Archive for the ‘Jewish American Heritage Month’ Category

National Native American Heritage Month 2016 – Days Of Year

November, 2016 is National Native American Heritage Month 2016. Native American Missions Native American Christian Missions. 95+ Mission Trips to choose from

Yeah they should publicize the other minority’s months, because it’s be nice to learn about the histories of other races. Yeah they do have months for all minorities. Yeah Native American month(National American Indian Heritage Month) is in November. Asians got a month (Asian Pacific American History Month) it’s in May. Hispanic Heritage Month is on September 15 – October 12. They even have months for white people like Greek-American Heritage Month, Irish-American Heritage Month (both in March), Jewish-American Heritage Month (in May), German-American Heritage Month, National Italian-American Heritage Month, and Polish-American Heritage Month (all the.rest in October). There even have National Tartan Day (Scottish-American) on April 6th. But they just aren’t well-known. I still don’t get why the others aren’t talk about more often. I think they reason why Black History month is more popular than the rest is because of slavery, civil right movement, etc. people tend to forget about the other races. I think some people tend to think that hispanics just recently cross the border and Asians just recently got off the boat. I don’t think a lot of people realizes that these people both here for awhile too. A continuous Hispanic presence in the territory of the United States has existed since the 16th century, earlier than any other group after the Native American. Asians been here since 1763 when Filipinos established the small settlement of Saint Malo in the bayous of current-day Louisiana after fleeing mistreatment aboard Spanish ships. Chinese first come to here(Hawaii) in 1778. Some Island-born Chinese can claim to be 7th generation.

So if you didn’t want to read what I wrote up there pretty much what I’m saying is that every race deserve to have there history told not just black people. So maybe if more people become aware of the other heritage months, maybe they will become more well-known and have commericals for them and we have more people celebriting them.

March

Greek-American Heritage Month

Irish-American Heritage Month

April 6th

National Tartan Day (Scottish-American)

May

Asian Pacific American History Month

Jewish-American Heritage Month

June

Caribbean-American Heritage Month

September 15 – October 12

Hispanic Heritage Month

October

German-American Heritage Month

National Italian-American Heritage Month

Polish-American Heritage Month

November

National American Indian Heritage Month

Black History Month?

Not to answer your question with a question, but which is it that you want to do: stop talking about black history, or incorporate it in history-at-large? Black History Month, National Hispanic Heritage Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Native American Heritage Month, LGBT History Month, Women’s History Month, and Jewish American Heritage Month all exist because members of these groups are historically underrepresented in the teaching of history. Their accomplishments and contributions to society are all too often deemed inconsequential and not worth discussing. These communities have taken it on themselves to promote historical figures and events as a way to remember the past and to educate the public. If all you’ve learned about black history in your lifetime is slavery, MLK, Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X, some of the fault is yours. There is a treasure trove of information available to anyone who’s interested. The best part is, it’s available all year long.

Why are there no Native American days designated as National Holidays?

Yes, the government acknowledges it. However, most school districts fail to follow suite.

“November is Native American Heritage Month –

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans.”

Maybe you need to expand the websites you references. Anything that ends in .gov or .edu is a legit resource.

Or you could always do your research and submit your own info into wikepedia.

Edit: Just read the rest of your question. We DO have Native American Music Awards. Google NAMA or Nammy. Or check out this site:

They just aren’t as publisicied as the other awards programs. A relative of mine was runner up in the hip-hop rap category.

Why? I don’t know. I think probably it would hurt Hollywood if people realized we look nothing like what they tell the world we should look like. And, in all honesty, if all the non-Natives seen us as people- just like everyone else, they might expect the governent to treat us as such.

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April is What National Month Calendar – thebalance.com

How Businesses Celebrate the Month of April Thomas Barwick/ Stone/ Getty Images

Updated September 08, 2016

April Fool’s Day Business Humor

For years BMW has run print ads (mostly in Europe) announcing special features not found in other cars. How many were duped is anyone’s guess. But you have to love a car maker that can poke fun at itself and its drivers — and still keep its brand in tact. Read more…

Many countries adopt causes or a special interest group to promote during a calendar month. The United States is particularly prolific at creating “national month” events to promote business interests.

April is one of the few months that does not contain a long list of ridiculous observations (“July is Lasagna Awareness Month.”)

The following events are observed calendar month-long (unless otherwise indicated):

Is there a way your business can benefit by promoting itself during “April is” national month?

Other National Months:

January – February – March – April – May – June – July – August – September – October – November – December

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April is What National Month Calendar – thebalance.com

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Poland Jewish Heritage Tours – Jewish Tours & Travel …

It’s a sunny morning in early July, and I’m having breakfast at an outdoor cafe table in Kazimierz, the old Jewish quarter of Krakow. I have been sitting at cafes in and around Szeroka Street, the main square of Kazimierz, for nearly 20 years, watching the paradoxical Jewish components of post-communist Poland unfold, and Kazimierz itself evolve from a deserted district of decrepit buildingssome with grooves on their doorposts from missing mezuzahsinto one of Europe’s premier Jewish tourist attractions, a fashionable boom town of Jewish-style cafes, trendy pubs, kitschy souvenirs and nostalgic shtetl chic.

As Poland’s historic royal capital, Krakow is one of central Europe’s most beautiful cities and was one of the few major Polish metropolises to escape wholesale destruction in World War II. Once Kazimierz was a center of Jewish life and learning, but after the Holocaust only its architectural skeleton remained: Krakow’s 64,000 Jews (among three million of pre-war Poland’s 3.5 million Jews) perished, but seven synagogues and a score of former prayer houses, stores, homes and cemeteries survived. After the war, under the communists, Kazimierz slid into ruin, and only in the early 1990s did the neighborhood begin to take on new life. Even before Steven Spielberg came here to shoot his 1993 film Schindler’s List, set in the wartime Krakow Ghetto and the city’s concentration camp, Plaszow, Kazimierz was beginning to rediscover its Jewish soul.

Although Krakow is now home to just a few hundred Jews at most (Poland itself has maybe 5,000 to 15,000 out of a population of 40 million), the streets beyond my cafe are crowded with people here for the annual nine-day extravaganza known as the Festival of Jewish Culture. There are Jews from within Poland and from outside: Rabbis, tourists, earnest seekers of family history, writers, filmmakers, bureaucrats, philanthropists, academics, musicians and artists wander the square and surrounding cobbled streets. The vast majority of visitors, however, are non-Jewish Poles who have come to celebrate both the Polish Jewish life that once was and the contemporary Jewish culture that is still very much alive around the world. Some of them have helped bring about the renaissance of Kazimierz and a revival of public interest in Jewish culture throughout the country. Newcomers and regulars, Jews and non-Jews, come together at the cafes that line Szeroka and other streets and squares, turning Kazimierz into a moveable feast of drink, food and conversation that migrates from cafe table to cafe table.

I am waiting for Stanislaw and Monika Krajewski, among my oldest friends in Poland, who live in Warsaw and whom I met on the eve of Yom Kippur in 1980. Back then, I was a young American reporter, in Warsaw to cover the birth of SolidarnoscSolidarity, the anti-communist labor movement that spawned a peaceful revolution and was the harbinger of the collapse of communism. I am not a religious Jew, and I rarely go to services. But in Warsaw, on that erev Yom Kippur, I looked for a shul. The only one to be found of what once were hundreds, was the Nozyk synagogue, built in 1902 and used by the Nazis as a stable.

In 1980, the synagogue stood dilapidated and empty. My search took me to a shabby room nearby where paint was peeling from the walls but Jews were gathered for prayers. There was no rabbi: there was not one in Poland at the time. Perhaps three dozen people, almost all men, almost all elderly, stood swaying over well-worn prayerbooks. Among them was a sprinkling of people my own age, and a couple of toddlers running about and making noise. Some of the elderly congregants shushed themloudlyand I remember thinking, “How can you shut them up? You should encourage them; be happy that there are children here among you.”

After the prayers, a young married couple came up to me, eager to know who I was and why I was there. “It’s simple,” I told them, “I’m an American reporter covering Solidarity; I’m Jewish; it’s Yom Kippur, so I came to synagogue. It’s normal.” But “simple” and “normal” had different meanings in their lexicon. They came closer. “Oh, you’re a real Jew!” they exclaimed. This put me on the spot. A “real Jew”? After all, I don’t speak Hebrew, I don’t go to synagogue, I don’t keep kosher. “No,” they insisted. “You’re a real Jew; you’ve known all your life that you are Jewish. We are just learning. Come back home with us and tell us what to do.”

That couple was Staszek, as Stanislaw is known, and Monika. They were among the organizers of the “Jewish Flying University,” a semi-clandestine study group of Jews and non-Jews in communist Warsaw who met informally to teach themselves what they could about Judaism. This meant the rituals, customs, traditions and history but also the memories and inflections that are often innate in even the most secular of Jews who grew up in freedom.

Monika, an artist and teacher, and Staszek, a writer and professor, wend their way around tables through the cafe garden of my hotel, the Klezmer Hois, a rambling, peak-roofed building that used to house a mikvah. We greet each other with hugs. Monika, as usual, wears a flowing skirt and distinctive earrings. A deeply religious man, Staszek is active in interfaith relations and is the Poland consultant for the American Jewish Committee. His books range from commentaries on the Torah to scholarly works on mathematics and logic, his academic field, to essays on Jewish life in contemporary Poland, where every step toward the future can feel weighted down by the memory of the past.

The Krajewskis and I catch up on news, and I ask about their sons. Both children celebrated their bar mitzvahs in the Nozyk synagogue, the synagogue that was too dilapidated to be used when we first met but is now fully restored and functioning. The bar mitzvah of their younger son, in 2004, was particularly moving. Daniel, who has Down syndrome, carried the Torah, but instead of giving a speech, he showed pictures he had painted: Jacob’s blessing to Joseph’s sons; the burning bush; the parting of the sea; the golden calf; the breaking of the tablets. The last picture showed his entire family at the Sabbath table, a scene he has known all his life. Other friends come by and we chat. Then Monika and Staszek are off. Both of them are giving talks or teaching workshops in the festival this year.

In a way, the struggle for the soul of Kazimierz can be seen in the differences among the cafes on Szeroka Street. Venues drawing on Krakow’s Jewish history were the first to open on the square. But on Szeroka today things are different. There is an Indian restaurant and an Italian one, as well as chic new bars blaring hip hop. Still, critics love to hate Szeroka for its commercial exploitation of Jewish heritage as a saleable commodity and for what some call the “Disneylandization” of Jewish culture and tradition through an emphasis on stereotype and artifice.

The Klezmer Hois, where I often stay, is my favorite Jewish-style venue. Located at one end of Szeroka, it has the bygone coziness of an old world family parlor, with doilies and tablecloths covering mismatched tables, chairs and sofas. It was opened by my friends Wojtek and Malgosia Ornat. Though both have Jewish roots, neither was raised Jewish or with any awareness of Jewish family connections: Malgosia, a petite woman with wide eyes and short-cropped blonde hair, was 19 when she learned that her maternal grandmother was Jewish, a story that is not unusual in Poland.

Now in their 40s, the Ornats opened the first Jewish-style cafe in Kazimierz, the Ariel, in 1992. Then the only cafe on Szeroka Street, the Ariel was a lonely outpost amid a grimy wasteland of vacant lots and empty buildings. I vividly remember how Wojtek and I, sitting at an umbrella-shaded wicker table, fantasized that some day people would come. And they have. The Ariel touched a nerve that somehow connected commerce with commemoration and spearheaded the creation of a Jewish-style cafe culture which by now has spread far beyond Krakow. As the first to evoke (and capitalize on) a literary image of a lost Jewish world in their cafe decor, the Ornats’ visual and atmospheric take on what is “Jewish” has been important in shaping the experience and expectations of locals and tourists, Jews and non-Jews. Like a sepia-tinted memory, “Jewish” is now a brand that symbolizes a time and place that is bygone but fondly remembered. This idea plays on nostalgia but also on the imagination: It represents what some people wish the Jewish world was really once like.

Today, half a dozen venues on Szeroka Street present a Jewish theme or make reference to Kazimierz’s Jewish heritage, in their name or signs, which are sometimes written in Hebrew-style letters, or in their menus, which feature foods like gefilte fish. There’s the Ester hotel and the Noah’s Ark restaurant. The Crocodile Street Cafe is named for a short story by the writer Bruno Schulz, who was killed in the Holocaust. The Rubinstein hotel reflects the fact that the cosmetics queen, Helena Rubinstein, was born here. The exterior of the Once Upon a Time in Kazimierz restaurant is mocked up to look like a row of pre-war shops, with weathered-looking signs fronting the street announcing Benjamin Holcer’s carpentry shop and Chajim Cohen’s general store.

One reason I like Klezmer Hois is that it is low key. There is klezmer music but no kitschy curios for sale or on display, no garish commercial exploitation of a neighborhood whose Jewish population was murdered. Instead, the Ornats use the profits from the Klezmer Hois to run a Jewish publishing house, Austeria, which issues books by Polish and foreign authors. They also run a Jewish bookstore on the ground floor of one of the old Kazimierz synagogues, now used for Jewish art exhibits.

Klezmer Hois is a sharp contrast to the Ariel, which still operates on Szerokamuch expanded and under different management. With dramatic signage depicting big plaster lions flanking a giant menorah, the Ariel is the most conspicuous landmark on the square, aside from the gothic Old Synagogue, which is now a Jewish museum. Catering largely to tour groups, it sells an off-the-shelf, cookie-cutter “Jewish” experience the way a sushi bar sells Japan or a folk-style restaurant uses hokey traditional music to sell ethnicity. Dozens of paintings of rabbis cover the walls: bearded and sad-eyed, with yarmulkes and sidecurls, they read, lay tefillin, pray and count money. There are also refrigerator magnets: Stars of David, menorahs and disembodied Jewish heads, some of them with exaggerated features right out of Nazi caricature. I once asked an Ariel waiter why these were on sale. He shrugged. “They’re Jewish,” he replied.

For many people, tourists and locals alike, Kazimierz became a major destination with the Festival of Jewish Culture, which was founded in 1988, one year before the ouster of communist rule. By 1992 the Festival had already grown so much that some called it a “Jewish Woodstock.” Performers over the years have included Theodore Bikel, Shlomo Carlebach, Chava Alberstein and the Klezmatics. One local entertainer who takes part, and whom I often see at the Klezmer Hois, is the Polish Jewish pianist Leopold Kozlowski, now nearing 90, who was the subject of the movie The Last Klezmer. Nowadays, the Festival features more than 200 concerts, lectures, art exhibits, workshops, guided tours, performances, film-showings and street happenings. Most of the events are sold out, and the final concert, called “Shalom on Szeroka,” draws upwards of 15,000 people, most of them Catholic Poles.

The festival’s founders were two non-Jewish intellectuals, Janusz Makuch and Krzysztof Gierat. Like many other young Poles in the waning decades of communism, Makuch and Gierat became fascinated with Jewish history and culture. Delving into the Holocaust and other Jewish topics was a means of both seeking the truth of their country’s past and helping inform their own identities. Like members of the Jewish Flying University in Warsaw, they sought to fill in the blanks left by communist-era taboos that prevented an objective public analysis of history itself, including the thousand-year history of Jews in Poland.

“It was like a discovery of Atlantis that people lived here and created their own original culture and had such a deep influence on Polish culture,” Makuch, who still directs the festival, once told me over coffee at the Klezmer Hois. An intense man with deep eyes, a full, dark beard and a perpetually troubled-looking brow, Makuch peppers his speech with Hebrew and Yiddish words such as “shalom” and “meshuga;” he has been asked more times than he can remember what it means for a non-Jew to run a Jewish festival for an audience mainly composed of other non-Jews. His reply is often to describe himself as a Shabbos goy, keeping alive the torch of Jewish culture.

Since 1998, non-Jews like Makuch, who preserve and promote Jewish culture and heritage, are honored each year at an awards ceremony during the Festival, presided over by the Israeli ambassador. So far more than 150 people all over the country have received the award. Some, like Makuch, run Jewish cultural events; others cut the grass and clean up cemeteries, teach classes, rescue tombstones, organize little museums. Some have the support of their communities; others work in isolation or even encounter hostility.

