Monday, May 2, 2016

Summer 2016 @ OASIS Abq

Great Courses @ OASIS:  Abq Jew is pleased to announce that

OASIS Albuquerque has just announced
their Summer 2016 line-up of classes!
Registration opens on Wednesday May 4
but you can Wish List your selections now.

The mission of OASIS (as stated on the organization's website) is

To promote healthy aging through a three-fold approach: 
lifelong learning, healthy living and social engagement. 
OASIS Albuquerque Executive Director Kathleen Raskob continues to work enthusiastically to bring you new and interesting class offerings, and continues to make sure there are plenty of courses of Jewish interest. This session's courses and instructors include but are by no means limited to:

Expulsion and Memory: Conversos & Crypto-Jews in New Mexico
Wed 1 Jun 2016  @ 10:30 am - #112
Instructor: Norma Libman
What It Is: NM is home to descendants of Jews expelled from Spain during the Inquisition. Some do not know their heritage; others know but continue practicing Christianity; still others are Christian but include Jewish rituals in their practice or secretly consider themselves Jews, engaging in a Crypto-Jewish lifestyle. In this class we will screen the film Expulsion and Memory and discuss the Converso story. This class is a good preparation for class #123, a tour of the new NM History Museum exhibit on this subject.

Fractured Faiths: Spanish Judaism, The Inquisition, and New World Identities
Wed 1 Jun 2016 @ 8:30 am - #123
Instructor: Norma Libman
What It Is: The museum exhibit Fractured Faiths: Spanish Judaism, The Inquisition, and New World Identities tells the story of how Spain's Jewry found a tenuous foothold in North America. Despite continued persecution and investigation, its people persisted to finally make a mark as successful merchants, artists, and philanthropists in New Mexico.

Working with institutions in Spain, Mexico City, and New York, exhibit curators Josef Díaz and Roger Martínez-Dávila gathered evidence which reunited Spanish artifacts with New World counterparts to reveal the history of the Spanish Sephardim - the stalwarts, the converts and the hidden Jews - and their long heritage within the Americas. A global story that played out on New Mexico soil, this monumental exhibit details one of history's most compelling chronicles of human tenacity and the power of cultural identity.

Travel to Santa Fe with Norma Libman, who provides introductory information on the bus about the Fractured Faiths exhibit. At the NM History Museum, take a tour with Josef Diaz, the Museum's curator of Southwest and Mexican Colonial Art and History Collections. After time to explore the Museum, lunch is on your own in the Santa Fe Plaza area. On the return trip, there will be an opportunity for participants to discuss the exhibit with Norma Libman.

In preparation for the trip, we also recommend "Expulsion and Memory: Conversos & Crypto-Jews in New Mexico" (Class #112 on June 1) with Norma Libman.

Healing the Spirit, Transforming the Mind, Deepening Love
Thu 16 Jun 2016 @ 10:30 am - #88
Instructor: Shefa Gold
What It Is: Words of creation, transformation, and healing are hidden in plain sight. When you find the divine breath within and resuscitate those words, they come alive and become a vehicle of power and healing. In this workshop, explore the power and magic of Hebrew Chant as we transform the words of prayer into spiritual practice. All are welcome. You do not have to be Jewish or know how to sing or meditate.

Legendary Leaders in Albuquerque's History
Thu 7 Jul 2016 @ 10:30 am - #117
Instructor: Richard Melzer
What It Is: Spanish settlers founded Albuquerque in 1706. The settlement developed from a small farming community into NM's largest city. Richard Melzer discusses dozens of the notable men and women participated in this remarkable growth. Legendary locals in Albuquerque include those who played important roles in politics and diplomacy; the military; law and order; religion and education; art and literature; culture and entertainment; business and tourism; health, science, technology, and space; and sports.

American Songwriter: George Gershwin
Mon 1 Aug 2016 @ 1:00 pm - #69
Instructor: Jane Ellen
What It Is: George Gershwin (1898-1937) was one of the first great voices of "American" music in the 20th century. At the time of his death, he was slated to win the first Pulitzer prize for musical comedy (awarded posthumously), had written an opera, composed for stage and screen, and had created symphonic works that served to whet the appetites of modern concert-goers in the US. This class will explore Gershwin's major works as well as his popular tunes.

