18 December 2009

New York: Unique Sephardic programs at the JCC

The Upper West Side Jewish Community Center's goal is to celebrate the diversity and richness of the Jewish people. The JCC has scheduled some unique programming - lectures, travel, food and music - to discover different facets of Jewish life from January-March 2010.

The JCC is located at 334 Amsterdam Avenue and 76th Street, New York City.

The Remarkable Saga of Spanish Jewry

New York University assistant professor/faculty fellow in teh religious studies program, Brigitte Sion was born in Switzerland to Sephardic parents. She will lead a six-session program on the history of Spanish Jewry's descendants - a history of secrecy, forced conversion, exile, dispersion, and endurance - and examine the contemporary state of the Sephardic community today. Sion will cover how they were received in other countries and how they flourished in diaspora. Also covered: language, literature, traditions and customs, evolution of Sephardic heritage in exile, contemporary phenomenon of "museumization" and Spain's relationship to its Jewish past.

Six Mondays, from January 25- March 8 (not on February 15). Fee: JCC members, $90; others, $110.

Far From Zion: In Search of a Global Jewish Community
7pm, Tuesday, February 23. Fee: JCC members, $7; others, $10.

Award-winning writer Charles London speaks about his new book that blends history, geography, politics and personal memoir. His global journey reveals Jewish communities living their faith in inspiring ways. His year-long quest to seek out these communities is both physical and spiritual. Co-sponsored with Be-chol Lashon.

Indian Jewish Purim Celebration
3pm, Sunday, February 28. Fee: JCC members, $25; others, $30.
Join Indian-Jewish Congregation of the USA (IJCUSA) president Romiel Daniel and other members of his community for a Purim celebration. Enjoy ethnic Indian and Israeli dancing with a Bollywood DJ. Dress up as a Purim character or not. Indian cuisine served. Co-sponsored with the IJCUSA).

Celebrating the Turkish Musical Tradition
2pm, Sunday, March 7, Mar 7. Fee: JCC members, $20; others, $25.

Turkish culture is reflected in its rich and diverse musical traditions. Join world-renowned musician Ahmet Erdogdular who will present songs by the 18th century Ottoman Jewish composer Tanburi Izek and interpret the singing style of Izak Algazi, an Ottoman Empire-era Istanbul synagogue cantor. The Jewish-Turkish tradition will be represented by Turkish-American linguist, actress/director and singer Daisy Sadaka Braverman who will sing songs in Ladino/Judeo-Spanish, a language unique to Sephardic Jews, especially those of Greece and Turkey. The afternoon includes Turkish desserts. Co-sponsored by The Turkish Cultural Center.

To register for one or all of these programs, go to the JCC site.

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