Friday, February 28, 2014

A Page (or Two) of Talmud: Part 3

The Learning Continues: Here is another review and continuation of the Talmud class that Abq Jew led at this year's very successful A Taste of Honey (see The Talmud @ A Taste of Honey and A Page (or Two) of Talmud: Part 2).

Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem

Last week, we talked about the new Koren Talmud Bavli and the Reference Guide to the Talmud. This week we'll discuss

What The Talmud Is

So - what is the Talmud? Wikipedia explains:
The Talmud (Hebrew: תַּלְמוּד talmūd "instruction, learning", from a root lmd "teach, study") is a central text of Rabbinic Judaism. It is also traditionally referred to as Shas (ש״ס), a Hebrew abbreviation of shisha sedarim, the "six orders". The Talmud has two components.
  • The first part is the Mishnah (Hebrew: משנה, c. 200 CE), the written compendium of Judaism's Oral Torah (Torah meaning "Instruction", "Teaching" in Hebrew). 
  • The second part is the Gemara (c. 500 CE), an elucidation of the Mishnah and related Tannaitic writings that often ventures onto other subjects and expounds broadly on the Hebrew Bible. 
The terms Talmud and Gemara are often used interchangeably, though strictly speaking that is not accurate. 
The whole Talmud consists of 63 tractates, and in standard print is over 6,200 pages long. It is written in Tannaitic Hebrew and Aramaic.  
The Talmud contains the teachings and opinions of thousands of rabbis on a variety of subjects, including Halakha (law), Jewish ethics, philosophy, customs, history, lore and many other topics.  
The Talmud is the basis for all codes of Jewish law and is much quoted in rabbinic literature.

The Mishnah is the first part of the Talmud. And Wikipedia tells us:
The Mishnah or Mishna (Hebrew: מִשְׁנָה, "repetition") ... is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah". It is also the first major work of Rabbinic literature.
The Mishnah was redacted circa 200–220 CE by Rabbi Yehudah haNasi when, according to the Talmud, the persecution of the Jews and the passage of time raised the possibility that the details of the oral traditions dating from Pharisaic times (536 BCE – 70 CE) would be forgotten.  
The Mishnah consists of six orders (sedarim, singular seder סדר), each containing 7–12 tractates (masechtot, singular masechet מסכת; lit. "web"), 63 in total, and further subdivided into chapters and paragraphs or verses. 

It is the Gemara - the Talmud's second component - that makes the Talmud what it is:
The Gemara is a record of the discussions of the Mishnah that took place in the academies and study halls of Babylonia and Israel during the first centuries of the Common Era.
To break it down even further:
The Gemara includes both legal discussions and ... stories. The Gemara's stories are about legal matters and about ... everything else in the world.
Here is what the Talmud is not:
The Talmud is not a book of laws. 
If you only want to find out the end result - what the Jewish law is for any particular topic or question or issue - you should consult Maimonides' Mishneh Torah or Joseph Karo's Shulchan Aruch or (lehavdil) Isaac Klein's A Guide to Jewish Religious Practice or Martin S Cohen's The Observant Life.

But if the journey is the reward - you must learn Talmud!

Note to Prospective Talmud Students
Abq Jew is currently learning Shekalim. 
If you would like to learn along - please contact Abq Jew!

Support Abq Jew! Buy your Koren Talmud here!
Shabbat Shalom, Albuquerque!
Good Shabbos, New Mexico!
הדרן עליך תלמוד בּבלי קורן ירושׁלים

Thursday, February 27, 2014

ABQ Jewish Film Fest: Jews and Baseball

Celebrating the Jewish Experience Through Film: The ABQ Jewish Film Fest is proud to present:

Jews and Baseball:
An American Love Story
Sunday March 9 ~ 3:00 pm
African American PAC
310 San Pedro Dr NE, Albuquerque 87108

Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story explores the connection between Jewish Americans and baseball, our nation’s most iconic institution. More than a film about sports, it is a story of immigration, assimilation, bigotry, heroism, the passing on of traditions, and the shattering of stereotypes

“You should be an attorney or a doctor, but not a ballplayer,” one former major leaguer remembers, describing the prejudices that he and other Jewish athletes faced. But despite the stereotypes, and in the face of hostility from fans and even violence from opposing players, there have been standout Jewish players in every decade from the 1860s to the present. Jews and Baseball is the first major documentary to tell their stories.

