oration, and dinner in a shady grove near a drinking spring, after which dignitaries gave a series of regular toasts (thirteen of them, on patriotic subjects), followed by voluntary toasts from the masses (thirty or forty, on issues ranging from local elections to the free navigation of the Mississippi, or whatever else happened to be the days concerns). Often, the festivities turned rowdy. If an antebellum politician had wanted to rile folks up about building a wall, he would have done it at a barbecue.

Before the Civil War, enslaved men often cooked these civic meals. They prepared their own feasts, too, either sanctioned by their owners or organized on the quiet. Much of the planning for the rebellions organized by Gabriel Prosser and Nat Turner took place at barbecues. After emancipation, black men continued to be some of the countrys leading pit masters, catering enormous spreads that featured everything from barbecued hogs, shoats, chickens, and lambs to stuffed potatoes, stewed corn, cheese relish, puddings, coffee, and cigars. In 1909, the Times noted the death of a man born around 1865, on a plantation in Edgefield County, South Carolina. Pickens Wells, one of the most famous barbecue cooks in the South, dropped dead today while preparing a barbecue, the item read. Pickens prepared the famous barbecue at which President Taft was the guest of honor last Winter. White men here are raising a fund to erect a monument to the negro as a tribute to his fidelity and character.

Barbecue restaurants, like lunch counters, played an outsized role in the desegregation battles of the nineteen-sixties. In Birmingham, in 1964, Ollie McClung, of Ollies Barbecue, challenged the legality of the Civil Rights Act, arguing that the restaurants practice of denying sit-down service to black customers was none of the federal governments business, since Ollies, a mom-and-pop operation, wasnt involved in interstate commerce. Pointing out that forty-six per cent of Ollies meat came from out of state, the Supreme Court upheld the acts constitutionality in a 9-0 ruling. It included a concurring opinion from Justice Hugo Black, an Alabamian who reportedly voted over the objection of his wife, a regular diner at Ollies.

In 1964, Maurice Bessinger was the president of the National Association for the Preservation of White People. On August 12th of that year, Anne Newman and a friend drove to the West Columbia Piggie Park. They stopped outside the lot for curbside service. A waitress emerged and, seeing that they were black, returned to the building without speaking to them. Then a man with a pad approached the car but refused to take their order, even though white customers were being served. In Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises, Inc., the district court asserted that the fact that Piggie Park at all six of its eating places denies full and equal service to Negroes because of their race is uncontested and completely established by evidence, but it concluded that the restaurants, because they were principally drive-ins, werent subject to the public-accommodation provision of the Civil Rights Act. When a higher court reversed the ruling, Bessinger appealed to the Supreme Court, claiming that being forced to serve black people violated his religious principles. He lost, in a unanimous decision. (Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently cited the case in her Hobby Lobby dissent.) In Defending My Heritage, Bessingers 2001 autobiography, he claims that he and his family always treated black people well, citing his fathers practice, at a restaurant he owned, of giving a black employee discarded food and old grease. (Then he says that they fired her for stealing half a ham.) He writes, I have concluded that the civil rights movement is a Satanic attempt to make it easier for a global elite, a group of extremely wealthy men with no Constitutional or national or cultural loyalties, working at an international level to eventually seize power in this country.

Bessinger launched his run for governor from his cattle range, which he called Tara, after the OHara plantation in Gone with the Wind. One of his opponents remembered the primary race as something between a comic opera and depressing satire. Out of seven candidates, including a competing barbecue baron, Bessinger came in fifth, garnering 2.5 per cent of the vote. Business suffered, whether from his notoriety or his distraction. He decided to focus on rebuilding his restaurant empire, betting that peoplewhite people, at leastwould eventually forget about his period of activism. Many of them did. The corollary to white innocence is white passivity, the feeling that what ones ancestors did was so messed up that it couldnt possibly make a difference where one eats a barbecue sandwich.

According to his birth certificate, Maurice Bessinger was born on July 14, 1930, on a farm near Cope, South Carolina. It occupied land that had been willed to his mother, Genora, by her grandfather, a veteran of the Civil War. Maurice thought that his real birth date was probably closer to July 4th, as his father, Joseph, went to the county courthouse, where births were recorded, only a couple of times a month. Maurice was the eighth of eleven children. In his autobiography, he says that he helped pick cotton from the age of four, using a small, ten-pound little cloth sugar bag, and graduating, at six, to a full, 100-pound bag like the grown-ups used. The family ate clabber, corn bread, grits, and vegetables that they grew in their garden. Meat was scarce; eggs, occasional. Maurices grandmother told him that, anticipating the arrival of Shermans troops, she and her neighbors had buried smoked pork shoulders, hams, bacon, and sausage, covering them with desiccated leaves to disguise fresh digging.

When Maurice was nine, his father gave up farming, selling the familys cow to buy a roadside caf from a widow in Holly Hill, about halfway between Columbia and Charleston. Maurice started to work that year at the Holly Hill Caf, swatting flies and bussing tables. By the time he was twelve, he was living in a small room in the back of the caf, getting up at 5 A.M. to run the breakfast shift, spending a few hours at school, and then returning to the restaurant to work. Tired and skinny, he failed fifth and sixth grades. Two Saturday nights in a row, the local policeman shot a black man dead. Maurice wrote, in 2001, of one incident, The perpetrator ran, and Mr. Workman dropped him with one shot at about 150 paces!

By 1946, Joseph had sold the Holly Hill Caf and opened Joes Grill, where he perfected the secret recipeits mustard kick supposedly inspired by his German rootsfor which the family was coming to be known. In 1949, in Maurices senior year of high school, Joseph died of a heart attack. Despite Maurices insistence that his father had told him that the business would be his, the restaurant went to one of his brothers, who was seven years older and had come back from the war with three Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. Furious, Maurice joined the Army and shipped out to Korea.

In the aftermath of the fight over Joes Grill, many of the eleven siblings struck out across the state to set up their own enterprises. The Bessinger name now dominates South Carolina barbecue, presiding over a complex diaspora of interrelated but not always amicable interests. I grew up being told that yellow sauce was my heritage, the journalist Jack Hitt, who was raised in Charleston, wrote in the Times Magazine in 2001. But its clear that without the siblings anxieties and their nomadic habits, Joe Sr.s recipe would have died out after Joes Grill closed. South Carolina would have remained just another outpost in the national camp of red barbecue sauce.

By 2000, Maurice was easily the most successful of his generation of Bessingers. In addition to the nine restaurants around Lexington County, he had the frozen dinners, a mail-order business, and a bottling plant that distributed his Southern Gold sauce (with a Confederate flag on the label) to three thousand grocery stores along the East Coast, making him the largest barbecue wholesaler in the country. People called the Piggie Park the best all-in-one barbecue restaurant in America. Pat Buchanan, running for President on the Reform Party ticket, held fund-raisers at the main restaurant, whose pits burned non-stop. When an economic boycott of South Carolina, led by the states N.A.A.C.P. chapter, resulted in the removal of the Confederate flag from the statehouse dome, Maurice acted quickly. I surrounded the city of Columbia with Confederate flags, he later said. I didnt even tell my wife. I had it all planned.

Acting on a tip, John Monk, of the State newspaper, went to the Piggie Park and discovered Bessingers stock of revisionist literature. The N.A.A.C.P. decided to challenge him next. We didnt have any idea that we would change his mind, Lonnie Randolph, Jr., the chapters longtime president, told me. The goal was to make South Carolina, if theres such a thing, whole againto let folks know that this isnt the way life should be.

Under pressure from the association, Sams Club, Walmart, Winn-Dixie, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Bi-Lo, Kroger, and Publix stopped carrying Southern Gold. Piggly Wiggly, the lone holdout, said that it would continue to stock the sauce, owing to customer demand. Bessinger was defiant. He likened his treatment to that of Jewish merchants during Kristallnacht, and told a newspaper, Winn-Dixie is going to have to take that name off and call it Winn-Yankee. Eventually, Piggly Wiggly dropped his products, too. Only months earlier, John McCains Presidential campaign had been ruined by a series of robocalls that asked voters, Would you be more or less likely to vote for John McCain… if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child? Still, the views that a person could get away with espousing, at least in public, had changed since the nineteen-sixties. Joe McCulloch, a Columbia attorney, recalled, After that, Maurice became radioactive, as did his barbecue.

Bessinger claimed that his business shrank by ninety-eight per cent, amounting to a twenty-million-dollar loss. Eventually, he closed several restaurants and shut down the bottling plant. Nonetheless, he held his ground, portraying himself as a champion of free speech and state sovereignty, and vowing, like proud Southerners after Shermans march, to root hog or die.

In the wake of the controversy, the Bessingers were able to cultivate an alternative clientele. If some diners continued to patronize the restaurants in spite of Maurices views (Elton Johns gay, but I still listen to his music, one customer told the Baltimore Sun in 2002), others showed up explicitly to support his cause (The mans got the guts to stand up for his beliefs, another said). Glen McConnell, then a state senator, began stocking Bessingers sauce at CSA Galleries, a Confederate-memorabilia store that he ran with his brother. (I Googled McConnell, and was shocked to learn that he is now the president of the College of Charleston.)

Even today, a rump of supporters regard Bessinger as the heroic victim of a liberal conspiracy. In 2014, a reader wrote to a local paper that after Bessinger publicly supported keeping the Confederate Battle Flag on the S.C. Statehouse, his business was sabotaged by anti-Southern activists who would go into grocery stores and surreptitiously open a bottle of Maurices barbecue sauce and lay it on the top shelf, ruining a section of merchandise and creating a mess for the store to clean up.

In January, I called Lloyd Bessinger, Maurices elder son. Our conversation began smoothly, but, after a few minutes, he asked me if there would be any political angle to the article I wanted to write, and, when I said yes, things got uncomfortable. He sounded anguished as he said that, while he was no racist, he did not want to dishonor his father, whom he had known as a good and loving man. When we hung up, I was left uncertain whether the changes that Lloyd and his siblings had made at the Piggie Park were business decisions or evidence of a genuine transformation. Even if he had taken down the flags, Lloyd had never really explained why he made the move: out of principle, or pragmatism, or even, as a local news channel had reported, because of the rising cost of dry cleaning. (I think we should all be united by one country and one flag, the American Flag, he said later.) I wrote to him, asking if I could come to see him in Columbia. It was nice talking to you today, he replied, declining. Hopefully time will heal the past.

One of the reasons Id become interested in the Bessinger story is that it struck me as a small, imperfect test case for how to act in our political moment. Of the many moral issues that have beset Americans since November, one of the most nagging is that of the once beloved relative who appears at the Thanksgiving table spouting contemptible ideas. When something or someone you love troubles your consciencewhen your everyday relationships are political actsdo you try to be a moderating force, or are you obligated to make a break entirely?

I decided to visit some less fraught outposts of the Bessinger barbecue empire, hoping to get a sense of what makes yellow-sauce barbecuea seemingly minor comfortsomething that, like Amazon or Uber, even some people who consider themselves hugely opposed to the ethics of its purveyors find difficult to renounce. I grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, eating barbecue at Flips Barbecue House. It occupied a cinder-block building with an orange sheet-metal roof, and its hulking stuffed bear, reportedly shot by Flip himself, was once named one of the seven wonders of the Cape Fear region. Because barbecue is an intensely regional food, its also an intensely emotional one, the sort of thing you wake up in the middle of the night fiending for when, say, youre pregnant and living three thousand miles from home. I got that. Still, Id always got over it, even when Flips closed, in 2013. (If Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue is your thing, and you cant have it, dump a pork shoulder and all the vinegar youve got into a Dutch oven and let it cook, low, on the stovetop for as long as you can stand to.)

My first stop was Bessingers Barbecue, which two of Maurices brothers opened in 1960. I ordered a large barbecue plate. I also got a banana pudding. The restaurants Web site features testimonials from customers, including Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Beazley, of Evans, Georgia (We flew in our private plane to shop for rugs. You were near and looked interesting. BEST BBQ EVER!) and the television personality Andrew Zimmern (The best spicy sauce Ive ever tasted!). I found a seat, tore a paper towel from a roll that sat on the table, and started eating. The barbecue was satisfying, full of browned bits and ends, but ever so slightly dry. I kept daubing on more sauceits bright color suggested a starring role in a stain-removal infomercialwhich may have been exactly the point.

After the meal, I asked at the counter if any Bessingers were around. Michael Bessinger, a third-generation barbecue man, appeared, with an apron tied around his waist, and led me to an upstairs office. Near the cash register, amid pictures commemorating visits from Elizabeth Dole and Mitt Romney, Id seen a framed newspaper article in which a relative had spoken frankly of the Bessinger schism (Everybody wanted to be a chief and not Indians). Michael told me that his branch of the family wasnt close to Mauricesthey never got together for the holidays, for examplebut he seemed to regard his uncle with a sort of detached amusement. Maurice always liked the spotlight, positive or negative, he said. He said that he, too, was trying to move forward without disrespecting the past. He was thinking about introducing alcohol and had recently added brisket to the menua concession to modern customers expectations of barbecue, however regionally dubious.

Across town at Melvins Barbecue, I ordered another barbecue plate, this time with a side of butter beans. It arrived on a stylish brushed-metal tray, instead of a plastic plate. A list of the Ten Commandments printed on the side of my cup momentarily counteracted the progressive atmosphere, but then I walked over to the condiments bar, and, scanning vats of pickled peppers, noticed a bullet-shaped bottle with a green nozzle. Sriracha! I wondered if Melvin David Bessinger, who in 2004 inherited the business from his father, Melvin, might be the familys great unabashed modernizer, the King Abdullah of yellow-sauce barbecue.

Melvin, who died in 2012, was the fifth child of the eleven Bessinger siblingsthe older brother who, after their fathers sudden death, Maurice wrote, was conspiring against me to move me out of the business and take it for himself. (Melvin was equally confident of his status as rightful heir, claiming that, when he was ten years old, his father had entrusted him with the secret recipe, promising, Son, this sauce is gonna make you a million dollars some day.) In 2000, when the N.A.A.C.P. initiated the boycott, Melvin swept in, picking up much of Maurices forfeited business. Melvins sauce was called Golden Secret, instead of Southern Gold. To dispel the suspicion that the business might be a front for Mauricessame sauce, Confederate-flag-less bottlesMelvin David issued a press release: Melvin and his brother do not share political or social views. Despite their being brothers, they do not speak to each other. Melvins views on the Confederate flag, slavery and race relations are not those of his brother. Maurice angrily told reporters, I taught Melvin everything he knows about barbecue saucebut I didnt teach him everything I know.

Melvin David was out of town the day I visited the restaurant, but I reached him on the phone later. When you come from a large family, not everybodys going to agree, he told me. Some people cant even get along with a brother and sisterhow about if you have eleven and you all went into the same business? Whatever the extent of the brothers animosity, he said, Melvin and Maurice had reconciled before Melvin died. Im ashamed to use my last name, Melvin David had said, in a 2001 interview, a statement he now regretted. I was being accused of a lot of things, a lot of negative things were coming my way, and it just kind of got to me, he told me. No doubt this was a great name that we were given when we were born.

Lexington County, which encompasses all but one of the dozen Piggie Park restaurants now in operation, remains a bedrock of hard-right politics. It is the home of Donnie Myers, the prosecutor known during his decades-long tenure as Dr. Death, for his zealousness in pursuing capital punishment; and Joe Wilson, the congressman who heckled President Obama during a speech to a joint session of Congress, shouting, You lie! In the 2016 Presidential election, 65.6 per cent of the countys residents voted for Donald Trump.

Lake E. High, Jr., the president of the South Carolina Barbecue Association, agreed to meet me at the original Piggie Park, in Columbia, one day in January. That morning, while renting a car in Charleston, I struck up a conversation with a late-middle-aged white man behind the counter. When I told him I was writing about Maurices Piggie Park, he reminisced, Youd get a few cocktails in you, drive up, get that big-ass fried tempura onion ring, and yum, yum, yum. He continued, All that stuff you see on CNN, the liberal sidethat division, that prejudice, thats not who we are.