Until recently, Jews were largely absent from the enthusiastic crowds who throng Festival events. “Many Jewish people come to Poland, fly into Warsaw, go straight to Auschwitz, then want to get out,” the Krakow-born American philanthropist Ted Taube told me once. “But until the war, Poland had the most prolific, culturally diverse, creative Jewish population anywhere, ever. We can’t afford to relegate those people to a postscript in history.” Although they are still a minority, more and more Jewish fans and tourists have been turning up in recent years, in part because of special tours run by organizations such as the Taube Foundation and the American Jewish Committee.

“I love it here,” Cantor Benzion Miller, a Bobover Hasid who lives in Borough Park, Brooklyn, tells me. We are ensconced in armchairs in the crowded little lounge of the Hotel Eden, a kosher establishment opened in the 1990s by an American, Allen Haberberg, in a restored 15th century building in the heart of Kazimierz. The Eden has a mezuzah on every door, both a pub and a private mikvah in the basement, free WiFi Internet and an umbrella-shaded outdoor “Garden of Eden.”

A roly-poly man with a full white beard, Miller has been a fixture of the Festival of Jewish Culture for the past 15 years, both performing and holding workshops on topics ranging from Hasidic chanting to ritual slaughter. Miller was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany where his parents met after World War II. His father, who had lost his first wife and children in the Holocaust, came from Oswiecimthe town nearly 40 miles from Krakow outside of which the Nazis built Auschwitz. Before World War II, Oswiecim was home to about 12,000 people, more than half of them Jews. Miller’s grandfather was a hazan, a cantor, there.

Miller always participates in a sometimes riotous public Havdalah ceremony, held in the grandiose Tempel Synagogue, the only 19th-century synagogue in Poland to survive the Holocaust intact. Used by the Nazis as a stable and warehouse, it languished in sad repair until the 1990s, when, with funding from the state and sponsorship from the World Monuments Fund, it underwent a full restoration and is now used for concerts as well on religious occasions. It is filled to capacity, mainly with local Poles, for the Festival Havdalah, which features a mix of hazanut, klezmer and tisch singing that has rabbis in streimels and spectators in summer attire dancing together in the aisles. “I see what is going on here as a continuation of what once was; you try to continue,” Miller says.

Over the past 20 years, most attention has been paid in Krakow to rediscovering the city’s “lost” Jewish culture and promoting it to a non-Jewish public, through tourism and entertainment or through various educational institutions such as the Center for Jewish Culture or the Galicia Jewish Museum. But contemporary Jewish life in the city is now also getting a boost.

Over tea in the garden of the Eden, I talk with Rabbi Edgar Gluck, who, in black hat and long wispy beard, can often be seen walking Kazimierz streets like a pre-war patriarch. A politically savvy, German-born Orthodox rabbi in his 70s, he divides his time between Brooklyn and Poland. In New York City, he is known as the co-founder of the orthodox Hatzolah Volunteer Ambulance Corps. “I was in the World Trade Center, taking people out, as the building was coming down,” he tells me, recalling the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Here he is the Chief Rabbi of Galicia, a symbolic honorific given to him by Krakow’s Jewish community, whom he serves on occasion as hazan. He spends much of his time, though, working toward the preservation of Jewish cemeteries and Holocaust mass graves. But Gluck has rabbinic company and lots of it. “In Krakow now,” goes one joke, “there are now five rabbisfor three Jews and 20 opinions.” One rabbi, brought in by Shavei Israel, a Jerusalem-based group that works with “lost Jews” around the world, is the “official” Jewish community rabbi. Then there is a rabbi who runs the Chabad operation and an American female rabbi who operates a small, offshoot Reform group.

There’s also the new JCC, financed by Britain’s World Jewish Relief and the Joint Distribution Committee, which occupies a sleek five-story building on the grounds of the Tempel Synagogue. Like so much else in Krakow’s Jewish universe, the initiative for the JCC came from a non-Jewish sourceBritain’s Prince Charles, who was moved by the plight of the poor and aging Jews of the city during a 2002 visit. Charles returned to Krakow in 2008 for the JCC’s inauguration: Wearing a kippah, he helped affix a mezuzah to the door.

“Jewish life is more open and safer here than anywhere else I’ve been in Europe,” says Jonathan Ornstein, the director of the JCC. I meet Ornstein, a 39-year-old self-described “atheist Jewish vegetarian” for a cappuccino at a cafe on the hip Plac Nowy, the pre-war Jewish market square whose central building was a kosher poultry slaughterhouse. Plac Nowy, now a booming center of nightlife, is full of music clubs and trendy bars, which Ornstein prefers to the “Jewish-style” cafes on Szeroka. “We have kids from the Sunday school playing in the courtyard with the gate open; we feel no danger, no fear.”

Born in New York, Ornstein moved to Israel as a young man and relocated to Krakow seven years ago, teaching Hebrew at the Jagiellonian University. The Jagiellonian has a Jewish studies program that was launched in the 1980s; its outgrowth, the Center for Jewish Culture, opened in 1992 in a renovated former prayer house off Plac Nowy. Ornstein rejects nostalgia for the city’s past and focuses on stimulating contemporary Jewish expression. The bulletin boards in the JCC’s lobby flutter with announcements for clubs and social events: a Hanukkah party this year lasted until dawn, and the JCC’s Facebook group boasts more than 360 members. “People talk about Kazimierz as being the “former” Jewish quarter of Krakow. But I say, why former?” says Ornstein. “It is the present Jewish quarter of Krakow. You can’t measure it in numbers but in feeling. Jews live freely; people know things about Judaism and Jewish traditions; there’s a Jewish studies program at the university; there’s the Festival.” As he sees it, “Nobody alive today has a memory of Kazimierz when it was better than it is now.”

Back at the cafe at the Klezmer Hois, I spot my friend Konstanty (Kostek) Gebert. “This is where I hold court,” jokes Gebert, an award-winning author and a veteran of the Jewish Flying University. As an underground Solidarity activist, he deliberately chose a Jewish-sounding pen nameDawid Warszawskito write in the dissident press. In 1989, Gebert was at the Round Table talks between the communist authorities and Solidarity that facilitated the peaceful ouster of the old regime. He was the founding editor of Midrasz, a Jewish cultural and intellectual monthly, and today he heads the Warsaw-based Taube Center for the Renewal of Jewish Culture in Poland.

In addition to Krakow, small active Jewish communities are found in Warsaw, Lodz, Wroclaw and several other Polish cities. I’m far from sure that there is a solid enough critical mass to ensure their long-term survival. Nonetheless, in many senses, to be Jewish here and to accept Jewishness as a positive identity choice now is increasingly normal. Or at least much more normal than it was 10, 20 and certainly 30 years ago. “Today’s Jewish children in Poland, whatever else the future holds in store for them, will never grow up knowing, as their parents did, that to be Jewish means to be alone and vulnerable,” Gebert wrote in his 2008 memoir Living in the Land of Ashes.”Hopes have been successfully built on much more shaky foundations.”

He was not always this certain. He likes to joke about how, in the mid-1980s, he told a pair of Polish journalists that he didn’t think Jews in Poland could survive. The journalistswriter Malgorzata Niezabitowska and photographer Tomasz Tomaszewskiwere working on an article for National Geographic that eventually became a book called Remnants: The Last Jews of Poland. They asked Gebert how he saw the future for Jews in the country. “I believe we are the last ones,” he replied. “Definitely.” Today, he puffs his pipe and straightens his kippah. “Ugh. Never talk to the media!” he says laughing. And Krakow’s moveable Jewish feast of drink and food and conversation goes on.

Ruth Ellen Gruber has chronicled European Jewish issues for more than 20 years. Her books include National Geographic Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to Eastern Europe and Virtually Jewish: Reinventing Jewish Culture in Europe.

Soliman Lawrence is a Berlin-based photographer who is documenting the renaissance of Jewish Poland.

July 2, 2009 Jewish Choir Aids $100 Million Polish Heritage PlanlinkBy Nathaniel Espino

July 2 (Bloomberg) — As Ivor Lichterman led prayers at Warsaws only pre-war synagogue, he was overcome with awe to be standing where his father led the last services before the Holocaust wiped out 1,000 years of Jewish history.

Lichterman, 55, of Tucson, Arizona, is visiting Poland with a group of 70 cantors who want to help rebuild those traditions, singing at venues including the future site of Warsaws Museum of the History of Polish Jews, the National Opera and the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow.

This synagogue had a great musical legacy; it was famous around the world, Lichterman said in an interview after the service. He remembers his father Jakub Lichterman telling him how they used to pack people in and how it was standing room only.

More than 3 million Polish Jews were murdered in Nazi death camps, many of them on German-occupied Polish soil. About 100,000 survivors stayed in Poland after the war. Following a 1968 anti-Semitic campaign by Polands communist government, that number shrank to 30,000 to 40,000 today, according to statistics cited by the U.S. State Department.

Lichterman, who led the prayers together with his brother Joel of Denver, says the service raised a lot of mixed feelings. I kept looking up over there, where a 60-member choir stood before the war. Theyre probably all gone. Almost nobody survived.

Golden Age The cantors tour is sponsored by the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture. The foundation uses north of $100 million to support projects in Poland including museums, cultural centers, schools and synagogues that are rebuilding the infrastructure of Jewish life from a 1,000-year golden age, its chairman Tad Taube, 78, said by telephone.

The map of Jewish life disappeared from Poland as synagogues, cemeteries, cultural centers, libraries and archives were destroyed by the Nazis, Taube said.

The entire gamut of Jewish culture became a target of the Holocaust, as well as the people that were murdered during that period, Taube said.

Thats obscured the story of the previous millennium, when the Jews of Poland — including those living in what is now Lithuania and Ukraine — built up an enormous resource in literature, philosophy, mathematics, the arts, the theater that laid the foundations of Jewish life in the U.S., Israel, and around the world, Taube said.

Rescuers Honored Nathan Lam, president of the Cantors Assembly Foundation, an organizer of the trip, is making his ninth or tenth visit to Poland. He said that in addition to teaching people to sing prayers using the melodies that actually emanated from here, part of the groups mission is to honor the lives of Poles who rescued Jews from the Holocaust.

I love being here, he said after singing in the June 29 service. I love the fact that Jews are reconnecting here in Poland, and Im going to do my best to help them come back again, many, many times.

Taube was born in Krakow in 1931. He left in July 1939, months before the Nazi German invasion in September of that year, after his parents, on a business trip in the U.S., became aware of the growing danger and decided to emigrate.

After working as a real-estate developer and serving on the board of Koret of California, a clothing producer, Taube began his first significant involvement in philanthropy in 1979, as a founding director of the Koret Foundation.

Taubes decision almost two decades later to throw his weight behind the cause of Jewish life in Poland was an evolutionary process inspired partly by billionaire Ronald S. Lauders philanthropic work in the country after the 1989 fall of communism, and it didnt have an awful lot to do with the fact that I happened to have been born in Poland, Taube says.

Michael Schudrich, the chief rabbi of Poland, says Taubes efforts are bearing fruit.

In the last few years, hes been incredibly supportive, not only in the material sense, but also in the spiritual sense, as we try to recapture what weve lost.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nathaniel Espino in Warsaw nespino@bloomberg.net

Oct. 30, 2009

David Propis and his daughter Dena sang the Retzei at the Poland National Opera this summer. Propis, president of the American Cantors Assembly, led 70 colleagues on a tour of Poland and Israel.

As a child, David Propis, the Jewish liturgical singer of Houston’s Congregation Beth Yushurun, adored singing prayers with his father, Dov Propis, at his congregations in the Northeast.

His favorite was their first duet, a piece called the Retzei that asks God to accept one’s prayers. And Propis still recalls the Sabbath performance when his father wrapped his prayer shawl around him, and with it a feeling of protection.

The prayer was made famous by Gershon Sirota, who sang at Warsaw’s Tlomatzka Synagogue and was killed, along with his family, in the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

So when Propis, the new president of the Cantors Assembly, the world’s largest body of professional cantors, helped lead about 70 of his colleagues and hundreds of congregants on a two-week tour through Poland and Israel recently, he once again performed the Retzei. This time, it was with his daughter, about 100 yards from where the Tlomatzka Synagogue once stood.

Their duet was part of the Cantors Assembly concert with the Polish National Opera, a symbolic evening that honored the life of Irena Sendler, a Pole who rescued 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto.

The group traveled to Poland to commemorate the Holocaust, but also in spite of it. They wanted to honor Poland’s significant number of Righteous Gentiles, the non-Jewish Poles who risked their lives and those of their families to save Jews, said Propis, the child of Lithuanian Jews whose families were murdered in the Holocaust. And they also went to learn about the Jewish heritage of Poland, the center of European Jewish life and home to 3.5 million Jews before the war.

In that spirit, the cantors’ tour, which marked the largest assembly of cantors in Poland since before WWII, reflected a message of gratitude and a quest for healing, reconciliation and their own heritage.

The Poland portion of the trip was sponsored in large part by the San Francisco-based Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture, which aims to reconnect Jews with their vibrant history in Poland, where Jews lived for 1,000 years. Some 75 percent of American Jews trace their roots to Polish lands, according to the foundation, an area that extends to parts of Ukraine, Austria and Hungary.

Meanwhile, Poland, in the wake of 20 years of democracy since the fall of communism, is seeking to reclaim its own Jewish heritage by way of preservation and cultural activities. The renewed interest in Jewish culture has helped spawn an emerging Jewish community as Poles uncover their own Jewish roots. But in most cases, Jewish activities appear to be organized by non-Jews, supported by government agencies and enthusiastically received.

Perhaps the most shining example was Krakow’s 19th Jewish Culture Festival, a nine-day panoply of Jewish culture. The program featured hundreds of Jewish classes and concerts including a prayer service by the Cantors Assembly before a nighttime throng of thousands.

At its concert with the National Opera, sponsored by the Office of the Prime Minister of Poland, the Cantors Assembly received a standing ovation from a crowd of 2,000.

That kind of reception helped undo some of the stereotypes held by those on the tour.

They welcomed us as cultural and musical ambassadors, Propis said, describing the Polish appreciation like a hunger.

Propis said he initially felt uncomfortable about visiting Poland.

As a child of survivors, many of us harbor difficult feelings, he said. Propis’ mother, who was sent to a forced-labor camp, was the only member of her family to survive; his father escaped with two brothers.

However, it was important that basically a new narrative be created, he said. We know the harshness and the horrors that have happened, but I think not enough is being said about the goodness in Poland, he said. I think this trip kind of cleared the clouds away.

Still, the group’s visit to the camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau marked a seminal moment on the tour.

At Auschwitz, the cantors held a prayer service and unfurled the Torah scroll around Holocaust survivors and their children. And at Birkenau, the group’s visit coincided with a tour by hundreds of Israeli soldiers, who marched down the rail tracks.

It’s very hard to put in words, said Steve Lee, reflecting on the trip.

These ceremonies, combined with the religious singing, strengthened his Jewish identity, said Lee, a member of Congregation Beth Yeshurun, whose paternal grandparents emigrated from Poland. At the same time, Lee says the tour changed my entire view of Poland, explaining that he began to see Poles also as Nazi victims and not only as Nazi collaborators.

Some 3 million Poles were killed during World War II.

For his part, Propis also came to new realizations. He marveled at the extent of Poland’s Jewish and cantorial heritage and its current friendship with Israel, along with the Polish interest in Jewish culture and the stories of Righteous Gentiles.

And the National Opera, of course, provided him with his own kind of homecoming.

I had a dream come true, Propis says of performing the Retzei with his daughter, Dena, a junior at Northwestern University who sings at a Chicago synagogue.

It just came full circle.

July 2, 2009 Scent of San Francisco, stench of Los Angeles (excerpt) link By Leah Garchik

Tad Taube, co-honorary consul with Christopher Kerosky for the Republic of Poland, jetted off to Krakow for today’s ceremonies cementing the new sister-city relationship between Krakow and San Francisco. Mayor Gavin Newsom originally was scheduled to go, said Krakow-born Taube, but “his schedule got fairly tight because of his political plans and the baby.” Supervisor Bevan Dufty will be representing the city, along with the Office of Protocol’s Matthew Goudeau.