Purchase tickets here. View a clip here.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

ABQ Jewish Film Fest: The Gatekeepers

Celebrating the Jewish Experience Through Film: The ABQ Jewish Film Fest is proud to present:

The Gatekeepers
Sunday March 9 ~ 1:00 pm
African American PAC
310 San Pedro Dr NE, Albuquerque 87108

For the first time ever, six former heads of Israel’s domestic secret service agency, the Shin Bet, share their insights and reflect publicly on their actions and decisions.

Since the Six Day War in 1967, Israel has failed to transform its crushing military victory into a lasting peace. Throughout that entire period, these heads of the Shin Bet stood at the center of Israel's decision-making process in all matters pertaining to security. They worked closely with every Israeli prime minister, and their assessments and insights had—and continue to have—a profound impact on Israeli policy.

The Gatekeepers (2013 Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary) offers an exclusive account of the sum of their successes and failures. In the process it sheds light on the controversy surrounding the Occupation in the aftermath of the Six Day War.

The film website offers this synopsis:
It seems inevitable that Israel’s security forces play an inordinate role in the national discourse. Two of these forces—the Army and the Mossad—are already the stuff of legend. Ever since the Six Day War, however, the internal security force known as the Shin Bet has come to dominate the discussion among Israel’s policy makers. Israel’s crushing victory over its neighbors in 1967 left it in control of a vast, hostile population living under Occupation. Dealing with that population—in times of calm and times of violent uprising—was the Shin Bet’s responsibility.

The Gatekeepers tells the story of the Shin Bet, perhaps the most active and certainly the most secretive of Israel’s security forces, and it tells it from the perspectives of its leaders who, more than anyone, received the trust of the country’s political elites. In a series of candid interviews, they talk openly about the major events that marked their tenures. At their most intimate, six former heads of the Shin Bet muse publicly about the morality of torture and terrorism, arrests and assassinations. The citizens they swore to protect may have been safer as a result of their actions, but was the country any closer to peace?

In a style reminiscent of The Fog of War, their confessions are illustrated with archival footage and chilling computer animations based on photographs taken at the events. These offer a window into the moral dilemmas they faced as they unfolded. The audience is left pondering whether they or their governments would have responded any differently

If Israel lies at the heart of the global War on Terror, the Gatekeepers’ confessions challenge the conventional wisdom of how that war should be waged, whether in Gaza or Guantanamo, Palestine or Pakistan. Theirs is the ultimate cautionary tale of what happens to people and nations alike when they try to answer violence with violence.
Read The New York Times review here. Purchase tickets here. View a clip here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

ABQ Jewish Film Fest: Broadway Musicals

Celebrating the Jewish Experience Through Film: The ABQ Jewish Film Fest is proud to present:

Broadway Musicals:
A Jewish Legacy
Saturday March 8 ~ 7:30 pm
Albuquerque JCC

Engaging, humorous, and provocative, this film examines the unique role of Jewish composers and lyricists in the creation of the modern American musical.

The film showcases the work of legends such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, George and Ira Gershwin, Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim.

Interviews with songwriters and luminaries including Sheldon Harnick, Stephen Schwartz, Harold Prince, Arthur Laurents, Charles Strouse, and Mel Brooks provide insight, alongside standout performances and archival footage.

Purchase tickets here. View a clip here.

Monday, February 24, 2014

ABQ Jewish Film Fest Presents: The Pin

Celebrating the Jewish Experience Through Film: The ABQ Jewish Film Fest is proud to present:

The Pin
Thursday March 6 ~ 7:00 pm
Albuquerque JCC

This Canadian film is about two young Eastern Europeans hiding in a barn during World War II, who speak Yiddish to each other.

Naomi Jaye's script touches on delicate notes of make-believe and isolation to create a mood of unadulterated romance in a story that combines the heartbreak of first love with a more deeply felt trauma.

Don't miss the Skype interview with the director directly following the film. 85 minutes (in Yiddish with English subtitles).

Read The New York Times review here. Purchase tickets here. View the trailer here.

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Page (or Two) of Talmud: Part 2

An Introduction to Talmud Study: First of all, Abq Jew sincerely thanks and wishes mazeltov! to the twenty or so students who participated in his Talmud class at this year's very successful A Taste of Honey (see The Talmud @ A Taste of Honey).