I took the keys and headed up to Columbia. When I reached the Piggie Park, I pulled the car in under the same formerly futuristic drive-in canopy where, fifty-three years earlier, Anne Newman had been refused service. I walked into the restaurant, where Higha big man in a sweater vest, with a mottled complexion and an omniscient smirkwas sitting at a round table. He explained that hed got into barbecue as a challenge. Somebody said, We got the best damn barbecue in the nation, and the worst judges, and I said, Well, I tell you what, I think we could fix that, and we started the South Carolina Barbecue Association in 2004. When Anthony Bourdain visited South Carolina for an episode of No Reservations, he asked High to show him around. (As for his name, which he shares with his father, when his great-grandmothers were squabbling over what to call the coming child, Highs grandfather banged a fist on the table, pointed to a map that was hanging on the wall, and said, Whats behind me? Lake Erie, one of the great-grandmothers answered. Well, thats his name.)

In Highs estimation, the Piggie Park was hundred-mile barbecueworth driving a hundred miles for. Its the iconic South Carolina sauce is what it boils down to, he said, surveying the restaurant, with its lazy Susans, ceiling fans, and brown linoleum floor. Country music was playing on the radio; a muted television showed Fox News. The crowd was white, mostly older. In the guest book, I found comments that read, Wheres the flag??! and Thanks for Taking It Down! God Bless!! Near the entrance, a portrait of Maurice presided over a shrine of sauces. I ordered some barbecue. The chop was delicate, and the sauce was nearly fluorescent. It tastes like mustard thats got some mouthfeel to it, High continued. Id say its somewhere in the middle of the light-to-sharp spectrum.

High spoke favorably of the Piggie Parks new managementPaul and Lloyd, and hes got a daughter whose name I forget, cute girl. Theyre real dedicated. He had also thought highly of Maurice, who, he said, was always friendly and insisted on top-of-the-line ingredients. He and Strom Thurmond were talking about all-natural thirty years ago, he said, which seemed a bit like remembering Oswald Mosley for his advocacy of brown bread. I asked whether he thought Maurices political legacy posed a problem. It wasnt nearly as bitter as modern day makes it seem, he said. He went on to talk about the trouble with racially interbred societies, the genetic basis of criminality, and his belief that the South should secede. After a disquisition that touched on everything from slavery (Its been around since Day One, and they talk about it in the Bible) to Trump (I happened to see him speaking to a crowd before he declared, and I came into the kitchen and I said, Lovebug, that mans gonna be President), he returned to the Piggie Park. This is the most taken-for-granted barbecue house in America, he said.

Lonnie Randolph, the N.A.A.C.P. state president who had led the boycott of Piggie Park, told me that Maurice Bessinger was part of an ideological and economic lineage that stretched back to before the Civil War. He represented a hate that was so deeply rooted, Randolph said. I knew it was dangerous. He didnt think that it was possible to let the past be the past. It doesnt affect mewhite people can say that, because it didnt affect them. But, when I think of the damage that has been done, it cannot be undone, he said. Things might be different, he conceded, if the new generation of Bessingers were taking some sort of active steps toward reparation. But Im not familiar with them supporting any issues that support the lives of the people he abused for so many years.

Representative Joe Neal, a longtime member of the state legislature and the chairman of the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus during the flag battles of the early aughts, placed a similar emphasis on the younger Bessingers actions, or lack thereof, when I got him on the phone in January. (Neal died the next month.) I dont think they have to apologize, he said. I think what people are waiting for is to find out who they are.

After talking to Randolph and Neal, I couldnt stop thinking about Nat Fullers Feast. Nat Fuller, born in 1812, was a slave who became a celebrated restaurateur, opening the Bachelors Retreat, a Charleston catering hall famed for its pastries, game, and turtle soup. In April of 1865, two months after Charleston surrendered to Union forces, Fuller orchestrated a grand mealhistorians have remembered it as a reconciliation banquetto which he invited dozens of the citys prominent citizens. A society doyenne wrote in her diary of the miscegenat dinner, at which blacks and whites sat on an equality and gave toasts and sang songs for Lincoln and Freedom.

The evenings menu has been lost to time, but, in 2015, a group of chefs and scholars tried to re-create the meal, using dishes that Fuller had served at other events. On a drizzly April night, forty Charlestonians gathered for the feast. This is the beginning for all of us, B.J. Dennis, a black chef, said, making a toast. Fifteen days earlier, Walter Scott, an unarmed black man with a broken brake light, had been shot in the back by a white North Charleston police officer. Two months later, the white supremacist Dylann Roof walked into the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston and killed nine people, including Clementa C. Pinckney, Mother Emanuels pastor. Pinckney was at the dinner that night, trying to acknowledge and refute history over watermelon brandy, chowchow, shrimp pie, chapon chasseur, and truffled squab served with silver ewers of walnut ketchup.

Before I left West Columbia, I decided to try Lloyd Bessinger one last time. In the wood-panelled office at the main Piggie Park, a secretary invited me to have a seat. Lloyd walked out: trim, mostly bald, wearing navy chinos and a red Piggie Park polo.

Lloyd was as unassuming as his father had been outlandish. His ambition, it seemed, was to be left alone. When I asked about the 2000 boycott, he said, I try not to think about it that much anymore.

Do you support white supremacy? I asked.

No! Of course not, Lloyd said. White supremacy is totally wrongand my father was not like that. He was a Southerner and a South Carolinian. He enjoyed reading about the history and the heritage of America. Lloyd had recently been to a friends funeral at a black church, and two hundred people were there, andhe chuckledninety per cent of them were black, and that was fine.

I told Lloyd what Lonnie Randolph and Joe Neal had said, that people needed a tangible sign that the Bessinger family understood the pain they had caused, and that until they gave one it would persist.

Mmmkay, he said. Well, I dont know how I can do that. Im not objecting to doing that. I just need to know what that is.

That Lloyd could afford not to have much of an opinionthat he simply didnt have to think about race while making choices big and smallwas a privilege he had never considered. He seemed caught between the worlds of his parents and his children, the values with which he had grown up and those he now perceived to be ascendant. I recalled what Kathleen Purvis had said to me about Lloyd: I felt very sympathetic to him. My familys from GeorgiaI have family members who had beliefs, used language that was awful. My grandmother, the last thing she remembered about me when she was disappearing into dementia was Oh, yeah, thats the girl that loves black people so much. That was a very painful thing, and to ask me to denounce my grandmother for thatyou cant. So being Southern always involves that complicated dance.

I cant change anything, Lloyd said, before I left. All I can do is speak for myself today. I dont look at race. I look at people. Were all equal, O.K.?

In 2009, the Daras family, of Fort Washington, Maryland, moved to Orangeburg, South Carolina. Tommy Daras had just retired from running gas stations. Id come down here fishing, and I liked it, he said recently. I always thought the people were nice, and Florida was too hot.

For a while, he and his wife, Deborah, enjoyed the weather and their newfound freedom. Then, in 2015, they spotted a cute brick bungalow on John C. Calhoun Drive, an out-of-business Piggie Park. We were at home, bored, and decided to clean it up, fix it up, and make some money on it, Daras said. They added teal-and-white awnings and named the place Edisto River Creamery & Kitchen. Daras recalled, An ice cream shop near a park, how hard could that be? They hosted such events as Bible studies and a Pokmon Go tournament. Their outdoor sign welcomed hunters and advertised a bacon palmetto burger. Daras said, I did notice that there were no black customersthe population of Orangeburg is eighty per cent African-Americanand I was trying to figure that out. Man, why am I not getting their business?

The Darases bought the property from Maurice Bessingers children, knowing that a Confederate flag flew on a small bit of land in a corner of the lot. From what Daras understood, the parcel, through some quirk of local real-estate history, belonged to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, having been donated to them by Maurice Bessinger in 2005. Daras wasnt a fan of the flag, but it didnt really bother him. It became impossible to ignore, however, when, shortly after the massacre at Mother Emanuel, members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans showed up, took down the flag, and replaced it with a new one that was three times as big. Before, Id just sucked it up, but then it was, like, Man, Ive got to try to do something here, Daras said, explaining that he could no longer abide this huge flag sticking up in the air telling everyone to screw themselves.

Daras rexamined his deed. With the help of a lawyer, Justin Bamberg, he is filing a lawsuit arguing that the corner parcel belongs to him. (The Sons of Confederate Veterans maintain their ownership.) Bamberg, who is thirty, grew up near Orangeburg and now serves as a Democratic member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. I called him to discuss the details of the lawsuit, but, as our conversation went on, he started talking about what the Piggie Park had meant to him as a young African-American man. It was one of those places I remember as a kid, always riding by there, feeling like in some peoples eyes I was less a person. I did not go into Maurices until I was in college, he said, recalling one afternoon when he had felt compelled to just walk into the restaurant, leaving without ordering anything. It was a personal thingfor so long, this place always had control over some part of how I felt. For me, it was like, Its gonna end today. It will be up to a court to conclude the story of Maurice Bessingers flags, the last of which is, for the moment, still flying, his final provocation.

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April 17, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

Toppled graves near Paris inspire conspiracy theories among Jews – Heritage Florida Jewish News

The aftermath of an incident on March 20, 2017, involving a municipal truck at the Jewish section of the Pantin cemetery near Paris.

(JTA)-Five days after a municipal truck plowed through a Jewish cemetery near Paris in what authorities said was a freak accident, Isabelle Zenou arrived at the scene of the incident with a camera-and a theory.

The March 20 devastation of 13 gravestones in the suburb of Pantin was not an anti-Semitic attack, according to city officials, France’s CRIF umbrella of Jewish communities and even the country’s chief rabbi. The driver drove over 13 headstones after losing control of his vehicle, the chief rabbi said in a statement.

But Zenou, a communications professional from the Paris area, is among many French Jews who are not buying the explanation. She cited delays and alleged time discrepancies in official reports on the incidents, her failure to identify skid marks at the scene and a whirlwind of rumors over the incident.

“I don’t think we’re being told the whole truth,” said Zenou, whose photographs of the damaged stones were published in the Le Figaro newspaper and triggered much speculation about the case online and in the media. Jewish community leaders, meanwhile, accused her and other skeptics of peddling “crackpot conspiracy theories.”

The exact circumstances of the incident in Pantin are the subject of an ongoing police inquiry. Regardless of its findings, though, the incident is already underlining the distrust that many French Jews have in their authorities amid a polarizing presidential campaign, and in a country where many consider wearing a kippah too risky due to hundreds of anti-Semitic attacks recorded in France each year.

Several days after the Pantin incident, the French media reported that unidentified vandals destroyed 40 out of 50 headstones at a small Jewish synagogue near Lyon.

The incident in Lyon, which is undisputedly a deliberate attack, highlighted “the many questions about the incident in Pantin,” said Jonathan Simon-Sellem, a France-born journalist living in Israel. “What is clear is that the Pantin thing exposed a trust crisis between some French Jews, the leaders of their communities and the authorities.”

Initial reports about the incident, including by the La Voix Du Nord local paper, came five days after it happened. The paper and other publications said it took place at night, when the driver steered into the Jewish section of the cemetery to avoid hitting a couple visiting a relative’s grave.

In addition to social network posts by users like Zenou, the reports triggered a wave of rumors and speculation on several well-read French Jewish news sites, including Europe-Israel, JSSNews and the website of the far-right French Jewish Defense League.

The cemetery, the skeptics pointed out, is closed at night, making a collision with visitors unlikely even if the municipal truck was there after hours. In addition, Zenou maintained, “the cemetery paths are too small for a truck to drive on with enough speed to knock over a dozen massive headstones. Nothing adds up.”

Francoise Saadoun, who has four relatives buried in the cemetery, was among the dozens of French Jews who expressed their skepticism of the official version.

“I don’t believe in an accident for one second,” she wrote on Facebook. “The condition of the roads in the cemetery make it impossible.”

The fact that the first reaction by authorities to the incident came nearly a week after it happened did not add to the credibility of officials and community leaders.

“The authorities decided to make a deal to avoid rocking the boat during the elections campaign because news of another anti-Semitic incident will help the far right under Marine Le Pen,” Zenou said. “They covered it up.”

Simon-Sellem said the baseless allegations, which CRIF in a statement recently denied, condemned and labeled “crackpot conspiracy theories,” are unusual among mainstream members of a community that prides itself on its ability to unite under threat.

He peggedthe moodto several factors: inconsistenciesregarding the incident itself, compounded by a “growing distrust of authorities’ politicization of information on anti-Semitism” and anxiety over the popularity of Le Pen, the far-right presidential candidate, ahead of the elections this month.

Like many American Jews who criticized theTrump administrationfor being slow to condemn anti-Semitism, French Jews have recently seen a series of events that weakened their own faith in their authorities.

One such event was the March 30 publication of a government report that questioned the existence of a new anti-Semitism in which Jews are targeted over Israel’s actions. It also listed only far-right perpetrators of hate crimes against Jews without mentioning the more politically sensitive violence by Muslims against Jews, which one Jewish watchdog group believes accounts for most assaults.

The hate crime prosecution this year of a prominent Jewish historian who said that Muslims are culturally preconditioned to hate Jews further soured French Jews on the judiciary, although the historian, Georges Benssousan, ultimately was acquitted.

Many Jews also resented that France’s oldest Jewish organizations, the LICRA human rights group, helped initiate Benssousan’s prosecution. That highlighted a political gap between rank-and-file members of thecommunity and some members of its elite.

“All these factors joined together after the Pantin cemetery incident to open a very divisive debate about basic trust in the midst of the community in a way that didn’t exist in the past,” Simon-Sellem said.

It also prompted a harsh and unusual rebuke of the skeptics by Haim Korsia, the chief rabbi of France.

Korsia, whom many French Jews cherish for his hopeful and consoling speeches at times of crisis, delivered his scathing criticism of the speculation around the Pantin incident in an op-ed published March 29 in the Actualite Juive daily.

Calling the skeptics part of a “campaign of deceit,” the rabbi wrote that he understood their “initial reflex to assume a hateful attack.” But their “persistence in circulating rumors amid an atmosphere of fury, conspiracy theory and revenge,” Korsia added, “help neither our credulity as a community nor to generate support for our causes.”

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Toppled graves near Paris inspire conspiracy theories among Jews – Heritage Florida Jewish News

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Students in TX stand strong with Israel – OneNewsNow

Students played an integral role in seeing that the Texas House passed a bill last week barring the state from engaging in business with companies involved with the anti-Israel BDS movement. HB 89, sponsored by Representative Phil King, passed unanimously, 131-0. The bill strengthens ties with Israel, Texas’ fourth-largest trading partner, according to the Jerusalem Post. Jesse Stock of StandWithUs, a pro-Israel organization, says students did their part in promoting the bill. “There was a ‘Stand With Israel Day’ at the capitol and we mobilized … close to 50 students who came to the capitol for the day and met with legislators and expressed why this legislation is important,” he shares with OneNewsNow. Stock says high school students are a “huge part” of what they do in supporting Israel. “We have five high school interns in Dallas, one in San Antonio, and one in Houston,” he describes. “All of them were active in trying to mobilize their friends to call their legislators as well to educate their peers about the importance.” Rep. King explained to StandWithUs that he had multiple reasons for taking the lead against what he considers economic warfare against the Jewish nation: “First, as a Christian, my religious heritage is intrinsically linked to Israel and to the Jewish people. Second, as an American, our national security is dependent in great part on a strong Israel, often our only friend in the Middle East. Third, as a Texas legislator, our state has a substantial Jewish population and this issue is important to them. Texans have historical ties and do a lot of business with Israel. Fourth, it’s just the right thing to do.” The Senate passed its version of the anti-boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) bill in March. It is expected Gov. Greg Abbott will sign the bill early next month. We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article – NOT another reader’s comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved.