Krakow ceremonies will include the formal document signing, by Dufty and Krakow Mayor Jacek Majchrowski, and culminate with an evening reception for 150 guests. Taube is leading the trip with Shana Penn, executive director of the Taube Foundation.

July 13, 2009 Piecing together Jewish pasts in Poland link By Rachel Pomerance

WARSAW (JTA) — Like many children of Jews who grew up in Poland after World War II, Anna Makowska-Kwapisiewicz was sheltered from her Jewish provenance for much of her life.

There were clues, of course. Her exotic dark eyes and hair occasionally drew remarks about her Gypsy or Spanish beauty. Her grandmother would constantly teach her the catechism so she could recite it when they return. And her grandfather told stories of hiding in the forest.

A performance from the 2008 Krakow Jewish Festival, which with its array of Jewish culture attracts tens of thousands of visitors — mostly non-Jews. (limaoscarjuliet/Creative Commons)

But it wasnt until she repeated an anti-Semitic joke she heard in high school that her mother broke down and confessed that her father was, in fact, a Jew.

The news set Makowska-Kwapisiewicz on a path of discovery from Jewish study to ritual observance. Now she is a Jewish educator building a Jewish home and life — complete with plans for Jewish schooling for her year-old daughter, Nina.

Makowska-Kwapisiewicz is part of a Jewish awakening taking place in Poland.

Like a country of amnesiacs waking up from the trauma of Nazism followed by the silence and historical whitewashing of communism, Poles are now trying to piece together their collective memory. In doing so they are discovering, often in quite personal ways, their Jewish roots.

We are so much interconnected, the former president of Poland, Aleksander Kwasniewski, told JTA at a dinner in Warsaw. I feel that part of my heritage is Jewish tradition, he said, explaining that his grandmother lived in Vilnus, a heavily Jewish city, and she knew about Jewish dishes like cholent, the Sabbath stew.

If a Pole says he has not one even drop of Jewish blood in this body, then he is not right, Kwasniewski said.

While for Poles this awakening is about discovering their Jewish roots, for Jews worldwide its about discovering their Polish Jewish roots.

Karen Underhill, a doctoral student in Polish literature at the University of Chicago who is a former bookstore owner in Krakow, says Jews visiting Poland used to come by her shop seeking information about their heritage. Poland, she says, has become a place for Jews to rediscover their Jewish roots, particularly those who do not have a strong connection to contemporary Jewish communal life or Israel.

This month, American Jewish visitor Jeff Wachtel said he saw his own family when visiting the Galicia Jewish museum, which houses an exhibit of Mayer Kirshenblatts paintings of his boyhood Polish town.

I had no sense of what their life was like, said Wachtel, a senior assistant to the president of Stanford University. But when he heard Kirshenblatt talk of his Poland, it reminded him of his own family.

When I was listening to it, I was sure that thats where my mother grew up, Wachtel said. For the first time, part of my past became very understood in my mind.

Three-quarters of American Jews trace their roots to Greater Poland — including Poland and parts of Ukraine, Austria and Hungary — according to Tad Taube, the San Francisco-based philanthropist who is funding a variety of efforts to connect American Jews to their Polish Jewish heritage.

Taube, a Krakow native, argues that worship of the Holocaust has prompted Jews to foresake the 1,000 years of Jewish history in Poland that preceded it, even though it was a golden period of Jewish life that gave rise to important religious and cultural development. Ashkenazi Judaism, in fact, was codified in Warsaw.

Approximately 3.5 million Jews lived in Poland before the war; more than 90 percent disappeared in the Holocaust.

Read more:
Poland Jewish Heritage Tours – Jewish Tours & Travel …

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Heritage Florida Jewish News Homepage

By Christine DeSouza, News Editor

Anyone who runs for a county judge position isn’t doing it for the money, especially if they are successful as attorneys. This is certainly the case for Eric Dubois, who is an attorney running for…

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By Jonathan Feldstein

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By Avi Weiss

(JTA)Last week, Pope Francis made a pilgrimage to Poland, visiting Auschwitzthe notorious death camp in Poland where 1.1 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust. Auschwitz is comprised of two camps: Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II, also…

By Ben Cohen, JNS.org

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The Jewish communitys polarization in reaction to the selection of Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.) as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clintons running mate illustrates the political chasm that divides American Jewry. Predictably, the J Street…

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Years later, I can recall the moment when my friend’s son got his head stuck between the wooden rails on our staircase landing. While we laugh about the predicament today, at the time it wasn’t so…

In last months FYI column, we talked about the importance of community-to-community relationships, which are especially critical in a time of increased conflict. Those relationships are built on person-to-person mutual respect and understanding….

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This post, which was originally written in Russian, went viral in Israel and around the world. With the authors permission, it was translated into English by Arkady Mamaysky. Yesterday I witnessed a common scene in Israel: I was standing in line…

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“Oh Canada, Oh Canada”… I’m not singing the Canadian anthem. I am a proud American, believe me. But Canada is very special to me. My maternal grandparents fled to Canada from Ukraine because of…

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ANNE KALMAER Anne Kalmaer, age 96, of Menlo Park, Calif., formerly of Orlando, passed away at Sunrise Senior Living in Palo Alto, Calif., on Sunday, July 24, 2016. Mrs. Kalmaer, a native of New York, was born on Jan. 22, 1920, to the late Max and…

MILDRED R. ROSING Mildred Rosing, age 92, of Longwood, passed away on Friday, July 22, 2016, at Village on the Green Health Center. Born on June 29, 1924, to the late Samuel and Grace Blecker Glasser, she was a native of New York City. A homemaker,…

Fredricka Robbins, age 64, of Orlando, passed away on July 14, 2016, at her residence. She was born on May 21, 1952, in Youngstown, Ohio, to the late Meyer and Frances Wolff Robbins. She was a homemaker and is survived by her brother, Stephen…

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African American History and Heritage Site: Resources and …

Origins of and resources for:

1. The Negro National Anthem: Lift Every Voice and Sing 2. Black History Month in the United States & Canada 3. Martin Luther King Jr. Day 4. Kwanzaa 5. Juneteenth 6. Black Music Month (June) 7. Black Nationalism (Marcus Garvey, Black Nationalist Colors and Flag, Malcolm X, Black Power, Organization Us) 8. NAACP 9. National Urban League 10. National Council of Negro Women 11. Rainbow/PUSH Coalition 12. SCLC 13. SNCC (SNCC Legacy Project) 14. Food!

Black History Month in the United States and Canada

Official U.S. Theme:

2016 Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memory 2017 The Crisis in Black Education 2018 African Americans in Times of War

Carter G. Woodson, (1875-1950) noted Black scholar and historian and son of former slaves, founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in 1915, which was later renamed the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).He initiated Black History Week, February 12, 1926. For many years the 2nd week of February (chosen so as to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln) was celebrated by Black people in the United States. In 1976, as part of the nation’s Bicentennial, it was expanded and became established as Black History Month, and is now celebrated all over North America.

The ASALH has established the national theme since 1926. The Association has historically worked to conserve, preserve and perpetuate African American history and culture. At their site, you can order their Black History Learning Resource Package and other resources from the online store. You’ll also find future and past themes.

Canada: The following information is quoted from the website of the Ontario Black History Society, on the 10th anniversary of the National Declaration of Black History Month in Canada. You’ll find many interesting resources at the OBHS website!

“African-American historian, Carter G. Woodson conceived of the idea to have Negro History Week (later extended to Black History Month) in 1926 to coincide with the birthdates of emancipators, American President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass who had been enslaved. Sleeping car porters brought the idea across the border into Canada with them.

“The Canadian Negro Womens Association celebrated it within the Black Canadian community. However, when Stanley G. Grizzle organized the first mainstream celebration of February as Black History Month (BHM) in Torontos British Methodist Episcopal Church in 1950, no one could have imagined that it would grow to encompass the imagination of the entire country. But that it did.

“Through the efforts of Dr. Daniel G. Hill of the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS), BHM was formally recognized in Toronto by 1979. As it continued to be nurtured and supported by the OBHS, the idea to have a national BHM declaration in Canada was introduced to Jean Augustine, MP and Parliamentary Secretary by Rosemary Sadlier, President of the OBHS. It was finally passed in the House of Commons on December 5, 1995, and the first national declaration of Black History Month in Canada went into effect in February 1996.”

– Walking in History With Woodson An essay by Dr. Maulana Karenga in the L.A. Sentinel 2/05/09.

African American Read-In

Sponsored by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English with the endorsement of The International Reading Association. It is hoped that more than a million readers will sign up to read literature by Black authors during the month of February! You can download a packet and recommended reading lists at the NCTE.

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Martin Luther King Center Website

On April 8, 1968 – four days after Dr. King was assassinated – Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich) introduced the first legistlation providing for a federal holiday. But that dream wasn’t realized until nearly 20 years later

All through the 1970’s and 80’s controversy surrounded the idea of a Martin Luther King Day. Congresspersons and citizens had petitioned the President to make January 15, Martin Luther King’s birthday, a federal legal holiday. Others wanted to make the holiday on the day he died…while some people did not want to have a holiday at all.

January 15 had been observed as a legal holiday for many years in 27 states and Washington, D.C. Finally, in 1986, President Ronald Reagan declared the third Monday in January a federal legal holiday commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. Yet not until 1999 was the holiday celebrated by all 50 states. The holiday is celebrated in some form in 100 countries around the world. Learn more about The King Holiday.

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial – National Park Service

The memorial was planned to be dedicated August 28, 2011, the 48th anniversary of the groundbreaking March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. However, due to the threat of Hurricane Irene, though the memorial was opened in August, the formal dedication was moved to Sunday October 16, 2011.

The website has resources to explore this park, history & culture, a section for kids, news and more.

Martin Luther King Jr. Posters at Amazon.com

Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute – Keeping King’s Dream Alive

In 2005, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute was created to provide an institutional home for a broad range of activities illuminating the Nobel Peace laureates life and the movements he inspired. At this content-rich web site you’ll find the King Papers Project, News and events, the King Online Encyclopedia, Featured Documents…a vast array of King resources.

Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Your Classroom

Lesson plans and resources provided by the National Council of Teachers of English. This takes you to their homepage, then search “King.”

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Kwanzaa – December 26 through January 1

KWANZAA is celebrated seven days; from December 26 through January 1, a period which represents the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one. Kwanzaa draws on African traditions and takes its name from the phrase for first fruits in Swahili, a widely spoken African language. Its origins are in harvest celebrations that occurred in various places across the African continent in ancient and modern times. These traditions were synthesized and reinvented in 1966 by Maulana Karenga as the contemporary cultural festival known as Kwanzaa.

The U.S. Post Office issues a Kwanzaa commemorative “Forever” stamp. If you don’t find it at your local post office, you can order it online.

The Official Kwanzaa Website http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/

This is the website founded by Dr. Maulana Karenga, and provides detailed information about the history, symbolism, greetings, gifts, colors and decorations of Kwanzaa. It also provides a section of “Frequently Asked Questions,” an annual greeting from Dr. Karenga, and recommended books, music and videos.

As the popularity of Kwanzaa grows, it has also become commercialized. “Therefore, the central interest of this website is to provide information which reveals and reaffirms the integrity, beauty and expansive meaning of the holiday and thus aids in our approaching it with the depth of thought, dignity, and sense of specialness it deserves.”

The Kwanzaa Album. Women of the Calabash. Bermuda Reefs Records, 1998. Madeleine Yayodale Nelson, Marsha Perry Starkes, and Mayra Casales, all vocalists and percussionists. Order or listen at Amazon.com

This album is the premier authentic collection of music inspired by and based upon the ideals, stories and history of Kwanzaa. In addition to a wide range of instrumental pieces, the album features eight specifically chosen vocal performances, ranging from traditional African songs to contemporary composed pieces. A standout for me is “Mya Si Grei”, a traditional song which originated in Guyana, sung by enslaved Africans and passed down to their children. The lyrics roughly translate into “Even though we are here in these terrible conditions, we are still the same proud, noble people we always were.” I also enjoyed Jody Gray’s a capella arrangement of “Lift Every Voice” performed with the Free Voices of Praise Choir. This is a dynamic, beautiful CD, one I highly recommend to celebrate Black History any time of year.

Kwanzaa : A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture. Maulana Karenga . University of Sankore Press, 1997. Available at Amazon.com

Everything you could ever want to know about Kwanzaa, written by the founder. Beautifully illustrated, this book belongs in every school library.

Search for Kwanzaa books and music at Amazon.com

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Juneteenth, June 19

In 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation declared freedom for all slaves, but the end of slavery was a slow and localized process because communications weren’t what they are today, and in many areas, there weren’t enough Union troops present to enforce it. Such was the case in Galveston, Texas. Not until June 19, 1865, did Union soldiers land with news that the war had ended and that all slaves were now free.

This news was met with both shock and jubilation, and June 19, or Juneteenth, became the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery. The remembrance of those festivities became particularly precious to former slaves and their decendents, and has grown today to a worldwide celebration.

Learn more at Juneteenth.com

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Black Music Month (June )

“Created in 1978, was the brainchild of producer/composer Kenny Gamble and broadcast executive Ed Wright. Gamble was one-half of the renowned production team Gamble and Huff, and the founder of the famous Philly International Records, the label credited with inventing the legendary “Philly Sound” of the mid and late 70s.

“Gamble had already founded the Philadelphia Music Foundation, which honored and recognized musicians from his hometown. The Black Music Association expanded that concept, aiming to support the honor, preservation and advancement of black music on a global scale. The association, which drew from all areas of the black music business, artistic as well as business and communications, saw the establishment of a Black Music Month as part of its overall program.

“The month of June was first declared Black Music Month by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. In June 2002, President George W. Bush affirmed June as Black Music Month in a proclamation, stating, “I call on all Americans of all backgrounds to learn more about the rich heritage of black music and how it has shaped our culture and our way of life, and urge them to take the opportunity to enjoy the great musical experiences available through the contributions of African-American music.” Source: BlackHouston.com

The Black Nationalist Colors and Flag

Commissioned by Marcus Garvey, the “black flag” was originally the flag of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, a “back to Africa” organization of the 1920s. The red, black and green African Liberation or Black Nationalist flag is a symbol of universal black racial solidarity. The flag has three bars from top to bottom. Red represents the blood of all black people, black stands for the black race and green symbolizes land and nationhood.

Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind . 90 min. Produced for The American Experience, 2001. Available at Amazon.com

Marcus Garvey was many things to many people. To the elite of the Harlem Renaissance, he was a buffoon. To J. Edgar Hoover, he was a dangerous activitist…so feared that the first black FBI agent was hired solely to infiltrate the UNIA movement. But to hundreds of thousands – perhaps millions – of African people around the world he brought a message of hope, pride and unity which laid the foundation for the Black Power Movement. This video is rich in music and imagery, and many points of view are expressed through interviews with black historians, Garvey’s contemporaries and two sons, and former UNIA members.

Malcolm X Official Website

This website is maintained by the Estate of Malcolm X, which still sponsors community events. Among its many resources are news, history, quotes, achievements, Quick Facts and more.

Malcolm X: Make It Plain. Produced for The American Experience, 1995 Available at Amazon.com

Malcolm X is still a powerful presence, yet we know him mostly as an icon. Using rare interviews, archival footage and photographs, this video takes the viewer on an intellectual journey and chronicles the life and evolution of Malcolm X. The man behind the myth is explored as people close to him – including Maya Angelou, Ossie Davis, and Alex Haley – tell his story. 2012 Update: the film is out-of-print and was not transferred to DVD, but the PBS web site still offers a transcript and other resources.

Malcolm X Posters and T-shirts at Amazon.com

It’s About Time: Black Panther Party Legacy and Alumni http://www.itsabouttimebpp.com/home/home.html

From the Statement of Purpose: “The It’s About Time Committee is committed to preserving and promoting the legacy of the Black Panther Party (BPP) and its programs of community survival pending social change…We have the responsibility to place our own experiences into historical context; otherwise the legacy of the Black Panther Party will be ignored, dismissed and distorted by today’s commentators and tomorrow’s historians. ..We will maintain a network of Black Panther Party alumni and supporters for the purpose of providing educational information to community groups or the public at large regarding issues of social justice.”

