Friday, March 29, 2013

History of Sephardic Jews (Reprise)

And the Formation of the United States:  The New Mexico Jewish Historical Society invites you to join anthropologist Dr Ron Duncan Hart as he explores The History of Sephardic Jews in the Formation of the United States.

 Sephardic Jews
& the Formation of the United States

Dr Ron Duncan Hart
Sunday March 31 ~ 2:30 pm
Albuquerque JCC

Reprise of Sunday March 17 ~ Santa Fe

Starting with the first 23 Jews who arrived to New Amsterdam by accident in 1654, the Jewish population in the United States for the next 150-200 years was largely Sephardic.

The early synagogues from New York to Philadelphia, Newport, Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans were Sephardic. They played active roles in commerce, politics and thought in the early U.S. This talk will cover that history.

This is just one of the many events the New Mexico Jewish Historical Society has scheduled for the spring and summer.

You can check out the other events - and everything else Jewish happening in Albuquerque and beyond - on the Abq Jewish Events Calendar:

And while we're on the general topic - it's almost Shabbos!  And - it's almost the last two days of Pesach! 
Which means that we can all pack up the Pesachdik kitchenware at about 8:10 pm on Tuesday April 2. Please allow your rabbi sufficient time to buy back your chometz before rushing out for pizza.

To help us all slide in to the mood, here is the Andy Statman Trio (with Kenny Kosek of the Klezmer Mountain Boys) playing that old Shabbos niggun Ragtime Annie at NYC's Charles Street Synagogue (where, many years ago, Mr & Mrs Abq Jew used to daven).

Shabbat Shalom, Albuquerque!
Good Shabbos, New Mexico!
A Zissen Pesach, World!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rabbi Herschel Schacter Dies at 95

Rabbi of Buchenwald Liberation: The smoke was still rising as Rabbi Herschel Schacter rode through the gates of Buchenwald.

Rabbi Herschel Schacter leading Shavuot services in Buchenwald, 1945

The New York Times reports:
It was April 11, 1945, and Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army had liberated the concentration camp scarcely an hour before. Rabbi Schacter, who was attached to the Third Army’s VIII Corps, was the first Jewish chaplain to enter in its wake.

That morning, after learning that Patton’s forward tanks had arrived at the camp, Rabbi Schacter, who died in the Riverdale section of the Bronx on Thursday [March 21] at 95 after a career as one of the most prominent Modern Orthodox rabbis in the United States, commandeered a jeep and driver.
The Talmud teaches us that "whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world." Rabbi Schacter thus saved worlds upon worlds - including two very special worlds.

The New York Times tells the story:
As he passed a mound of corpses, Rabbi Schacter spied a flicker of movement. Drawing closer, he saw a small boy, Prisoner 17030, hiding in terror behind the mound.

“I was afraid of him,” the child would recall long afterward in an interview with The New York Times. “I knew all the uniforms of SS and Gestapo and Wehrmacht, and all of a sudden, a new kind of uniform. I thought, ‘A new kind of enemy.’ ”

With tears streaming down his face, Rabbi Schacter picked the boy up. “What’s your name, my child?” he asked in Yiddish.

“Lulek,” the child replied.

“How old are you?” the rabbi asked.

“What difference does it make?” Lulek, who was 7, said. “I’m older than you, anyway.”

“Why do you think you’re older?” Rabbi Schacter asked, smiling.

“Because you cry and laugh like a child,” Lulek replied. “I haven’t laughed in a long time, and I don’t even cry anymore. So which one of us is older?”  
Rabbi Schacter discovered nearly a thousand orphaned children in Buchenwald. He and a colleague, Rabbi Robert Marcus, helped arrange for their transport to France ... as well as to Switzerland, a group personally conveyed by Rabbi Schacter, and to Palestine. 
One of the thousand orphaned children - transported to France - was Elie Wiesel.

And what of Lulek ...? Lulek, who eventually settled in Palestine, grew up to be Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau.

Rabbi Lau, who recounted his childhood exchange with Rabbi Schacter in a memoir, published in English in 2011 as “Out of the Depths,” was the Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel from 1993 to 2003 and is now the chief rabbi of Tel Aviv.
On Friday [March 22], when Rabbi Lau told Mr. Obama of his rescue by Rabbi Schacter - he thanked the American people for delivering Buchenwald survivors “not from slavery to freedom, but from death to life” - he had not yet learned of Rabbi Schacter’s death the day before.
“For me, he was alive,” Rabbi Lau said in an interview with The Times on Monday. “I speak about him with tears in my eyes.”
May the memory of
Rabbi Herschel Schacter
be for a blessing

Monday, March 25, 2013

Elijah in Albuquerque!

