Arts and Culture

On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note

Malka Marom (Jan. 21, 1936 – ), Joso Spralja (May 23, 1929 – Aug. 8, 2017) MALKA & JOSO, Folksingers Sept. 25, 2020 – By DAVID EISENSTADT One of the joys of writing Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note is that I get many suggestions from many people from many places about many musicians. My long-time Ottawa … Continue reading “On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note”

On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note

Sharon Hampson (Mar. 31, 1943 – ); Lois Lilienstein (July 10, 1936 – April 23, 2015); Bramwell Morrison (Dec. 18, 1940 – ) Sharon, Lois & Bram – Children’s Music Trio, Family Entertainers Sept. 15, 2020 – By: DAVID EISENSTADT Skinnamarinky dinky dinkSkinnamarinky do,I love you! Kids, parents and grandparents the world over love that … Continue reading “On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note”

Website Marks Decade of Publishing Jewish Fiction

Sept. 11, 2020 – By RUTH SCHWEITZER The online Jewish literary journal Jewish Fiction.net is marking a milestone at an auspicious time: It celebrates its 10th anniversary this Rosh Hashanah. The website is the only English-language journal in the world, either print or online, devoted exclusively to publishing Jewish fiction. Founded and edited in Toronto … Continue reading “Website Marks Decade of Publishing Jewish Fiction”

Program Explores War-Era Yiddish Songs About Sickness, Grief

Sept. 10, 2020 – By RUTH SCHWEITZER Who knew that pandemics could occasion music? Songs written while typhus epidemics raged in ghettos and concentration camps during the Holocaust will be aired on Zoom from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 13. The program, Pandemics, Hunger, Bribes and Music: Yiddish Songs of the Holocaust in … Continue reading “Program Explores War-Era Yiddish Songs About Sickness, Grief”

On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note

Stan Fisher (July 26, 1935 – ), Phil Levitt (July 9, 1935 – ), The Diamonds Sept. 4, 2020 By DAVID EISENSTADT Friends Phil and Sheila Katz Levine (an accomplished pianist), my wife Rhoda, and I were recently playing rock’n’roll guessing games. Sheila said, “The Diamonds are Canadian. There is one Jewish founder named Stan … Continue reading “On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note”

Book Review: The Power of Ritual by Casper ter Kuile

The Power of Ritual: Turning Everyday Activities into Soulful Practices, by Casper ter Kuile (HarperOne, 2020) Sept. 3, 2020 – By AURORA MENDELSOHN How has a non-Jewish graduate of the Harvard Divinity School become this year’s coveted speaker for Jewish organizations like the Foundation for Jewish Camp and Moishe House, and numerous high-profile synagogues? In … Continue reading “Book Review: The Power of Ritual by Casper ter Kuile”

Ashkenaz Festival

Ashkenaz Festival Marks Anniversary Online (Starts Tonight!)

Sept. 1, 2020 – By RUTH SCHWEITZER The Ashkenaz Festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary online. Live daily pop-up performances and a nightly archive series, will be streamed on Facebook and YouTube from Sept. 1 to 7. Founded in 1995 as a biennial showcase for klezmer and Yiddish music and culture, the festival grew to … Continue reading “Ashkenaz Festival Marks Anniversary Online (Starts Tonight!)”

Pauline Donalda

On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note

PAULINE DONALDA – March, 5, 1882 – Oct. 22, 1970 Operatic Soprano, Teacher, Administrator Aug. 31, 2020 – By DAVID EISENSTADT Jewish musicians often changed their first and/or surnames, as did Pauline Lightstone, born in Montreal to Jewish parents who immigrated to Canada from Russia and Poland. Her family name was Lichtenstein.  The soon-to-be Canadian prima … Continue reading “On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note”

Honest: There’s No Films Like These Anyplace

Aug. 31, 2020 – By RUTH SCHWEITZER UPDATE: There’s No Place Like This Place, Anyplace sold out! The Ontario Jewish Archives and the Toronto Jewish Film Festival are presenting a virtual film series celebrating the life of theatre impresario Ed Mirvish and his beloved discount department store, Honest Ed’s, which closed in 2017. The series, The Honest … Continue reading “Honest: There’s No Films Like These Anyplace”

ChaiFlicks ‘One-Stop’ Shopping for Jewish, Israeli Programming

By SHLOMO SCHWARTZBERG One of the most notable cultural results of the COVID pandemic has been the increased importance of TV and streaming services, as people adjusted to staying at home. So it made perfect sense for ChaiFlicks, an exclusively Jewish and Israeli content streaming service, to arrive on the scene. ChaiFlicks, which launched Aug. 20, has a very specific demographic in mind, … Continue reading “ChaiFlicks ‘One-Stop’ Shopping for Jewish, Israeli Programming”