Malcolm X Research Sitehttp://www.brothermalcolm.net/

This extensive, comprehensive site includes a chronology, family biography, photos, speeches and bibliography. It provides a study guide, links to conferences, and discussion of Malcolm X’s legacy and the radical black tradition.

The Organization Ushttp://www.us-organization.org/

The Organization Us was founded by Dr. Maulana Karenga and several advocates on September 7,1965 following the Watts Revolt. “Out of the fires and struggle of that period we projected a new vision of possibility thru service, struggle and institution-building.” Founders of Kwanzaa.

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The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded in New York City by a group of black and white citizens committed to social justice on February 12, 1909…the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth. The founders include Ida Wells-Barnett, W.E.B. DuBois, Henry Moscowitz, Mary White Ovington, Oswald Garrison Villiard, and William English Walling.

The principal objective of the NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority group citizens of the United States. It is committed to non-violence.

You can learn more about both the NAACP’s history and current activites by visiting the NAACP website

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Founded in 1910, the Urban League is the nation’s oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream. The mission of the Urban League movement is to enable African Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity and power and civil rights.Headquartered in New York City, it is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, community-based movement. The heart of the Urban League movement is their professionally staffed Urban League affiliates in over 100 cities in 34 states and the District of Columbia. National Urban League website

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Founded in 1935 by Dr. Mary Mcleod Bethune with the goal of improving the lives of black women and their families. Motto: Leave No One Behind. NCNW Website.

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“The National Rainbow/PUSH Coalition (RPC) is a multiracial, multi-issue, international membership organization founded by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.” It’s mission is “uniting people of diverse ethnic, religious, economic and political backgrounds to make America’s promise of ‘liberty and justice for all’ a reality.” “RPC is the merger of Operation PUSH (founded in 1971) and the National Rainbow Coalition (founded in 1985) ” Rainbow/Push Coalition Website

Southern Christian Leadership Conference http://sclcnational.org/

The beginnings of the SCLC can be traced back to the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-56, and founders include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Dr. Ralph David Abernathy, Rev. C. K. Steele, Rev. T. J. Jemison and Attorney I. M. Augustine. This movement is grounded in the philosophy of nonviolent resistance based on the lives and teachings of leaders such as Jesus Christ and Mohandas Gandhi. Current programs include direct action and voter registration.

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee – SNCC Legacy Project http://www.sncclegacyproject.org/

The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee or SNCC (pronounced Snick) emerged from the student sit-ins that erupted on February 1, 1960 in Greensboro, North Carolina. Historians characterize SNCC as the movements cutting edge. Its field secretaries worked in the most dangerous parts of the south seeking to both cultivate and reinforce local leadership. Its uncompromising style of non-violent direct action confronted racial injustice throughout the South and contributed to the elimination of racial segregation. And SNCCs unique from-the-bottom-up approach to organizing led to the emergence of powerful grassroots organizations.

Though SNCC no longer exists as an organization, veterans came together at a 50th Anniversary Conference in 2010 to create the SLP (SNCC Legacy Project) both to document the history and to reach out to young people who are searching for ways to tackle the unfinished social, political and economic issues that confront them as 21st century activists.

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Food

African Cookbook

Menus and recipes from Africa, by country.

RecipeSource: Africa

African Bobotie, FuFu, Peanut Soup, Morrocan Lemon Chicken, Anise Bread , Zimbabwe Greens and Yellow Raisin Rice are just a few of the 70 African recipes you can try at this site.

Soul Foods

Barbeque sauce, seafood gumbo, grits, black eyed peas, greens, beans and more!

National Council of Negro Women, creators. The Historical Cookbook of the American Negro. Reprinted by Beacon Press, 2000. Read more at Amazon.com

This is a real gem back in print! First published in 1958, this book includes contributions from NCNW members in thirty-six states and offers exceptional insight into American history and the African American community at the time of its publication. It’s arranged according to the calendar year, and even includes a recipe for Harriet Tubman’s favorite dish.

The African-American Heritage Cookbook : Traditional Recipes and Fond Remembrances from Alabama’s Renowned Tuskegee Institute. By Carolyn Quick Tillery. Birch Lane Press, 1997. Available at Amazon.com

Two hundred recipes and memories!

Larissa’s Bread Book: Baking Bread & Telling Tales with Women of the American South. By Lorraine Johnson-Coleman. Nashville: Rutledge Hill Press, 2001. Available at Amazon.com

I love this book! It explores and celebrates the rich cultural diversity of the south, through the eyes of a young girl and ten aging women who share their memories…and their recipes. (There are twelve different versions of cornbread…yum!) As the author writes, “…the South was never only black and white, but was always a rich rainbow of ethnic groups…” So you’ll find represented here African-American, North European, Italian, Mexican, Cajun, Appalachian, Cherokee and Jewish traditions.

Creole Cookbooks at Amazon

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African American History and Heritage Site: Resources and …

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Preserving our Jewish heritage for future generations | JMM

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Soul Food Shabbat: How to Celebrate Black History Month …

Black-eyed pea hummus. Peach kugel. Matzah-meal fried chicken. These are no ordinary Jewish food mashups; theyre a blend of specific traditions and flavors, dredged and deep fried in African American and Jewish tradition.

Culinary historian and Jewish educator, Michael Twitty, calls his way of cooking Jewish food Afro-Ashkefardi, a cuisine that reflects his love of being both African American and Jewish.

If youre interested in learning more about Twittys relationships to Judaism, African-American heritage, foods, and faith, check out his articles in My Jewish Learnings Jewish&,a blog by Bechol Lashon, which gives voice to the racial, ethnic and cultural diversity of Jewish identity and experience.

In honor of Black History Month, we thought it would be the perfect time to celebrate the deliciousness that Jewish African American cooks like Twitty bring to the table.

Blacks and Jews are the only peoples I know who use food to talk about their past while they eat it, said Twitty in a recent interview with the Washington Post.

Other Black Jewish figures were featured this month at Tablet, in a three-part series called Black Jews You Should Know, and theThe New York Public Library, which curatedafantastic collection of photographs, recordings, books and other works by Black Jews.

Jewish-American food, like African-American food, is in so many ways influenced by the culinary traditions that people brought with them here. Theyre similar in that these foodswhether its babka or barbecue, matzah ball soup or fried chickenall speak to the past as edible expressions of diaspora.

With just a few days left of African American History Month, try cooking a soul food Shabbat this week! Michaels Kosher Soul Shabbat is a great place to get started. Here are a few of our other favorites from his blog, and beyond.

Recipes by Michael Twitty:

Black Eyed-Pea Hummus

West African Brisket

Red Soup with Brisket and Creole Matzoh Balls

Cornbread Kush (the precursor to modern cornbread stuffing)

Yiddishe Rebenes

Other Southern-Inspired classics:

Sweet Potato Challah

Citrus Collards with Raisins (vegetarian, by Afro-Vegan author, Chef Bryant Terry)

Have some favorite Jewish soul food recipes we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

Black-eyed pea hummus. Peach kugel. Matzah-meal fried chicken. These are no ordinary Jewish food mashups; theyre a blend of specific traditions and flavors, dredged and deep fried in African American and Jewish tradition.

Culinary historian and Jewish educator, Michael Twitty, calls his way of cooking Jewish food Afro-Ashkefardi, a cuisine that reflects his love of being both African American and Jewish.

If youre interested in learning more about Twittys relationships to Judaism, African-American heritage, foods, and faith, check out his articles in My Jewish Learnings Jewish&,a blog by Bechol Lashon, which gives voice to the racial, ethnic and cultural diversity of Jewish identity and experience.

In honor of Black History Month, we thought it would be the perfect time to celebrate the deliciousness that Jewish African American cooks like Twitty bring to the table.

Blacks and Jews are the only peoples I know who use food to talk about their past while they eat it, said Twitty in a recent interview with the Washington Post.

Other Black Jewish figures were featured this month at Tablet, in a three-part series called Black Jews You Should Know, and theThe New York Public Library, which curatedafantastic collection of photographs, recordings, books and other works by Black Jews.

Jewish-American food, like African-American food, is in so many ways influenced by the culinary traditions that people brought with them here. Theyre similar in that these foodswhether its babka or barbecue, matzah ball soup or fried chickenall speak to the past as edible expressions of diaspora.

With just a few days left of African American History Month, try cooking a soul food Shabbat this week! Michaels Kosher Soul Shabbat is a great place to get started. Here are a few of our other favorites from his blog, and beyond.

Recipes by Michael Twitty:

Black Eyed-Pea Hummus

West African Brisket

Red Soup with Brisket and Creole Matzoh Balls

Cornbread Kush (the precursor to modern cornbread stuffing)

Yiddishe Rebenes

Other Southern-Inspired classics:

Sweet Potato Challah

Citrus Collards with Raisins (vegetarian, by Afro-Vegan author, Chef Bryant Terry)

Have some favorite Jewish soul food recipes we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

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Soul Food Shabbat: How to Celebrate Black History Month …

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Jewish American Heritage Month — National Register of …

Previously Highlighted Properties

Jewish Center of Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York The Jewish Center of Coney Island, built between 1929 and 1931, is significant under criterion A for its association with the Jewish Community Center movement of the late 1910s and 1920s and as an indication of the development of Brighton Beach, at the southern edge of Brooklyn, as a new, middle-class residential neighborhood with a substantial Jewish population in the 1920s.

Hyde Park, Burkeville, Virginia The property’s successful operation provided the opportunity for agriculturally skilled Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany to Immigrate to America and expand the farm’s productivity during the 1930s and early 1940s.

St. Thomas Synagogue–Beracha Veshalom Vegemiluth Hasadim Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands The Synagogue of St. Thomas, called Beracha Veshalom Vegemiluth Hasidim (Blessing and Peace and Acts of Piety), built in 1833 in Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas Island, is the second oldest and longest in continuous use synagogue in the United States. The congregation, originally Spanish and Portuguese SephardicJews, came to the Caribbean Basin to finance trade between the Europe and the New World. Commonly referred to as the St. Thomas Synagogue, it is located on the southeastern slope of Denmark Hill in one of the older residential areas of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin islands, to the north of the towns main business district.

New England Hebrew Farmers of the Emanuel Society Synagogue and Creamery Site Village of Chesterfield, Town of Montville, Connecticut The New England Hebrew Farmers of the Emanuel Society Synagogue and Creamery Site, located in the town of Montville, Connecticut, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on February 28, 2012 for both its historical and archaeological significance. The site includes the foundation remains of the synagogue, its associated mikvah, and a stone well, the foundation remains of the former creamery building (later converted into a dwelling and inn), a stone well, a barn, and several retaining walls.

Louis Brandeis House, Barnstable County, Massachusetts Louis Dembitz Brandeis (1856-1941) was the first Jewish person to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. Appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to the Supreme Court on January 28, 1916, Louis Brandeis was already nationally known for his progressive views. Due at these views and ethnicity, his appointment aroused a storm of protest among large segments of the nations legal establishment. None the less, he was confirmed and took the oath on June 5, 1916. His name first became nationally known with the publication in 1914 of his book Other Peoples Money and How the Bankers Use It, which critiqued corporate power in the early 20th century

Hebrew Orphan Asylum, Baltimore, Maryland The history of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum site spans nearly 200 years from its beginning in 1815 as Calverton, the country home of Baltimore banker Dennis Smith. An 1874 fire destroyed the Calverton mansion, and led to the construction of the present building, which was specifically designed as an orphanage and was dedicated in 1876.

Chevra Bnai Yisroel Synagogue, Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, Iowa Designed by local architect, J. Chris Jensen, the Chevra Bnai Yisroel Synagogue reflects the congregations orthodox origins in its original design, with later remodeling reflecting the subsequent changes in the congregations religious outlook and traditions. The congregation associated with the Chevra Bnai Yisroel Synagogue in Council Bluffs, Iowa, was originally affiliated with Orthodox Judaism, later with Conservative Judaism, and most recently with Reconstuctionalist Judaism.

Jewish Shelter Home, Multnomah County, Oregon The Shelter Home provided the Jewish immigrant district a certain continuity and support the Shelter Home allowed Jewish children of disrupted family backgrounds a Jewish upbringing which they quite possibly would have missed had they been placed in a state-operated orphanage. In the course of a year, 18 to 20 children would pass through the house; each staying whatever time was necessary. This process was extremely important to the maintenance of Jewish culture and society in South Portland.

Park Circle Historic District (Baltimore, MD) Park Circle Historic District in Baltimore, Maryland was an early suburban Jewish neighborhood developed when the children of Eastern European immigrants moved from East Baltimore to the city’s northwest outskirts, setting the pattern for further expansion of Baltimore’s Jewish community to the northwest.

Beth Sholom Synagogue (Elkins Park, PA) was one of a handful of Wright buildings singled out in 1959 by the American institute of Architects and the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Mill House (Orange County, NY) In 1710, Luis Moses Gomez, the son of a well-to-do Jewish immigrant merchant, and a member of one of the foremost Jewish families in colonial New York, began to purchase land in Ulster and Orange Counties, finally acquiring about 2500 acres. On this tract of land Gomez constructed a stone house, the original section of the present Mill House, to accommodate his fur trading business with the American Indians.

Albert Einstein House (Princeton, New Jersey): Albert Einstein, considered the greatest physicist of all time and named in 1999 Time Magazines Person of the Century, was born to Jewish parents in Ulm, Germany in 1879. Although most famous for his theory of relativity (and specifically mass-energy equivalence, E=mc), he was also known as an international advocate of peace, human rights and an early supporter of a homeland for the Jewish people.

Historic Synagogues of Connecticut: In 1818 a constitutional convention in Connecticut resulted in the disestablishment of the Congregational Church as a tax-supported institution. At this time less than a dozen people of the Jewish faith were known to live in Connecticut. Jewish public worship was not permitted in Connecticut until 1843.

Jewish Heritage Month Learn More

National Register of Historic Places Flickr Photostream: Jewish American properties

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Jewish American Heritage Month – psesd.org

On April 20, 2006, President George W. Bush proclaimed that May would be Jewish American Heritage Month, recognizing the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture. Jewish American Heritage Month is a month to celebrate the contributions Jewish Americans have made to America since they first arrived in New Amsterdam in 1654.

The focus on preserving traditions is a notable characteristic of Jewish culture. Many Jewish religious and cultural practices have developed and adapted over the millennia, yet the fundamental exhortation to ensure that long-cherished ways of life are passed on to future generations remains as strongas ever before. Many Jewish Americans carry on this belief as they instill these traditions in their children.

Seeking to preserve their culture and start anew, Jewish immigrants have departed familiar lands to pursue their own American dreams for more than 300 years. During some periods, Jews sought refuge in the United States from the horrors and tragedies of persecution, pogroms, and the Holocaust. During other times, they came to seek better lives and greater economic opportunities for themselves and their children.

Jewish American history demonstrates how Americas diversity enriches and strengthens us all.