 Tonight Could Be The Night!

At our Pesach seders
we Jews have been opening our doors to Elijah for thousands of years.  

We still believe that Elijah the Prophet will return tonight 
and announce the Coming of the Messiah.

When that happens, our first question will be:

Did Elijah remember to send out a press release?

If he did - you may learn the Good News in a few days or weeks.
 But you can always hear about Salvation and Comfort at &
Your guide to Jewish life in Albuquerque and beyond

A Zissen Pesach, Albuquerque!
Chag Kasher veSameach, New Mexico!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Passover Matzah! Breaking News!

Horseradish Alert!  The Festival of Passover, we must recall, is the Festival of Freedom. And freedom, we must realize, is never - ever - to be taken lightly.  

Abq Jew firmly believes that, when confronting vital questions about politics, philosophy, or ... ahem ... religion, the life-affirming answer is always

More Freedom!

And Abq Jew is proud to say that our nation's greatest president strongly agrees.

As everyone who has seen Lincoln The Movie (and if you haven't, you should) now knows (if they didn't before), Doing The Right Thing Ain't Always Easy.

There are the politicians who oppose; there are the people who object; and there are the members of the Fourth Estate (can anyone name the first three?): The Press.

What if, Abq Jew hears you ask, today's news media had covered the Passover story?

Our friends at have, thankfully, answered this question for us. Here is their newest 2013 video, Passover: Breaking News.

Wait a minute! Abq Jew hears you cry. Aren't these the same guys Abq Jew mentioned in his classic 2011 blog post, Fun At The Seder, Laptop Included?

Yes, they are! Abq Jew cheerfully responds. And if you missed it then - here is, right now, the greatest Passover video in the history of the world - Google Exodus!

But it's soon to be Shabbos HaGadol, the Great Sabbath. Or, as it's known in Abq Jew's house, the Last Weekend. Maybe you're cleaning for Passover? 

Last year, in his classic 2012 blog post, Pesach As She Oughtta Be, Abq Jew brought you Rebbetzin Rivka Leah Zelwig, a - no, the renowned authority on Pesach cleaning.

Missed it? Too bad. Oh, wait a minute! You're in luck!

Please note that: a) there can be no true cleaning for Pesach without extensive use of power tools; and b) Rebbetzin RLZ is wearing protective eyewear.  Follow her example.

Horseradish Alert!
So far this year, the only places Abq Jew has discovered where
Kosher for Passover horseradish may be purchased are
Chabad of New Mexico / Albuquerque
Keller's @ Eubank & Candelaria

Smith's @ Wyoming & Academy (near the JCC)

Smith's @ Tramway & Central (Four Hills)

Shabbat Shalom, Albuquerque!
Good Shabbos, New Mexico!
A Zissen Pesach, World!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Call for Hurst Award Nominations

NMJHS Seeks Nominations: The New Mexico Jewish Historical Society (NMJHS) is seeking nominations for the Dr. Allan and Leona Hurst Award to be presented at the NMJHS Annual Meeting on June 9 in Santa Fe.

This is a prestigious award that recognizes a person, persons, or organization that has contributed to New Mexico Jewish history, culture, and community for a substantial period of time. The first award was bestowed in 1998 in honor of Dr. Allan Hurst, a founding member of the Society, and his wife.

Previous award recipients are: Stanley M. Hordes, PhD, Walter Kahn, Henry Tobias, PhD, Melanie LaBorwit, Claire Grossman, Taos Jewish Center, Leah Kellogg, Rabbi Leonard A. Helman, Noel Pugach, PhD, Abraham S. Chanin, PhD, Lance Bell, Dorothy Corner Amsden, Naomi Sandweiss, Sharon Niederman, and Lisa Kaplan Witt.

If you would like to nominate someone to receive this award, please fill out the Nomination Form and return it to the NMJHS office by March 7. Mail your nomination to:
NMJHS, Attn: Ruth Carter, Hurst Award Nomination,
5520 Wyoming Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109.
So who was Dr. Allan Hurst? He was the Medical Director of the National Jewish Hospital in Denver, which treated tuberculosis patients. After retirement, he and his wife Leona moved to Santa Fe where they joined Temple Beth Shalom.

