Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Get Ready: ABQ Jewish Film Festival!

Starts Monday June 1: Deli Man, Dancing in Jaffa, 24 Days, Havana Curveball, Jubanos, Deli Man. Something for everyone, and more!

Did Abq Jew mention Deli Man? He is (as you surely recall; see Oh, What A Night!) a big fan of kosher deli in general and Ben's Kosher Deli (NYC, of course) in particular.

There are special deals and special programs associated with this years ABQ Jewish Film Festival. For example:

  • By clicking here, you can purchase individual tickets to Albuquerque Film & Music Experience (AFME) films and events. More important - you can purchase a Five Jewish Films Pass for only $25 (plus a single Hold My Ticket processing fee.
  • Pierre Dulaine is introducing Dancing in Jaffa (visiting from NYC, his home) and kids from Dancing Classrooms (an affiliate of his international network) based here in Rio Rancho will perform after the movie.
  • Suki Halevi, Regional Director of ADL New Mexico, will facilitate discussion about anti-Semitism in France and Europe following 24 Days. 
  • Did Abq Jew mention Deli Man? By clicking here, you can purchase individual tickets to Deli Man at the JCC. A $5 deli lunch (kosher hot dog, potato knish, pickle) will be available at Rhubarb & Elliott (owned & operated by Ruth Rosenstein) at 12:30 pm.

This year, as always,
AFME offers films and events
for everyone who loves cinema.

Go! Enjoy!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Hoshana for Shavuot

Extraordinary: Or, as Israelis say, יוצאת מן הכּלל. This is all about Victoria Hanna.
Israeli vocal artist Victoria Hanna has been performing for years, but it was only a week ago that she put out her first official video single. 
The video, Aleph-Bet, has already garnered more than 68,000 views, signaling that her unique, experimental sound is perhaps going more mainstream.

That's what Renee Ghert-Sand said - back in February - in her Times of Israel article,

Aleph-Bet has been on YouTube for many weeks now. At latest count, it's been viewed more than 340,000 times.

Ms Ghert-Sand continues:
Hanna is known for mesmerizing interpretations of traditional Jewish texts (both Hebrew and Aramaic) that combine traditional Middle Eastern sounds with contemporary genres, such as rap and hip-hop. 
Among her religious literary inspirations are the biblical Song of Songs and the Kabbalistic Sefer Yetzirah (The Book of Creation). In Aleph-Bet, she focuses on one of her favorite subjects: the letters of the Hebrew alphabet and their various vowel sounds. 
The video opens with the alphabet and then moves in to the prayer for rain from the Hoshanot (Hosanna) service in the Sukkot liturgy.

On the Festival of Shavuot (Weeks), we recite neither small hoshanot nor (which please see) The Great Hosanna.

But we do celebrate the Gifting of the Torah, which in many ways may be compared to starting all over again with the Aleph Bet.

Note: There is only one Torah, which was given to the People Israel but once - on Shavuot. On Shavuot (and all festivals) we do not take "two Torahs" from the ark - we take two Torah scrolls. As for receiving - the people Israel receives the Torah anew every day ....

Public Radio International (PRI) reporter Daniel Estrin tells us more about Victoria Hanna.
The 'edgiest' singer on Israeli airwaves is an Orthodox mother of three
Victoria Hanna is the freshest, edgiest, weirdest artist on the Israeli airwaves today. 
How did she reach that status? By singing the alphabet. 
Hanna, a longtime fixture of the small indie Jewish spiritual music scene, released her first single this month — and it became an instant Internet sensation. 
The song is called Aleph Bet, the name of the Hebrew alphabet, and the music video is hypnotic and strange. 
In the video, Hanna plays a schoolteacher teaching a classroom of girls the Hebrew alphabet. She chants the entire cycle of the alphabet over and over with a different vowel. 
Ah Ba Ga Da … Aee Bee Gee Dee … Ooh Boo Goo Doo … 
Then she recites a Jewish prayer for rain, each line in alphabetic order. 
Raised in an ultra-Orthodox family in Jerusalem, Hanna draws from ancient Jewish texts for her creative inspiration.
Mr Estrin talks with Ms Hanna about her video here.

The Jewniverse tells us more about Victoria Hanna here.

And here is the Aleph-Bet video.

Shabbat Shalom, World!
Good Shabbos, Universe!

Hag Sameach, New Mexico!
Good Yontif, Albuquerque!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

ABQ Jewish Film Festival: Deli Man

A Film from the USA: The Albuquerque Film & Music Experience and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque are proud to present:

Deli Man
Sunday June 7 ~ 1:00 pm
Albuquerque JCC

For some, delicatessen food is close to a religious experience: a tender, crumbling cut of corned beef steeped in its juices; a full-bodied garlic dill pickle; spicy brown mustard with grain.

The recipes and culinary garnishes from Hungary, Poland, Russia, and Romania flowed into late 19th and early 20th century America soon became part of an American culinary and cultural vernacular – Deli.