Read more at these sites:

(Sources:https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2009-05-15/pdf/E9-11587.pdf,http://www.loc.gov/law/help/commemorative-observations/jewish-heritage.php)

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National Native American Heritage Month 2016 – Days Of Year

November, 2016 is National Native American Heritage Month 2016. Native American Missions Native American Christian Missions. 95+ Mission Trips to choose from Yeah they should publicize the other minority’s months, because it’s be nice to learn about the histories of other races. Yeah they do have months for all minorities. Yeah Native American month(National American Indian Heritage Month) is in November. Asians got a month (Asian Pacific American History Month) it’s in May. Hispanic Heritage Month is on September 15 – October 12. They even have months for white people like Greek-American Heritage Month, Irish-American Heritage Month (both in March), Jewish-American Heritage Month (in May), German-American Heritage Month, National Italian-American Heritage Month, and Polish-American Heritage Month (all the.rest in October). There even have National Tartan Day (Scottish-American) on April 6th. But they just aren’t well-known. I still don’t get why the others aren’t talk about more often. I think they reason why Black History month is more popular than the rest is because of slavery, civil right movement, etc. people tend to forget about the other races. I think some people tend to think that hispanics just recently cross the border and Asians just recently got off the boat. I don’t think a lot of people realizes that these people both here for awhile too. A continuous Hispanic presence in the territory of the United States has existed since the 16th century, earlier than any other group after the Native American. Asians been here since 1763 when Filipinos established the small settlement of Saint Malo in the bayous of current-day Louisiana after fleeing mistreatment aboard Spanish ships. Chinese first come to here(Hawaii) in 1778. Some Island-born Chinese can claim to be 7th generation. So if you didn’t want to read what I wrote up there pretty much what I’m saying is that every race deserve to have there history told not just black people. So maybe if more people become aware of the other heritage months, maybe they will become more well-known and have commericals for them and we have more people celebriting them. March Greek-American Heritage Month Irish-American Heritage Month April 6th National Tartan Day (Scottish-American) May Asian Pacific American History Month Jewish-American Heritage Month June Caribbean-American Heritage Month September 15 – October 12 Hispanic Heritage Month October German-American Heritage Month National Italian-American Heritage Month Polish-American Heritage Month November National American Indian Heritage Month Black History Month? Not to answer your question with a question, but which is it that you want to do: stop talking about black history, or incorporate it in history-at-large? Black History Month, National Hispanic Heritage Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Native American Heritage Month, LGBT History Month, Women’s History Month, and Jewish American Heritage Month all exist because members of these groups are historically underrepresented in the teaching of history. Their accomplishments and contributions to society are all too often deemed inconsequential and not worth discussing. These communities have taken it on themselves to promote historical figures and events as a way to remember the past and to educate the public. If all you’ve learned about black history in your lifetime is slavery, MLK, Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X, some of the fault is yours. There is a treasure trove of information available to anyone who’s interested. The best part is, it’s available all year long. Why are there no Native American days designated as National Holidays? Yes, the government acknowledges it. However, most school districts fail to follow suite. “November is Native American Heritage Month – The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans.” Maybe you need to expand the websites you references. Anything that ends in .gov or .edu is a legit resource. Or you could always do your research and submit your own info into wikepedia. Edit: Just read the rest of your question. We DO have Native American Music Awards. Google NAMA or Nammy. Or check out this site: They just aren’t as publisicied as the other awards programs. A relative of mine was runner up in the hip-hop rap category. Why? I don’t know. I think probably it would hurt Hollywood if people realized we look nothing like what they tell the world we should look like. And, in all honesty, if all the non-Natives seen us as people- just like everyone else, they might expect the governent to treat us as such.

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April is What National Month Calendar – thebalance.com

How Businesses Celebrate the Month of April Thomas Barwick/ Stone/ Getty Images Updated September 08, 2016 April Fool’s Day Business Humor For years BMW has run print ads (mostly in Europe) announcing special features not found in other cars. How many were duped is anyone’s guess. But you have to love a car maker that can poke fun at itself and its drivers — and still keep its brand in tact. Read more… Many countries adopt causes or a special interest group to promote during a calendar month. The United States is particularly prolific at creating “national month” events to promote business interests. April is one of the few months that does not contain a long list of ridiculous observations (“July is Lasagna Awareness Month.”) The following events are observed calendar month-long (unless otherwise indicated): Is there a way your business can benefit by promoting itself during “April is” national month? Other National Months: January – February – March – April – May – June – July – August – September – October – November – December Up Next Up Next Up Next Up Next Up Next 2016 About, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Poland Jewish Heritage Tours – Jewish Tours & Travel …