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Jewish American Heritage Month – Dr. Sheldon Cherry …

Jewish American Heritage Month – Dr. Sheldon Cherry Event information Start: Sunday, May. 7, 2017, 02:00PM End: Sunday, May. 7, 2017, 03:30PM Venue: Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU From Maimonides to South Beach, American Jews in Medicine In Recognition of Jewish American Heritage Month 2017 Theme: American Jews in Medical Research Lecture by Dr. Sheldon H. Cherry Associate Dean, Clinical Affairs; and Professor FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine Dr. Sheldon H. Cherry has built a national reputation as a clinician in the reproductive and women’s health field and has published numerous papers in reproductive medicine. He was the recipient of an NIH Grant on amniotic fluid physiology, and was a pioneer in the field of intrauterine diagnosis and treatment. As Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, he taught at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York and belongs to the American College of Surgeons, and the New York Obstetrical Society. Dr. Cherry was the senior editor of “Complications of Pregnancy”, a classic medical textbook in its fourth edition. Dr. Cherry is also the author of several lay books on woman’s health. He is a frequent expert guest on various media including television, such as “Good Morning America” and the “Today Show”. He has in the past been the monthly columnist for Parents Magazine on pregnancy and childbirth. He has been consistently named as a “Top Doctor In America” and named in “Who’s Who In The World”. Dr. Cherry was born in New York City and received his medical training at Columbia University.

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Every single movie coming out this summer – Los Angeles Times

The 2017 Summer Movie Preview is a snapshot of the films opening through early September. Release dates and other details are subject to change. April 28 A fashion editor finds herself drawn into a steamy affair with another woman. With Natalie Krill, Sebastian Pigott, Erika Linder. Written by Stephanie Fabrizi. Directed by April Mullen. Gunpowder & Sky A couple discover an evil, lustful presence inhabiting the basement of their new home. With Natasha Henstridge, Luke Hassel, Lin Shaye, Dominique Swain. Written and directed by Rolfe Kanefsky. Cleopatra Entertainment The LAPD recruits a Russian police officer to help hunt a serial killer. With Alexander Nevsky, Kristanna Loken, Adrian Paul, Robert Davi, Matthias Hues. Written by Brent Huff, George Saunders. Directed by Nevsky. ITN Distribution Meta-documentary by Kitty Green on the 1996 killing of 6-year-old JonBent Ramsey. Netflix SEE OUR COMPLETE SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW 92137734 A young woman experiences success at the world’s largest technology and social media company and is encouraged to live her life completely in the open. With Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Patton Oswalt, Bill Paxton, Karen Gillan, Ellar Coltrane. Written and directed by James Ponsoldt, based on the novel by Dave Eggers. STX Entertainment Documentary explores the mid-20th-century battles between urbanization critic and activist Jane Jacobs and New York master builder Robert Moses. Directed by Matt Tyrnauer. Sundance Selects Female war correspondent Alex Quade chronicles the stories of U.S. Special Operations Forces in the third film in the “Heroes of Valor” docu-action series. Featuring Wendy R. Anderson. Written by Eli Baldridge and Quade. Directed by Christian Tureaud and David Salzberg. Gravitas Ventures In a cabin in northern Wales, two lost souls experiment with black magic. With Steve Oram, Catherine Walker. Written and directed by Liam Gavin. IFC Midnight A physics student time travels as she attempts to solve her boyfriend’s murder. With Courtney Hope, Bruce Davison, Susan Blakely, Sarah Douglas, Lou Richards, Karan Oberoi, Christopher Backus. Written and directed by Kenneth Mader. Arcadia Releasing Group A Boston homicide detective hunts his partner’s killer on Nantucket Island. With Eric Dane, Natalie Zea, Adrian Lester, Carolyn Stotesbery, Chris Meyer, Rebecca Gayheart. Written and directed by John Shea. Beacon Pictures / Broadvision Entertainment 92595644 Eugenio Derbez stars as a struggling middle-aged gigolo forced to move in with his sister and nephew. With Salma Hayek, Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, Raquel Welch, Rob Corddry, Rob Riggle, Michael Cera, Raphael Alejandro. Written by Chris Spain, Jon Zack. Directed by Ken Marino. Pantelion During Koreas Joseon Dynasty, King Yejong and his assistant investigate rumors that there will be an attempt on the throne. With Lee Sun-kyun, Ahn Jae-hong. Written by Kang Hyun-sung. Directed by Moon Hyung-sung. CJ Entertainment The Los Angeles uprising after the Rodney King verdict is explored through archival footage in this documentary marking the 25th anniversary. Directed by Daniel Lindsay, T.J. Martin. National Geographic At the end of the traditional Jewish mourning period after the death of his son, a middle-aged Israeli man chooses to see what makes life meaningful rather than return to his regular routine. With Shai Avivi, Evgenia Dodina, Tomer Kapon. Written and directed by Asaph Polonsky. Oscilloscope Laboratories A single mom is abducted and learns she has a genetic abnormality that could cause her true alien nature to be revealed. With Noomi Rapace, Michael Chiklis, Peter Stormare, Kerry Bishe. Written by Steven Shainberg and Brian Nelson. Directed by Shainberg. AMBI Media Group An eccentric family spend its summer in a coastal villa in early 20th century France. With Juliette Binoche, Fabrice Luchini, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. Written and directed by Bruno Dumont. Kino Lorber A young street magician must use his mystical ways to rescue his kidnapped sister. With Jacob Latimore, Storm Reid, Seychelle Gabriel, Dul Hill, Sasheer Zamata, Cameron Esposito. Written and directed by J.D Dillard. BH Tilt A young nurse in 1950s Tuscany believes the wealthy young mute she cares for is possessed by something within the walls of an isolated castle. With Emilia Clarke, Marton Csokas. Written by Andrew Shaw, based on a novel by Silvio Raffo. Directed by Eric D. Howell. Momentum Pictures May 5 Biographical documentary on the songwriter and record producer whose hits included Twist and Shout, Hang on Sloopy, Here Comes the Night and Piece of My Heart. Narrated by Steve Van Zandt. Featuring Ronald Isley, Ben E. King, Solomon Burke, Van Morrison, Keith Richards, Paul McCartney. Directed by Brett Berns and Bob Sarles. Abramorama Liev Schreiber stars as Chuck Wepner, the underdog boxer who inspired “Rocky.” With Naomi Watts, Elisabeth Moss, Ron Perlman, Jim Gaffigan, Michael Rapaport, Pooch Hall, Morgan Spector. Written by Jeff Feuerzeig, Jerry Stahl, Michael Cristofer, Schreiber. Directed by Philippe Falardeau. IFC Films A gubernatorial candidate, his estranged brother and their wives confront a terrible crime committed by their teenage sons. With Rebecca Hall, Chlo Sevigny, Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Steve Coogan. Written and directed by Oren Moverman, based on a novel by Herman Koch. The Orchard 92699670 Filmmaker James Gunn delivers Mixtape #2 as the team explores the mystery of Peter Quill’s heritage and fights galactic baddies. With Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Tommy Flanagan, Laura Haddock, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell. Walt Disney Pictures The life and work of the painter and filmmaker are chronicled in this documentary. Featuring Mary Boone, Jeff Koons, Vito Schnabel, Willem Dafoe, Bono. Directed by Pappi Corsicato. Cohen Media Group Debra Winger and Tracy Letts star as a long-married couple whose serious affairs with other people rekindle a spark in their own relationship. With Aidan Gillen, Melora Walters, Tyler Ross, Jessica Sula. Written and directed by Azazel Jacobs. A24 Documentary on the work of the New York Times obituary writers. Written and directed by Vanessa Gould. Kino Lorber A voyeur is framed for murder by a young lady in this restored version of the1946 adaptation of Georges Simenons Mr. Hire’s Engagement. With Michel Simon, Viviane Romance, Paul Bernard, Max Dalban. Written by Julien Duvivier, Charles Spaak. Directed by Duvivier. Rialto Pictures Oscar-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras documentary on Julian Assange. Neon Pat Healy directs and stars in a black comedy about a man who specializes in simulated abductions. With Taylor Schilling. Written by Mike Makowsky. The Orchard Elle Fanning, Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon star as a family living under one roof in New York adjusting to a teen’s decision to transition from female to male. Written by Nikole Beckwith. Directed by Gaby Dellal. Weinstein Company Also: Alienate Horror/Sci-fi. Gravitas Ventures Black Site Delta Action. XLrator Media Buster’s Mal Heart Sci-fi thriller. With Rami Malek. Well Go USA Elian Documentary. Gravitas Ventures Enter the Warriors Gate Fantasy adventure co-written by Luc Besson. EuropaCorp The Founders Sports documentary. Level 33 Lady Bloodfight Martial arts action. Vertical Entertainment Mom and Me Documentary. Uncorkd Entertainment Tomorrow Ever After Sci-fi comedy. Thier Productions May 12 Artist Chris Burden, whose work included dangerous stunts, iconic sculptures and installations, and the vintage streetlights outside LACMA, is profiled in this documentary. Directed by Timothy Marrinan & Richard Dewey. Magnolia Pictures Documentary recounts the romantic and creative partnership of storyboard artist Harold Michelson and film researcher Lillian Michelson. Featuring Danny DeVito, Mel Brooks, Francis Ford Coppola. Directed by Daniel Raim. Zeitgeist Films 92956819 A new imagining of the Excalibur myth finds Arthur once more searching for his rightful place in the kingdom. With Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Bergs-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Jude Law, Eric Bana. Written by Joby Harold and Guy Ritchie & Lionel Wigram; story by David Dobkin and Joby Harold. Directed by Ritchie. Warner Bros. Two women find deep friendship at an Italian mental hospital and help each other navigate in the real world when they inadvertently gain their freedom. With Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Micaela Ramazzotti. Written and directed by Paolo Virzi. Strand Releasing An East L.A. street artist feels caught between the old-school car culture of his father and ex-con brother and his own means of self-expression. With Gabriel Chavarria, Demin Bichir, Eva Longoria, Theo Rossi, Melissa Benoist, Tony Revolori. Written by Cheo Hodari Coker & Elgin James. Directed by Ricardo de Montreuil. Telemundo Films / BH Tilt A Frenchman restores the love of life for a neglected American wife. With Diane Lane, Arnaud Viard, Alec Baldwin. Written and directed by Eleanor Coppola. Sony Pictures Classics 92143244 Amy Schumer stars as an impulsive young woman who recruits her rigid mother, played by Goldie Hawn, for a jungle vacation. With Joan Cusack, Ike Barinholtz, Wanda Sykes, Christopher Meloni. Written by Katie Dippold. Directed by Jonathan Levine. 20th Century Fox Two U.S. soldiers are trapped with only a crumbling structure between them and an Iraqi sniper. With Aaron Taylor-Johnson, John Cena. Written by Dwain Worrell. Directed by Doug Liman. Amazon Studios / Roadside Attractions Residents of a Scottish island attempt to liberate 50,000 cases of whisky from a stranded ship in this remake of the 1949 Alexander Mackendrick comedy. With Eddie Izzard, Ellie Kendrick, James Cosmo. Written by Peter McDougall, based on the novel by Compton Mackenzie. Directed by Gillies MacKinnon. Arrow Films A young woman’s privileged life in 19th century Normandy is slowly eroded by her husband’s unfaithfulness and pressure from family and community. With Judith Chemla, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Yolande Moreau, Swann Arlaud. Written by Stphane Briz and Florence Vignon, based on a novel by Guy de Maupassant. Directed by Briz. Kino Lorber Also: Angkor Awakens Documentary. Directed by Robert H. Lieberman. Photosynthesis Productions Dead Awake Horror. FilmRise Folk Hero & Funny Guy Comedy with Alex Karpovsky. Gravitas Ventures Get Me Roger Stone Documentary. Netflix Hounds of Love Horror. Gunpowder & Sky Long Live the King Documentary. Indie Rights Sacred Documentary directed by Thomas Lennon. Argot Pictures Tracktown Drama with Alexi Pappas. Samuel Goldwyn Films Urban Hymn Crime drama. Level 33 Violet Drama. Ryan Bruce Levey Film Distribution May 19 92690423 The crew of a colony ship makes a terrifying discovery after landing on what seems to be an uncharted paradise on the far side of the galaxy. With Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demin Bichir. Written by John Logan. Directed by Ridley Scott. 20th Century Fox An affair threatens the idealistic cooperative an upscale Copenhagen couple establish in their home. With Ulrich Thomsen, Trine Dyrholm, Fares Fares. Written by Tobias Lindholm, Thomas Vinterberg. Directed by Vinterberg. Magnolia Pictures 92641828 The family takes a road trip and Greg schemes to become famous as a new cast takes over for the fourth installment based on Jeff Kinney’s comic youth novels. With Jason Ian Drucker, Charlie Wright, Owen Asztalos, Tom Everett Scott, Alicia Silverstone. Written by Kinney and director David Bowers. 20th Century Fox 92595368 An 18-year-old woman, confined to her house in a protected environment because of an illness, forms an attachment to the boy next door and yearns to experience the outside world. With Amandla Stenberg, Nick Robinson, Ana De La Reguera, Anika Noni Rose. Written by J. Mills Goodloe, based on the book by Nicola Yoon. Directed by Stella Meghie. Warner Bros./ MGM Directors Sebastian Junger and Nick Quested map the regions turmoil in this documentary. National Geographic Verit documentary follows three White Helmets volunteer first responders who rush in to some of the most dangerous areas in Syria. Directed by Firas Fayyad, Steen Johannessen. Grasshopper Film The suicide of a young artist brings together his girlfriend and mother as they confront their grief. With Janet McTeer, Alia Shawkat, Rhys Wakefield, Nancy Kwan, Emily Rios, Alfred Molina. Written by Amber Tamblyn, Ed Dougherty, based on the novel by Janet Fitch. Directed by Amber Tamblyn. Imagination Worldwide The nuptials are set, but an Orthodox woman has only one month to find a groom. With Noa Koler, Amos Tamam, Oz Zehavi. Written and directed by Rama Burshtein. In Hebrew with English subtitles. (1:50) NR. Roadside Attractions Also: Devil’s Domain Horror film with Michael Madsen. Cleopatra Entertainment Fight for Space Documentary. Gravitas Ventures If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast Documentary. With Carl Reiner. HBO Documentary Films The Last Shaman Documentary. Abramorama 7 Witches Horror. Indican Pictures Solaris (1972) and Stalker (1979) Re-release of Andrei Tarkovsky films Janus Films The Survivalist Post-apocalyptic thriller. IFC Midnight May 26 A renowned and uncompromising artist struggles against authoritarianism in post-World War II Communist Poland in director Andrzej Wajdas final film. With Boguslaw Linda. Written by Andrzej Mularczyk. Film Movement 92080757 Dwayne Johnson steps into the formidable flip flops of David Hasselhoff as lifeguard Mitch Buchanan in this adaptation of the 1990s TV series. With Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario, Jon Bass, Kelly Rohrbach, Ilfenesh Hadera. Written by Damian Shannon & Mark Swift, story by Jay Scherick & David Ronn and Thomas Lennon & Robert Ben Garant, based on the series created by Michael Berk & Douglas Schwartz and Gregory J. Bonann. Directed by Seth Gordon. Paramount Pictures The 30-year trek of the Grateful Dead as their organic approach to touring and getting the word out turned them into one of the most successful and popular live acts in rock n roll is chronicled in this documentary. Featuring Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir. Directed by Amir Bar-Lev. Amazon Studios Cate Blanchett plays multiple roles in a series of vignettes inspired by artist manifestos. Written and directed by Julian Rosefeldt. FilmRise 92708471 Captain Jack is down-on-his-luck and his survival depends on an alliance with an attractive astronomer and a Royal Navy sailor. With Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin R. McNally, Golshifteh Farahani, David Wenham, Stephen Graham and Geoffrey Rush. Written by Jeff Nathanson, story by Nathanson and Terry Rossio. Directed by Joachim Rnning and Espen Sandberg. Walt Disney Pictures Bryan Cranston stars as a successful but overwhelmed businessman whose disappearance is not what it appears. With Jennifer Garner, Jason O’Mara, Beverly D’Angelo, Ian Anthony Dale, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Isaac Leyva, Victoria Bruno, Ellery Sprayberry, Tracey Walter. Written and directed by Robin Swicord. IFC Films A four-star U.S. general is charged with ending the country’s involvement in Afghanistan. With Brad Pitt, Ben Kingsley, Tilda Swinton, Topher Grace, Anthony Michael Hall, Will Poulter, Keith Stanfield. Written and directed by David Michod, based on the book The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of Americas War in Afghanistan by Michael Hastings. Netflix Also: Berlin Syndrome Psychological thriller. Vertical Entertainment Black Butterfly Thriller with Antonio Banderas, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Piper Perabo. Lionsgate Premiere Drone Thriller. Screen Media Films Legion of Brothers Documentary. Gravitas Ventures Spirit Game: Pride of a Nation Sports documentary. XLrator Media May TBD Also: Aida’s Secrets Documentary. Music Box Films Bugs Documentary. Kino Lorber NISE: The Heart of Madness Brazilian drama. Outsider Pictures / Strand Releasing The Penguin Counters Documentary. First Run Features June 2 Director Errol Morris profiles portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman through her work with the Polaroid Land 20×24 camera and her Cambridge, Mass., studio, where she captured families, Beat poets, rock stars and Harvard standouts. Neon A young couple attempt to work their marital woes out by starting a band and turning their fights into songs. With Adam Pally, Fred Armisen, Susie Essman, Hannah Simone, Ravi Patel, Jorma Taccone, Jesse Williams, Brooklyn Decker, Jaime Chung, Chris DElia, Colin Hanks. Written and directed by Zoe Lister-Jones. IFC Films Animated adaptation of the hit illustrated book series by Dav Pilkey about a pair of wildly imaginative boys and their creation of a not-so-bright superhero. Voices by Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Thomas Middleditch, Nick Kroll, Jordan Peele, Kristen Schaal. Written by Nicholas Stoller. Directed by David Soren. 20th Century Fox / DreamWorks Animation Brian Cox stars as the British prime minister in the tense days leading up to the D-Day invasion. With Miranda Richardson, John Slattery, Julian Wadham, James Purefoy, Ella Purnell, Richard Durden. Written by Alex von Tunzelmann. Directed by Jonathan Teplitzky. Cohen Media Group Demetri Martin writes, directs and stars with Kevin Kline as a father-and-son dealing with grief and attendant life changes. With Gillian Jacobs. CBS Films During WWII, a German soldier is sent to occupied Holland to monitor espionage surrounding the exiled Kaiser Wilhelm II. With Christopher Plummer, Jai Courtney, Lily James. Written by Simon Burke, based on a novel by Alan Judd. Directed by David Leveaux. A24 A love triangle emerges in the drag queen bars of Tokyo in this restoration of writer-director Toshio Matsumoto’s 1969 drama. With Pt, Osamu Ogasawara, Yoshimi J. Cinelicious Pictures A Newcastle carpenter with a heart condition battles government bureaucracy after he is denied benefits and aids a struggling single mom with two children. Winner of the Palme dOr at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. With Dave Johns, Hayley Squires. Written by Paul Laverty. Directed by Ken Loach. Sundance Selects A pre-World War I Cambridge man battles his homosexual urges in this 1987 adaptation of the E.M. Forster novel by producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory. With James Wilby, Hugh Grant, Rupert Graves, Ben Kingsley, Phoebe Nicholls. Written by Kit Hesketh-Harvey and Ivory. Cohen Media Group The art worlds enfant terrible is followed from his early years through a recent Guggenheim retrospective. Directed by Maura Axelrod. Bond / 360 Two sisters in 1977 Jerusalem probe their stern father’s unspoken experiences in World War II Poland. With Nelly Tagar, Joy Rieger, Doron Tavory and Evgenia Dodina. Written and directed by Avi Nesher. Samuel Goldwyn Films In 1930s Sweden, an indigenous teenage girl feels the sting of racism and vows to escape. With Lene Cecilia Sparrok, Mia Erika Sparrok, Maj-Doris Rimpi. Written and directed by Amanda Kernell. Synergetic Distribution 91831565 The Amazonian princess gets her own movie and leaves her island paradise to fight a war to end all wars. With Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, Elena Anaya, Ewen Bremner, Lucy Davis, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Eugene Brave Rock, Sad Taghmaoui. Written by Allan Heinberg, story by Zack Snyder & Allan Heinberg and Jason Fuchs, based on characters from DC. Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston. Directed by Patty Jenkins. Warner Bros. Also: All About the Money Action comedy with Eddie Griffin. Gravitas Ventures Dark Signal Horror. XLrator Media Handsome Devil Drama. Breaking Glass Pictures Vincent-n-Roxxy Romantic drama with Emile Hirsh, Zo Kravitz, Zoey Deutch. Vertical Entertainment Documentary on the Chinese immigrant Sung family, owners of the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges stemming from the 2008 financial crisis. Directed by Steve James. PBS Films A writer deals with the death of her wife, a deep desire to become a mother and falls into a love triangle with her two best friends. With Laura Heisler, Bryan Dechart, Annie Potts, Raoul Bhaneja, Anna Fitzwater. Written by Gretchen M. Michelfeld. Directed by Heather de Michele. First Run Features Writer Mike White and director Miguel Arteta reteam for a satire about a dinner party where a successful immigrant health practitioner butts heads with a smug billionaire. With Salma Hayek, John Lithgow, Chlo Sevigny, Connie Britton, David Warshofsky, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, John Early. Roadside Attractions A washed-up western actor changes his priorities after a cancer diagnosis. With Sam Elliott, Laura Prepon, Krysten Ritter, Nick Offerman, Katharine Ross. Written by Brett Haley, Marc Basch. Directed by Haley. The Orchard Adult brother and sister twins confront their lack of emotional development when they date the same man. With Lucas Neff, Artemis Pebdani, Angela Trimbur. Written by Kristin Archibald and Doug Archibald. Directed by Doug Archibald. Magnolia Pictures Writer-director Trey Edward Shults follows “Krisha” with a dystopian horror story about a man and his family under siege. With Joel Edgerton, Riley Keough, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo and Kelvin Harrison Jr. A24 92803777