A Map of the Talmud Page:     1. Mishna     2. Gemara     3. Rashi     4. Tosafot

Abq Jew prepared a ton of material for the class - and we got through perhaps a third of it. So, over the next many weeks, Abq Jew will (בלי נדר) attempt to provide a series of small, chunk-size portions of the course material. (But if you'd like to speed ahead - click here for the Teacher's Guide.)

For modern, English-speaking Talmud students, there is (in Abq Jew's humble opinion) no finer resource than the new Koren Talmud Bavli.

The Koren website says:
The Koren Talmud Bavli is a groundbreaking edition of the Talmud that will change forever the way students study, debate, and experience this central text. 
The Koren Talmud Bavli fuses the innovative design of Koren Publishers Jerusalem with the incomparable scholarship of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz to offer a Talmud that empowers beginning and advanced students alike to participate in the dynamic process of Talmud study.
The Jewish Chronicle says the arrival of the Koren Talmud must be “the Judaica publishing event of the year. It combines the production quality for which the Jerusalem-based publishers are renowned with the pioneering commentary and translation of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.” 
Significantly, the Talmud text (as well as Rashi’s commentary) is printed with vowels and punctuated, making it far easier for students to follow. 
The translation is clearly laid out in paragraphs rather than dense columns of print and amplified with explanations, while the extensive English commentary has separate sections summarising points of Jewish law, examining the language and giving historical and other background. 
Koren is steadily publishing one volume of the Talmud Bavli at a time, gradually completing the set. These volumes are currently available:
1.  Berachot
2.  Shabbat 1
3.  Shabbat 2
4.  Eruvim 1
5.  Eruvim 2
6.  Pesachim 1
7.  Pesachim 2
8.  Shekalim
9.  Yoma
10. Sukka
Note to Prospective Talmud Students: Abq Jew is currently learning Shekalim. If you would like to learn along - please contact him!

Support Abq Jew! Buy your Koren Talmud here!

For background - in addition to Abq Jew's Teacher's Guide, which includes a pageful of Talmud resources - Koren will soon publish a new, revised edition of Rabbi Steinsaltz's Reference Guide to the Talmud.

The Koren website tells us:
A revision of the excellent Random House Reference Guide, which was a translation and expansion of the מדריך לתלמוד by Rav Steinsaltz Even-Israel, the Reference Guide is divided into three sections: Historical Background, Talmud Study, and Halakha. 
Although it is the ideal companion volume to the Koren Talmud Bavli, as the translation of terms largely corresponds to the language employed in the translation of the Talmud, it is not limited to that niche. 
It constitutes one of the cornerstones of any Jewish library as a fundamental reference for beginners and accomplished students of the Talmud alike. 
There are several innovations in this revised edition designed to render the Reference Guide more accessible to those not conversant in Hebrew or Aramaic. 
The sections Mishnaic Methodology, Principles of Talmudic Hermeneutics, and Halakhic Concepts and Terms, which appeared in the previous edition in Hebrew alphabetical order, appear in this volume in topical order. 
An index of Hebrew terms appears at the end of the volume to enable one seeking a Hebrew term to locate the relevant entry.

Shabbat Shalom, Albuquerque!
Good Shabbos, New Mexico!
הדרן עליך תלמוד בּבלי קורן ירושׁלים

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Food for Thought

Interfaith Spring Colloquium:  Jewish Christian Dialogue of New Mexico presents its 21st Annual Interfaith Spring Colloquium on Tuesday, March 11, 2014. The Colloquium will be held at Congregation B'nai Israel, 4401 Indian School Rd. NE in Albuquerque.

The Jewish Christian Dialogue Presents
21st Annual Interfaith Colloquium
Food for Thought:
Healing Mind, Body, Spirit, and World
Congregation B'nai Israel
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
7:45 am - 2:00 pm

Speakers will include
The moderator will be Kathy Freeze, Community Outreach Liaison for Catholic Charities, and there will be a special presentation by Carlos Navarro, Grassroots Anti-Hunger Advocate and Journalist.

Registration: $40 community / $20 students
Includes breakfast, lunch, and refreshments
For more information, please contact
Pam Fraser-Walters (505) 291-8115
or Gail Rubin

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

ABQ Jewish Film Fest!