It’s a sunny morning in early July, and I’m having breakfast at an outdoor cafe table in Kazimierz, the old Jewish quarter of Krakow. I have been sitting at cafes in and around Szeroka Street, the main square of Kazimierz, for nearly 20 years, watching the paradoxical Jewish components of post-communist Poland unfold, and Kazimierz itself evolve from a deserted district of decrepit buildingssome with grooves on their doorposts from missing mezuzahsinto one of Europe’s premier Jewish tourist attractions, a fashionable boom town of Jewish-style cafes, trendy pubs, kitschy souvenirs and nostalgic shtetl chic. As Poland’s historic royal capital, Krakow is one of central Europe’s most beautiful cities and was one of the few major Polish metropolises to escape wholesale destruction in World War II. Once Kazimierz was a center of Jewish life and learning, but after the Holocaust only its architectural skeleton remained: Krakow’s 64,000 Jews (among three million of pre-war Poland’s 3.5 million Jews) perished, but seven synagogues and a score of former prayer houses, stores, homes and cemeteries survived. After the war, under the communists, Kazimierz slid into ruin, and only in the early 1990s did the neighborhood begin to take on new life. Even before Steven Spielberg came here to shoot his 1993 film Schindler’s List, set in the wartime Krakow Ghetto and the city’s concentration camp, Plaszow, Kazimierz was beginning to rediscover its Jewish soul. Although Krakow is now home to just a few hundred Jews at most (Poland itself has maybe 5,000 to 15,000 out of a population of 40 million), the streets beyond my cafe are crowded with people here for the annual nine-day extravaganza known as the Festival of Jewish Culture. There are Jews from within Poland and from outside: Rabbis, tourists, earnest seekers of family history, writers, filmmakers, bureaucrats, philanthropists, academics, musicians and artists wander the square and surrounding cobbled streets. The vast majority of visitors, however, are non-Jewish Poles who have come to celebrate both the Polish Jewish life that once was and the contemporary Jewish culture that is still very much alive around the world. Some of them have helped bring about the renaissance of Kazimierz and a revival of public interest in Jewish culture throughout the country. Newcomers and regulars, Jews and non-Jews, come together at the cafes that line Szeroka and other streets and squares, turning Kazimierz into a moveable feast of drink, food and conversation that migrates from cafe table to cafe table. I am waiting for Stanislaw and Monika Krajewski, among my oldest friends in Poland, who live in Warsaw and whom I met on the eve of Yom Kippur in 1980. Back then, I was a young American reporter, in Warsaw to cover the birth of SolidarnoscSolidarity, the anti-communist labor movement that spawned a peaceful revolution and was the harbinger of the collapse of communism. I am not a religious Jew, and I rarely go to services. But in Warsaw, on that erev Yom Kippur, I looked for a shul. The only one to be found of what once were hundreds, was the Nozyk synagogue, built in 1902 and used by the Nazis as a stable. In 1980, the synagogue stood dilapidated and empty. My search took me to a shabby room nearby where paint was peeling from the walls but Jews were gathered for prayers. There was no rabbi: there was not one in Poland at the time. Perhaps three dozen people, almost all men, almost all elderly, stood swaying over well-worn prayerbooks. Among them was a sprinkling of people my own age, and a couple of toddlers running about and making noise. Some of the elderly congregants shushed themloudlyand I remember thinking, “How can you shut them up? You should encourage them; be happy that there are children here among you.” After the prayers, a young married couple came up to me, eager to know who I was and why I was there. “It’s simple,” I told them, “I’m an American reporter covering Solidarity; I’m Jewish; it’s Yom Kippur, so I came to synagogue. It’s normal.” But “simple” and “normal” had different meanings in their lexicon. They came closer. “Oh, you’re a real Jew!” they exclaimed. This put me on the spot. A “real Jew”? After all, I don’t speak Hebrew, I don’t go to synagogue, I don’t keep kosher. “No,” they insisted. “You’re a real Jew; you’ve known all your life that you are Jewish. We are just learning. Come back home with us and tell us what to do.” That couple was Staszek, as Stanislaw is known, and Monika. They were among the organizers of the “Jewish Flying University,” a semi-clandestine study group of Jews and non-Jews in communist Warsaw who met informally to teach themselves what they could about Judaism. This meant the rituals, customs, traditions and history but also the memories and inflections that are often innate in even the most secular of Jews who grew up in freedom. Monika, an artist and teacher, and Staszek, a writer and professor, wend their way around tables through the cafe garden of my hotel, the Klezmer Hois, a rambling, peak-roofed building that used to house a mikvah. We greet each other with hugs. Monika, as usual, wears a flowing skirt and distinctive earrings. A deeply religious man, Staszek is active in interfaith relations and is the Poland consultant for the American Jewish Committee. His books range from commentaries on the Torah to scholarly works on mathematics and logic, his academic field, to essays on Jewish life in contemporary Poland, where every step toward the future can feel weighted down by the memory of the past. The Krajewskis and I catch up on news, and I ask about their sons. Both children celebrated their bar mitzvahs in the Nozyk synagogue, the synagogue that was too dilapidated to be used when we first met but is now fully restored and functioning. The bar mitzvah of their younger son, in 2004, was particularly moving. Daniel, who has Down syndrome, carried the Torah, but instead of giving a speech, he showed pictures he had painted: Jacob’s blessing to Joseph’s sons; the burning bush; the parting of the sea; the golden calf; the breaking of the tablets. The last picture showed his entire family at the Sabbath table, a scene he has known all his life. Other friends come by and we chat. Then Monika and Staszek are off. Both of them are giving talks or teaching workshops in the festival this year. In a way, the struggle for the soul of Kazimierz can be seen in the differences among the cafes on Szeroka Street. Venues drawing on Krakow’s Jewish history were the first to open on the square. But on Szeroka today things are different. There is an Indian restaurant and an Italian one, as well as chic new bars blaring hip hop. Still, critics love to hate Szeroka for its commercial exploitation of Jewish heritage as a saleable commodity and for what some call the “Disneylandization” of Jewish culture and tradition through an emphasis on stereotype and artifice. The Klezmer Hois, where I often stay, is my favorite Jewish-style venue. Located at one end of Szeroka, it has the bygone coziness of an old world family parlor, with doilies and tablecloths covering mismatched tables, chairs and sofas. It was opened by my friends Wojtek and Malgosia Ornat. Though both have Jewish roots, neither was raised Jewish or with any awareness of Jewish family connections: Malgosia, a petite woman with wide eyes and short-cropped blonde hair, was 19 when she learned that her maternal grandmother was Jewish, a story that is not unusual in Poland. Now in their 40s, the Ornats opened the first Jewish-style cafe in Kazimierz, the Ariel, in 1992. Then the only cafe on Szeroka Street, the Ariel was a lonely outpost amid a grimy wasteland of vacant lots and empty buildings. I vividly remember how Wojtek and I, sitting at an umbrella-shaded wicker table, fantasized that some day people would come. And they have. The Ariel touched a nerve that somehow connected commerce with commemoration and spearheaded the creation of a Jewish-style cafe culture which by now has spread far beyond Krakow. As the first to evoke (and capitalize on) a literary image of a lost Jewish world in their cafe decor, the Ornats’ visual and atmospheric take on what is “Jewish” has been important in shaping the experience and expectations of locals and tourists, Jews and non-Jews. Like a sepia-tinted memory, “Jewish” is now a brand that symbolizes a time and place that is bygone but fondly remembered. This idea plays on nostalgia but also on the imagination: It represents what some people wish the Jewish world was really once like. Today, half a dozen venues on Szeroka Street present a Jewish theme or make reference to Kazimierz’s Jewish heritage, in their name or signs, which are sometimes written in Hebrew-style letters, or in their menus, which feature foods like gefilte fish. There’s the Ester hotel and the Noah’s Ark restaurant. The Crocodile Street Cafe is named for a short story by the writer Bruno Schulz, who was killed in the Holocaust. The Rubinstein hotel reflects the fact that the cosmetics queen, Helena Rubinstein, was born here. The exterior of the Once Upon a Time in Kazimierz restaurant is mocked up to look like a row of pre-war shops, with weathered-looking signs fronting the street announcing Benjamin Holcer’s carpentry shop and Chajim Cohen’s general store. One reason I like Klezmer Hois is that it is low key. There is klezmer music but no kitschy curios for sale or on display, no garish commercial exploitation of a neighborhood whose Jewish population was murdered. Instead, the Ornats use the profits from the Klezmer Hois to run a Jewish publishing house, Austeria, which issues books by Polish and foreign authors. They also run a Jewish bookstore on the ground floor of one of the old Kazimierz synagogues, now used for Jewish art exhibits. Klezmer Hois is a sharp contrast to the Ariel, which still operates on Szerokamuch expanded and under different management. With dramatic signage depicting big plaster lions flanking a giant menorah, the Ariel is the most conspicuous landmark on the square, aside from the gothic Old Synagogue, which is now a Jewish museum. Catering largely to tour groups, it sells an off-the-shelf, cookie-cutter “Jewish” experience the way a sushi bar sells Japan or a folk-style restaurant uses hokey traditional music to sell ethnicity. Dozens of paintings of rabbis cover the walls: bearded and sad-eyed, with yarmulkes and sidecurls, they read, lay tefillin, pray and count money. There are also refrigerator magnets: Stars of David, menorahs and disembodied Jewish heads, some of them with exaggerated features right out of Nazi caricature. I once asked an Ariel waiter why these were on sale. He shrugged. “They’re Jewish,” he replied. For many people, tourists and locals alike, Kazimierz became a major destination with the Festival of Jewish Culture, which was founded in 1988, one year before the ouster of communist rule. By 1992 the Festival had already grown so much that some called it a “Jewish Woodstock.” Performers over the years have included Theodore Bikel, Shlomo Carlebach, Chava Alberstein and the Klezmatics. One local entertainer who takes part, and whom I often see at the Klezmer Hois, is the Polish Jewish pianist Leopold Kozlowski, now nearing 90, who was the subject of the movie The Last Klezmer. Nowadays, the Festival features more than 200 concerts, lectures, art exhibits, workshops, guided tours, performances, film-showings and street happenings. Most of the events are sold out, and the final concert, called “Shalom on Szeroka,” draws upwards of 15,000 people, most of them Catholic Poles. The festival’s founders were two non-Jewish intellectuals, Janusz Makuch and Krzysztof Gierat. Like many other young Poles in the waning decades of communism, Makuch and Gierat became fascinated with Jewish history and culture. Delving into the Holocaust and other Jewish topics was a means of both seeking the truth of their country’s past and helping inform their own identities. Like members of the Jewish Flying University in Warsaw, they sought to fill in the blanks left by communist-era taboos that prevented an objective public analysis of history itself, including the thousand-year history of Jews in Poland. “It was like a discovery of Atlantis that people lived here and created their own original culture and had such a deep influence on Polish culture,” Makuch, who still directs the festival, once told me over coffee at the Klezmer Hois. An intense man with deep eyes, a full, dark beard and a perpetually troubled-looking brow, Makuch peppers his speech with Hebrew and Yiddish words such as “shalom” and “meshuga;” he has been asked more times than he can remember what it means for a non-Jew to run a Jewish festival for an audience mainly composed of other non-Jews. His reply is often to describe himself as a Shabbos goy, keeping alive the torch of Jewish culture. Since 1998, non-Jews like Makuch, who preserve and promote Jewish culture and heritage, are honored each year at an awards ceremony during the Festival, presided over by the Israeli ambassador. So far more than 150 people all over the country have received the award. Some, like Makuch, run Jewish cultural events; others cut the grass and clean up cemeteries, teach classes, rescue tombstones, organize little museums. Some have the support of their communities; others work in isolation or even encounter hostility. Until recently, Jews were largely absent from the enthusiastic crowds who throng Festival events. “Many Jewish people come to Poland, fly into Warsaw, go straight to Auschwitz, then want to get out,” the Krakow-born American philanthropist Ted Taube told me once. “But until the war, Poland had the most prolific, culturally diverse, creative Jewish population anywhere, ever. We can’t afford to relegate those people to a postscript in history.” Although they are still a minority, more and more Jewish fans and tourists have been turning up in recent years, in part because of special tours run by organizations such as the Taube Foundation and the American Jewish Committee. “I love it here,” Cantor Benzion Miller, a Bobover Hasid who lives in Borough Park, Brooklyn, tells me. We are ensconced in armchairs in the crowded little lounge of the Hotel Eden, a kosher establishment opened in the 1990s by an American, Allen Haberberg, in a restored 15th century building in the heart of Kazimierz. The Eden has a mezuzah on every door, both a pub and a private mikvah in the basement, free WiFi Internet and an umbrella-shaded outdoor “Garden of Eden.” A roly-poly man with a full white beard, Miller has been a fixture of the Festival of Jewish Culture for the past 15 years, both performing and holding workshops on topics ranging from Hasidic chanting to ritual slaughter. Miller was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany where his parents met after World War II. His father, who had lost his first wife and children in the Holocaust, came from Oswiecimthe town nearly 40 miles from Krakow outside of which the Nazis built Auschwitz. Before World War II, Oswiecim was home to about 12,000 people, more than half of them Jews. Miller’s grandfather was a hazan, a cantor, there. Miller always participates in a sometimes riotous public Havdalah ceremony, held in the grandiose Tempel Synagogue, the only 19th-century synagogue in Poland to survive the Holocaust intact. Used by the Nazis as a stable and warehouse, it languished in sad repair until the 1990s, when, with funding from the state and sponsorship from the World Monuments Fund, it underwent a full restoration and is now used for concerts as well on religious occasions. It is filled to capacity, mainly with local Poles, for the Festival Havdalah, which features a mix of hazanut, klezmer and tisch singing that has rabbis in streimels and spectators in summer attire dancing together in the aisles. “I see what is going on here as a continuation of what once was; you try to continue,” Miller says. Over the past 20 years, most attention has been paid in Krakow to rediscovering the city’s “lost” Jewish culture and promoting it to a non-Jewish public, through tourism and entertainment or through various educational institutions such as the Center for Jewish Culture or the Galicia Jewish Museum. But contemporary Jewish life in the city is now also getting a boost. Over tea in the garden of the Eden, I talk with Rabbi Edgar Gluck, who, in black hat and long wispy beard, can often be seen walking Kazimierz streets like a pre-war patriarch. A politically savvy, German-born Orthodox rabbi in his 70s, he divides his time between Brooklyn and Poland. In New York City, he is known as the co-founder of the orthodox Hatzolah Volunteer Ambulance Corps. “I was in the World Trade Center, taking people out, as the building was coming down,” he tells me, recalling the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Here he is the Chief Rabbi of Galicia, a symbolic honorific given to him by Krakow’s Jewish community, whom he serves on occasion as hazan. He spends much of his time, though, working toward the preservation of Jewish cemeteries and Holocaust mass graves. But Gluck has rabbinic company and lots of it. “In Krakow now,” goes one joke, “there are now five rabbisfor three Jews and 20 opinions.” One rabbi, brought in by Shavei Israel, a Jerusalem-based group that works with “lost Jews” around the world, is the “official” Jewish community rabbi. Then there is a rabbi who runs the Chabad operation and an American female rabbi who operates a small, offshoot Reform group. There’s also the new JCC, financed by Britain’s World Jewish Relief and the Joint Distribution Committee, which occupies a sleek five-story building on the grounds of the Tempel Synagogue. Like so much else in Krakow’s Jewish universe, the initiative for the JCC came from a non-Jewish sourceBritain’s Prince Charles, who was moved by the plight of the poor and aging Jews of the city during a 2002 visit. Charles returned to Krakow in 2008 for the JCC’s inauguration: Wearing a kippah, he helped affix a mezuzah to the door. “Jewish life is more open and safer here than anywhere else I’ve been in Europe,” says Jonathan Ornstein, the director of the JCC. I meet Ornstein, a 39-year-old self-described “atheist Jewish vegetarian” for a cappuccino at a cafe on the hip Plac Nowy, the pre-war Jewish market square whose central building was a kosher poultry slaughterhouse. Plac Nowy, now a booming center of nightlife, is full of music clubs and trendy bars, which Ornstein prefers to the “Jewish-style” cafes on Szeroka. “We have kids from the Sunday school playing in the courtyard with the gate open; we feel no danger, no fear.” Born in New York, Ornstein moved to Israel as a young man and relocated to Krakow seven years ago, teaching Hebrew at the Jagiellonian University. The Jagiellonian has a Jewish studies program that was launched in the 1980s; its outgrowth, the Center for Jewish Culture, opened in 1992 in a renovated former prayer house off Plac Nowy. Ornstein rejects nostalgia for the city’s past and focuses on stimulating contemporary Jewish expression. The bulletin boards in the JCC’s lobby flutter with announcements for clubs and social events: a Hanukkah party this year lasted until dawn, and the JCC’s Facebook group boasts more than 360 members. “People talk about Kazimierz as being the “former” Jewish quarter of Krakow. But I say, why former?” says Ornstein. “It is the present Jewish quarter of Krakow. You can’t measure it in numbers but in feeling. Jews live freely; people know things about Judaism and Jewish traditions; there’s a Jewish studies program at the university; there’s the Festival.” As he sees it, “Nobody alive today has a memory of Kazimierz when it was better than it is now.” Back at the cafe at the Klezmer Hois, I spot my friend Konstanty (Kostek) Gebert. “This is where I hold court,” jokes Gebert, an award-winning author and a veteran of the Jewish Flying University. As an underground Solidarity activist, he deliberately chose a Jewish-sounding pen nameDawid Warszawskito write in the dissident press. In 1989, Gebert was at the Round Table talks between the communist authorities and Solidarity that facilitated the peaceful ouster of the old regime. He was the founding editor of Midrasz, a Jewish cultural and intellectual monthly, and today he heads the Warsaw-based Taube Center for the Renewal of Jewish Culture in Poland. In addition to Krakow, small active Jewish communities are found in Warsaw, Lodz, Wroclaw and several other Polish cities. I’m far from sure that there is a solid enough critical mass to ensure their long-term survival. Nonetheless, in many senses, to be Jewish here and to accept Jewishness as a positive identity choice now is increasingly normal. Or at least much more normal than it was 10, 20 and certainly 30 years ago. “Today’s Jewish children in Poland, whatever else the future holds in store for them, will never grow up knowing, as their parents did, that to be Jewish means to be alone and vulnerable,” Gebert wrote in his 2008 memoir Living in the Land of Ashes.”Hopes have been successfully built on much more shaky foundations.” He was not always this certain. He likes to joke about how, in the mid-1980s, he told a pair of Polish journalists that he didn’t think Jews in Poland could survive. The journalistswriter Malgorzata Niezabitowska and photographer Tomasz Tomaszewskiwere working on an article for National Geographic that eventually became a book called Remnants: The Last Jews of Poland. They asked Gebert how he saw the future for Jews in the country. “I believe we are the last ones,” he replied. “Definitely.” Today, he puffs his pipe and straightens his kippah. “Ugh. Never talk to the media!” he says laughing. And Krakow’s moveable Jewish feast of drink and food and conversation goes on. Ruth Ellen Gruber has chronicled European Jewish issues for more than 20 years. Her books include National Geographic Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to Eastern Europe and Virtually Jewish: Reinventing Jewish Culture in Europe. Soliman Lawrence is a Berlin-based photographer who is documenting the renaissance of Jewish Poland. July 2, 2009 Jewish Choir Aids $100 Million Polish Heritage PlanlinkBy Nathaniel Espino July 2 (Bloomberg) — As Ivor Lichterman led prayers at Warsaws only pre-war synagogue, he was overcome with awe to be standing where his father led the last services before the Holocaust wiped out 1,000 years of Jewish history. Lichterman, 55, of Tucson, Arizona, is visiting Poland with a group of 70 cantors who want to help rebuild those traditions, singing at venues including the future site of Warsaws Museum of the History of Polish Jews, the National Opera and the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow. This synagogue had a great musical legacy; it was famous around the world, Lichterman said in an interview after the service. He remembers his father Jakub Lichterman telling him how they used to pack people in and how it was standing room only. More than 3 million Polish Jews were murdered in Nazi death camps, many of them on German-occupied Polish soil. About 100,000 survivors stayed in Poland after the war. Following a 1968 anti-Semitic campaign by Polands communist government, that number shrank to 30,000 to 40,000 today, according to statistics cited by the U.S. State Department. Lichterman, who led the prayers together with his brother Joel of Denver, says the service raised a lot of mixed feelings. I kept looking up over there, where a 60-member choir stood before the war. Theyre probably all gone. Almost nobody survived. Golden Age The cantors tour is sponsored by the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture. The foundation uses north of $100 million to support projects in Poland including museums, cultural centers, schools and synagogues that are rebuilding the infrastructure of Jewish life from a 1,000-year golden age, its chairman Tad Taube, 78, said by telephone. The map of Jewish life disappeared from Poland as synagogues, cemeteries, cultural centers, libraries and archives were destroyed by the Nazis, Taube said. The entire gamut of Jewish culture became a target of the Holocaust, as well as the people that were murdered during that period, Taube said. Thats obscured the story of the previous millennium, when the Jews of Poland — including those living in what is now Lithuania and Ukraine — built up an enormous resource in literature, philosophy, mathematics, the arts, the theater that laid the foundations of Jewish life in the U.S., Israel, and around the world, Taube said. Rescuers Honored Nathan Lam, president of the Cantors Assembly Foundation, an organizer of the trip, is making his ninth or tenth visit to Poland. He said that in addition to teaching people to sing prayers using the melodies that actually emanated from here, part of the groups mission is to honor the lives of Poles who rescued Jews from the Holocaust. I love being here, he said after singing in the June 29 service. I love the fact that Jews are reconnecting here in Poland, and Im going to do my best to help them come back again, many, many times. Taube was born in Krakow in 1931. He left in July 1939, months before the Nazi German invasion in September of that year, after his parents, on a business trip in the U.S., became aware of the growing danger and decided to emigrate. After working as a real-estate developer and serving on the board of Koret of California, a clothing producer, Taube began his first significant involvement in philanthropy in 1979, as a founding director of the Koret Foundation. Taubes decision almost two decades later to throw his weight behind the cause of Jewish life in Poland was an evolutionary process inspired partly by billionaire Ronald S. Lauders philanthropic work in the country after the 1989 fall of communism, and it didnt have an awful lot to do with the fact that I happened to have been born in Poland, Taube says. Michael Schudrich, the chief rabbi of Poland, says Taubes efforts are bearing fruit. In the last few years, hes been incredibly supportive, not only in the material sense, but also in the spiritual sense, as we try to recapture what weve lost. To contact the reporter on this story: Nathaniel Espino in Warsaw nespino@bloomberg.net Oct. 30, 2009 David Propis and his daughter Dena sang the Retzei at the Poland National Opera this summer. Propis, president of the American Cantors Assembly, led 70 colleagues on a tour of Poland and Israel. As a child, David Propis, the Jewish liturgical singer of Houston’s Congregation Beth Yushurun, adored singing prayers with his father, Dov Propis, at his congregations in the Northeast. His favorite was their first duet, a piece called the Retzei that asks God to accept one’s prayers. And Propis still recalls the Sabbath performance when his father wrapped his prayer shawl around him, and with it a feeling of protection. The prayer was made famous by Gershon Sirota, who sang at Warsaw’s Tlomatzka Synagogue and was killed, along with his family, in the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. So when Propis, the new president of the Cantors Assembly, the world’s largest body of professional cantors, helped lead about 70 of his colleagues and hundreds of congregants on a two-week tour through Poland and Israel recently, he once again performed the Retzei. This time, it was with his daughter, about 100 yards from where the Tlomatzka Synagogue once stood. Their duet was part of the Cantors Assembly concert with the Polish National Opera, a symbolic evening that honored the life of Irena Sendler, a Pole who rescued 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto. The group traveled to Poland to commemorate the Holocaust, but also in spite of it. They wanted to honor Poland’s significant number of Righteous Gentiles, the non-Jewish Poles who risked their lives and those of their families to save Jews, said Propis, the child of Lithuanian Jews whose families were murdered in the Holocaust. And they also went to learn about the Jewish heritage of Poland, the center of European Jewish life and home to 3.5 million Jews before the war. In that spirit, the cantors’ tour, which marked the largest assembly of cantors in Poland since before WWII, reflected a message of gratitude and a quest for healing, reconciliation and their own heritage. The Poland portion of the trip was sponsored in large part by the San Francisco-based Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture, which aims to reconnect Jews with their vibrant history in Poland, where Jews lived for 1,000 years. Some 75 percent of American Jews trace their roots to Polish lands, according to the foundation, an area that extends to parts of Ukraine, Austria and Hungary. Meanwhile, Poland, in the wake of 20 years of democracy since the fall of communism, is seeking to reclaim its own Jewish heritage by way of preservation and cultural activities. The renewed interest in Jewish culture has helped spawn an emerging Jewish community as Poles uncover their own Jewish roots. But in most cases, Jewish activities appear to be organized by non-Jews, supported by government agencies and enthusiastically received. Perhaps the most shining example was Krakow’s 19th Jewish Culture Festival, a nine-day panoply of Jewish culture. The program featured hundreds of Jewish classes and concerts including a prayer service by the Cantors Assembly before a nighttime throng of thousands. At its concert with the National Opera, sponsored by the Office of the Prime Minister of Poland, the Cantors Assembly received a standing ovation from a crowd of 2,000. That kind of reception helped undo some of the stereotypes held by those on the tour. They welcomed us as cultural and musical ambassadors, Propis said, describing the Polish appreciation like a hunger. Propis said he initially felt uncomfortable about visiting Poland. As a child of survivors, many of us harbor difficult feelings, he said. Propis’ mother, who was sent to a forced-labor camp, was the only member of her family to survive; his father escaped with two brothers. However, it was important that basically a new narrative be created, he said. We know the harshness and the horrors that have happened, but I think not enough is being said about the goodness in Poland, he said. I think this trip kind of cleared the clouds away. Still, the group’s visit to the camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau marked a seminal moment on the tour. At Auschwitz, the cantors held a prayer service and unfurled the Torah scroll around Holocaust survivors and their children. And at Birkenau, the group’s visit coincided with a tour by hundreds of Israeli soldiers, who marched down the rail tracks. It’s very hard to put in words, said Steve Lee, reflecting on the trip. These ceremonies, combined with the religious singing, strengthened his Jewish identity, said Lee, a member of Congregation Beth Yeshurun, whose paternal grandparents emigrated from Poland. At the same time, Lee says the tour changed my entire view of Poland, explaining that he began to see Poles also as Nazi victims and not only as Nazi collaborators. Some 3 million Poles were killed during World War II. For his part, Propis also came to new realizations. He marveled at the extent of Poland’s Jewish and cantorial heritage and its current friendship with Israel, along with the Polish interest in Jewish culture and the stories of Righteous Gentiles. And the National Opera, of course, provided him with his own kind of homecoming. I had a dream come true, Propis says of performing the Retzei with his daughter, Dena, a junior at Northwestern University who sings at a Chicago synagogue. It just came full circle. July 2, 2009 Scent of San Francisco, stench of Los Angeles (excerpt) link By Leah Garchik Tad Taube, co-honorary consul with Christopher Kerosky for the Republic of Poland, jetted off to Krakow for today’s ceremonies cementing the new sister-city relationship between Krakow and San Francisco. Mayor Gavin Newsom originally was scheduled to go, said Krakow-born Taube, but “his schedule got fairly tight because of his political plans and the baby.” Supervisor Bevan Dufty will be representing the city, along with the Office of Protocol’s Matthew Goudeau. Krakow ceremonies will include the formal document signing, by Dufty and Krakow Mayor Jacek Majchrowski, and culminate with an evening reception for 150 guests. Taube is leading the trip with Shana Penn, executive director of the Taube Foundation. July 13, 2009 Piecing together Jewish pasts in Poland link By Rachel Pomerance WARSAW (JTA) — Like many children of Jews who grew up in Poland after World War II, Anna Makowska-Kwapisiewicz was sheltered from her Jewish provenance for much of her life. There were clues, of course. Her exotic dark eyes and hair occasionally drew remarks about her Gypsy or Spanish beauty. Her grandmother would constantly teach her the catechism so she could recite it when they return. And her grandfather told stories of hiding in the forest. A performance from the 2008 Krakow Jewish Festival, which with its array of Jewish culture attracts tens of thousands of visitors — mostly non-Jews. (limaoscarjuliet/Creative Commons) But it wasnt until she repeated an anti-Semitic joke she heard in high school that her mother broke down and confessed that her father was, in fact, a Jew. The news set Makowska-Kwapisiewicz on a path of discovery from Jewish study to ritual observance. Now she is a Jewish educator building a Jewish home and life — complete with plans for Jewish schooling for her year-old daughter, Nina. Makowska-Kwapisiewicz is part of a Jewish awakening taking place in Poland. Like a country of amnesiacs waking up from the trauma of Nazism followed by the silence and historical whitewashing of communism, Poles are now trying to piece together their collective memory. In doing so they are discovering, often in quite personal ways, their Jewish roots. We are so much interconnected, the former president of Poland, Aleksander Kwasniewski, told JTA at a dinner in Warsaw. I feel that part of my heritage is Jewish tradition, he said, explaining that his grandmother lived in Vilnus, a heavily Jewish city, and she knew about Jewish dishes like cholent, the Sabbath stew. If a Pole says he has not one even drop of Jewish blood in this body, then he is not right, Kwasniewski said. While for Poles this awakening is about discovering their Jewish roots, for Jews worldwide its about discovering their Polish Jewish roots. Karen Underhill, a doctoral student in Polish literature at the University of Chicago who is a former bookstore owner in Krakow, says Jews visiting Poland used to come by her shop seeking information about their heritage. Poland, she says, has become a place for Jews to rediscover their Jewish roots, particularly those who do not have a strong connection to contemporary Jewish communal life or Israel. This month, American Jewish visitor Jeff Wachtel said he saw his own family when visiting the Galicia Jewish museum, which houses an exhibit of Mayer Kirshenblatts paintings of his boyhood Polish town. I had no sense of what their life was like, said Wachtel, a senior assistant to the president of Stanford University. But when he heard Kirshenblatt talk of his Poland, it reminded him of his own family. When I was listening to it, I was sure that thats where my mother grew up, Wachtel said. For the first time, part of my past became very understood in my mind. Three-quarters of American Jews trace their roots to Greater Poland — including Poland and parts of Ukraine, Austria and Hungary — according to Tad Taube, the San Francisco-based philanthropist who is funding a variety of efforts to connect American Jews to their Polish Jewish heritage. Taube, a Krakow native, argues that worship of the Holocaust has prompted Jews to foresake the 1,000 years of Jewish history in Poland that preceded it, even though it was a golden period of Jewish life that gave rise to important religious and cultural development. Ashkenazi Judaism, in fact, was codified in Warsaw. Approximately 3.5 million Jews lived in Poland before the war; more than 90 percent disappeared in the Holocaust.