Inaugural Hamilton Jewish Film Fest Goes Virtual

Aug. 25, 2020 – By RUTH SCHWEITZER The inaugural edition of the Hamilton Jewish Film Festival (HJFF), originally scheduled for March, was almost a casualty of the COVID pandemic. That is until Wendy Schneider, editor of the Hamilton Jewish News, watched movies online during the Toronto Jewish Film Festival in June. “I found the experience … Continue reading “Inaugural Hamilton Jewish Film Fest Goes Virtual”

On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note

Zara Nelsova – (Dec. 24, 1917 – Oct. 10, 2002): Cellist, Teacher Aug. 24, 2020 – By DAVID EISENSTADT World-renowned cellist Zara Nelsova was born Sara Katznelson. Her Jewish parents and two older sisters emigrated from Russia to Winnipeg, lured by the offer of free land in Canada. Classified as a farmer, her professionally-trained flautist … Continue reading “On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note”

Book Review: The Two-State Dilemma

The Two-State Dilemma: A Game Theory Perspective on the Israeli Palestinian Conflict (Barlow Publishing), By Michael Dan By RAJA G. KHOURI and JEFFREY J. WILKINSON. Michael Dan’s new book, The Two-State Dilemma: A Game Theory Perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, makes three bold and provocative statements within its opening pages: One: “The two-state game has … Continue reading “Book Review: The Two-State Dilemma”

On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note

Zal Yanovsky (Dec. 19, 1944 – Dec. 13, 2002): Guitarist, Co-Founder, Lovin’ Spoonful, Chef, Restaurateur, Cookbook Author Aug. 14, 2020 – By DAVID EISENSTADT Just ahead of the COVID onslaught, three of the four remaining members of the Lovin’ Spoonful reunited on a Glendale, California stage for the first time in two decades. The original … Continue reading “On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note”

Shlomo Schwartzberg

An American Pickle: A Bland Concoction

By SHLOMO SCHWARTZBERG An American Pickle, the first feature film offered by HBO Max, (showing on Crave TV in Canada), doesn’t really move much beyond its basic idea. Seth Rogen plays Herschel Greenbaum, an immigrant to the U.S. who works in a pickle factory, circa 1919. When he accidentally falls into a pickle barrel, the brine preserves him, … Continue reading “An American Pickle: A Bland Concoction”

KlezKanada Goes Online for 25th Anniversary Edition

Aug. 11, 2020 – By RUTH SCHWEITZER KlezKanada is taking its annual summer festival of Yiddish music and culture – its 25th anniversary edition – online this year. More than 60 virtual workshops and classes, and several concerts are scheduled for the five-day KlezKanada festival, scheduled for Aug. 24-28. The organization’s executive director, Sebastian Schulman, … Continue reading “KlezKanada Goes Online for 25th Anniversary Edition”

On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note

Louis Applebaum: April 3, 1918 – April 20, 2000. Film Score and Theatre Composer, Conductor, Theatre Administrator Aug. 6, 2020 – By DAVID EISENSTADT While looking for a full-time gig after graduating from Carleton University’s School of Journalism, I thought the National Film Board (NFB) might be an interesting place to work, but received an … Continue reading “On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note”

The A-Z of Intermarriage

Book Review: The A-Z of Intermarriage, By Rabbi Denise Handlarski

The A-Z of Intermarriage, By Rabbi Denise Handlarski (New Jewish Press, 2020) By DAVID ROYTENBERG This new volume tackles the fraught subject of Jewish intermarriage in a hopeful, good-humoured, occasionally pugnacious and humane fashion. The core idea is that intermarriage is not nearly as much of a threat to Jewish continuity as are unwelcoming Jewish … Continue reading “Book Review: The A-Z of Intermarriage, By Rabbi Denise Handlarski”

On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note

Oscar Brand (Feb. 7, 1920 – Sept. 30, 2016): Folk Singer, Songwriter, Radio Host, Short Story Writer July 31, 2020 – By DAVID EISENSTADT Does the tune Something to Sing About ring a bell? The Canadian song propelled advocates to lobby Prime Minister Lester Pearson’s Liberal government and Parliament in 1965 for the composition to … Continue reading “On the Record: Canadian Jewish Musicians of Note”

‘Engaging’ Look Back on a Vanished Jewish Community

By RUTH SCHWEITZER Janice Masur grew up in the Ugandan capital of Kampala’s tiny Ashkenazi Jewish community in the 1950s, at a time Uganda was part of British East Africa and African independence movements were close to ending British colonial rule. At its largest – in 1957 – Kampala’s Ashkenazi Jewish community numbered 23 families, … Continue reading “‘Engaging’ Look Back on a Vanished Jewish Community”