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Happening

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CARING COMMUNITIES

Power and Responsibility: The 3rd European Jewish Conference of Women Rabbis, Community Politicians, Activists and Scholars will take place in Berlin, May 22-25. (030) 42 08 53 30; bet-debora@hagalil.com

Religious and left-leaning? A list is designed for people who are traditionally Jewishly observant (whether you identify as Orthodox, Conservative, or something else) and “very, very, very, left-wing socially, politically, etc.” The invitation announces that “queers, transfolk of every stripe, and Jews of every/any racial background are welcome.” religiousleftyjews-subscrihe@yahoogroups.com

A neighbor’s independence might depend on you. Faith in Action connects volunteers from different faith communities with neighbors who need assistance with long term health needs in their homes with the additional goal of nurturing coalitions of interfaith communities. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation makes technical assistance and mentoring available to participating synagogues or churches from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, www.FIAVolunteers.org; (877)324-8411.

“Lev v’Neshama” (Heart and Soul). In Tzfat, a city of 22,000 in Israel’s Galil, three volunteers—Rena Cohen, Yaffa Smolensky, and Faga Weiss—have organized to help needy residents relieve the pressure of grocery store debts, providing vouchers for food and opening a “discount store” to help families stretch their budgets. They remind potential supporters that there are no food shortages in Israel; just a shortage of cash. Donations—checks payable to PEF—can be sent to the PEF Israel Endowment Fund, 317 Madison Ave., #607, New York, NY 10017 with a note that the funds are to be sent to Tzfat, Israel in care of “Lev V Neshama” (212)599-1260.

Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut, who perished on the Columbia shuttle, sent out a call to Jews while he was in flight encircling the earth: Plant trees in Israel this year! You can now plant trees in his memory, (800)542-TREE (8733) or http://www.jnf.org

HEROINES

Molly Picon, Fanny Brice, Sophie Tucker, Barbra Streisand and Bette Midler are celebrated in a show, “Chutzpah! Jewish Women on Stage” created and performed by Liz Keever. Available to travel. www.chutzpahwomen.info

Sisters in Resistance, a documentary film directed by Maia Wechsler tells the story of four young non-Jewish women who risked their lives to fight Nazi brutality in Occupied France. Deported as political prisoners to Ravensbruck concentration camp, they helped each other survive, forming intense friendships which have lasted for more than 50 years. Airing nationally on PBS on April 29. Check local listings.

70 Up: New York Women in Their Prime is an exhibit of photos by Jessica Chornesky of famous and not so famous women includes their insights on aging. Through July 6 at the Museum of the City of New York, (212)534-1672; www.mcny.org

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Once silent about domestic violence, the Jewish community is emergung as a global leader on the issue.

The First International Conference on Domestic Abuse in the Jewish Community, July 20-22 in Baltimore, hopes to shape a movement that is Jewish in perspective and practice—and hopefully a model for other religious and ethnic communities—to end violence against women. (800)343-2823; www.jwicalltoaction.org

From Victim to Victor; A Retreat for the Healing and Empowerment of Jewish Women Who Have Been Physically, Emotionally or Sexually Abused will take place September 12-14, 2003 in Chicago. This program, created and led by Wendy Hilsen-Bernard and Rabbi Cindy Enger, can also be offered in your community. Contact the Seattle-based sponsoring organization. Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence, cenger@cpsdv.org; (206)634-1903.

The Task Force on Family Violence 2003 Directory put out by UJA Federation includes a project to train “wise women” volunteers; a model for teaching anger management in schools; supports for the elderly; and programs to increase awareness of domestic violence in immigrant groups. www.ujafedny.org

GARMENT INDUSTRY

S. Klein’s on the Square. For a study about the famous and late-lamented Manhattan pioneer discount retailer Sam Klein, the author would like to hear from anyone who knew and worked with him, shopped there—especially prior to his death in 1942—or even shoplifted at Klein’s. Andrea SiegeI,Asiegel@gc.cuny.edu

Knitting women’s history. Jewish Russian and Polish immigrant women to the US in the years 1880 to 1920 knit in an odd blend of eastern and western styles. What did they knit? Were there women who knit For a living, making shawls or piecework or socks or something else? Picture book author/ illustrator Michelle Edwards would be grateful for any details or memories, you can share. (319)351-4666: 111988@msn.com

WRITING

Jewish American Women Writers is the theme of a day long symposium, October 24, in Boca Raton, FL. There will be a panel on the fiction of Rebecca Goldstein, and Joyce Antler, Evelyn Avery, Sarah Blacher Cohen and Helene Meyers are some of scholars presenting on other subjects. This symposium, co-chaired by Annette Zilversmit and Janet Burstein, is a highlight of the sixth annual American Literature Association conference whose theme this year is Jewish American and Holocaust Literature. Contact Gloria Cronin at gloriacronin@msn.com

A new M.A. program in Creative Writing offered by the English Department at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel provides training for students of writing, working in English, who are drawn to Jewish or Israel-related material. An inaugural conference on Jewish Writing will be held in Israel in May 2003. Contact Shaindy Rudojf srudoff@netvision.net.il; http://www.bin.ac.il/HU/en/home/index.html

Eli, Eli: A Collection of Contemporary Tehines.

Written by all types of Jews in whatever vernacular they speak, tehines are expressions of Jews’ deep, personal and complicated relationships with God. Contribute your personal prayers, blessings and supplications by June 30 to editor Naomi Bar-Yam, tehinabook@yahoo.com: http://necsi.org/projects/naomi/tehines/

The Jewish Feminist Research Group is a forum for Jewish women scholars to present work in progress and receive feedback from scholars and interested lay people. Originally established by Ma’yan JFRG is now a project of the Jewish Women’s Studies Program at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Contact Gail Labovitz, jfrg@jtsa.edu: (212)280-6004.

SCHOLARSHIP

Unmasking Gender and Power “Mistabra” in the Talmud means: through the process of engagement it will become clear. Mistabra Institute for Jewish Textual Activism, founded by Bonna Haberman, juxtaposes Biblical, Rabbinic, Hassidic and philosophic texts, integrating them with performance, art, literature, biography and technological media. Their provocative analyses of the weekly Torah reading propose related possibilities for personal and social change work. Mistabra@brandeis.edu: www.brandeis.edu/~mistabra