The invention of the sewing machine in 1848 and the demand for ready made clothing were both a blessing and a curse for the Levines, Jewish immigrants from Poland in the early 1890s who ran a garment shop out of their front room. Their reconstructed home, a new permanent exhibit, reflects the New York apparel industry then and now, at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 90 Orchard St., New York. NY,(212)431-0233; www.tenement.org
The Song of Songs, interpreted. Chana Bloch’s translation, adapted for the stage by director Naomi Newman, has masks, music and movement embodying the passionate sexual awakening of two young lovers and a mature woman’s spiritual longing for God. Performances Thursday-Sunday, April 11-May19, “Song of Songs” A Traveling Jewish Theatre, 470 Florida St., San Francsico: (415)399-1809; www.atjt.com. An academic conference on the Song of Songs, including a concert, will take place in Boston, April 17-19. Cristine Hutchison, Luce Program for Scripture & the Literary Arts, Boston University, www.bu.edu/religion/; (617)358-1754.
That’s Life, a musical examining Jewish life in America, conceived, directed and choreographed by Helen Butler off and produced off Broadway, is available for other bookings. One number, “Mama, I want to sit downstairs” is a musical lament by an Orthodox girl about her place in the synagogue. Helen Butler off. 420. E. 79th St.. New York, NY 10021; (212)861-5648; Butleroff@aol.com
Our Money, Ourselves—a program addressing stereo types about Jewish women and money, and cultural perceptions of Jewish women related to money at various stages of life, will be introduced by Susan Weidman Schneider, with a key note address by Joyce Antler, concluding with an improvisational performance by the DC Playback Theater, 7pm, May 15, 2002. District of Columbia Jewish Community Center; (202)518-9400; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.dcjcc.org
Personal accounts of compassion or kindness to an ex-spouse are sought for a book. Perhaps your story will inspire others to minimize or even overcome the pain and suffering that adults and children all too often undergo as a consequence of divorce. Contact Hanna Jaffe, 35 Ruzin St., Har Nof, Jerusalem, Israel; email@example.com
R’fuah Sh’leimah. When Debbie Friedman first publicly sang her interpretation of the traditional mishebeirakh prayer, those in need of healing were invited to come gather under a huge tallit. “A mass exodus ensued and there was no one left sitting in the congregation,” she says. Responding to this need. Synagogue 2000, (www.s2k.org) a not-for-profit organization revitalizing North American synagogues of all denomination, has published the 175-page R’fuah Sh’leimah: Songs of Jewish Healing ,$50 from Transcontinental Music Publications, 633 Third Ave., New York, NY10017; (800)455-5223; fax (212)650-4109; www.etranscon.com/rfuahshleimah.html
The Metro West Jewish Health and Healing Center offers a mix of classes: Uplifting the Spirit through Song; the Jewish View of Death and Dying; Healing through Writing; Mikveh and Healing; training for Bikkur Cholim and Pet Therapy; a Women’s Rosh Hodesh spirituality group, programs for Jewish parents of children with special needs, and for people with chronic illnesses; and bereavement groups. Rabbi Rebecca Sirbu, JCC Metro West. 760 Northfield Ave. West Orange, NJ 07052; (973)736-6871; www.jccmetrowest.org
Guide Me Along the Way: A Jewish Spiritual Companion for Surgery by Rabbis Simkha Y. Weintrauband Aaron M. Lever provides biblical and contemporary psalms and blessings that address fear, anxiety, resentment, relief, joy and renewal. $11.95 from National Jewish Healing Center, do JBFCS, 850 Seventh Ave, #1201, New York, NY 10019; (212)399-2320×220; fax (212)399-2475; www.jewishhealing.org
Caregivers’ Connections. Are you caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke or cancer? Speak on the phone in group discussions with elder care professionals and other family caregivers inthe same situation. Free one time sessions discuss care giver burnout, getting through the holidays, long distance care giving, setting limits, long term care insurance and financial planning.
Fay Radding, Caregivers’ Connections, Dorot, 171 W. 85th St., New York, NY 10024; (212)769-2850 or toll free (877)819-9147; www.dorotusa.org
Heeb: the new Jew review. Regarding the experience of being or feeling Jewish, editor Jennifer Bleyer writes that this new quarterly magazine will offer “every possible gradation of humor, discomfort, nostalgia, animosity, devotion, authority, pride, curiosity, unfathomable skepticism, and immeasurable love.” Subscriptions are $17.99
Heeb, FOB 20074, Brooklyn, NY 11201;
Celebrating Jewish womankind in print. For an anthology marking 75 years of service. National Council of Jewish Women in Victoria, Australia is publishing a book of original poetry and short stories highlighting the role of the Jewish woman throughout history. Deadline: May 13, 2002. NCJW (Vic), 131-133 Hawthorn Rd., Caulfield, Australia 3161; zevia@alphalink. Com
Ritualwell.org, a new website, hopes to make available online a full range of new Jewish and feminist rituals for the life cycle, holidays and daily life. Visit the current version to get a flavor of this work in progress. At this time they are seeking new rituals, ceremonies and individual prayers especiallyon: parenting, adolescence,choosing Judaism, adult passages, growing older, death and mourning, Tisha B’Av, Chanukah, Simhat Torah and Taanit Esther. Send to both Rabbi Rona Shapiro, Ma’yan, 15 W 65thSt., NY NY 10023; firstname.lastname@example.org and Dn Rena Potok, Kolot, RRC,1299 Church Rd., Wyncote, PA 19095-1898; email@example.com
Have you wanted to hold a more feminist seder but not known how? Want to invite women, biblical and modern, into your sukkah? Do you wonder about rituals for menopause or miscarriage? The staff of Ma’yan: The Jewish Women’s Project can assist you. Ma’yan also wants to learn about feminist programs in Jewish communities all over the country. Send descriptions or materials from your women’s group or synagogue. Ma’yan, 15 W. 65th St., New York, NY 10023:(212)580-0099, firstname.lastname@example.org