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August 27, 2016   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

Heritage Florida Jewish News Homepage

By Christine DeSouza, News Editor Anyone who runs for a county judge position isn’t doing it for the money, especially if they are successful as attorneys. This is certainly the case for Eric Dubois, who is an attorney running for… By Christine DeSouza “With her ever-present beaming smile and cheerful enthusiasm, Susan Bierman has been a pivotal force in the dynamic growth of Orlando’s Jewish community,” wrote Bierman’s nominator for the Heritage… By Christine DeSouza, News Editor “There comes a time when you have to make a decision, either to walk away and hope things fix themselves or take an active role in trying to make a positive difference.” This is Abby Sanchez’ belief… By Jonathan Feldstein According to U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), I am a termite. Speaking to an anti-Israel group on the sidelines of the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, the congressman said, There has been a steady [stream], almost like termites can get into… By Avi Weiss (JTA)Last week, Pope Francis made a pilgrimage to Poland, visiting Auschwitzthe notorious death camp in Poland where 1.1 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust. Auschwitz is comprised of two camps: Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II, also… By Ben Cohen, JNS.org We live in an era of resurgent, strongman leaders. Some of them, like Russian President Vladimir Putin, carry an aura of invincibility, a sense that they effortlessly control the levers of power at every level of state activity, from parliament to… By Carla Brewington, JNS.org In the 1930s in Germany, many caved to the dangerous political agenda of the time. They wanted power, peace, and prosperity, to reclaim their country from the ravages of World War I. Christians were no different. But in doing so, they embraced the… By Abraham H. Miller, JNS.org The Jewish communitys polarization in reaction to the selection of Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.) as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clintons running mate illustrates the political chasm that divides American Jewry. Predictably, the J Street… By Norman Berdichevsky The Virgin islands is a favorite tourist spot for Caribbean cruises. For Jewish tourists, there is an extra added attraction in the historic synagogues, cemeteries and active Jewish communities. The former Danish West Indies sold to the United… By Pamela Ruben Years later, I can recall the moment when my friend’s son got his head stuck between the wooden rails on our staircase landing. While we laugh about the predicament today, at the time it wasn’t so… In last months FYI column, we talked about the importance of community-to-community relationships, which are especially critical in a time of increased conflict. Those relationships are built on person-to-person mutual respect and understanding…. By Valeria Nemaiser Sakhnovitch This post, which was originally written in Russian, went viral in Israel and around the world. With the authors permission, it was translated into English by Arkady Mamaysky. Yesterday I witnessed a common scene in Israel: I was standing in line… By Gloria Yousha “Oh Canada, Oh Canada”… I’m not singing the Canadian anthem. I am a proud American, believe me. But Canada is very special to me. My maternal grandparents fled to Canada from Ukraine because of… Inez Teddy Snyder, age 94, of Orlando, passed away unexpectedly at Florida HospitalWinter Park, on Monday, July 25, 2016. Teddy was born on June 29, 1922, in Taylor, Washington, to the late John and Augusta Lenarducci Tedesco. A veteran of… Ronald Livingstone, age 70, of Apopka, passed away on Monday, July 25, 2016. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland on June 1, 1946, to the late Nathan M. and Ida Rebecca Katzenell Livingstone. On March 31, 1968, in Dublin, Ireland, he married the former… Joseph P. Barack, 72, died after a long illness at Hospice of St. Francis in Titusville, on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. Joe was born Nov. 11, 1943, to Florence and Samuel Barack of Pittsburgh PA. He graduated from the University of Miami with a degree… ANNE KALMAER Anne Kalmaer, age 96, of Menlo Park, Calif., formerly of Orlando, passed away at Sunrise Senior Living in Palo Alto, Calif., on Sunday, July 24, 2016. Mrs. Kalmaer, a native of New York, was born on Jan. 22, 1920, to the late Max and… MILDRED R. ROSING Mildred Rosing, age 92, of Longwood, passed away on Friday, July 22, 2016, at Village on the Green Health Center. Born on June 29, 1924, to the late Samuel and Grace Blecker Glasser, she was a native of New York City. A homemaker,… Fredricka Robbins, age 64, of Orlando, passed away on July 14, 2016, at her residence. She was born on May 21, 1952, in Youngstown, Ohio, to the late Meyer and Frances Wolff Robbins. She was a homemaker and is survived by her brother, Stephen…

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August 8, 2016   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

African American History and Heritage Site: Resources and …

Origins of and resources for: 1. The Negro National Anthem: Lift Every Voice and Sing 2. Black History Month in the United States & Canada 3. Martin Luther King Jr. Day 4. Kwanzaa 5. Juneteenth 6. Black Music Month (June) 7. Black Nationalism (Marcus Garvey, Black Nationalist Colors and Flag, Malcolm X, Black Power, Organization Us) 8. NAACP 9. National Urban League 10. National Council of Negro Women 11. Rainbow/PUSH Coalition 12. SCLC 13. SNCC (SNCC Legacy Project) 14. Food! Black History Month in the United States and Canada Official U.S. Theme: 2016 Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memory 2017 The Crisis in Black Education 2018 African Americans in Times of War Carter G. Woodson, (1875-1950) noted Black scholar and historian and son of former slaves, founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in 1915, which was later renamed the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).He initiated Black History Week, February 12, 1926. For many years the 2nd week of February (chosen so as to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln) was celebrated by Black people in the United States. In 1976, as part of the nation’s Bicentennial, it was expanded and became established as Black History Month, and is now celebrated all over North America. The ASALH has established the national theme since 1926. The Association has historically worked to conserve, preserve and perpetuate African American history and culture. At their site, you can order their Black History Learning Resource Package and other resources from the online store. You’ll also find future and past themes. Canada: The following information is quoted from the website of the Ontario Black History Society, on the 10th anniversary of the National Declaration of Black History Month in Canada. You’ll find many interesting resources at the OBHS website! “African-American historian, Carter G. Woodson conceived of the idea to have Negro History Week (later extended to Black History Month) in 1926 to coincide with the birthdates of emancipators, American President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass who had been enslaved. Sleeping car porters brought the idea across the border into Canada with them. “The Canadian Negro Womens Association celebrated it within the Black Canadian community. However, when Stanley G. Grizzle organized the first mainstream celebration of February as Black History Month (BHM) in Torontos British Methodist Episcopal Church in 1950, no one could have imagined that it would grow to encompass the imagination of the entire country. But that it did. “Through the efforts of Dr. Daniel G. Hill of the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS), BHM was formally recognized in Toronto by 1979. As it continued to be nurtured and supported by the OBHS, the idea to have a national BHM declaration in Canada was introduced to Jean Augustine, MP and Parliamentary Secretary by Rosemary Sadlier, President of the OBHS. It was finally passed in the House of Commons on December 5, 1995, and the first national declaration of Black History Month in Canada went into effect in February 1996.” – Walking in History With Woodson An essay by Dr. Maulana Karenga in the L.A. Sentinel 2/05/09. African American Read-In Sponsored by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English with the endorsement of The International Reading Association. It is hoped that more than a million readers will sign up to read literature by Black authors during the month of February! You can download a packet and recommended reading lists at the NCTE. back to top Martin Luther King Center Website On April 8, 1968 – four days after Dr. King was assassinated – Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich) introduced the first legistlation providing for a federal holiday. But that dream wasn’t realized until nearly 20 years later All through the 1970’s and 80’s controversy surrounded the idea of a Martin Luther King Day. Congresspersons and citizens had petitioned the President to make January 15, Martin Luther King’s birthday, a federal legal holiday. Others wanted to make the holiday on the day he died…while some people did not want to have a holiday at all. January 15 had been observed as a legal holiday for many years in 27 states and Washington, D.C. Finally, in 1986, President Ronald Reagan declared the third Monday in January a federal legal holiday commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. Yet not until 1999 was the holiday celebrated by all 50 states. The holiday is celebrated in some form in 100 countries around the world. Learn more about The King Holiday. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial – National Park Service The memorial was planned to be dedicated August 28, 2011, the 48th anniversary of the groundbreaking March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. However, due to the threat of Hurricane Irene, though the memorial was opened in August, the formal dedication was moved to Sunday October 16, 2011. The website has resources to explore this park, history & culture, a section for kids, news and more. Martin Luther King Jr. Posters at Amazon.com Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute – Keeping King’s Dream Alive In 2005, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute was created to provide an institutional home for a broad range of activities illuminating the Nobel Peace laureates life and the movements he inspired. At this content-rich web site you’ll find the King Papers Project, News and events, the King Online Encyclopedia, Featured Documents…a vast array of King resources. Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Your Classroom Lesson plans and resources provided by the National Council of Teachers of English. This takes you to their homepage, then search “King.” back to top Kwanzaa – December 26 through January 1 KWANZAA is celebrated seven days; from December 26 through January 1, a period which represents the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one. Kwanzaa draws on African traditions and takes its name from the phrase for first fruits in Swahili, a widely spoken African language. Its origins are in harvest celebrations that occurred in various places across the African continent in ancient and modern times. These traditions were synthesized and reinvented in 1966 by Maulana Karenga as the contemporary cultural festival known as Kwanzaa. The U.S. Post Office issues a Kwanzaa commemorative “Forever” stamp. If you don’t find it at your local post office, you can order it online. The Official Kwanzaa Website http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/ This is the website founded by Dr. Maulana Karenga, and provides detailed information about the history, symbolism, greetings, gifts, colors and decorations of Kwanzaa. It also provides a section of “Frequently Asked Questions,” an annual greeting from Dr. Karenga, and recommended books, music and videos. As the popularity of Kwanzaa grows, it has also become commercialized. “Therefore, the central interest of this website is to provide information which reveals and reaffirms the integrity, beauty and expansive meaning of the holiday and thus aids in our approaching it with the depth of thought, dignity, and sense of specialness it deserves.” The Kwanzaa Album. Women of the Calabash. Bermuda Reefs Records, 1998. Madeleine Yayodale Nelson, Marsha Perry Starkes, and Mayra Casales, all vocalists and percussionists. Order or listen at Amazon.com This album is the premier authentic collection of music inspired by and based upon the ideals, stories and history of Kwanzaa. In addition to a wide range of instrumental pieces, the album features eight specifically chosen vocal performances, ranging from traditional African songs to contemporary composed pieces. A standout for me is “Mya Si Grei”, a traditional song which originated in Guyana, sung by enslaved Africans and passed down to their children. The lyrics roughly translate into “Even though we are here in these terrible conditions, we are still the same proud, noble people we always were.” I also enjoyed Jody Gray’s a capella arrangement of “Lift Every Voice” performed with the Free Voices of Praise Choir. This is a dynamic, beautiful CD, one I highly recommend to celebrate Black History any time of year. Kwanzaa : A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture. Maulana Karenga . University of Sankore Press, 1997. Available at Amazon.com Everything you could ever want to know about Kwanzaa, written by the founder. Beautifully illustrated, this book belongs in every school library. Search for Kwanzaa books and music at Amazon.com back to top Juneteenth, June 19 In 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation declared freedom for all slaves, but the end of slavery was a slow and localized process because communications weren’t what they are today, and in many areas, there weren’t enough Union troops present to enforce it. Such was the case in Galveston, Texas. Not until June 19, 1865, did Union soldiers land with news that the war had ended and that all slaves were now free. This news was met with both shock and jubilation, and June 19, or Juneteenth, became the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery. The remembrance of those festivities became particularly precious to former slaves and their decendents, and has grown today to a worldwide celebration. Learn more at Juneteenth.com back to top Black Music Month (June ) “Created in 1978, was the brainchild of producer/composer Kenny Gamble and broadcast executive Ed Wright. Gamble was one-half of the renowned production team Gamble and Huff, and the founder of the famous Philly International Records, the label credited with inventing the legendary “Philly Sound” of the mid and late 70s. “Gamble had already founded the Philadelphia Music Foundation, which honored and recognized musicians from his hometown. The Black Music Association expanded that concept, aiming to support the honor, preservation and advancement of black music on a global scale. The association, which drew from all areas of the black music business, artistic as well as business and communications, saw the establishment of a Black Music Month as part of its overall program. “The month of June was first declared Black Music Month by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. In June 2002, President George W. Bush affirmed June as Black Music Month in a proclamation, stating, “I call on all Americans of all backgrounds to learn more about the rich heritage of black music and how it has shaped our culture and our way of life, and urge them to take the opportunity to enjoy the great musical experiences available through the contributions of African-American music.” Source: BlackHouston.com The Black Nationalist Colors and Flag Commissioned by Marcus Garvey, the “black flag” was originally the flag of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, a “back to Africa” organization of the 1920s. The red, black and green African Liberation or Black Nationalist flag is a symbol of universal black racial solidarity. The flag has three bars from top to bottom. Red represents the blood of all black people, black stands for the black race and green symbolizes land and nationhood. Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind . 90 min. Produced for The American Experience, 2001. Available at Amazon.com Marcus Garvey was many things to many people. To the elite of the Harlem Renaissance, he was a buffoon. To J. Edgar Hoover, he was a dangerous activitist…so feared that the first black FBI agent was hired solely to infiltrate the UNIA movement. But to hundreds of thousands – perhaps millions – of African people around the world he brought a message of hope, pride and unity which laid the foundation for the Black Power Movement. This video is rich in music and imagery, and many points of view are expressed through interviews with black historians, Garvey’s contemporaries and two sons, and former UNIA members. Malcolm X Official Website This website is maintained by the Estate of Malcolm X, which still sponsors community events. Among its many resources are news, history, quotes, achievements, Quick Facts and more. Malcolm X: Make It Plain. Produced for The American Experience, 1995 Available at Amazon.com Malcolm X is still a powerful presence, yet we know him mostly as an icon. Using rare interviews, archival footage and photographs, this video takes the viewer on an intellectual journey and chronicles the life and evolution of Malcolm X. The man behind the myth is explored as people close to him – including Maya Angelou, Ossie Davis, and Alex Haley – tell his story. 2012 Update: the film is out-of-print and was not transferred to DVD, but the PBS web site still offers a transcript and other resources. Malcolm X Posters and T-shirts at Amazon.com It’s About Time: Black Panther Party Legacy and Alumni http://www.itsabouttimebpp.com/home/home.html From the Statement of Purpose: “The It’s About Time Committee is committed to preserving and promoting the legacy of the Black Panther Party (BPP) and its programs of community survival pending social change…We have the responsibility to place our own experiences into historical context; otherwise the legacy of the Black Panther Party will be ignored, dismissed and distorted by today’s commentators and tomorrow’s historians. ..We will maintain a network of Black Panther Party alumni and supporters for the purpose of providing educational information to community groups or the public at large regarding issues of social justice.” Malcolm X Research Sitehttp://www.brothermalcolm.net/ This extensive, comprehensive site includes a chronology, family biography, photos, speeches and bibliography. It provides a study guide, links to conferences, and discussion of Malcolm X’s legacy and the radical black tradition. The Organization Ushttp://www.us-organization.org/ The Organization Us was founded by Dr. Maulana Karenga and several advocates on September 7,1965 following the Watts Revolt. “Out of the fires and struggle of that period we projected a new vision of possibility thru service, struggle and institution-building.” Founders of Kwanzaa. back to top The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded in New York City by a group of black and white citizens committed to social justice on February 12, 1909…the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth. The founders include Ida Wells-Barnett, W.E.B. DuBois, Henry Moscowitz, Mary White Ovington, Oswald Garrison Villiard, and William English Walling. The principal objective of the NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority group citizens of the United States. It is committed to non-violence. You can learn more about both the NAACP’s history and current activites by visiting the NAACP website back to top Founded in 1910, the Urban League is the nation’s oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream. The mission of the Urban League movement is to enable African Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity and power and civil rights.Headquartered in New York City, it is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, community-based movement. The heart of the Urban League movement is their professionally staffed Urban League affiliates in over 100 cities in 34 states and the District of Columbia. National Urban League website back to top Founded in 1935 by Dr. Mary Mcleod Bethune with the goal of improving the lives of black women and their families. Motto: Leave No One Behind. NCNW Website. back to top “The National Rainbow/PUSH Coalition (RPC) is a multiracial, multi-issue, international membership organization founded by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.” It’s mission is “uniting people of diverse ethnic, religious, economic and political backgrounds to make America’s promise of ‘liberty and justice for all’ a reality.” “RPC is the merger of Operation PUSH (founded in 1971) and the National Rainbow Coalition (founded in 1985) ” Rainbow/Push Coalition Website Southern Christian Leadership Conference http://sclcnational.org/ The beginnings of the SCLC can be traced back to the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-56, and founders include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Dr. Ralph David Abernathy, Rev. C. K. Steele, Rev. T. J. Jemison and Attorney I. M. Augustine. This movement is grounded in the philosophy of nonviolent resistance based on the lives and teachings of leaders such as Jesus Christ and Mohandas Gandhi. Current programs include direct action and voter registration. Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee – SNCC Legacy Project http://www.sncclegacyproject.org/ The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee or SNCC (pronounced Snick) emerged from the student sit-ins that erupted on February 1, 1960 in Greensboro, North Carolina. Historians characterize SNCC as the movements cutting edge. Its field secretaries worked in the most dangerous parts of the south seeking to both cultivate and reinforce local leadership. Its uncompromising style of non-violent direct action confronted racial injustice throughout the South and contributed to the elimination of racial segregation. And SNCCs unique from-the-bottom-up approach to organizing led to the emergence of powerful grassroots organizations. Though SNCC no longer exists as an organization, veterans came together at a 50th Anniversary Conference in 2010 to create the SLP (SNCC Legacy Project) both to document the history and to reach out to young people who are searching for ways to tackle the unfinished social, political and economic issues that confront them as 21st century activists. back to top Food African Cookbook Menus and recipes from Africa, by country. RecipeSource: Africa African Bobotie, FuFu, Peanut Soup, Morrocan Lemon Chicken, Anise Bread , Zimbabwe Greens and Yellow Raisin Rice are just a few of the 70 African recipes you can try at this site. Soul Foods Barbeque sauce, seafood gumbo, grits, black eyed peas, greens, beans and more! National Council of Negro Women, creators. The Historical Cookbook of the American Negro. Reprinted by Beacon Press, 2000. Read more at Amazon.com This is a real gem back in print! First published in 1958, this book includes contributions from NCNW members in thirty-six states and offers exceptional insight into American history and the African American community at the time of its publication. It’s arranged according to the calendar year, and even includes a recipe for Harriet Tubman’s favorite dish. The African-American Heritage Cookbook : Traditional Recipes and Fond Remembrances from Alabama’s Renowned Tuskegee Institute. By Carolyn Quick Tillery. Birch Lane Press, 1997. Available at Amazon.com Two hundred recipes and memories! Larissa’s Bread Book: Baking Bread & Telling Tales with Women of the American South. By Lorraine Johnson-Coleman. Nashville: Rutledge Hill Press, 2001. Available at Amazon.com I love this book! It explores and celebrates the rich cultural diversity of the south, through the eyes of a young girl and ten aging women who share their memories…and their recipes. (There are twelve different versions of cornbread…yum!) As the author writes, “…the South was never only black and white, but was always a rich rainbow of ethnic groups…” So you’ll find represented here African-American, North European, Italian, Mexican, Cajun, Appalachian, Cherokee and Jewish traditions. Creole Cookbooks at Amazon