Joseph in Three Dimensions: Literature, Visual Art, & Music
Wed 10 Aug 2016  @ 10:30 am - #93
Instructor: Paul Citrin
What It Is: Joseph is one of the most fascinating, multi-dimensional Biblical figures. We will examine his life from literary, philosophical, ethical, and aesthetic viewpoints, and explore his life for universal values which apply to our time.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

CU Later, Better

Cataract Surgery: This year, Abq Jew will be celebrating Passover, the Festival of Freedom, by freeing (during Chol HaMoed, of course) his good right eye (his left eye

is not, has vishalom, bad; it is merely differently abled) from the cataract that prevents him from seeing the score - or even which teams are playing - when he watches ball games from his not-really-that-distant couch.

Abq Jew is making this announcement in the hope that you, his loyal readers, will not mind if there is a lacuna (gap) in blog posts for a few days.

And speaking of lehavdil minds and gaps, Abq Jew (and The Guardian, The New York Times, and many other news outlets) notes with sorrow the recent and most untimely passing of Phil Sayer. (No, there is no overt Jewish connection here.)
Phil Sayer, famous for his ‘mind the gap’ message on London’s tube stations, has died aged 62. Sayer worked for the BBC in Manchester for 10 years before starting Sayer Hamilton Studios with his wife, fellow voice artist, Elinor Hamilton in 2003.

If we're going to talk about minds and gaps, Abq Jew thinks, why not talk about Bette Midler and Oklahoma? Wikipedia tells us that
Midler was born [December 1, 1945] in Honolulu, Hawaii, where hers was one of the few Jewish families in a mostly Asian neighborhood. 
Her mother, Ruth (née Schindel; b. 1916, New Jersey), was a seamstress and housewife, and her father, Fred Midler (b. 1912, New Jersey), worked at a Navy base in Hawaii as a painter, and was also a housepainter.
She was raised in Aiea and attended Radford High School, in Honolulu. She was voted "Most Talkative" in the 1961 school Hoss Election, and "Most Dramatic" in her senior year (class of 1963). 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Two Songs for Pesach 5776

With More (Billy Nader) Coming: Yes, according to Abq Jew's Abq Jewish Event Calendar, Passover 2016, aka Pesach 5776, is almost upon us.

The Ein Prat Fountainheads have promised (again, Billy Nader), a new Pesach video this week. While we're waiting ... and to put us in the proper Passover mood ... here is Dayenu, Coming Home, their video from 2011.

And for something very different and also very good - here is Vanessa Paloma singing Moses Salio de Misrayim, her 2009 video.

New Mexijews! We're in luck!
Vanessa Paloma will be performing
with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale this summer!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

AFME 2016 Presents

Here's The Lineup!  Abq Jew is happy to announce that the 2016 Albuquerque Film & Media Experience (AFME) is bringing a number of powerful, exciting, thoughtful, thought-provoking, interesting films to Abq later this month.

Monday April 18

The Luft Gangster: Memoirs of a Second Class Hero
75th Anniversary of The Tuskegee Airmen

At 93 years old, Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson recalls his trials and tribulations from early childhood racism in America to his segregated military experience and overseas combat deployment in WWII.

He tells of his stay as a P.O.W. in Nazi Germany and recalls his sobering walk through Dachau Concentration Camp, which was liberated only 2 days earlier.

After heroically serving his country in the world’s worst war, Alex joyfully returned home only to be greeted by racism, bigotry and segregation.

Tuesday April 19

The Merry Maids of Madness

After walking out of her wedding for a sandwich, Beatrice decides to take a rest at Stratford Home for Rest and Rehabilition. This is the story of what happened inside those walls. A feature length comedy inspired by the women of Shakespeare.

Wednesday April 20

Rumba de Burque

Rumba de Burque - original Latin music from Albuquerque New Mexico, filmed at the rail yards in 2015. This is the first cut of their first album called "Importados" showing the diversity of the inhabitants of the Burque.

The Horseshoe's Happiness

The Horseshoe's Happiness is about Tijs Groen, a former Dutch athletics champion who gave up his running career to pursue a new and unknown musical adventure in southern Spain.

Tijs has always played the guitar as a hobby but he never really considered to become a musician. While on holiday in Spain he visited the small beach town of La Herradura (Spanish for ‘horseshoe’) in Andalucia. Here he met interesting musicians, an inspiring guitar maker and he learned about flamenco and guitar music in general.

Back home he decides that he wants to live in this special and creative place to explore his musical skills and interests. He buys an old van, refurbishes it and moves to The Horseshoe. From this nomadic home he studies the guitar, meets new friends, like-minded people and arranges gigs in bars, restaurants and simply out on the streets.

The Horseshoe's Happiness follows Tijs during his first year in Spain. A very intense year in which he works hard to discover his musical style as well as his ideal lifestyle after giving up on his secure life in the Netherlands.