The principal guide of Deli Man is the effusive and charming Ziggy Gruber, a third-generation delicatessen man, owner and maven (as well as a Yiddish-speaking, French-trained chef) who currently operates one of the country’s top delis, Kenny and Ziggy’s in Houston.

The story of the American deli is the story of Jews – their immigration, migration, upward mobility, and western assimilation. Jerry Stiller, Larry King and others are featured. (2014, 60 minutes)

Purchase tickets here at Hold My Ticket. View the trailer here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

ABQ Jewish Film Festival: Jubanos

A Film from Cuba: The Albuquerque Film & Music Experience and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque are proud to present:

Jubanos: Jews of Cuba
with Havana Curveball
Thursday June 4 ~ 7:10 pm
National Hispanic Cultural Center

Cuba is known for its revolutionary leaders, communism, cigars, and 50s cars. However, religion does not define this small island. When the Cuban Revolution hit in 1961, religion was banned, leaving the Cuban Jewish Community struggling to sustain itself for nearly three decades.

Jubanos: Jews of Cuba tells the humbling story of the 1500 Jews who remained in the country despite the difficulties. With exclusive interviews from members of the scattered Jewish community, this documentary explores how the new generation re-learned what so many had previously forgotten.

The journey to rediscovering and reviving Jewish life raises questions about faith, sustenance, strength, and the future, which the Cuban Jews continue to face up until today. (2010, 42 minutes; Spanish with English subtitles)

Purchase tickets here at Hold My Ticket. View the trailer here.

Monday, May 18, 2015

ABQ Jewish Film Festival: Havana Curveball

A Film from Cuba: The Albuquerque Film & Music Experience and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque are proud to present:

Havana Curveball
with Jubanos: Jews of Cuba
Thursday June 4 ~ 6:00 pm
National Hispanic Cultural Center

Mica is a classic young teen. Enthusiastic. Idealistic. Dreaming baseball. At 13, he is studying for his Bar Mitzvah, the Jewish coming of age ritual. He takes to heart his Rabbi’s requirement to help “heal the world.” Imagining himself a savior of sorts, he launches a grand plan to send baseball equipment to less fortunate kids in Cuba, the country that offered refuge to his beloved Austrian grandfather during WWII. Nearly 70 years later, Mica feels a need to repay the debt. Enthusiastically collecting bats, mitts and balls, he never considers that his good intentions might not be enough.

Havana Curveball observes Mica shift from high-pitched boy to broad-shouldered young man, as he squares off against the complexity of the adult world. After two years, he finally boards a plane to Havana with his family, 200 pounds of baseball gear, and all the rhetoric, expectations, and worries of family, friends, and history in tow. Imagining he is finally in the home stretch, his experience there is transformative. (2014, 60 minutes)

Purchase tickets here at Hold My Ticket. View the trailer here.

Friday, May 15, 2015

ABQ Jewish Film Festival: 24 Days

A Film from France: The Albuquerque Film & Music Experience and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque are proud to present:

24 Days
The True Story of the Ilan Halimi Affair
Wednesday June 3 ~ 7:00 pm
National Hispanic Cultural Center

Winner of four U.S. Film Festival Audience Awards and the Lia Award - Jerusalem Film Festival, 24 Days is a gripping and carefully-plotted thriller that tells the true story of the 2006 kidnapping-for-ransom and torture of 23 year old Jewish Ilan Halimi in a Paris suburb by The Gang of Barbarians.

Backed by a top-notch cast, director Alexandre Arcady’s white-knuckle dramatization follows the massive police manhunt and the family’s nightmarish ordeal as they race the clock to find Ilan and his abductors.

24 Days compellingly pinpoints how France continues to deal with racial tensions and anti-Semitism almost a decade later. (2014, 110 minutes French with English subtitles).

Purchase tickets here at Hold My Ticket. View the trailer here.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

ABQ Jewish Film Festival: Dancing in Jaffa

A Film from Israel: The Albuquerque Film & Music Experience and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque are proud to present:

Dancing in Jaffa
Monday June 1 ~ 7:00 pm
National Hispanic Cultural Center

Ballroom dancing bridges gaps between Jewish and Palestinian children in Israel in Dancing in Jaffa, a surprising, well-crafted, award-winning  documentary about how the celebrated dancer Pierre Dulaine, founder of Dancing Classrooms, a tremendously successful inter-ethnic program in New York, returned to help his hometown of Jaffa, which he fled as a 4-year-old in 1948.

Starting with a seemingly impossible situation, marked by deep cultural restrictions and war-forged trauma, Hilla Medalia’s film traces a slow but inexorable process of change as spitting enemies learn to tango, rumba and meringue together.

Dancing in Jaffa offers an up-close-and-personal perspective of how the future might unfold if the art of movement and dance could triumph over the politics of history and geography (2013, 90 min)

Purchase tickets here at Hold My Ticket. View the trailer here.