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April 21, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

Photographer Irving Schild, former Safe Haven refugee, to speak – SUNY Oswego

Photographer Irving Schild, a wartime resident of the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter, will speak as part of SUNY Oswego’s Jewish American Heritage appreciation evening starting at 5 p.m. in the Marano Campus Center food and activity court on Monday, April 24 — the day widely observed as Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. “We’re pleased to welcome Irving Schild back to Oswego,” said Earnest Washington, director of campus life at the college. “We look forward to sharing his remarkable story with the current generation of Oswego students, and with the wider community.” Born in Belgium, Schild left Europe with his family in 1944 when he was 13. For eighteen months, they lived at the fort as part of the group of 981 mostly Jewish refugees admitted to the United States by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and temporarily interned at the facility, also known as Safe Haven. Remaining in America after the end of World War II, Schild served in the U.S. Marine Corps and trained as a combat photographer. He built a successful career as a commercial photographer, producing work for major publications such as Glamour, Esquire, Life, and — for over 50 years — Mad Magazine. He also taught at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, serving as chair of the photography department. Free and open to the public, the evening will include music by the Syracuse-based klezmer band, The Wandering Klezmorim, and a sampling of traditional Jewish foods. Based in Syracuse, The Wandering Klezmorim is a versatile group that plays in the klezmer traditions from Eastern Europe, the Lower East Side and the Middle East. Ken Frieden, professor of Judaic studies at Syracuse University, founded the group in Atlanta. Since then, it has performed concerts and celebrations in Europe, Israel and the Northeast U.S. In 2017, Holocaust Remembrance Day begins at sunset April 23 and ends the evening of April 24, commemorating the 6 million victims of the Holocaust carried out by the Nazis during World War II. The day occurs on 27 Nisan on the Jewish calendar. Jewish American Heritage Month appreciation evening is one of the “I am Oz” programs scheduled throughout the academic year, celebrating campus diversity and community.

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April 20, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

Globe Briefs April 14 – thejewishchronicle.net

Ohio buys record $61 million in Israel Bonds The state of Ohio bought a one-day record of $61 million in Israel Bonds. The largest single government purchase of Israel Bonds, which took place April 3, makes Ohio the largest holder of Israel Bonds with $165 million, the Cleveland Jewish News reported. State Treasurer Josh Mandel told the newspaper that the purchase in part was in response to the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. First and foremost, we are making this investment because its a good investment for the taxpayers of Ohio, said Mandel, who is Jewish. Second, we are making this investment in an effort to combat the bigotry of the BDS movement. Third, we are making this investment to stand with the only country in the Middle East that shares American values. In December, the Ohio Legislature passed a law prohibiting the state from contracting with companies that engage in boycotts of Israel. The measure also included language that increased from 1 percent to 2 percent the amount of funds the state treasurer or country treasurers may invest in foreign bonds meeting specified criteria, including Israel Bonds. Ohio treasurers have been investing in Israel Bonds since 1993, according to the newspaper. Mandel, who has served as state treasurer since 2011, announced in December that he would run a second time for the Senate. Israeli firm to provide drinking water from the air An Israeli company whose technology made a splash at last months AIPAC conference has signed deals to produce drinking water by extracting it from the air in India and Vietnam, two countries that have long faced shortages. Water Gen inked an agreement with Indias second largest solar company to produce purified water for remote villages in the country. Earlier, the company arranged with the Hanoi government to set up water generators in the Vietnamese capital. The government of Vietnam greatly esteems the technological developments in Israel, and I hope that the Israeli technology that we supply to Vietnam will significantly help to improve water conditions in the country, Water Gen President Mikhael Mirilashvili said after the signing in Hanoi, according to a statement. The memoranda of understanding are worth $150 million in total, according to Water Gen, which was founded in 2009 and creates technology that extracts water from the air for use by civilians and soldiers who do not have access to clean sources. Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz demonstrated Water Gens technology on stage at AIPACs annual policy conference in Washington, D.C., on March 26. He touted the device, which he said can produce 15-20 liters of drinkable water a day, as a weapon against worldwide water scarcity and the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. There is no weapon more powerful in the fight against BDS than for Israel to develop technologies that the world cannot live without, he told the crowd. You cannot boycott products that you cant live without. About 1.2 billion people, nearly one-fifth of the worlds population, live in areas of water scarcity, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. More than 75 million of Indias 1.25 billion people lack access to clean water, according to a report last year by Water Aid, a water and sanitation nonprofit. And Vietnam has struggled to provide its 95 million people with water because of contamination, poor infrastructure and heavy agricultural demand. In India, Water Gen technology is to supply drinking water to remote villages with solar power from Vikar Solar. The Vietnam project is to generate tens of thousands of liters of water a day for the people of Hanoi. Jewish descendants, says court, can sue Germany for return of Nazi loot A U.S. court has cleared the way for descendants of Jewish art collectors to sue Germany in the United States over objects allegedly obtained from their ancestors under duress during the Nazi era. In what lawyers for the complainants are calling a landmark decision, the District Court for the District of Columbia ruled March 31 that claims regarding a collection known as the Guelph Treasure can be filed in a U.S. court. Three years ago, a German investigative commission found that the original owners of the collection, which the Dresdner Bank purchased on behalf of Hitlers deputy, Hermann Goering, in 1935, were not forced to sell it by the Nazis. It is the first time that a court has held that Germany can be sued for the return of Nazi-looted art and artifacts under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. For several years, heirs to the consortium of Jewish collectors that bought the 82-piece collection in 1929 as an investment have been demanding the return of the portion sold to Goering. They have estimated its value at approximately $227 million. The collection is on display at Berlins Bode Museum. Attorneys filed the suit in the United States in February 2015 against Germany and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, one year after the Limbach Commission, the German advisory board for Holocaust-related claims, rejected the plaintiffs contention that the 1935 sale had been forced. In its ruling, the court rejected the German defendants contention that the Limbach Commission recommendation bars later litigation in a U.S. court. It also agreed with the plaintiffs that the sale may be considered a taking of property in violation of international law.

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April 19, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

In Atlanta’s suburbs and exurbs, a Jewish candidate gives Democrats hope – Jewish Post