Then Dr. Hurst decided he wanted to give consultations to older people, so he had to take classes and pass tests to receive his New Mexico medical license. As Leona wrote in the September 2005 NMJHS newsletter:
A group of eleven dedicated, bright, interested people, which included Rabbi Leonard Helman, Manny Rodriguez, Dr. Allan Hurst, Stanley Hordes, Ralph Thaler, Walter Kahn, David Scholder, Peter Hess, Jerry Wertheim, Jim Mafchir, and Leah Kellogg, met at Temple Beth Shalom, when Allan suggested there was a need for a New Mexico Jewish Historical Society. The group readily and quickly agreed. 
Allan, who had been one of the founders and the first president of the Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society in Denver, led the group in what needed to be done, i.e., mission statement, committee boards, programs, etc., to get the organization going.
Dr. Hurst died in 1989. Leona was invited to join the NMJHS Board after her husband’s death. It was her idea to give an annual award to someone deserving. When the time came to present the first award in 1998, the board realized that the award had no name.

Stan Hordes proposed that the award be named the Dr. Allan Hurst Award. Stan was the first recipient. It was also Leona’s idea to have a pin with the NMJHS logo on it. The pins were designed by Irma Thalis and cast in sterling silver.

In 2007 the board voted to add Leona’s name to the award, after she passed away, in recognition of her service to the Society.
- Dorothy Amsden, NMJHS President

Monday, March 18, 2013

Netanyahu Waits for Obama

Israelis Couldn't Care Less: But before we get to that, here's a picture of Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli. Abq Jew will explain later.

OK, then. Moving on, Israel's reports in an Op-Ed that
Israelis indifferent to Obama visit
Lack of public interest particularly intriguing as US president
repeatedly urged to come to Israel 
President Obama's arrival is just around the corner, and apart from those in charge of the visit in government ministries and secret security agencies – there seem to be no fervent preparations or any special excitement ahead of the visit. It appears that the construction of the new coalition, the distribution of government portfolios and the upcoming Passover holiday with all its family and consumer-related aspects, are overshadowing the upcoming event. 
But you wouldn't know that from the Consulate General of Israel in New York. The CG reports that
President Obama to Receive Very Special Gift
The Declarations of Independence of the United States of America and the State of Israel, inscribed on a silicon chip affixed to a Jerusalem Stone dating to the Second Temple Period.
It's not uncommon for visiting heads of state to be greeted by wonderful banquets and an exchange of gifts. When President Obama arrives in Israel later this week, he will be getting a very special present designed by students of Israel's Technion.

The Technion, the very same institution that has partnered up with Cornell to build the new NYC Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island, has been working on a project that is about the width of two human hairs, but carries with it enormous symbolism.
Commissioned by Prime Minister Netanyahu, students at the Technion have designed a gold-coated 0.04 square-mm nano-chip with the Israeli and US declarations of independence, etched side-by-side to a depth of 0.00002 mm.
The declarations were etched using a focused beam of high energy gallium ions, on a chip that was affixed to a Jerusalem stone dating to the late Second Temple Period (1st century BCE to 1st century CE), that was used to seal clay vessels that held liquids and spices. The gift was developed at the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute at the Technion. 
Meanwhile, back in New Jersey, the New York Post reports that
‘Bomb’ bozo busted after scare at Newark
An Israeli tourist set off a massive security panic at Newark Airport and grounded a plane to Miami yesterday after his family was bumped from a flight and he angrily threatened to create a bomb scare, officials said.

Eran Hess was charged with “creating a false public alarm” after he allegedly flew into a rage at a United Airlines counter and started a chain of events that put security on high alert and delayed travelers for hours.
But no worries! Things in Israel are really OK! Abq Jew is certain of this, for The Times of Israel reports that
Clip reimagines Obama as Aladdin
Online parody rewrites Disney movie to celebrate and satirize
US president’s impending visit to Israel
The music sounds familiar, but the lyrics — a takeoff on Disney’s “Aladdin” — definitely don’t.

Hebrew speakers have been doing a double take since Wednesday as they’ve watched a new online clip inspired by the 1992 movie.
The video, a parody tied to President Obama’s trip to Israel next week, rewrites the words to the song “Prince Ali.” Instead of featuring the arrival of Aladdin (disguised as the prince) at the Sultan’s palace, the scene now trumpets the visit by “President Barack” to Israel.

