Introducing American audiences to Isareli plays Eretz Theater Reading Series presents Israeli plays in English, directed and performed by Americans and Israelis. In May, “Sonya Mushkat,” Savyon Liebrecht’s drama of relatives and their servant struggling with the horrors of the Holocaust and a dark family secret riveted the audience. The monthly series will begin again in September. It’s a joint project of The Israeli Consul for Cultural Affairs, israelfm.org/culture, and Personal Space Theatrics, (212)802-4537; personalspacetheatrics.org
An Olive on the Seder Plate is a multimedia performance exploring how progressive Jews wrestle with the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Jewish musicians, performers, educators and activists address anti-Semitism and take a strong pro-Jewish and pro-Palestinian stand. Libertyeabbage.org
The Feminist Press was founded in 1970 by Florence Howe. Like other presses, including Lilith magazine, it has seen itself fulfilling poet Muriel Rukeyser’s question and answer: “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” In appreciation of importance of women’s writing and the value of the Feminist Press’s booklist, Ellen Bass, author of The Courage to Heal (which helped shift the way our society responds to child sexual abuse) will match your contribution. Send your check, made out to the Feminist Press, to: Ellen Bass, PC) Box 5296, Santa Cruz, CA 95063; feministpress.org
Another Side of Peace follows the internal journey of Roni Hirshenzon, an Israeli man who lost his oldest son, Amir, in a suicide bombing. Five years later, his son Elad committed suicide when his best friend was killed by another bomb. Putting anger and despair aside, Hirshenzon co-founded The Parents Circle, a support group for bereaved Israeli and Palestinian families. Their message is simple: no more killing. The mothers, hardly seen on screen, cooperated in the film-making. They tended to be more private in expressing their grief, said filmmakers, Ellen Frick and Gretchen Burger. anothersideofpeace.org
Under One Canopy: Readings in Jewish Diversity. This 150-page collection of readings by Sephardi, Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, African and Asian Jews, edited by Karen Primack, contains the “Four Questions” in the African language of Luganda. Start now to plan for next year’s seder. From Kulanu, the organization that assists lost and dispersed Jewish communities around the globe, $I5. KulanuBoutique.com
The Sexual Assault Emergency Treatment Service at Poriya Government Hospital was established in 2002. Near Israel’s borders with Jordan and Syria, Poriya serves a population of over 100,000, including Jews, Christians, Circassians and Druze, and the hospital says referrals have grown exponentially as awareness of the service increased. To help support this program, mail your cheek with Poriya Government Hospital in the memo to P. E. E Israel Endowment Funds, 317 Madison Ave., #607, New York, NY 10017.
The DIN Handbook. Jewish victims of domestic abuse residing in New York have legal rights and obligations that are determined not only by secular courts, but also by Jewish courts— battei din (plural—belt din, singular). These victims, mostly women, must obtain a Jewish divorce (get) in order to remarry. With support from the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York and the Betty Retter Foundation, Margaret Retter, founder of DIN Legal Centers, has written a pocket-size legal resource guide with information about the often ad hoc composition of many battei din. DIN Legal Centers. (212)804-5746; email@example.com
“A Biography of Lilith” and “The House of Science: A Museum of False Facts” are two films by Lynne Sachs now on one DVD. A lively mix of narrative, collage and memoir, “Biography of Lilith” updates the creation myth by telling the story of the first woman (and, for some, the first feminist). Lilith’s betrayal by Adam in Eden and subsequent vow of revenge is recast with present-day Lilith musing on a life that has included giving up a baby for adoption and working as a bar dancer. Interweaving mystical texts with interviews, music and poetry, the DVD includes discussions with scholars Tikva Frymer-Kensky and Naomi Mark about the Lilith myth. 65+ minutes, $19.95 from Blackchair DVD. www.microcinema.com
A Tel Aviv tea party?
Placing the Middle East center stage is the goal of Golden Thread, a San Francisco organization which produces alternative theater from that region, including Israel, in the United States. One recent production was “Bounty of Lace” by Susan Merson in which a tea party of four Israeli women ends up exploring the romantic boundaries of this politically fraught region. (415)626-4061; goldenthread.org
Have you ever lived in Israel? To find out how “Israeli” North American immigrants to Israel feel, a graduate student at the Hebrew University is asking current or former North American olot or olim, either in Israel or now living abroad, to fill out a questionnaire accessible at http://aliya.survey.250free.com; questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spirituality in Our Lives is a conference for Jewish women on July 10, sponsored by Chochmat Halev, the combination meditation center, academy and havurah. Keynote by Anita Diamant, and a panel discussion with Judy Massarano, Chaplain Nicole Bloom, Rabbi Margaret Holub and Cantor Linda Hirshhorn, and communal silk painting project led by Nancy Katz. July 10 at Congregation Emanu El in San Francisco. (888)383-4325; chochmat.org
“Grief’s rain fills many streams/ which flow and ebb/and finally soothe . “ Comfort cards with photographs of the natural world, short poems of hope and comfort by poet Davi Walders, and space for your personal message are $16 for a box of 12 different cards. Proceeds benefit American Hospice Foundation programs that serve terminally ill and grieving people of all ages, americanhospice.org
Ars Medica, Canada’s only literary medical journal, publishes well-crafted writing about illness, healing and art. Managing editor Robin Roger invites Lilith readers to submit letters, queries and submissions of previously unpublished poetry, essays, fiction, creative nonfiction and medical history. ars-medica.ca
Meet women peace activists from all over the world at the Women in Black International Conference for Ending Occupation, War and Violence, August 12-16 in Jerusalem. Sessions will be translated simultaneously into Arabic, Hebrew, English, Spanish, French, and Italian. coalitionofwomen.org or write to email@example.com
WesternWallPrayers.com A family- run enterprise in Jerusalem allows people anywhere to request prayers on their behalf at the holiest site in the Jewish world. Batya Burd came up with the idea after meeting her future husband 10 days after he’d finished 40 days of prayer at the Western Wall. Prices range from S2-$9/day, depending on whether the agent (a man or a woman) is praying for more than one person.
Yad Vashem database reunites survivor families. Last November this central database of Shoah victims became accessible online. Shortly thereafter, two sisters, who each thought she had lost the other, were reunited after 60 years as a result of the searching of one of their children. The Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names contains some 3 million names; Yadvashem.org
Bulgur, tahini, mint, za’atar, paprika, pepper, dill, cabbage, beets, barley, cinnamon, dates, mingle in the pantries of the members of the Jewish Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group of San Mateo County, California, now celebrating 12 years of relationship-building and outreach. They have just published Palestinian and Jewish Recipes for Peace. 100 pages; $ 15 plus $4 shipping. Order from Libby Traubman, 1448 Cedarwood Drive, San Mateo, CA 94403; (650)574-8303; traubman.igc.org/recipes.