Editors note: Democrat Jon Ossoff will face Republican Karen Handel in the June 20 runoff election. Ossoff won 48.1% of the vote April 18; Handel won 19.78% WASHINGTON (JTA) One candidate has the endorsement of a civil rights giant. Another boasts that he changes his oil in his pickup truck. A third coached soccer at the local community center. Its politics as usual in Georgia, except that these three candidates among the 18 running in the special election on April 18 in Georgias 6th Congressional District are Jewish. The election is a jungle, or blanket, primary, an open race in which the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, face off against one another in a June 20 runoff barring the unlikely event that one candidate tops 50 percent. Race figures prominently in this election in the Atlanta suburbs, as does traditional values (another candidate is prominent in the right-to-life movement). But all politics is local attracting jobs to the district and improving mass transit are major campaign themes. The election is atypical, however, in two ways: Democrats see it as their first opportunity to wound President Donald Trump, and the presence of the Jewish candidates, notably Jon Ossoff, a Democrat attracting national media attention as the likeliest to pull off an upset. That one-sixth of the candidates are Jewish in the 6th is something of an anomaly, said Steve Oppenheimer, a businessman who backs Ossoff. What are we, 2 percent nationwide? asked Oppenheimer, who has served on the national boards of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and Hillel. If we were twice that here and that may be a stretch we [Jewish voters] are not going to be the swing vote. Not that Ossoff, a scholarly and serious 30-year-old, is reluctant to chat about his Jewish upbringing if he is asked. I was bar mitzvahed at The Temple, which is a Reform synagogue, he told JTA, somewhat didactically. My Jewish upbringing imbued me with certain values, a commitment to justice and peace. Ossoff is perhaps best known as a muckraking documentary filmmakerwho once was an intern to Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. and now is being endorsed by the civil rights giant. (Ossoff was later an aide on national security policy to another Georgia Democrat, Hank Johnson, who also has endorsed him.) That biography and Trumps surprisingly poor performance in November in a district that for decades has been solidly Republican has propelled Ossoff to the front of thediverse pack of candidates. A poll commissioned by zpolitics, a website tracking politics in Georgia, had him at 41 percent on Monday, while his closest two contenders, both Republicans, are tied at 16. Tom Price, the previous incumbent, won the district by more than 20 points in November, but Trump beat Clinton in the district by barely a percentage point. Trump tapped Price to be his health secretary, and Trumps poor performance led Democrats to smell blood. (Ossoffs slogan? Make Trump furious.) Ossoff, youthful and personable, soon emerged as a national Democratic favorite, and a fundraising drive led by the liberal website Daily Kos, among other factors, has made him the candidate to beat, with $3 million reportedly in his campaign coffers. The Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have deployed resources to his campaign. That, in turn, has led to coverage in the national media, including front-page treatment in The New York Times and profiles in the New Yorker, Esquire and the Los Angeles Times. Every one of those treatments includes a requisite skeptical note from impartial observers of Georgias politics: Ossoff, they say, is gobbling up Democratic support, and likely will place on April 18, but the notion that he can win in the runoff in the historically red district is far-fetched. Typical of the pundits is Kerwin Swint of Kennesaw State University, who on Feb. 27 told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that a Democrat could conceivably sneak into the runoff, but that Democrat would almost surely lose the runoff. The numbers just arent there yet. Democrats, giddy at Ossoffs surge in the polls, believe the numbers are coming in. Ossoff says hes running to win outright on April 18, although that tends to get even his supporters eyes rolling. Sheri Labovitz, a longtime Democratic activist, has not formally endorsed Ossoff among the five Democrats running, but she believes he has momentum. Hes got a machinery working with him that has some very good research, hes got bodies knocking on doors every day and every weekend, she said. If you can turn your voters out, youve got a great shot. And Labovitz said Jewish interest is unexpectedly strong. She expected perhaps 30 people to show up last month at a salon she organized for Jewish Democratic women that featured Ossoff and two other candidates: Ron Slotin, a former state senator who also is Jewish, and Sally Harrell, a former state representative who has since withdrawn. Instead, 200 people packed the room. Ossoff said he was wowed by the turnout. Jewish women are leading a lot of the political engagement in the community, he told JTA. Still, Labovitz is reserving judgment on a final call until she sees which of the 11 Republicans in the raceemerges to compete with Ossoff. Its a gerrymandered district, she said. Can a Democrat make the runoff? I really think so. Can a Democrat win? I would like to think so. The two Republicans who are ahead in polls would provide a sharp contrast with Ossoff. Karen Handel earned national notoriety in 2012 when, while she was vice president at Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a charity that combats breast cancer, cut off its relationship with Planned Parenthood. In the ensuing controversy Komen, which was founded by a well-known Jewish Republican philanthropist, Nancy Brinker, who named it after her late sister, reinstated the relationship with the reproductive rights and womens health group. Handel then left the organization, becoming something of a hero for abortion opponents. Bob Gray, a former council member in the town of Johns Creek, has an ad that opens with Trump pledging to drain the swamp. It fades to Gray, in overalls, draining a swamp literally to the twang of blues chords on an acoustic guitar. Republican ads target Ossoff as an interloper in a conservative redoubt. The Congressional Leadership Fund, a national Republican political action committee, uncovered video from his days at Georgetown University wielding a light saber as a bare-chested Han Solo and extolling the virtues of beer. Not ready, the ad said. Ossoff says the attack on him by a national superPAC is a signal of how serious his bid is. His current incarnation clean cut, well turned out and soft spoken, and the CEO of a documentary film company that delves into cutting-edge issues like corruption in Africa and the mistreatment of women by Islamist terrorists deflects bids to portray him as unripe. Ossoff is more sensitive to charges that he is a carpetbagger; he lives just outside the district boundaries. That gets him testy. My significant other is a medical student at Emory and she needs to walk to work, he said. Casting him as an outsider resonates with some voters in a mixed rural-suburban district. Jere Wood, the mayor of Roswell, a town in the district, told the New Yorker earlier this month that Ossoffs name alone would alienate voters. If you just say Ossoff, some folks are gonna think, Is he Muslim? Is he Lebanese? Is he Indian? Wood said. Ossoff likely would enjoy the jab; he wears his progressive badge with pride. He turned up at Atlantas Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on the Saturday night that Trumps first executive order banning refugees and other travelers from Muslim-majority countries went into effect, and identifies with them as a matter of heritage. American Jews all share that immigrant story, he said, and that perspective hardens my resolve to fight for an open and optimistic vision of our country where if you work hard you can get ahead, where we welcome those who come here to build the country. Ossoff also signals familiarity with the Middle East. His campaign biography notes that when he was at Georgetown, he studied under Michael Oren, the historian and former Israeli ambassador to Washington. Oppenheimer, Ossoffs backer, says as a congressional aide the candidate helped draft Iran sanctions, but also is quick to note that Ossoff had left the job by the time Democrats were backing the Iran nuclear deal that so riled AIPAC. He was not involved in the deal President Obama made, Oppenheimer said with emphasis. If Ossoff and his backers are right and distaste for Trump and hard-line conservatism threatens to turn this district blue, then David Abroms would be a formidable adversary in the runoff. But this Jewish Republican is not registering in the polls, finishing next to last among the eight candidates named in the zpolitics poll with under 2 percent of the vote. Abroms, 33, avoids mentioning Trump in his campaigning. He focuses instead on his business converting vehicles to running on natural gas and how he hopes to bring to Washington his ideas of energy independence from the Middle East. A lot of wealth goes overseas to the Middle East to people who dont like us very much, it hampers our national security, it hampers Israels national security, he said in an interview. Abroms, who interned for former Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, now the U.S. attorney general, is relaxed with both his Southern and Jewish heritages. I consider myself a paradox, he said. Im a Jewish accountant, but I drive my pickup truck and I do my oil changes, and I listen to country music. Slotin is another moderate albeit a Democrat who likely wont make the cut. The zpolitics poll, with 625 respondents and a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points, had him just ahead of Abroms at 3 percent. A state senator in the 1990s who ran unsuccessfully against Cynthia McKinney for Congress McKinney went on to become one of the bodys most strident Israel critics he is reviving his slogan from that era, Votin Slotin, and campaigning on bipartisanship and bringing jobs to the district. Slotin, 54, is an executive headhunter who once owned the Atlantic Jewish Life magazine and coached soccer at a local JCC. He touts his role aspart of the government team that crafted tax credits that brought TV and movie production into the state. What I bring to the district is stronger against any Republican candidate than what [Ossoff] brings to the district, he said. The zpolitics poll suggests that might be true: A question asking for a second choice indicative of how the runoff might play out had Slotin by far the leader with 34 percent, while Ossoff got 5.6 percent.

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April 19, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