Creator Yuval Binder is so good at vocal imitation it’s impossible to tell exactly where he’s inserted his own voice over the original Hebrew dubbing, provided by legendary Israeli comic actor Tuvia Tzafir.
Now, Abq Jew's Israeli Hebrew is not that good anymore. But this video is still a hoot!

But at last, let's get back to Bar Refaeli. Once again, The Times of Israel reports that
Bar’s pro-Israel ad irks army
In letter to Foreign Ministry, IDF spokesman says supermodel’s
lack of military service sets a bad example
The IDF Spokesperson’s Office sent an official letter to the Foreign Ministry on Sunday night, criticizing the latter’s use of supermodel Bar Refaeli in a new PR campaign to boost Israel’s image around the world.

The supermodel irked some Israelis and created controversy in 2003 when she opted not to finish her compulsory military service by marrying a family acquaintance whom she divorced soon after — a perceived slight some of her countrymen and women have still not forgiven. At the time, Refaeli stated that army service would interfere with her modeling career.

Refaeli was chosen last month to star in a new series of campaigns that aim to show Israel’s technological and innovative side.
Wait a minute! Abq Jew hears you cry. If you're gonna talk about Bar Refaeli here - the penultimate paragraphs in this blog post - why did you put her picture at the top?

To which
Abq Jew replies: Does he really have to explain this? 

Purim 'til it's Pesach!

New Mexico 2013 Seder Roundup!

Got Seder? The story is told ... about Abe, who goes to see his boss and says
“We’re doing some heavy cleaning at home tomorrow for Passover, and my wife needs me to help with moving the refrigerator and scrubbing the hard-to-reach parts of the kitchen.”
“We’re short-handed, Abe,” the boss replies. “I just can’t give you the day off.”

“Thanks, boss,” says Abe, “I knew I could count on you!”
Abq Jew thanks Chabad of Santa Fe for that story and this picture.

So here we are, each of us and all of us, making final arrangements for our Passover Seders. Where to go? To invite or (wait) ... to be invited?  Thus, Abq Jew thoughtfully provides a Seder Roundup for all of us last-minute reservation-makers.

First of all, you must know that the Chabad hangouts in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces are offering Seders for both the first and second nights of Passover. Chabad of Taos appears to be offering a First Night Seder only.

In fact, you can eat Pesachdik by Chabad of Santa Fe (and, more than likely, any Chabad location) anytime during the holiday.

In Albuquerque, Chabad of New Mexico and Congregation Nahalat Shalom are offering Seders for both nights.

And - to the best of Abq Jew's knowledge - Chabad of New Mexico is the only place in all of the Land of Enchantment where you may (or may not, if they're sold old) find

Kosher for Passover Horseradish!

 Congregation B'nai Israel and Congregation Albert and are second night only.

In Santa Fe, Temple Beth Shalom, Congregation Beit Tikva, and HaMakom are offering Second Night Passover Seders.

But in Taos, Chabad is first night only.

Yes, we're getting down to crunch time! 
Got all your Pesachdik foods? 
Keep checking Abq Jew's Pesach Watch
And keep reporting in!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

History of Sephardic Jews

And the Formation of the United States:  The New Mexico Jewish Historical Society invites you to join anthropologist Dr Ron Duncan Hart as he explores The History of Sephardic Jews in the Formation of the United States.

 Sephardic Jews
& the Formation of the United States
Dr Ron Duncan Hart
Sunday March 17 ~ 2:00 pm
Temple Beth Shalom, Santa Fe

Reprise: Sunday March 31 ~ 2:30 pm ~ Albuquerque JCC

Starting with the first 23 Jews who arrived to New Amsterdam by accident in 1654, the Jewish population in the United States for the next 150-200 years was largely Sephardic.

The early synagogues from New York to Philadelphia, Newport, Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans were Sephardic. They played active roles in commerce, politics and thought in the early U.S. This talk will cover that history.

This is just one of the many events the New Mexico Jewish Historical Society has scheduled for the spring and summer.

You can check out the other events - and everything else Jewish happening in Albuquerque and beyond - on the Abq Jewish Events Calendar:

 As previously mentioned (see A Hidden Light):

Ron Duncan Hart and Gloria Abella Ballen - aka Gaon Books - are companions in the road of life. Ron writes, and Gloria is the visual artist. Their daughter, international musician and Fulbright scholar Vanessa Paloma, adds incredible richness to their lives and the lives of everyone around her.