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July 19, 2016   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

Preserving our Jewish heritage for future generations | JMM

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July 19, 2016   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

Soul Food Shabbat: How to Celebrate Black History Month …

Black-eyed pea hummus. Peach kugel. Matzah-meal fried chicken. These are no ordinary Jewish food mashups; theyre a blend of specific traditions and flavors, dredged and deep fried in African American and Jewish tradition. Culinary historian and Jewish educator, Michael Twitty, calls his way of cooking Jewish food Afro-Ashkefardi, a cuisine that reflects his love of being both African American and Jewish. If youre interested in learning more about Twittys relationships to Judaism, African-American heritage, foods, and faith, check out his articles in My Jewish Learnings Jewish&,a blog by Bechol Lashon, which gives voice to the racial, ethnic and cultural diversity of Jewish identity and experience. In honor of Black History Month, we thought it would be the perfect time to celebrate the deliciousness that Jewish African American cooks like Twitty bring to the table. Blacks and Jews are the only peoples I know who use food to talk about their past while they eat it, said Twitty in a recent interview with the Washington Post. Other Black Jewish figures were featured this month at Tablet, in a three-part series called Black Jews You Should Know, and theThe New York Public Library, which curatedafantastic collection of photographs, recordings, books and other works by Black Jews. Jewish-American food, like African-American food, is in so many ways influenced by the culinary traditions that people brought with them here. Theyre similar in that these foodswhether its babka or barbecue, matzah ball soup or fried chickenall speak to the past as edible expressions of diaspora. With just a few days left of African American History Month, try cooking a soul food Shabbat this week! Michaels Kosher Soul Shabbat is a great place to get started. Here are a few of our other favorites from his blog, and beyond. Recipes by Michael Twitty: Black Eyed-Pea Hummus West African Brisket Red Soup with Brisket and Creole Matzoh Balls Cornbread Kush (the precursor to modern cornbread stuffing) Yiddishe Rebenes Other Southern-Inspired classics: Sweet Potato Challah Citrus Collards with Raisins (vegetarian, by Afro-Vegan author, Chef Bryant Terry) Have some favorite Jewish soul food recipes we missed? Let us know in the comments below! Black-eyed pea hummus. Peach kugel. Matzah-meal fried chicken. These are no ordinary Jewish food mashups; theyre a blend of specific traditions and flavors, dredged and deep fried in African American and Jewish tradition. Culinary historian and Jewish educator, Michael Twitty, calls his way of cooking Jewish food Afro-Ashkefardi, a cuisine that reflects his love of being both African American and Jewish. If youre interested in learning more about Twittys relationships to Judaism, African-American heritage, foods, and faith, check out his articles in My Jewish Learnings Jewish&,a blog by Bechol Lashon, which gives voice to the racial, ethnic and cultural diversity of Jewish identity and experience. In honor of Black History Month, we thought it would be the perfect time to celebrate the deliciousness that Jewish African American cooks like Twitty bring to the table. Blacks and Jews are the only peoples I know who use food to talk about their past while they eat it, said Twitty in a recent interview with the Washington Post. Other Black Jewish figures were featured this month at Tablet, in a three-part series called Black Jews You Should Know, and theThe New York Public Library, which curatedafantastic collection of photographs, recordings, books and other works by Black Jews. Jewish-American food, like African-American food, is in so many ways influenced by the culinary traditions that people brought with them here. Theyre similar in that these foodswhether its babka or barbecue, matzah ball soup or fried chickenall speak to the past as edible expressions of diaspora. With just a few days left of African American History Month, try cooking a soul food Shabbat this week! Michaels Kosher Soul Shabbat is a great place to get started. Here are a few of our other favorites from his blog, and beyond. Recipes by Michael Twitty: Black Eyed-Pea Hummus West African Brisket Red Soup with Brisket and Creole Matzoh Balls Cornbread Kush (the precursor to modern cornbread stuffing) Yiddishe Rebenes Other Southern-Inspired classics: Sweet Potato Challah Citrus Collards with Raisins (vegetarian, by Afro-Vegan author, Chef Bryant Terry) Have some favorite Jewish soul food recipes we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

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July 18, 2016   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

Jewish American Heritage Month — National Register of …

Previously Highlighted Properties Jewish Center of Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York The Jewish Center of Coney Island, built between 1929 and 1931, is significant under criterion A for its association with the Jewish Community Center movement of the late 1910s and 1920s and as an indication of the development of Brighton Beach, at the southern edge of Brooklyn, as a new, middle-class residential neighborhood with a substantial Jewish population in the 1920s. Hyde Park, Burkeville, Virginia The property’s successful operation provided the opportunity for agriculturally skilled Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany to Immigrate to America and expand the farm’s productivity during the 1930s and early 1940s. St. Thomas Synagogue–Beracha Veshalom Vegemiluth Hasadim Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands The Synagogue of St. Thomas, called Beracha Veshalom Vegemiluth Hasidim (Blessing and Peace and Acts of Piety), built in 1833 in Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas Island, is the second oldest and longest in continuous use synagogue in the United States. The congregation, originally Spanish and Portuguese SephardicJews, came to the Caribbean Basin to finance trade between the Europe and the New World. Commonly referred to as the St. Thomas Synagogue, it is located on the southeastern slope of Denmark Hill in one of the older residential areas of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin islands, to the north of the towns main business district. New England Hebrew Farmers of the Emanuel Society Synagogue and Creamery Site Village of Chesterfield, Town of Montville, Connecticut The New England Hebrew Farmers of the Emanuel Society Synagogue and Creamery Site, located in the town of Montville, Connecticut, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on February 28, 2012 for both its historical and archaeological significance. The site includes the foundation remains of the synagogue, its associated mikvah, and a stone well, the foundation remains of the former creamery building (later converted into a dwelling and inn), a stone well, a barn, and several retaining walls. Louis Brandeis House, Barnstable County, Massachusetts Louis Dembitz Brandeis (1856-1941) was the first Jewish person to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. Appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to the Supreme Court on January 28, 1916, Louis Brandeis was already nationally known for his progressive views. Due at these views and ethnicity, his appointment aroused a storm of protest among large segments of the nations legal establishment. None the less, he was confirmed and took the oath on June 5, 1916. His name first became nationally known with the publication in 1914 of his book Other Peoples Money and How the Bankers Use It, which critiqued corporate power in the early 20th century Hebrew Orphan Asylum, Baltimore, Maryland The history of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum site spans nearly 200 years from its beginning in 1815 as Calverton, the country home of Baltimore banker Dennis Smith. An 1874 fire destroyed the Calverton mansion, and led to the construction of the present building, which was specifically designed as an orphanage and was dedicated in 1876. Chevra Bnai Yisroel Synagogue, Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, Iowa Designed by local architect, J. Chris Jensen, the Chevra Bnai Yisroel Synagogue reflects the congregations orthodox origins in its original design, with later remodeling reflecting the subsequent changes in the congregations religious outlook and traditions. The congregation associated with the Chevra Bnai Yisroel Synagogue in Council Bluffs, Iowa, was originally affiliated with Orthodox Judaism, later with Conservative Judaism, and most recently with Reconstuctionalist Judaism. Jewish Shelter Home, Multnomah County, Oregon The Shelter Home provided the Jewish immigrant district a certain continuity and support the Shelter Home allowed Jewish children of disrupted family backgrounds a Jewish upbringing which they quite possibly would have missed had they been placed in a state-operated orphanage. In the course of a year, 18 to 20 children would pass through the house; each staying whatever time was necessary. This process was extremely important to the maintenance of Jewish culture and society in South Portland. Park Circle Historic District (Baltimore, MD) Park Circle Historic District in Baltimore, Maryland was an early suburban Jewish neighborhood developed when the children of Eastern European immigrants moved from East Baltimore to the city’s northwest outskirts, setting the pattern for further expansion of Baltimore’s Jewish community to the northwest. Beth Sholom Synagogue (Elkins Park, PA) was one of a handful of Wright buildings singled out in 1959 by the American institute of Architects and the National Trust for Historic Preservation Mill House (Orange County, NY) In 1710, Luis Moses Gomez, the son of a well-to-do Jewish immigrant merchant, and a member of one of the foremost Jewish families in colonial New York, began to purchase land in Ulster and Orange Counties, finally acquiring about 2500 acres. On this tract of land Gomez constructed a stone house, the original section of the present Mill House, to accommodate his fur trading business with the American Indians. Albert Einstein House (Princeton, New Jersey): Albert Einstein, considered the greatest physicist of all time and named in 1999 Time Magazines Person of the Century, was born to Jewish parents in Ulm, Germany in 1879. Although most famous for his theory of relativity (and specifically mass-energy equivalence, E=mc), he was also known as an international advocate of peace, human rights and an early supporter of a homeland for the Jewish people. Historic Synagogues of Connecticut: In 1818 a constitutional convention in Connecticut resulted in the disestablishment of the Congregational Church as a tax-supported institution. At this time less than a dozen people of the Jewish faith were known to live in Connecticut. Jewish public worship was not permitted in Connecticut until 1843. Jewish Heritage Month Learn More National Register of Historic Places Flickr Photostream: Jewish American properties National Park Service Units: Jewish Heritage Sites in Travel Itineraries Jewish American Heritage Related Sites:

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July 4, 2016   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed

Jewish American Heritage Month – psesd.org

On April 20, 2006, President George W. Bush proclaimed that May would be Jewish American Heritage Month, recognizing the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture. Jewish American Heritage Month is a month to celebrate the contributions Jewish Americans have made to America since they first arrived in New Amsterdam in 1654. The focus on preserving traditions is a notable characteristic of Jewish culture. Many Jewish religious and cultural practices have developed and adapted over the millennia, yet the fundamental exhortation to ensure that long-cherished ways of life are passed on to future generations remains as strongas ever before. Many Jewish Americans carry on this belief as they instill these traditions in their children. Seeking to preserve their culture and start anew, Jewish immigrants have departed familiar lands to pursue their own American dreams for more than 300 years. During some periods, Jews sought refuge in the United States from the horrors and tragedies of persecution, pogroms, and the Holocaust. During other times, they came to seek better lives and greater economic opportunities for themselves and their children. Jewish American history demonstrates how Americas diversity enriches and strengthens us all. Read more at these sites: (Sources:https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2009-05-15/pdf/E9-11587.pdf,http://www.loc.gov/law/help/commemorative-observations/jewish-heritage.php)

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June 26, 2016   Posted in: Jewish American Heritage Month  Comments Closed


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