Weekend calendar – Quad City Times

April 20 Songs of the Civil Rights Movement 1:30-2:30 p.m. Bettendorf Public Library, 2950 Learning Campus Drive. Illinois musician Chris Vallillo will perform songs of the era that spoke of the yearning for equal rights and the struggle and determination to win freedom. Refreshments will be served after the program. Free. 5:30 p.m. Davenport Country Club, 25500 Valley Drive, Bettendorf. Temple Emanuel will host this art auction featuring a wide variety and price range of framed art and sports and music memorabilia as well as original art. Hor’s d’oeuvres and desserts will be served. for more information or to purchase tickets, call 563-326-4419 or email office@qctemple.org. $30 at the door, $25 by April 15. 6:35 p.m. Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S. Gaines St., Davenport. $5 to $14. 7 p.m. Central DeWitt Performing Arts Center, 519 E. 11th St., DeWitt. $25 adults, $5 students (K-12). 7:30-8:30 p.m. Bettendorf Public Library, 2950 Learning Campus Drive. Bret Dale, Director of Programming and Education at the RME, will present this installment of Trax from the Stax. Free. 7:30 p.m. Redstone Room, 129 Main St., Davenport. $12 day of show, $10 in advance. 8-11 p.m. Harrington’s Pub, 2321 Cumberland Square Drive, Bettendorf. This will be an outdoor show, weather permitting. Free. 1-8:30 p.m. Putnam Museum, 1717 W. 12th St., Davenport. Featuring displays, demonstrations, indoor planetarium shows, solar/night sky observing (weather permitting), Moon Rock on loan from NASA, meteorites, crafts and more. There also will be a special program, “How and Where To View The Great American Total Solar Eclipse,” by Dr. Paul Sipiera at 7 p.m. Free. 5-8:30 p.m. Putnam Museum, 1717 W. 12th St., Davenport. This edition of Family Fun Night will feature the fully immersive Discovery Dome planetarium open with free showings throughout the night, Dr. Paul Sipiera will give a presentation, “How and Where to View The Great American Total Solar Eclipse,” at 7 p.m., there will be telescopes for solar/night sky observing (weather permitting) and more. Free for fun night activites with museum admission required to visit the Museum and Science Center. 5:30 p.m. Camden Centre, 2701 1st St. E, Milan. The Arc of the Quad-Cities Area will celebrate spring with this busines casual event featuring an assortment of hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, deejay entertainment from Master Blaster and live and silent auctions. For more information or to register, call 309-786-6474 or visit arcqca.org. $280 per table, $70 per couple, $40 per person. 6-11 p.m. Waterfront Convention Center, 2021 State St., Bettendorf. Featuring dinner, a program including the success story of a youth who went through the program as well as silent and live auctions. Proceeds benefit Family Resources. $85. 6:15 p.m. Davenport Speedway, Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds. $12 adults, $10 students/senior citizens, $5 youth 7-12 years. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Colona Public Library, 911 1st St., Colona. Paper-cutting artist Keith Bonnstetter will help participants make a spring “snowflake” design. Class size is limited. Attendees should bring scissors. For more information or to register, call 309-792-0548. Free. 6:35 p.m. Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S. Gaines St., Davenport. Promotion: Post-game Fireworks. $5 to $14. 7-11 p.m. Silver Spur Dance Hall, 1230 15th Ave., East Moline. Featuring deejay music for dancing. $7. 7-10:30 p.m. CASI, 1035 W. Kimberly Road, Davenport. Deejay Don will play music for dancing to couples, line and free style steps. $7. 7 p.m. RME Community Stage, 129 Main St., Davenport. Free. 7-10 p.m. the Coliseum, 116 Bryant St., Walcott. $10. 7-9:30 p.m. Square and Round Dance Hall, 323 1/2 17th St., Bettendorf. Featuring mainstream and plus square dancing with caller Tommy Russell and Charlie Swanson cueing. $6, free for spectators. 8 p.m. Kavanaugh’s Hilltop Tap, 1228 30th St., Rock Island. Presented by the Mississippi Valley Blues Society. $15, $12 MVBS members. 9 p.m. Redstone Room, 129 Main St., Davenport. $12 day of show, $10 in advance. 9 p.m. Rock Island Brewing Company, 1815 2nd Ave. Cover charge. 8:30-11:30 a.m. Nahant Marsh, 4220 Wapello Ave., Davenport. Volunteers can work on a variety of projects including pulling garlic mustard, hauling brush and picking up debris along the roadway and river bank. Gloves, tongs and safety gear will be provided. Participants should wear comfortable, durable clothes and shoes that can get dirty. There may be wet areas so rubber boots or water-resistant shoes are recommended. Free. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Buffalo Community Center, 426 Clark St. Featuring garage sale items and vendors. The kitchen also will be open. Free. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Quad-City Food Forest, 1599 Garden Ave., Davenport. During this work day participants can help redo fencing, sheet mulch an expansion area, plant veggies, build new raised beds and build a new compost bin. There also will be a variety of kids activities including make-n-take fairy gardens. Food will be available from a food truck from noon to 2 p.m. with a portion of the proceeds to go to the Food Forest. Free. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dr. Sanders Chiropractic Office, 609 15th Ave., East Moline. Featuring an operating 2,000 square foot model railroad layout with 85 percent of the scenery completed. There also will be a Treasure Hunt for cildren and adults. Free with donations accepted. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ragged Records, 418 E. 2nd St., Davenport. This international event will feature one-day only limited-edition titles. There also will be live performances including Speaking of Secrets, Dead Forms, The Right Now, Bill MacKay, Dog Hairs and more. Free. 10-11:30 a.m. Davenport Public Library, 6000 Eastern Ave. Hosted by Science Of Spirituality. Free. 10 a.m. to noon Veterans Memorial Park, 1645 23rd St., Bettendorf. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with the walk at 10 a.m. Free with donations accepted. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. downtown Geneseo. Participants can view professional and amateur visual artists and musicians as they demonstrate their special talents throughout downtown. Free. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Quad-City Veterans Outreach Center, 250 W. 35th St., Davenport. The Quad-City Veterans Outreach Center will host this event for soldiers and veterans to choose a dress suit choices. There also will be a free lunch for family members and drivers and the Book Exchange will be open. Soldiers and veterans must have a military ID or papers. For more information, call 563-529-4782. Free. 1:15 p.m. Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S. Gaines St., Davenport. Promotion: Irish Heritage Day/Logo Sunglasses Giveaway. $5 to $14. 1:30-2:30 p.m. Dairy Building, 410 N. Erickson St., Bishop Hill. Dr. Bill Hampes will present this scholarly program about the humor of President Abraham Lincoln. The 40 minute presentation will discuss the ways that President Abraham Lincoln used humor and also will utilize what psychologists and others have learned about humor to show how it reflected Lincoln’s complex personality. For more information, call 309 927-3899 or email bhha@mymctc.net or visit bishophillheritage.org. Free. 2-3 p.m. Davenport Public Library, 3000 N. Fairmount St. Featuring crafts, activities and a chance to design and decorate a clay pot complete with a seed planted and ready to grow. For more information or to register (required), call 563-326-7832 or visit davenportlibrary.com. Free. 3-6 p.m. SouthPark Mall, 4500 16th St., Moline. $3 donation for cars, free for spectators. 4-6:30 p.m. LeClaire Civic Club, 127 S. Cody Road. $10 at door, $9 in advance, $6 for children 10 years and younger. 6-7 p.m. Metropolitan Community Church of the Quad-Cities, 2930 W. Locust St., Davenport. Worship will include music, inspirational readings and an open table for Holy Communion. Special guests from the Sage Sisters of Solidarity will perform. Following the service there will be board games and a potluck with participants encouraged to bring a dish to share. There will be complimentary coffee and tea provided and soft drinks available for purchase. For more information, call 563-324-8281. Free. 7 p.m. to midnight Bierstube, 415 15th St., Moline. This will be an all-ages show until 11 p.m. $5. 7 p.m. Rogalski Center, St. Ambrose University, Davenport. Featuring mulligans and doublers. Participants may bring snacks with drinks available for purchase. Childcare will be available with a donation at the Children’s Campus. Reservations required for childcare. Proceeds benefit the Alumni Association and the St. Ambrose Children’s Campus. For more information or to register a table, call 563-333-6290 or email alumni@sau.edu. $80 per table, $64 per table by April 19. 7 p.m. Arrowhead Youth and Family Services, 12200 104th St., Coal Valley. This trivia night with tables of eight players also will feature raffles for a children’s John Deere Gator and youth made wooden items. Participants can bring snacks and beverages or purchase them at the event. No alcohol. To register a table, visit arrowheadyouth.org. Proceeds will support the programming for at risk youth at Arrowhead. $80 table, $10 per player. 7:30 p.m. First Lutheran Church, 364 E. Water St., Galesburg. Featuring the Nova Singers. $18 adults, $15 senior citizens (62 years and older), free for students. 7:30 p.m. Unitarian Church, 3707 Eastern Ave., Davenport. Chamber Music Quad-Cities will present this evening of chamber music with David Bowlin, violin, and Tony Cho, piano. For more information, call 309-797-0516 or visit chambermusicqc.com. $15 adults, $5 students. 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Jim’s Knoxville Tap, 8716 Knoxville Road, Milan. Free. 9 p.m. My Place The Pub, 4405 State St., Riverdale. Free. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Van’s Pizza Pub and Grill, 425 15th St., Moline. Cover charge. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Hawkeye Sports Bar and Grill, 4646 Cheyenne Ave., Davenport. Free. 9 p.m. Rock Island Brewing Company, 1815 2nd Ave. Cover charge. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Logger House, 256 S. State Ave., Hampton. Blackhawk Chapter ABATE of Illinois will host the first ride of the season with sign in beginning at 11 a.m. The ride will end at Crabby’s in Coal Valley. The route and length will be determined by the weather. $5. Noon to 4 p.m. Golden Leaf Banquet and Convention Center, 2902 E. Kimberly Road, Davenport. Featuring new and used tanks, equipment, decor, plants and live fish including Angel Fish, Discus, African Cichlids, Goldfish, over 100 bettas and more. Free. 1-4 p.m. Hanson Hall of Science, 726 35th St., Rock Island. Chemistry professors and students will be performing and explaining science demonstrations including color changes, explosions and more. there also will be a hands-on kids room and some of the labs will be open for viewing. Free. 1 p.m. Whitey’s Ice Cream, 3515 Middle Road, Bettendorf. This short family-oriented relaxed walk, run or ride on the trails in Bettendorf will start and finish at Whitey’s. Free ice cream certificates will be distributed to the first 50 youth participants. The City will provide light refreshments at the end of the event. Free. 1:15 p.m. Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S. Gaines St., Davenport. Promotion: Family Funday/Bark In the Park/Post-game Run the Bases. $5 to $14. 4 p.m. St. Paul Lutheran Church, 2136 Brady St., Davenport. Featuring the Nova Singers. $18 adults, $15 senior citizens (62 years and older), free for students. 7 p.m. Temple Emanuel, 1115 Mississippi Ave., Davenport. Featuring keynote speaker Doris Fogel. For information, call 309-793-1300. Free. 8 p.m. Augustana College, 639 38th St., Rock Island. This event will begin in the Quad and will include a walk and information and activities designed to promote safe relationships. There will be representatives from RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) and SafePath, slam poetry and light refreshments. Free. 6:30-8 p.m. Moline Public Library, 3210 41st St. Featuring a screening of this new documentary by filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle that tells the story of barns in the Midwest by examining them through the lens of architecture. The film explores what building methods, barn styles and materials tell about the people who built them, the life they lived and the role these “country cathedrals” played in the settling and building of the Nation. There will be a Q&A with the filmmakers and other film participants following the screening. Free. 6:35 p.m. Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S. Gaines St., Davenport. $5 to $14. 7 p.m. Wallenberg Hall, 3520 7th Ave., Rock Island. Doris Fogel will present this annual talk by a Holocaust survivor, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Judaism and Jewish Culture. Fogel will discuss her life story and the importance of never forgetting the stories of those who lived through the Holocaust. Free. 7:30 p.m. Assumption High School, 1020 W. Central Park Ave., Davenport. Featuring Cody Birely, Davenport, on percussion and Mallory Weaver, Bettendorf, on clarinet. Free-will donation. 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Vista Grande, 2141 16th St. NW, Clinton. In conjunction with Older Americans Month, this fair will bring businesses and organizations together in one location to provide information, demonstrations, door prizes and fun for the 50-plus population. There will be over 40 different businesses and services on hand including financial services, retirement residences, realtors and more as well as special health screening opportunities by Mercy Medical Center. For accurate results, participants should fast for 8-10 hours. For screening instructions, cost and general information, call Mercy Medical Center at 563-244-3539. Free. 11 a.m. Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S. Gaines St., Davenport. Promotion: Baseball In Education Day. $5 to $14. 7:30 p.m. Adler Theater, 136 E. 3rd St., Davenport. $38, $48 and $58. 6:35 p.m. Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S. Gaines St., Davenport. Promotion: Winning Wednesday with each person attending entered to win a Mega Blu-Ray Player. $5 to $14. 7 p.m.-1 a.m. Gunchie’s, 2905 Telegraph Road, Davenport. Free. 7:30 p.m. Redstone Room, 129 Main St., Davenport. $25 day of show, $20 in advance. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Isabel Bloom, 736 Federal St., Davenport. Featuring an informative lunch about Rick’s House of Hope, a Vera French program that focuses on children experiencing grief, trauma or loss. Speakers will include Rick’s House of Hope staff, interns and community members. Lunch will be provided and a tour of the Isabel Bloom facility will be available after the program. For more ionformation or to reserve a spot (required by Thursday, April 20), email courvillea@verafrenchmhc.org. Free. 1 and 6 p.m. Scott County Extension Office, 875 Tanglefoot Lane, Bettendorf. Featuring an introduction to the butterflies of the Midwest, hummingbirds and other pollinators as well as the annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees the butterflies and hummingbirds enjoy in Midwest gardens. Participants can learn about the life cycle of butterflies and the role of gardens in promoting these fascinating and important pollinators. For more information or to register for classes, 563-359-7577 or visit extension.iastate.edu/scott/. $5. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Holiday Inn, 226 17th St., Rock Island. St. Joseph the Worker House will present this charity event to support homeless women and children in the Quad-Cities. The evening will feature beer, beverages, wings and more as well as emcee Tracy White and entertainment by Coleman Harris. $45. 7 p.m. Bettendorf High School Performing Arts Center, 333 18th St. This twenty voice official chorus for the United States Navy from Washington, D.C, will be accompanied by a three-piece rhythm section and will perform a variety of styles ranging from patriotic selections to Broadway showstoppers as well as everything in between. Tickets are required. To request tickets, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Navy Band Sea Chanters Concert, 3333 18th St., Bettendorf, IA 52722. For more information, call 563-332-7001. Free. 7:30 p.m. Redstone Room, 129 Main St., Davenport. $18 day of show, $15 in advance. 10 a.m. to noon Genesis Medical Center-Silvis, Larson Center, 855 Illini Drive, Silvis. Featuring keynote speaker Dr. Param Puneet Singh. There will be wellness and informational booths, including free screenings for body fat analysis, blood pressure, balance assessment, pulmonary screening and more. There also will be door prizes and snacks. For more information, call 309-281-4290. Free. Noon to 12:45 p.m. Bettendorf Public Library, 2950 Learning Campus Drive. Featuring local musician Brundle’s high energy, Big Acoustic Show. Attendees are encouraged to bring a sack lunch. Free. 6-9 p.m. Hy-Vee Market Grille, 2930 18th Ave., Rock Island. Free. 6-9 p.m. Cool Beanz Coffeehouse, 1325 30th St., Rock Island. Free. 6-9 p.m. Buffalo Community Center, 426 Clark St. Featuring four Lula Rue consultants. The kitchen will be serving Hispanic cuisine with margaritas available from the bar. All proceeds will help the Buffalo Community Group send kids to Camp Abe Lincoln this summer. Free. 6:15 p.m. Davenport Speedway, Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds. $12 adults, $10 students/senior citizens, $5 youth 7-12 years. 6:30-11 p.m. Assumption High School, 1020 W. Central Park Ave., Davenport. This fundraiser will feature live and silent auctions, Cubano food stations, an open bar with rum drink specials and salsa music. Proceeds benefits all students in the areas of tuition, academics, athletics, fine arts programs and technology. $55 per person. 7-11 p.m. Silver Spur Dance Hall, 1230 15th Ave., East Moline. Featuring deejay music for dancing. $7. 8 p.m. Daytrotter, 324 Brady St., Davenport. $12 at the door, $8 in advance. 8 p.m. Redstone Room, 129 Main St., Davenport. $10 day of show, $8 in advance. 9 p.m. Rock Island Brewing Company, 1815 2nd Ave. Cover charge. 7 a.m. to noon Black Hawk State Historic Site, 1510 46th Ave., Rock Island. Participants can meet by the Black Hawk statue by Watch Tower Lodge and expert leaders will help to locate both resident and migratory birds. At 9 a.m. the event will move into the Lodge for refreshments, including wild violet jelly, and a short program at 9:30 a.m. Then at 10 a.m. small groups will observe and identify wildflowers. This is an all-ages event. Participants can come for any or all events and can bring binoculars or use the binoculars provided. For more information, call 309-788-9536 or visit blackhawkpark.org. Free. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Longview Park, 17th Street and 18th Avenue, Rock Island. Over 6,500 square feet of shopping for toys, trinkets, furniture, home decor, books, clothes, antiques, and more. Rain date for this event will be Sunday, April 30. Free. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Grand Hannover Farm, 10700 160th St., Davenport. This non-profit horse club will sponsor a day of shopping, browsing and selling horse related items, tack and equipment, as well as baked goods, clothing feeders, buckets and more. Free. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Quad-City Veterans Outreach Center, 250 W. 35th St., Davenport. The Quad-City Veterans Outreach Center will host this craft and gift show with all proceeds going to stock the Food Pantry. A variety of crafts, gifts and food will be available. Free. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Faith Lutheran Church, 1611 41st St., Moline. Featuring over 40 vendors and homemade craft tables. There also will be lunch availabl;e for purchase and a bake sale. Non-perishable food donations for a neighborhood food pantry will be accepted. All proceeds will benefit activities for the elementary youth program. Free. 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eagle Point Park Lodge, , Clinton. Featuring a day of presentations, discussions and a film-screening exploring some of the forgotten figures, untold stories and other arcane aspects of area history. For more information or to RSVP (encouraged), email bradleywiles1@gmail.com or visit thesawmillmuseum.org/history-conference.html. Free. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. RiverCenter, 136 E. 3rd St., Davenport , IA. Presented by the Quad-City Symphony Orchestra this day will feature music and arts for the whole family including local performances, an open stage hour, a musical instrument petting zoo, Scholastic Book Fair, musical plants and more. There also will be a Dr. Seuss Children’s Book Reading Marathon where all 49 children’s books written by Dr. Seuss will be read. Free. 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lincoln Park, 1115 11th St., DeWitt. St. Baldrick’s Clinton County will host this event where participants shave heads to symbolize a walk in solidarity with kids who lose hair going through treatment and to raise funds for childhood cancer research. There also will be food vendors, music, kids’ activities, a bake sale and silent auction. Attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair and tailgate. Free with donations accepted. 2:30 p.m. French Bluff State Natural Area, , Thomson. French Bluff will feature steep hills, ridge tops and terraced benches. The trail will begin with a long gradual climb up to the top and then winds around on the ridge top. Carpooling is encouraged as parking is limited. For more information, visit blackhawkhikingclub.org. Free. 2:30 p.m. Adler Theatre, 136 E. 3rd St., Davenport. Presented by the Quad-City Symphony Orchestra the Dr. Seuss classics, “Green Eggs and Ham” and “The Sneetches,” will be set to the full symphonic sounds and animated by on stage actors, video and narration. $3 to $20. 5:30 p.m. Lulac Club, 4224 Ricker Hill Road, Davenport. Featuring teams of eight players. Participants may bring snacks with drinks available for purchase. There also will be mulligans, bonus doublers, raffle items and more. $80 per table, $10 per person. 6-10 p.m. American Legion Hall, 702 W. 35th St., Davenport. Featuring dancing, drawings, raffles and trivia throughout the night. There also will be 50’s-style food available. 50’s attire encouraged. Price includes a t-shirt. For more information or to register, call 563-650-1933 or email at bjrebarcak@gmail.com. All proceeds benefit childhood cancer. $20. 7 p.m. RME Community Stage, 129 Main St., Davenport. Free. 9 p.m. Rock Island Brewing Company, 1815 2nd Ave. Cover charge. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Rivertown Grille and Bar, 2606 W. Locust St., Davenport. Free. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Generations Bar and Grill, 4100 4th Ave., Moline. Free. 9 p.m. Redstone Room, 129 Main St., Davenport. $10. 9:30 a.m. Two Rivers United Methodist Church, 1820 5th Ave., Rock Island. The choirs of Two Rivers United Methodist Church and the Church of Peace in Rock Island will combine for this concert. There will be a second concert 10:30 a.m. Sunday, May 7 at Church of Peace. Free.

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April 17, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