Another 'First Ever': Abq Jew is thrilled to announce that the Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque and Congregation Albert are launching the

ABQ Jewish Film Fest
Abq JCC & African-American PAC
March 6-11, 2014

The ABQ Jewish Film Fest will screen a total of five films, and for this inaugural event, will be using two locations, the JCC and the African-American Performing Arts Center.

The lineup will showcase a rich and varied program of contemporary American, Canadian and Israeli films, with themes that range from Major League Baseball to Broadway to the Holocaust.

The Pin
Broadway Musicals
The Gatekeepers
Jews and Baseball
Hava Nagila

Here is the lineup of films. Click here for the flyer! Click here for tickets!

The Pin (2013)
Thu 06 March 2014 @ 7:00 pm @ Albuquerque JCC
This Canadian film about two young Eastern Europeans hiding in a barn during World War II, who speak Yiddish to each other. Naomi Jaye's script touches on delicate notes of make-believe and isolation to create a mood of unadulterated romance in a story that combines the heartbreak of first love with a more deeply felt trauma. Don't miss the Skype interview with the director directly following the film. 85 minutes (in Yiddish with English subtitles)
Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy (2012)
Sat 08 March 2014 @ 7:30 pm @ Albuquerque JCC
Engaging, humorous, and provocative this film examines the unique role of Jewish composers and lyricists in the creation of the modern American musical. The film showcases the work of legends such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, George and Ira Gershwin, Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim, which provides insight, alongside standout performances and archival footage. 84 minutes.
The Gatekeepers (2012)
Sun 09 March 2014 @ 1:00 pm @ African-American PAC
Academy Award Nominee Best Documentary, 2012. This Israeli film provides an unprecedented look inside Israel's Secret Service, featuring interviews with 6 former head of the Shin Bet. Shin Bet has dealt with conflict amid the quest for peace for nearly 50 years. For the first time, these men discuss the challenging truths and consequences of their counterterrorism mission. 101 minutes
Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story (2010) 
Sun 09 March 2014 @ 3:00 pm @ African-American PAC
This acclaimed US documentary is narrated by actor Dustin Hoffman and highlights the contributions of Jewish Americans to the most American sport of them all: baseball. Enjoy a rare interview with legendary pitcher Sandy Koufax and commentary from Larry King, Ron Howard, Al Rosen, Shawn Green. 91 minutes.
Hava Nagila (2012)
Tue 11 March 2014 @ 7:00 pm @ Albuquerque JCC
It is instantly recognizable musical shorthand for anything Jewish, a happy party tune that you dance to at weddings, bar mitzvahs and even at Major League Baseball games. It carries with it an entire constellation of history, values and hopes for the future. In its own way, Hava Nagila encapsulates the Jewish journey over the past 150 years. It also reveals the power of one song to express and sustain identity, to transmit lessons across generations and to bridge cultural divides and connect us all. 73 minutes.

Rabbi Harry Rosenfeld of Congregation Albert says:
These excellent films celebrate the Jewish experience while illuminating the human experience.
And Dave Simon, Executive Director of the JCC adds:
The JCC is excited to help build our city’s reputation as a hot-bed for film. The themes of the Festival films have wide appeal to interest all audiences.
And Abq Jew throws in:
These are all very good films, and it's great that the JCC and Congregation Albert are bringing them to the Abq Jewish community!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Children of the Inquisition

A Film by Joseph Lovett: We New Mexijews are all too familiar with the stories of conversos, crypto-Jews, and anousim who have hidden for centuries in the Outback of the Old Spanish Empire in America - northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.

But the stories must be told.

Stanley M Hordes's To the End of the Earth: A History of the Crypto-Jews of New Mexico greatly encouraged the storytellers. And now Abq Jew has learned of a new project - and the development of an important film - that will enable more stories to be heard.

Children of the Inquisition follows descendants of the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions as they unravel their complex - often hidden - Jewish identity.

Unearthing their own families’ flights to safety over 500 years brings the characters to a fuller understanding of how their lives were shaped by a perilous history.

Here is more, from the film's website:
Children of the Inquisition follows a group of descendants of the Jews persecuted during the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions, each on a quest to determine and embrace their distant Sephardic Jewish roots. We will use their individual and family journeys to reveal a history of masked and buried identities created by the torture, forced conversions and secrecy of the Inquisitions and ensuing diaspora; and explore how the profound historical, cultural and personal impacts of these events can still be felt in our 21st century world. 
It is a story that can only recently be told because for centuries, the fear of discovery and persecution was so great that converted families did not want to admit to a drop of Jewish blood in their lineage. But in the past few decades, a new openness has occurred. Relaxed Church policies, government actions, access to genealogical and historical research and ever-developing technology are giving descendants the opportunity to discover their Jewish heritage. Many are even reclaiming and celebrating this part of their identity that was stolen from them hundreds of years ago.