With ups-and-downs, Tijs lives through all the seasons in the coastal area, from the cold and abandoned winter to the crowded and touristy summer. During this cycle he is slowly confronted with the consequences of his choices. More and more he has to find answers to questions about where he comes from, and where he’s heading to.

Thursday April 21

The Quest for Suki

A gullible sweepstakes entrant determines something is awry when his big win lands him a meeting with the mayor's evil twin.  Julius lives in a larger-than-life New Mexico, where 70 years ago the bitter War of New Mexico almost destroyed the Southwest, and as a result, everything today is a bit... stranger. A local museum proudly claims to hold 'The Bluest Painting in the World.' Caffeinated Malt Beverages are still legal. Brain-eating amoebas are harvested in glowing syringes. And a sinister plot is out to ruin Julius' life for no good reason. Sometimes life is just absurd.

Friday April 22

What Would Beethoven Do?

The film questions why we create art by looking at the fractured state of the ailing classical music world. Along with a colorful greek chorus of thinkers, three charismatic creators reveal not only why they make music but what it stands for beyond the notes on the page.

Saturday April 23

The Gift 

'The Gift' chronicles three generations starting in the1970's, following an acoustic guitar as its handed down through the years and the gift of music passed along with it.

The Caveman of Atomic City

The story of microMike, a unique man who lived in caves under the famous Los Alamos National Lab, the secretive birthplace of nuclear weapons. He developed a theory of time and space to rival Einstein's, found the most valuable rock on the planet that may help stop a Martian invasion, and challenged the world's brightest minds about what it really means to be a scientist.

Sunday April 24

The Newport Effect

In 1959, a trio of visionaries- Pete Seeger, George Wein and Theo Bikel - created a musical phenomenon known as The Newport Folk Festival. Newport provided the blueprint and stands as the "grandfather" of contemporary music festivals. It is the legendary festival where Bob Dylan "plugged in", though its legacy reaches far beyond that mythical moment.

The Newport Folk festival introduced its audiences to roots music from around the world, freedom songs, prison songs, political anthems and unforgettable artists - blues giants from the deep south like Skip James and Mississippi John Hurt, the Georgia Sea Island Singers, African penny whistle player Spokes Machiani and flat picking legend Doc Watson, among hundreds of others.

The festival resurrected interest in the dying art of Cajun music and - on its new artists stage - introduced the world to James Taylor, Arlo Guthrie and Joni Mitchell.

The Newport Effect celebrates 50 years of musical excellence, explores the rich social activism of the times and honors the deep and lasting impact of the Newport Folk Festival.

AFME is presenting many more films
than the handful that Abq Jew has highlighted.
How many more, which films, and when and where?
Click here to find out!

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Walk of Life Project

Life in Albuquerque: So much for Death in Albuquerque and Kicking the Bucket! Let's get back to The Walk of Life and a project that is near and dear to Abq Jew's heart.

And no, Abq Jew does not now speak of the Chevre Kaddisha of Greater Albuquerque. In this case, Abq Jew speaks of

The Walk of Life Project

The Walk of Life Project was very recently conceived, developed, and launched by Peter Salomone, a (currently) unemployed freelance video editor and comedy writer, to test one simple hypothesis:

Walk of Life by Dire Straits
is the perfect song to end any movie.

Matthew Dessem recently wrote in Slate magazine:
After 120 Years, Cinema Has Finally Achieved Its Full Potential, With the Help of Dire Straits 
It can take a long time for humanity to figure out the best use for a new technology. Hedy Lamarr imagined the radio-frequency–hopping technology she invented would be used for torpedoes, not cell phones. The Internet was around for 30 years before it changed the world forever. 
And now, 120 years after their first public exhibition, Peter Salomone has perfected motion pictures. As is so often the case, the secret turned out to be Dire Straits. 
Salomone is the mad scientist behind the Walk of Life Project, a rigorous experiment designed to test a simple hypothesis: 
Walk of Life by Dire Straits is the perfect song to end any movie.
Although his research is in its infancy, the results have been undeniable.

Just about a year ago, right before Pesach, Abq Jew explicated ad comprehensium about The Walk of Life. Please take a wonderfully invigorating moment to review that blog post, the lyrics above, and the music in performance (Wembley 1985) below.

And now, let's test Mr Salomone's hypothesis.

Where to begin? You may choose to peruse the Walk of Life Project Youtube channel. Or you may choose to trust Abq Jew to find three (3) of the best examples right here. Presented in chronological order by movie release date.

Shabbat Shalom, Albuquerque!
Good Shabbos, New Mexico!