Gaon Books has just published Ruth Sohn's exceptional account of her and her family’s experiences living in Egypt, Crossing Cairo.
Rabbi Ruth Sohn’s Crossing Cairo is compelling reading for everyone who cares about the Middle east, about Jewish- Muslim relations, about Israel and Palestine, indeed, about humanity ... it captures the attitudes of “average” Egyptians toward Jews, Israel, their own government, and life.
Thoughtful, balanced, insightful, and delightfully written, Sohn’s work earns a place on the shelf with travel writers as diverse as Bruce Chatwin, De Tocqueville, and ibn Battuta.
Rabbi Burton L Visotzky, PhD
Director, Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue
Jewish Theological Seminary

And while we're on the general topic - it's almost Shabbos! Or, as the Sephardim (and Edot HaMizrach) say, Shabbat.

To help you slide in to the mood, here is Vanessa Paloma singing one of Abq Jew's favorites, Avraham Avinu:


Avraham Avinu
Padre Querido
Padre Bendicho
Luz de Israel!


Shabbat Shalom, Albuquerque!
Good Shabbos, New Mexico!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Welcome to "J" University

Jewish Response to College of Cardinals: Today is Rosh Hodesh Nisan, the first of all the months in the Jewish year. And, as they infrequently do, the College of Cardinals is conclaving to select a new Pope from among themselves.

What would happen, Abq Jew wondered, if a Drasha of Rabbis (see A Murder of Crows) met in sacred convocation to elect, say a new Chief Rabbi? What would you call it?

Why, a University of "J"'s, of course! And the color they should wear, of course, is blue.

Which raises the question: why is Abq Jew thinking about the Pope at all?   

Because Abq Jew has at last come to Albuquerque. Where, on Sunday, he visited the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Where, upon entering, he saw in the center hall the statue of Popé.

Who was Popé? Abq Jew hears you ask. The IPCC website tells us:
Popé was born around 1630 in Ohkay Owingeh [formerly known as San Juan Pueblo], in what is now the state of New Mexico; his given name was Popein (pronounced bó -bein), which means "ripe squash" in the Tewa language.  In his life’s journey and commitment to his people, he became a religious leader and was responsible for traditional religious activities. In his role as a religious leader, time passed, and was aware of his people’s suffering under Spanish settlers. Pueblo people were forced to provide labor, food and other items to support the growing Spanish communities. The Spaniards also pressured the Pueblo People to convert from Pueblo religion and way of life…to adopt Christianity - those Pueblo people found practicing their traditional Pueblo religion were tortured and in some instances, executed.

In 1675, Popé and 46 other Pueblo leaders were convicted of “sorcery” and he was among those who were flogged, while others were executed. In 1680, Popé organized the Pueblo Revolt against the Spanish.  It has been said that this was the first successful revolution against an oppressor on North American soil.
What you don't see in this photograph of the statue - or in any other photo on the IPCC website - is the item that is laid just to the right of Popé: a smashed crucifix.

Which started Abq Jew down the long road of What If:
  • What if the conversos who made up a noticeable portion of the Spanish colonists had revolted, too? 
  • And what if these conversos had joined with the Pueblo Indians and thrown the Catholics out of New Mexico?
Abq Jew claims - with no historical backing whatsoever - that this scenario is not so far-fetched. Judaism and Pueblo religions were not entirely incompatible. The Pueblo Indians were not, has vishalom, Canaanites - they did not have Astarte fertility cults or throw their firstborn sons into Moloch's fire.

What if a pro-Jewish and certainly non-Catholic modus vivendi could have been found? Well - since you asked:
  • Acoma Pueblo would celebrate Shushan Purim. Wait a minute! They already do! See Acoma Celebrates Shushan Purim!
  • Pueblo pottery would be even more expensive - because everyone would need four sets! One for milchigs, one for fleishigs, and of course a special set of each just for Pesach.
  • Chabad would be incredibly busy putting up mezuzahs!
  •  Mel Brooks would be proven correct - after all these years!