America’s Most Political Food – The New Yorker

Kathleen Purvis, a food editor, wrote, When I learned about Bessingers history, I stopped buying his products.CreditIllustration by David Sandlin In February of 2015, Kathleen Purvis, the food editor of the Charlotte Observer, drove to Birmingham, Alabama, to attend Food Media South, an annual symposium. The keynote session, Hey, You, Pitch Me Something, was meant to be a friendly wind-down to a weekend of talks. Participants were invited to get up in front of the editor of the Web magazine the Bitter Southerner and, well, pitch him something. There were several hundred people in the room. Purvis knew that in the name of politeness she should probably stay quiet, but she couldnt resist the opportunity to toss a good word grenade, she recalled later, into a clubby crowd that she felt tended to overlook, along with chiffon cakes and canning, some of the most complicated questions about Southern cuisine. She raised her hand, and the editor nodded her way. Men are the new carpetbaggers of Southern food writing, she said. He replied, Sold. The resulting essay argues that the Southern food-writing world has been unduly influenced, usurped, yes, even invaded, by a barbecue-entranced, bourbon-preoccupied and pork belly-obsessed horde of mostly testosterone-fueled scribes, who dwell on hackneyed tales of Southern eccentricity without developing the clear-eyed vision to see them in a contemporary light. The piece generated controversy, though not as much as Purviss investigation into the racial dimensions of the practice of putting sugar in corn bread. Honest to God, I really hate that hokey-jokey Hey-us-Southerners-arent-we-cute stuff, she told me. Ive always said that my beat is food and the meaning of life. Gamely, the organizers invited her to the conference the next year as a speaker. I was getting ready to get up and talk, Purvis said. I was sitting there very quietly in a corner, and a woman came up to me and said, So, is it O.K. to go back to the Piggie Park? The woman was referring to Maurices Piggie Park, a small chain of barbecue restaurants, established in West Columbia, South Carolina, in 1953. The original restaurant occupies a barnlike building on a busy intersection and is presided over by a regionally famous electric marquee that features the boast WORLDS BEST BAR-B-Q, along with a grinning piglet named Little Joe. The Piggie Park is important in the history of barbecue, which is more or less the history of America. One reason is that its founder, Maurice Bessinger, popularized the yellow, mustard-based sauce that typifies the barbecue of South Carolinas Midlands area. Another is that Bessinger was a white supremacist who, in 1968, went to the Supreme Court in an unsuccessful fight against desegregation, and, in 1974, ran a losing gubernatorial campaign, wearing a white suit and riding a white horse. In 2000, when the Confederate flag was removed from the South Carolina statehouse dome, Bessinger raised Confederate flags over all his restaurants. (By then, there were nine.) A king-sheet-size version went up over the West Columbia location, where he had long distributed tracts alleging, for example, that African slaves blessed the Lord for allowing them to be enslaved and sent to America. He was a figure whose hate spawned contempt, leading a writer from the Charleston City Paper to fantasize about how Satan and his minions would slather his body in mustard-based BBQ sauce before they dined. In 2007, Bessinger, who suffered from Alzheimers at the end of his life, handed the business over to his two sons, Paul and Lloyd, and a daughter, Debbie. In the months before his death, in 2014, they took down the flags and got rid of the slavery pamphlets. Dad liked politics, Lloyd, who serves as the public face of the operation, told a reporter. Thats not something were interested in doing. We want to serve great barbecue. By the time the news reached Kathleen Purvis, she hadnt eaten Bessingers barbecue in nearly three decades. She grew up in Wilson, North Carolina, where her father was an R.C. Cola salesman and barbecue sauce is made with vinegar. Early in her career, shed become a fan of the Bessinger familys line of packaged foodshandy for a quick dinner when I was working nightsbut, she wrote, in an article in the Observer in December, When I learned about Bessingers history, I stopped buying his products. I followed a simple policy on the Piggie Park: I didnt go there. Ever. During the flag scandal, thousands of South Carolinians made the same call, going cold turkey. I first made Maurices acquaintance when I was a child, the barbecue expert William McKinney wrote, on the Web site of the Southern Foodways Alliance. His barbecue was sold in the freezer aisle of the grocery store. It would bubble up in our familys oven, its orange sauce as vivid as a river of lava. My mother would pack his barbecue in my lunch bag routinely, and I ate those sandwiches all the way through high school, wrapped up in aluminum foil and still a touch warm once lunch time came around. It was as though Jif peanut butter or Katzs Deli had become irredeemably tainted. The Piggie Park had bad vibes, but it retained a pull on the community. For barbecue obsessives, it held a special fascination as one of the few restaurants in the country to still cook entirely over hickory wood, using no electricity or gas. One prominent Columbia resident, a black man, told me that he was addicted to Bessingers sauce, but that he would never admit it in public. The regime shift, then, represented a touchy moment. Some people wanted to go only if things had changed (but, if they were going to go, they wanted to get there before things had changed too much). For others, no amount of change was ever going to mitigate the legacy of a man who had caused so much hurt. Even asking if it was O.K. to return was a form of blindness to that pain. They could change the last name, redo the building, then dig the old man up… it still wouldnt matter to those who continue to carry the chip on the shoulder mentality, a man named James Last, of Wilmington, North Carolina, wrote in response to Purviss article, prompting Durward White, of Katy, Texas, to reply, Are you saying no matter how vile and disrespectful his actions were we should move on? People still cant move on from Tom Brady and deflate gate and that was 3 years ago. Barbecue might be Americas most political food. The first significant reference to it that the barbecue scholar Robert F. Moss has been able to find is in The Barbacue Feast: or, the three pigs of Peckham, broiled under an apple-tree, an account of a 1706 banquet in Jamaica. The revellers were English colonists, but the pigs were nicely cookd after the West Indian manner: whole, over coals, on long wooden spits on which they turned as a cook basted them in a spicy sauce (green Virginia pepper and Madeira wine), using a foxtail tied to a stick. Native Americans on the East Coast of North America used similar cooking techniques. But the main thing about barbecues is that they were social affairs, a days entertainment for the community. Between 1769 and 1774, George Washington attended at least six of them, he wrote in his diary, including a Barbicue of my own giving at Accotinck. A whole hog can feed as many as a hundred people. Barbecues, often held on the Fourth of July, became overtly political in the nineteenth century. As Moss writes in Barbecue: The History of an American Institution, they were the quintessential form of democratic public celebration, bringing together citizens from all stations to express and reaffirm their shared civic values. They adhered to a ritualized format: parade, prayer, reading of the Declaration of Independence, oration, and dinner in a shady grove near a drinking spring, after which dignitaries gave a series of regular toasts (thirteen of them, on patriotic subjects), followed by voluntary toasts from the masses (thirty or forty, on issues ranging from local elections to the free navigation of the Mississippi, or whatever else happened to be the days concerns). Often, the festivities turned rowdy. If an antebellum politician had wanted to rile folks up about building a wall, he would have done it at a barbecue. Before the Civil War, enslaved men often cooked these civic meals. They prepared their own feasts, too, either sanctioned by their owners or organized on the quiet. Much of the planning for the rebellions organized by Gabriel Prosser and Nat Turner took place at barbecues. After emancipation, black men continued to be some of the countrys leading pit masters, catering enormous spreads that featured everything from barbecued hogs, shoats, chickens, and lambs to stuffed potatoes, stewed corn, cheese relish, puddings, coffee, and cigars. In 1909, the Times noted the death of a man born around 1865, on a plantation in Edgefield County, South Carolina. Pickens Wells, one of the most famous barbecue cooks in the South, dropped dead today while preparing a barbecue, the item read. Pickens prepared the famous barbecue at which President Taft was the guest of honor last Winter. White men here are raising a fund to erect a monument to the negro as a tribute to his fidelity and character. Barbecue restaurants, like lunch counters, played an outsized role in the desegregation battles of the nineteen-sixties. In Birmingham, in 1964, Ollie McClung, of Ollies Barbecue, challenged the legality of the Civil Rights Act, arguing that the restaurants practice of denying sit-down service to black customers was none of the federal governments business, since Ollies, a mom-and-pop operation, wasnt involved in interstate commerce. Pointing out that forty-six per cent of Ollies meat came from out of state, the Supreme Court upheld the acts constitutionality in a 9-0 ruling. It included a concurring opinion from Justice Hugo Black, an Alabamian who reportedly voted over the objection of his wife, a regular diner at Ollies. In 1964, Maurice Bessinger was the president of the National Association for the Preservation of White People. On August 12th of that year, Anne Newman and a friend drove to the West Columbia Piggie Park. They stopped outside the lot for curbside service. A waitress emerged and, seeing that they were black, returned to the building without speaking to them. Then a man with a pad approached the car but refused to take their order, even though white customers were being served. In Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises, Inc., the district court asserted that the fact that Piggie Park at all six of its eating places denies full and equal service to Negroes because of their race is uncontested and completely established by evidence, but it concluded that the restaurants, because they were principally drive-ins, werent subject to the public-accommodation provision of the Civil Rights Act. When a higher court reversed the ruling, Bessinger appealed to the Supreme Court, claiming that being forced to serve black people violated his religious principles. He lost, in a unanimous decision. (Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently cited the case in her Hobby Lobby dissent.) In Defending My Heritage, Bessingers 2001 autobiography, he claims that he and his family always treated black people well, citing his fathers practice, at a restaurant he owned, of giving a black employee discarded food and old grease. (Then he says that they fired her for stealing half a ham.) He writes, I have concluded that the civil rights movement is a Satanic attempt to make it easier for a global elite, a group of extremely wealthy men with no Constitutional or national or cultural loyalties, working at an international level to eventually seize power in this country. Bessinger launched his run for governor from his cattle range, which he called Tara, after the OHara plantation in Gone with the Wind. One of his opponents remembered the primary race as something between a comic opera and depressing satire. Out of seven candidates, including a competing barbecue baron, Bessinger came in fifth, garnering 2.5 per cent of the vote. Business suffered, whether from his notoriety or his distraction. He decided to focus on rebuilding his restaurant empire, betting that peoplewhite people, at leastwould eventually forget about his period of activism. Many of them did. The corollary to white innocence is white passivity, the feeling that what ones ancestors did was so messed up that it couldnt possibly make a difference where one eats a barbecue sandwich. According to his birth certificate, Maurice Bessinger was born on July 14, 1930, on a farm near Cope, South Carolina. It occupied land that had been willed to his mother, Genora, by her grandfather, a veteran of the Civil War. Maurice thought that his real birth date was probably closer to July 4th, as his father, Joseph, went to the county courthouse, where births were recorded, only a couple of times a month. Maurice was the eighth of eleven children. In his autobiography, he says that he helped pick cotton from the age of four, using a small, ten-pound little cloth sugar bag, and graduating, at six, to a full, 100-pound bag like the grown-ups used. The family ate clabber, corn bread, grits, and vegetables that they grew in their garden. Meat was scarce; eggs, occasional. Maurices grandmother told him that, anticipating the arrival of Shermans troops, she and her neighbors had buried smoked pork shoulders, hams, bacon, and sausage, covering them with desiccated leaves to disguise fresh digging. When Maurice was nine, his father gave up farming, selling the familys cow to buy a roadside caf from a widow in Holly Hill, about halfway between Columbia and Charleston. Maurice started to work that year at the Holly Hill Caf, swatting flies and bussing tables. By the time he was twelve, he was living in a small room in the back of the caf, getting up at 5 A.M. to run the breakfast shift, spending a few hours at school, and then returning to the restaurant to work. Tired and skinny, he failed fifth and sixth grades. Two Saturday nights in a row, the local policeman shot a black man dead. Maurice wrote, in 2001, of one incident, The perpetrator ran, and Mr. Workman dropped him with one shot at about 150 paces! By 1946, Joseph had sold the Holly Hill Caf and opened Joes Grill, where he perfected the secret recipeits mustard kick supposedly inspired by his German rootsfor which the family was coming to be known. In 1949, in Maurices senior year of high school, Joseph died of a heart attack. Despite Maurices insistence that his father had told him that the business would be his, the restaurant went to one of his brothers, who was seven years older and had come back from the war with three Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. Furious, Maurice joined the Army and shipped out to Korea. In the aftermath of the fight over Joes Grill, many of the eleven siblings struck out across the state to set up their own enterprises. The Bessinger name now dominates South Carolina barbecue, presiding over a complex diaspora of interrelated but not always amicable interests. I grew up being told that yellow sauce was my heritage, the journalist Jack Hitt, who was raised in Charleston, wrote in the Times Magazine in 2001. But its clear that without the siblings anxieties and their nomadic habits, Joe Sr.s recipe would have died out after Joes Grill closed. South Carolina would have remained just another outpost in the national camp of red barbecue sauce. By 2000, Maurice was easily the most successful of his generation of Bessingers. In addition to the nine restaurants around Lexington County, he had the frozen dinners, a mail-order business, and a bottling plant that distributed his Southern Gold sauce (with a Confederate flag on the label) to three thousand grocery stores along the East Coast, making him the largest barbecue wholesaler in the country. People called the Piggie Park the best all-in-one barbecue restaurant in America. Pat Buchanan, running for President on the Reform Party ticket, held fund-raisers at the main restaurant, whose pits burned non-stop. When an economic boycott of South Carolina, led by the states N.A.A.C.P. chapter, resulted in the removal of the Confederate flag from the statehouse dome, Maurice acted quickly. I surrounded the city of Columbia with Confederate flags, he later said. I didnt even tell my wife. I had it all planned. Acting on a tip, John Monk, of the State newspaper, went to the Piggie Park and discovered Bessingers stock of revisionist literature. The N.A.A.C.P. decided to challenge him next. We didnt have any idea that we would change his mind, Lonnie Randolph, Jr., the chapters longtime president, told me. The goal was to make South Carolina, if theres such a thing, whole againto let folks know that this isnt the way life should be. Under pressure from the association, Sams Club, Walmart, Winn-Dixie, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Bi-Lo, Kroger, and Publix stopped carrying Southern Gold. Piggly Wiggly, the lone holdout, said that it would continue to stock the sauce, owing to customer demand. Bessinger was defiant. He likened his treatment to that of Jewish merchants during Kristallnacht, and told a newspaper, Winn-Dixie is going to have to take that name off and call it Winn-Yankee. Eventually, Piggly Wiggly dropped his products, too. Only months earlier, John McCains Presidential campaign had been ruined by a series of robocalls that asked voters, Would you be more or less likely to vote for John McCain… if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child? Still, the views that a person could get away with espousing, at least in public, had changed since the nineteen-sixties. Joe McCulloch, a Columbia attorney, recalled, After that, Maurice became radioactive, as did his barbecue. Bessinger claimed that his business shrank by ninety-eight per cent, amounting to a twenty-million-dollar loss. Eventually, he closed several restaurants and shut down the bottling plant. Nonetheless, he held his ground, portraying himself as a champion of free speech and state sovereignty, and vowing, like proud Southerners after Shermans march, to root hog or die. In the wake of the controversy, the Bessingers were able to cultivate an alternative clientele. If some diners continued to patronize the restaurants in spite of Maurices views (Elton Johns gay, but I still listen to his music, one customer told the Baltimore Sun in 2002), others showed up explicitly to support his cause (The mans got the guts to stand up for his beliefs, another said). Glen McConnell, then a state senator, began stocking Bessingers sauce at CSA Galleries, a Confederate-memorabilia store that he ran with his brother. (I Googled McConnell, and was shocked to learn that he is now the president of the College of Charleston.) Even today, a rump of supporters regard Bessinger as the heroic victim of a liberal conspiracy. In 2014, a reader wrote to a local paper that after Bessinger publicly supported keeping the Confederate Battle Flag on the S.C. Statehouse, his business was sabotaged by anti-Southern activists who would go into grocery stores and surreptitiously open a bottle of Maurices barbecue sauce and lay it on the top shelf, ruining a section of merchandise and creating a mess for the store to clean up. In January, I called Lloyd Bessinger, Maurices elder son. Our conversation began smoothly, but, after a few minutes, he asked me if there would be any political angle to the article I wanted to write, and, when I said yes, things got uncomfortable. He sounded anguished as he said that, while he was no racist, he did not want to dishonor his father, whom he had known as a good and loving man. When we hung up, I was left uncertain whether the changes that Lloyd and his siblings had made at the Piggie Park were business decisions or evidence of a genuine transformation. Even if he had taken down the flags, Lloyd had never really explained why he made the move: out of principle, or pragmatism, or even, as a local news channel had reported, because of the rising cost of dry cleaning. (I think we should all be united by one country and one flag, the American Flag, he said later.) I wrote to him, asking if I could come to see him in Columbia. It was nice talking to you today, he replied, declining. Hopefully time will heal the past. One of the reasons Id become interested in the Bessinger story is that it struck me as a small, imperfect test case for how to act in our political moment. Of the many moral issues that have beset Americans since November, one of the most nagging is that of the once beloved relative who appears at the Thanksgiving table spouting contemptible ideas. When something or someone you love troubles your consciencewhen your everyday relationships are political actsdo you try to be a moderating force, or are you obligated to make a break entirely? I decided to visit some less fraught outposts of the Bessinger barbecue empire, hoping to get a sense of what makes yellow-sauce barbecuea seemingly minor comfortsomething that, like Amazon or Uber, even some people who consider themselves hugely opposed to the ethics of its purveyors find difficult to renounce. I grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, eating barbecue at Flips Barbecue House. It occupied a cinder-block building with an orange sheet-metal roof, and its hulking stuffed bear, reportedly shot by Flip himself, was once named one of the seven wonders of the Cape Fear region. Because barbecue is an intensely regional food, its also an intensely emotional one, the sort of thing you wake up in the middle of the night fiending for when, say, youre pregnant and living three thousand miles from home. I got that. Still, Id always got over it, even when Flips closed, in 2013. (If Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue is your thing, and you cant have it, dump a pork shoulder and all the vinegar youve got into a Dutch oven and let it cook, low, on the stovetop for as long as you can stand to.) My first stop was Bessingers Barbecue, which two of Maurices brothers opened in 1960. I ordered a large barbecue plate. I also got a banana pudding. The restaurants Web site features testimonials from customers, including Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Beazley, of Evans, Georgia (We flew in our private plane to shop for rugs. You were near and looked interesting. BEST BBQ EVER!) and the television personality Andrew Zimmern (The best spicy sauce Ive ever tasted!). I found a seat, tore a paper towel from a roll that sat on the table, and started eating. The barbecue was satisfying, full of browned bits and ends, but ever so slightly dry. I kept daubing on more sauceits bright color suggested a starring role in a stain-removal infomercialwhich may have been exactly the point. After the meal, I asked at the counter if any Bessingers were around. Michael Bessinger, a third-generation barbecue man, appeared, with an apron tied around his waist, and led me to an upstairs office. Near the cash register, amid pictures commemorating visits from Elizabeth Dole and Mitt Romney, Id seen a framed newspaper article in which a relative had spoken frankly of the Bessinger schism (Everybody wanted to be a chief and not Indians). Michael told me that his branch of the family wasnt close to Mauricesthey never got together for the holidays, for examplebut he seemed to regard his uncle with a sort of detached amusement. Maurice always liked the spotlight, positive or negative, he said. He said that he, too, was trying to move forward without disrespecting the past. He was thinking about introducing alcohol and had recently added brisket to the menua concession to modern customers expectations of barbecue, however regionally dubious. Across town at Melvins Barbecue, I ordered another barbecue plate, this time with a side of butter beans. It arrived on a stylish brushed-metal tray, instead of a plastic plate. A list of the Ten Commandments printed on the side of my cup momentarily counteracted the progressive atmosphere, but then I walked over to the condiments bar, and, scanning vats of pickled peppers, noticed a bullet-shaped bottle with a green nozzle. Sriracha! I wondered if Melvin David Bessinger, who in 2004 inherited the business from his father, Melvin, might be the familys great unabashed modernizer, the King Abdullah of yellow-sauce barbecue. Melvin, who died in 2012, was the fifth child of the eleven Bessinger siblingsthe older brother who, after their fathers sudden death, Maurice wrote, was conspiring against me to move me out of the business and take it for himself. (Melvin was equally confident of his status as rightful heir, claiming that, when he was ten years old, his father had entrusted him with the secret recipe, promising, Son, this sauce is gonna make you a million dollars some day.) In 2000, when the N.A.A.C.P. initiated the boycott, Melvin swept in, picking up much of Maurices forfeited business. Melvins sauce was called Golden Secret, instead of Southern Gold. To dispel the suspicion that the business might be a front for Mauricessame sauce, Confederate-flag-less bottlesMelvin David issued a press release: Melvin and his brother do not share political or social views. Despite their being brothers, they do not speak to each other. Melvins views on the Confederate flag, slavery and race relations are not those of his brother. Maurice angrily told reporters, I taught Melvin everything he knows about barbecue saucebut I didnt teach him everything I know. Melvin David was out of town the day I visited the restaurant, but I reached him on the phone later. When you come from a large family, not everybodys going to agree, he told me. Some people cant even get along with a brother and sisterhow about if you have eleven and you all went into the same business? Whatever the extent of the brothers animosity, he said, Melvin and Maurice had reconciled before Melvin died. Im ashamed to use my last name, Melvin David had said, in a 2001 interview, a statement he now regretted. I was being accused of a lot of things, a lot of negative things were coming my way, and it just kind of got to me, he told me. No doubt this was a great name that we were given when we were born. Lexington County, which encompasses all but one of the dozen Piggie Park restaurants now in operation, remains a bedrock of hard-right politics. It is the home of Donnie Myers, the prosecutor known during his decades-long tenure as Dr. Death, for his zealousness in pursuing capital punishment; and Joe Wilson, the congressman who heckled President Obama during a speech to a joint session of Congress, shouting, You lie! In the 2016 Presidential election, 65.6 per cent of the countys residents voted for Donald Trump. Lake E. High, Jr., the president of the South Carolina Barbecue Association, agreed to meet me at the original Piggie Park, in Columbia, one day in January. That morning, while renting a car in Charleston, I struck up a conversation with a late-middle-aged white man behind the counter. When I told him I was writing about Maurices Piggie Park, he reminisced, Youd get a few cocktails in you, drive up, get that big-ass fried tempura onion ring, and yum, yum, yum. He continued, All that stuff you see on CNN, the liberal sidethat division, that prejudice, thats not who we are. I took the keys and headed up to Columbia. When I reached the Piggie Park, I pulled the car in under the same formerly futuristic drive-in canopy where, fifty-three years earlier, Anne Newman had been refused service. I walked into the restaurant, where Higha big man in a sweater vest, with a mottled complexion and an omniscient smirkwas sitting at a round table. He explained that hed got into barbecue as a challenge. Somebody said, We got the best damn barbecue in the nation, and the worst judges, and I said, Well, I tell you what, I think we could fix that, and we started the South Carolina Barbecue Association in 2004. When Anthony Bourdain visited South Carolina for an episode of No Reservations, he asked High to show him around. (As for his name, which he shares with his father, when his great-grandmothers were squabbling over what to call the coming child, Highs grandfather banged a fist on the table, pointed to a map that was hanging on the wall, and said, Whats behind me? Lake Erie, one of the great-grandmothers answered. Well, thats his name.) In Highs estimation, the Piggie Park was hundred-mile barbecueworth driving a hundred miles for. Its the iconic South Carolina sauce is what it boils down to, he said, surveying the restaurant, with its lazy Susans, ceiling fans, and brown linoleum floor. Country music was playing on the radio; a muted television showed Fox News. The crowd was white, mostly older. In the guest book, I found comments that read, Wheres the flag??! and Thanks for Taking It Down! God Bless!! Near the entrance, a portrait of Maurice presided over a shrine of sauces. I ordered some barbecue. The chop was delicate, and the sauce was nearly fluorescent. It tastes like mustard thats got some mouthfeel to it, High continued. Id say its somewhere in the middle of the light-to-sharp spectrum. High spoke favorably of the Piggie Parks new managementPaul and Lloyd, and hes got a daughter whose name I forget, cute girl. Theyre real dedicated. He had also thought highly of Maurice, who, he said, was always friendly and insisted on top-of-the-line ingredients. He and Strom Thurmond were talking about all-natural thirty years ago, he said, which seemed a bit like remembering Oswald Mosley for his advocacy of brown bread. I asked whether he thought Maurices political legacy posed a problem. It wasnt nearly as bitter as modern day makes it seem, he said. He went on to talk about the trouble with racially interbred societies, the genetic basis of criminality, and his belief that the South should secede. After a disquisition that touched on everything from slavery (Its been around since Day One, and they talk about it in the Bible) to Trump (I happened to see him speaking to a crowd before he declared, and I came into the kitchen and I said, Lovebug, that mans gonna be President), he returned to the Piggie Park. This is the most taken-for-granted barbecue house in America, he said. Lonnie Randolph, the N.A.A.C.P. state president who had led the boycott of Piggie Park, told me that Maurice Bessinger was part of an ideological and economic lineage that stretched back to before the Civil War. He represented a hate that was so deeply rooted, Randolph said. I knew it was dangerous. He didnt think that it was possible to let the past be the past. It doesnt affect mewhite people can say that, because it didnt affect them. But, when I think of the damage that has been done, it cannot be undone, he said. Things might be different, he conceded, if the new generation of Bessingers were taking some sort of active steps toward reparation. But Im not familiar with them supporting any issues that support the lives of the people he abused for so many years. Representative Joe Neal, a longtime member of the state legislature and the chairman of the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus during the flag battles of the early aughts, placed a similar emphasis on the younger Bessingers actions, or lack thereof, when I got him on the phone in January. (Neal died the next month.) I dont think they have to apologize, he said. I think what people are waiting for is to find out who they are. After talking to Randolph and Neal, I couldnt stop thinking about Nat Fullers Feast. Nat Fuller, born in 1812, was a slave who became a celebrated restaurateur, opening the Bachelors Retreat, a Charleston catering hall famed for its pastries, game, and turtle soup. In April of 1865, two months after Charleston surrendered to Union forces, Fuller orchestrated a grand mealhistorians have remembered it as a reconciliation banquetto which he invited dozens of the citys prominent citizens. A society doyenne wrote in her diary of the miscegenat dinner, at which blacks and whites sat on an equality and gave toasts and sang songs for Lincoln and Freedom. The evenings menu has been lost to time, but, in 2015, a group of chefs and scholars tried to re-create the meal, using dishes that Fuller had served at other events. On a drizzly April night, forty Charlestonians gathered for the feast. This is the beginning for all of us, B.J. Dennis, a black chef, said, making a toast. Fifteen days earlier, Walter Scott, an unarmed black man with a broken brake light, had been shot in the back by a white North Charleston police officer. Two months later, the white supremacist Dylann Roof walked into the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston and killed nine people, including Clementa C. Pinckney, Mother Emanuels pastor. Pinckney was at the dinner that night, trying to acknowledge and refute history over watermelon brandy, chowchow, shrimp pie, chapon chasseur, and truffled squab served with silver ewers of walnut ketchup. Before I left West Columbia, I decided to try Lloyd Bessinger one last time. In the wood-panelled office at the main Piggie Park, a secretary invited me to have a seat. Lloyd walked out: trim, mostly bald, wearing navy chinos and a red Piggie Park polo. Lloyd was as unassuming as his father had been outlandish. His ambition, it seemed, was to be left alone. When I asked about the 2000 boycott, he said, I try not to think about it that much anymore. Do you support white supremacy? I asked. No! Of course not, Lloyd said. White supremacy is totally wrongand my father was not like that. He was a Southerner and a South Carolinian. He enjoyed reading about the history and the heritage of America. Lloyd had recently been to a friends funeral at a black church, and two hundred people were there, andhe chuckledninety per cent of them were black, and that was fine. I told Lloyd what Lonnie Randolph and Joe Neal had said, that people needed a tangible sign that the Bessinger family understood the pain they had caused, and that until they gave one it would persist. Mmmkay, he said. Well, I dont know how I can do that. Im not objecting to doing that. I just need to know what that is. That Lloyd could afford not to have much of an opinionthat he simply didnt have to think about race while making choices big and smallwas a privilege he had never considered. He seemed caught between the worlds of his parents and his children, the values with which he had grown up and those he now perceived to be ascendant. I recalled what Kathleen Purvis had said to me about Lloyd: I felt very sympathetic to him. My familys from GeorgiaI have family members who had beliefs, used language that was awful. My grandmother, the last thing she remembered about me when she was disappearing into dementia was Oh, yeah, thats the girl that loves black people so much. That was a very painful thing, and to ask me to denounce my grandmother for thatyou cant. So being Southern always involves that complicated dance. I cant change anything, Lloyd said, before I left. All I can do is speak for myself today. I dont look at race. I look at people. Were all equal, O.K.? In 2009, the Daras family, of Fort Washington, Maryland, moved to Orangeburg, South Carolina. Tommy Daras had just retired from running gas stations. Id come down here fishing, and I liked it, he said recently. I always thought the people were nice, and Florida was too hot. For a while, he and his wife, Deborah, enjoyed the weather and their newfound freedom. Then, in 2015, they spotted a cute brick bungalow on John C. Calhoun Drive, an out-of-business Piggie Park. We were at home, bored, and decided to clean it up, fix it up, and make some money on it, Daras said. They added teal-and-white awnings and named the place Edisto River Creamery & Kitchen. Daras recalled, An ice cream shop near a park, how hard could that be? They hosted such events as Bible studies and a Pokmon Go tournament. Their outdoor sign welcomed hunters and advertised a bacon palmetto burger. Daras said, I did notice that there were no black customersthe population of Orangeburg is eighty per cent African-Americanand I was trying to figure that out. Man, why am I not getting their business? The Darases bought the property from Maurice Bessingers children, knowing that a Confederate flag flew on a small bit of land in a corner of the lot. From what Daras understood, the parcel, through some quirk of local real-estate history, belonged to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, having been donated to them by Maurice Bessinger in 2005. Daras wasnt a fan of the flag, but it didnt really bother him. It became impossible to ignore, however, when, shortly after the massacre at Mother Emanuel, members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans showed up, took down the flag, and replaced it with a new one that was three times as big. Before, Id just sucked it up, but then it was, like, Man, Ive got to try to do something here, Daras said, explaining that he could no longer abide this huge flag sticking up in the air telling everyone to screw themselves. Daras rexamined his deed. With the help of a lawyer, Justin Bamberg, he is filing a lawsuit arguing that the corner parcel belongs to him. (The Sons of Confederate Veterans maintain their ownership.) Bamberg, who is thirty, grew up near Orangeburg and now serves as a Democratic member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. I called him to discuss the details of the lawsuit, but, as our conversation went on, he started talking about what the Piggie Park had meant to him as a young African-American man. It was one of those places I remember as a kid, always riding by there, feeling like in some peoples eyes I was less a person. I did not go into Maurices until I was in college, he said, recalling one afternoon when he had felt compelled to just walk into the restaurant, leaving without ordering anything. It was a personal thingfor so long, this place always had control over some part of how I felt. For me, it was like, Its gonna end today. It will be up to a court to conclude the story of Maurice Bessingers flags, the last of which is, for the moment, still flying, his final provocation.