The film is right now being developed - it's still a project, not yet a finished product. The filmmaker, Joseph Lovett, is open to your ideas, your views, and - most of all - your testimonies.
The characters in our film are from different countries and are at various stages in their relationship to their Jewish identity. Some, whose families fled Iberia 500 years ago, were raised as traditional Jews, while others, whose ancestors converted, never imagined the secrets hidden in their family tree. They are all asking life-changing questions about who they are and where they come from. The answers they find are leading them back to the 15th and 16th centuries. 
As director, Joseph Lovett will join them around the world as they uncover evidence of their Jewish heritage—in town cemeteries, long-practiced family rituals, even in their own genes. They will each grapple with how this heritage influences how they define themselves and how others define them. Each character’s unique story will highlight the rich diversity of experience within Jewish culture and together, provide multiple perspectives for our audience to connect with and learn from. 
Joseph Lovett, Filmmaker
We believe the project will move people to explore their family origins. 
For those on the trail of Sephardic roots, or others who may be unaware of their lost Jewish identity, our multi-platform project will offer windows and connections to that community. 
We will invite the public to contribute their own stories to our project, exchange experiences and perspectives and make supportive connections. 
We will, in effect, be building a wider and more inclusive Jewish community across the globe.
Children of the Inquisition will be celebrating its developmental launch on February 26 at - where else? - Congregation Shearith Israel in New York. 

Also known as The Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue, Congregation Shearith Israel is America's first Jewish congregation. It was founded in 1654 by 23 Jews of Spanish and Portuguese descent.

Want to learn more?  Here is the film's trailer:

Stories about  Members of Lost Tribes reclaiming their Jewish souls, singly or in groups, always fascinate Abq Jew. Stay tuned! There are more stories coming!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Pew, Feh, Ich, Yich

And (lehavdil me'od) Scarlett Johansson: As Abq Jew has reported and reported, again and again, the Pew Research Center recently published A Portrait of Jewish Americans, which the Center calls (and is generally acknowledged to be) a "landmark new survey of American Jews."

Scarlett Johansson has nothing to do with the Pew study.

Hidden in the Pew study's tables upon tables upon graphs upon graphs is one incontrovertible fact:. As the graph below clearly shows, the number of Jewish demographers in the US is dwindling fast.

The number of Jewish demographers in the US is dwindling fast.

To help ameliorate this imbroglio, the Jewish Federation of New Mexico has just announced (see Jews Don't Count and the February 2014 New Mexico Jewish Link)

The First Ever Scientific Demographic Study of the
Jewish Community of New Mexico (TFESDSotJCoNM)

Scarlett Johansson has nothing to do with TFESDSotJCoNM, either.

The Jewish Federation will be working with Flying Eye Hospital (FEH) and Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) to complete this work, which will be conducted in accordance with all relevant provisions of the Jewish Demographer Full Employment Act (JDFEA).

OK, it's Whoopi!
The study will be conducted thanks to a crazy big grant from the Young Israel Card Holders (YICH) Foundation.

Oy Vey Goldstein, PhD, will be the New Mexico project consultant.

The Jewish Federation, in an official statement released through the office of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, stated
"We warmly welcome the participation of FEH and ICH, and we are of course especially grateful for the crazy big YICH grant. 
Jewish Federations have always been able to find Jews in China and India. And the JFNM even discovered Clovis Mensch, the One Jew in Clovis. 
Now we will be able to search for the Lost Tribes of Albuquerque. As for Rio Rancho - fuggedaboutit."

In case Abq Jew might fuggedaboutit - today is Purim Katan (Lil' Purim). Never heard of it? That's OK - it's not Big Ol' Purim. As Joy of Kosher (Jamie Geller) explains:

This is Jamie Geller. Really.
The Torah tells us to observe Pesach in “chodesh ha’aviv” the springtime, which is the season the Jewish people left Egypt.

In order to keep Pesach in that season, every two to three years an extra month is added to the calendar, adar.

