Stand-up comedian and cultural attache Jesse Appell will perform bits from his Chinese stand-up act; offer a taste of Xiangsheng (traditional Chinese Cross-talk), and share some of his videos (many have gone viral in China ). Appell will entertain the audience with stories of an American Jew living in China (what he describes as “prosemitism”) and will reflect on his experience as a millennial crossing the cultural divide. Appell, a Newton native and graduate of Brandeis University ’12, went to China as a Fulbright fellow to study Chinese humor and has become one of a few stand-up comedians in a country of 1.35 billion people. Appell’s performances, writing, and commentary on Chinese comedy, media, and culture have appeared on TEDx, PBS, NPR, BBC, PRI, and The Economist.
Join us for a workshop production of Samuel J. Bernstein’s exciting new musical that explores the Book of Esther from an original perspective. The Queen’s Dilemma blends humor with anguish, tragedy with triumph, with the result being a play that explores Jewish identity in all of its complexity.The play is set both in the historical narrative conveyed in the Book of Esther and at a Purim party where party-goers at times assume the minor roles in the biblical tale. As the party goes on, the revelers are drawn into the historical personalities and events behind the celebration of Purim. By the play’s end, Esther begins to question the moral ambiguity behind elements of the narrative. Samuel J. Bernstein served as Professor of English at Northeastern University for over 50 years. Bernstein is the author of some 20 plays including the off-Broadway play Olympics Uber Alles.
Rachel Adelman in conversation with Professors David Stern & Judith Kates
From Eve to Esther, the Hebrew Bible is replete with gendered tales of trickery. Author Rachel Adelman, assistant professor of Bible at Hebrew College, draws on classic rabbinic sources and modern literary interpretation to demonstrate that women are at the crux of conflict over lineage versus family alliances. In many case, the female ruse has divine sanction: God colludes with the feminine agents to advance the providential plan. Adelman will discuss the role of these biblical women and their ruses, based on selected readings from the book.
Congregation Or Atid’s Cantor Jeri Robins and the Kol Arev Chamber Choir will lead a Klezmer Kabbalat Shabbat Service composed by alumna Cantor Becky Wexler Khitrik and Kol Arev Music Director Amy Lieberman. A klezmer ensemble will accompany the choir, featuring Cantor Becky Khitrik on clarinet, Janet Penn on cello, Aaron Blacksberg on accordion and Yaeko Miranda Elmaleh on violin.
Hebrew College is pleased to honor these extraordinary women for their outstanding leadership in the Greater Boston Jewish community, Hebrew College and beyond: Geraldine Acuña-Sunshine, Winnie Sandler Grinspoon, Sari Anne Rapkin and Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller z”l .
Pulitzer Prize winner and former syndicated Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman will be the evening’s featured speaker: Women’s Leadership: Leaning In, and Up. An innovative force in American journalism, commenting on the tumult and impact of social change, Goodman began her career as a researcher for Newsweek magazine. Shattering the exclusive mold of only men writing about politics, she was one of the first women to open up the Op-Ed pages to women’s voices. She continues her advocacy for women as the founder of The Conversation Project, an effort to engage families in end of life discussions. Read more about the event, honorees and speaker.
Co-Chairs, Celebrate 2016 Tribute Committee: Susan & Aron Ain, Diane & Chester Black, Myra Musicant & Howard Cohen, Marsha Cohen, Renee & Steven Finn, Jamie & Harold Kotler, Lydia & Bernie Kukoff, Sara Lee, Dorie Alexander Mufson & Michael Mufson, Rabbi Suzanne & Andy Offit, Nancy Buck & James Sebenius
Invitations will be available in early February. For information about tributes and corporate sponsorships, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Jan Moidel Schwartz, senior development officer, at 617-559-8766.
In this upcoming Martin Kace lecture, Yosef Abramowitz will share his unconventional journey from Boston Jewish educator to Israeli solar impact investor. Abramowitz has been from the Negev to the heart of East Africa and attended 2015 Paris Climate Conference as a member of the Israeli Delegation. He will discuss how being an observant Jew and human rights activist were central to broadening his vision and expertise as an Israeli solar investor. 2015 Nobel Prize nominee Yosef Abramow-itz is President of Gigawatt Global and its Israeli affiliate Energiya Global. He was nominated for Gigawatt Global’s work with the Rwandan solar field project, which now provides 6% of the country’s power. He co-founded the first Israeli solar company, Arava Power, in 2006. CNN named Abramowitz one the top six Green Pioneers Worldwide.
As we approach Passover and remember the plight of our ancestors in Egypt, we are called upong to focus on the status of the modern day refugee. Vice President of Community Engagement for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), Rabbi Jennie Rosenn will share up-to-date news on the current refugee crisis and will analyze and discuss its evolution in the United States and the American Jewish community’s response. As we approach Passover and remember the plight of our ancestors in Egypt, we are called to focus on the status of modern day refugees. Our world today has more refugees and displaced persons than at any time since World War II. Conflict and persecution are driving millions from their homes, leaving them stateless and vulnerable. In the United States, recent backlash is threatening America’s legacy as a country that welcomes refugees.
In 2009, writer Glenn Kurtz found a short, 1938 ‘home movie’ that his grandfather, an immigrant to the US, took when visiting his former home in Nasielsk, Poland. The discovery led Kurtz on a four-year journey to identify the people in the film and re-capture life in the small, predominantly Jewish town before the Holocaust. Kurtz will discuss how his grandfather’s three minutes of film led him to a riveting exploration of memory, loss, and improbable survival.
Kurtz will be joined by Leora Tec, Director of Bridge to Poland, an organization she founded to share the memorialization of Jewish life being carried out by non-Jewish Poles. Tec first felt the connection to her Polish identity when she joined her mother, Nechama Tec, a survivor and Holocaust scholar, on a trip to Poland in 2005. Tec will share her passion for showing people the power of reconciliation and hope even in the shadow of the darkest history.
CEO of Constant Contact, Gail Goodman will share her professional philosophy that is sure to inspire executives in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. A small-business expert and visionary, Gail has revolutionized the way that small organizations find and grow customer relationships. Since taking leadership of Constant Contact in 1999, she has been the architect of the company’s growth to more than 1,400 employees. Today, more than 650,000 small businesses and nonprofits use Constant Contact’s online marketing tools to engage their customers and grow their businesses.