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April 17, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

Toppled graves near Paris inspire conspiracy theories among Jews – Heritage Florida Jewish News

The aftermath of an incident on March 20, 2017, involving a municipal truck at the Jewish section of the Pantin cemetery near Paris. (JTA)-Five days after a municipal truck plowed through a Jewish cemetery near Paris in what authorities said was a freak accident, Isabelle Zenou arrived at the scene of the incident with a camera-and a theory. The March 20 devastation of 13 gravestones in the suburb of Pantin was not an anti-Semitic attack, according to city officials, France’s CRIF umbrella of Jewish communities and even the country’s chief rabbi. The driver drove over 13 headstones after losing control of his vehicle, the chief rabbi said in a statement. But Zenou, a communications professional from the Paris area, is among many French Jews who are not buying the explanation. She cited delays and alleged time discrepancies in official reports on the incidents, her failure to identify skid marks at the scene and a whirlwind of rumors over the incident. “I don’t think we’re being told the whole truth,” said Zenou, whose photographs of the damaged stones were published in the Le Figaro newspaper and triggered much speculation about the case online and in the media. Jewish community leaders, meanwhile, accused her and other skeptics of peddling “crackpot conspiracy theories.” The exact circumstances of the incident in Pantin are the subject of an ongoing police inquiry. Regardless of its findings, though, the incident is already underlining the distrust that many French Jews have in their authorities amid a polarizing presidential campaign, and in a country where many consider wearing a kippah too risky due to hundreds of anti-Semitic attacks recorded in France each year. Several days after the Pantin incident, the French media reported that unidentified vandals destroyed 40 out of 50 headstones at a small Jewish synagogue near Lyon. The incident in Lyon, which is undisputedly a deliberate attack, highlighted “the many questions about the incident in Pantin,” said Jonathan Simon-Sellem, a France-born journalist living in Israel. “What is clear is that the Pantin thing exposed a trust crisis between some French Jews, the leaders of their communities and the authorities.” Initial reports about the incident, including by the La Voix Du Nord local paper, came five days after it happened. The paper and other publications said it took place at night, when the driver steered into the Jewish section of the cemetery to avoid hitting a couple visiting a relative’s grave. In addition to social network posts by users like Zenou, the reports triggered a wave of rumors and speculation on several well-read French Jewish news sites, including Europe-Israel, JSSNews and the website of the far-right French Jewish Defense League. The cemetery, the skeptics pointed out, is closed at night, making a collision with visitors unlikely even if the municipal truck was there after hours. In addition, Zenou maintained, “the cemetery paths are too small for a truck to drive on with enough speed to knock over a dozen massive headstones. Nothing adds up.” Francoise Saadoun, who has four relatives buried in the cemetery, was among the dozens of French Jews who expressed their skepticism of the official version. “I don’t believe in an accident for one second,” she wrote on Facebook. “The condition of the roads in the cemetery make it impossible.” The fact that the first reaction by authorities to the incident came nearly a week after it happened did not add to the credibility of officials and community leaders. “The authorities decided to make a deal to avoid rocking the boat during the elections campaign because news of another anti-Semitic incident will help the far right under Marine Le Pen,” Zenou said. “They covered it up.” Simon-Sellem said the baseless allegations, which CRIF in a statement recently denied, condemned and labeled “crackpot conspiracy theories,” are unusual among mainstream members of a community that prides itself on its ability to unite under threat. He peggedthe moodto several factors: inconsistenciesregarding the incident itself, compounded by a “growing distrust of authorities’ politicization of information on anti-Semitism” and anxiety over the popularity of Le Pen, the far-right presidential candidate, ahead of the elections this month. Like many American Jews who criticized theTrump administrationfor being slow to condemn anti-Semitism, French Jews have recently seen a series of events that weakened their own faith in their authorities. One such event was the March 30 publication of a government report that questioned the existence of a new anti-Semitism in which Jews are targeted over Israel’s actions. It also listed only far-right perpetrators of hate crimes against Jews without mentioning the more politically sensitive violence by Muslims against Jews, which one Jewish watchdog group believes accounts for most assaults. The hate crime prosecution this year of a prominent Jewish historian who said that Muslims are culturally preconditioned to hate Jews further soured French Jews on the judiciary, although the historian, Georges Benssousan, ultimately was acquitted. Many Jews also resented that France’s oldest Jewish organizations, the LICRA human rights group, helped initiate Benssousan’s prosecution. That highlighted a political gap between rank-and-file members of thecommunity and some members of its elite. “All these factors joined together after the Pantin cemetery incident to open a very divisive debate about basic trust in the midst of the community in a way that didn’t exist in the past,” Simon-Sellem said. It also prompted a harsh and unusual rebuke of the skeptics by Haim Korsia, the chief rabbi of France. Korsia, whom many French Jews cherish for his hopeful and consoling speeches at times of crisis, delivered his scathing criticism of the speculation around the Pantin incident in an op-ed published March 29 in the Actualite Juive daily. Calling the skeptics part of a “campaign of deceit,” the rabbi wrote that he understood their “initial reflex to assume a hateful attack.” But their “persistence in circulating rumors amid an atmosphere of fury, conspiracy theory and revenge,” Korsia added, “help neither our credulity as a community nor to generate support for our causes.”

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April 14, 2017   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed


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