By doing this, the months align themselves perfectly into the correct seasons, and thereby all the Jewish holidays too.
The only question left to answer is which month to put Purim in, the first adar or the second one? 
Well since we know Purim must fall thirty days before Pesach, it is celebrated during the second adar month. 
During the first adar we have whats called Purim Katan, (little Purim), and that falls on the same date Purim would have fallen on had it not been a leap year. 
We do not celebrate Purim Katan like we celebrate Purim proper, however the Shulchan Aruch recommends a feeling of festivity on that day and quotes Proverbs (15:15): “One who is of good heart is festive always”.
As the Talmud states

Meshenichnas Adar marbin besimcha
When the month of Adar enters, happiness is increased

So what if we have to wait until Adar Bet for Purim - let's have two Adars' worth of happiness!

Shabbat Shalom, Albuquerque!
Good Shabbos, New Mexico!
Happy Lil' Purim, Everyone!

Scarlett Johansson again. No connection to FEH, ICH, or YICH.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Jews Don't Count

Parshat Ki Tissa 2014: Or perhaps Abq Jew should have put this a bit differently.

According to Jewish law,
we shouldn't count Jews by counting Jews.

In  Ki Tissa, this week's parashah, we read (Exodus Chapter 30):
11. And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying:  
12. 'When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel,  according to their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them.  
13. This they shall give, every one that passeth among them  that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary - the shekel is twenty gerahs - half a shekel for an offering to the LORD. 
15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel ....
The operative words here are "no plague." It seems that plagues have had an odd habit of descending on the Children of Israel just about whenever we count ourselves.

So maybe we shouldn't. The prophet Hosea (2:1) tells us

And the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which shall neither be measured nor counted.

In Biblical and Talmudic times, The Holy One Blessed Be He gave us a way to get around this no counting thing: the annual half shekel Temple tax.

Every year, right about Adar time, everybody (OK ... every man) contributed exactly one half shekel. Unlike our current tax code, this was simple.

The poor did not give more, and the rich did not give less.

Then the coins were counted and viola, there we were. No Jews were counted, yet we knew how many Jews there were in our sample.

How about counting Jews for a minyan? Abq Jew hears you ask. There, too, there's a couple of workarounds.

The first workaround, and the simplest, is to simply not count "Not one ... not two ... " etc. But a more elegant solution to the problem is to recite a nice, ten-word verse from the Bible, like Psalms 28:10.

הושיע את עמך וברך את נחלתך ורעם ונשאם עד עולם 
Save Your people and bless Your inheritance, and tend them and elevate them forever!

Or, if you have a hard time remembering that verse, how about one of these?

Well she was just 17. You know what I mean.
She's got a ticket to ride, but she don't care.
All the lonely people, where do they all come from?
Ob-la-di ob-la-da life goes on bra!
All you need is love! All you need is love!

Which brings us to the central question here, which Abq Jew is sure you've been thinking about.

How many Jews are there in New Mexico,
and how can we find out without counting them?

The answer to the first question is easy: no one knows. By one estimate (see Drasha Diamond Number 1) there are 12,000 Jews and twenty-four (24) ordained rabbis who currently reside in the Land of Enchantment. But we're really only speculating.

So now comes the Jewish Federation of New Mexico to answer with facility and determination the second question, by announcing

The First Ever Scientific Demographic Study
of the Jewish Community of New Mexico

The February 2014 New Mexico Jewish Link tells us that
the Jewish Federation of New Mexico has commissioned the first ever scientific study to determine the community’s demographic composition, assess current needs of Jewish residents, and plan for the future. 
Beginning this month, the 2014 New Mexico Jewish demographic study research team will begin a two-phased process to learn more about Jewish New Mexico’s attitudes and behaviors, and to identify subsets requiring specific communal services.
The study (let's not call it a census; that sounds too much like counting) will be conducted by Kupersmit Research, a small, Denver-based strategic research firm. Marina Arbetman-Rabinowitz, PhD, will be the New Mexico project consultant.

Wait a minute! Abq Jew hears you cry. How are we going to get around the prohibition of counting Jews?

To which Abq Jew responds: Please recall that the prohibition is against counting Jews by counting Jews. When we evaluate the study, we won't be counting Jews - we'll be counting checks in check boxes.

According to Jewish law - that's like

What would you think if I sang out of tune?

and therefore perfectly OK.