What were we talking about? Oh yes - Rosh Hodesh Nisan, the first of all the months in the Jewish year. How do we know this? Because G-d Himself tells us in Exodus:
And G‑d spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying: This month shall be to you the head of months—the first of the months of your year.
Wait a minute! Abq Jew hears you cry. How about Tishrei? Nu - it turns out that the Rabbis of the Talmud had the same problem.
Rabbi Eliezer says: The world was created in Tishrei . . . Rabbi Joshua says: The world was created in Nissan. says in the article Our Other Head:
We know that the Jewish year begins on the first of Tishrei - a day we observe as Rosh Hashanah, “the Head of the Year” - and ends twelve (or thirteen) months later, on the 29th of Elul. But if the head of the year is on the first of Tishrei, why does the Torah ... refer to Tishrei as the seventh month of the year? And why is the month of Nissan, occurring midway through the Tishrei-headed year, designated - in the very first mitzvah commanded to the Jewish people - as “the head of months, the first of the months of your year”?

[Because ...] the Jewish year has two “heads” or primary points of reference, each of which is equally its beginning. Our annual journey through time is actually two journeys—a Tishrei-to-Elul journey, and a Nissan-to-Adar journey. Every day on the Jewish calendar can be experienced on two different levels, for it simultaneously exists within these two contexts.
. . .

The first of Tishrei is the anniversary of G‑d’s creation of the universe, particularly His creation of man. On this day we reaffirm our commitment to G‑d as our Creator and King, and ask that He inscribe us in the book of life.

But if the first of Tishrei is the first day of human history, the month of Nissan marks the birth of Jewish time. 

And there you have it. Pesach is coming! Pesach is coming! The first seder is Monday March 25 - two weeks from last night!

Remember: You can keep track of this - and keep your eye out for Pesachdik food in Albuquerque - at

Happy Nissan, everyone! 

And BTW, the month after Nissan is not

Nope. The month after Nissan is

Purim 'til it's Pesach!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Friendship & Laughter

Lessons from Nature: PBS recently presented a program called Animal Odd Couples. One of those odd couples was Kate (a Great Dane) and Pip (a baby fawn).

After being abandoned by her mother, a baby fawn, Pippin, was adopted by a Great Dane, Kate, and they have been best friends ever since. Kate’s owner Isobel Springett describes the uniqueness of their relationship: “When they greet each other, I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s not a deer greeting a deer. It’s not a dog greeting a dog. It’s definitely something that they have between the two of them.”
You can watch Kate and Pip play together here:

This week the Albuquerque Jewish community lost a dear friend,
Bob White. Bob is survived by Beverly, his wife of 53 years; lots of family; and many, many friends throughout the community. Graveside funeral services will be held on Sunday March 10 at 2:00 pm, at the Chavurat HaMidbar section of Fairview Memorial Park. Contributions may be made to Congregation B’nai Israel, Solomon Schechter Day School, Chavurat HaMidbar, or Congregation Albert. He will be greatly missed. 

And in the spirit of true friendship - here is a news item from the New York Post that you (thankfully) don't see every day. It happened on Long Island, as if you didn't know.
Long Island man issued summons
for laughing too loud in his own home
Chucklehead rats out chortling LI neighbor
There’s no pursuit of happiness for this Long Island man — local cops busted him for laughing too loudly in his own home.
Robert Schiavelli, 42, was recently slapped with two “absurd” summonses because his next-door neighbor complained that he could hear his hearty guffaws from across the driveway.

“I didn’t know it was a crime to laugh out a window,” said Schiavelli, who is considered disabled because he has frequent seizures and suffers from neurological impairments.

Schiavelli was chortling because he says his neighbor often taunts him due to his disability — and his best defense is to laugh him off. 
Purim 'til it's Pesach!


Shabbat Shalom, Albuquerque!
Good Shabbos, New Mexico!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Liszt's Dance With the Devil

Film & Discussion: The New Mexico Jewish Historical Society invites you to a special screening of Liszt's Dance with the Devil, a film by Ophra Yerushalmi.


Liszt's Dance With the Devil
Albuquerque JCC
Sunday March 10 ~ 2:00 pm
$10 NMJHS / JCC Members ~ $15 Community ~ $5 Students
Reservations Requested: or (505) 348-4518

Liszt's Dance with the Devil focuses on the inner duel between the virtuoso and the composer, the seduction of glamour and the quest for spirituality that took place throughout Franz Liszt's life.

Ophra Yerushalmi, a pianist and filmmaker, has been intrigued by and attracted to Franz Liszt ever since her study with the internationally known Liszt exponent, pianist Claudio Arrau. 

Liszt's Dance with the Devil is a work-in-progress that comes on the heels of Ms Yerushalmi's film Chopin's Afterlife, which was selected for distribution by Filmaker's Library and screened on TV.