JReleases

What is JRelease?

JRelease is a press release service of AJPA. Our goal is to provide the timely distribution of press releases to all AJPA members. AJPA publications represent an ideal forum for companies and organizations to announce important developments and news. JRelease is the ideal resource for clients who wish to reach the Jewish press and through it the wider Jewish community.

How Do I Submit A Press Release?

JRelease submissions should be emailed to jessica@ajpa.org. Please include "JRelease" in the subject line of your email. Submissions will be reviewed and approved within 48 hours after receipt and distributed upon receipt of payment. Please indicate your preferred date of distribution at the top of your press release submission. Acceptance of submissions for distribution is at the sole discretion of AJPA and as is the case with all material submitted to newspapers, the decision to publish the material is that of the newspaper. It's also a good idea to follow up with editors individually to maximize the number of "hits" for your story. AJPA does not provide direct contact information to member editors.

How Do I Pay?

Payment for distribution is accepted online or in the mail following approval of submitted material for distribution.  We will contact you once the submission has been approved and provide further instructions for payment. Material will not be distributed prior to receipt of payment.

Each press release distributed is only $300. Purchase multiple press releases and each release is discounted. Please email AJPA headquarters for package pricing.


Recent JReleases

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  • June 27, 2022 3:28 PM | Jessica Painter (Administrator)

    NEXT SECRET CHORD CONCERTS EPISODE SHOWCASES KLEZMER-ROCK BAND

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    Sarah Maiellano, Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History, (267) 598-5401; sarah@broadstreetcomms.com

    Beth Kraemer, Lowell Milken Center, (310) 825-3650; bdkraemer@schoolofmusic.ucla.edu

    Mostly Kosher Reconstructs Judaic and American Cultural Music

    When: Wednesday, July 6
                12:00 p.m. PT / 3:00 p.m. ET

    What: The next episode of Secret Chord Concerts, a brand new coast-to-coast series spotlighting top Jewish musicians worldwide today, will feature Mostly Kosher.

    Mostly Kosher is an acclaimed Klezmer-rock band that boldly redefines Judaic and American cultural music. This performance will highlight their new album, “This World is Yours,” which takes listeners through modern protest music, challenging them to topple norms of intolerance and indifference.

    Video Preview of Episode 2

    The Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music (Lowell Milken Center) in Los Angeles and the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History (The Weitzman) partnered to create this cross-country offering.

    Secret Chord Concerts is a free on-demand video series featuring 15-25 minute performances from celebrated Jewish musicians representing a broad range of styles, heritages, and histories and recorded live in front of intimate audiences in Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

    Season 1 episodes will air the first Wednesday of every month from June until October.

    Episode 2 Program:

    Et Dodim (Hebrew)
    Hail to the King (English, Ladino)
    Go Away (English)
    You Slay Me (English, Yiddish, Hebrew)

    How to watch:

    Episodes will premiere on their release dates on The Weitzman’s Facebook Page and the Lowell Milken Center’s YouTube page. The series will be available on-demand after the event on those sites as well as The Weitzman’s website.

    Learn more in this press release https://theweitzman.org/press-releases/secret-chord-concerts-announcement/

    Download High-Resolution Photos and Credits


  • May 25, 2022 11:01 AM | Jessica Painter (Administrator)

    Amidst Growing Demand for an ‘Ethic of Inclusion’ in Chicago Jewish Communal Life, The Shalom Hartman Institute Launches a Regional Office

    For Immediate Release:

    May 25, 2022

    Amidst Growing Demand for an ‘Ethic of Inclusion’ in Chicago Jewish Communal Life, The Shalom Hartman Institute Launches a Regional Office

    Chicago, Illinois – On June 1, at 7pm, The Shalom Hartman Institute hosts an inaugural event for its new Chicago Regional Office, “What Do We Mean by a ‘Big Tent’?” at Lakeview’s Anshe Emet Synagogue.

    The American Jewish community has long used the metaphor of a “big tent” to describe its aspiration to welcome a broad spectrum of viewpoints on Israel. This idea originated as a way of being inclusive, but it often functions with the opposite effect: as a policing of boundaries that designates some views outside the acceptable communal discourse.

    On June 1st, Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer, President of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, will explore the challenges and opportunities of ideological pluralism, and how to foster an ethic of inclusion in the Chicago Jewish community, in partnership with Anshe Emet Synagogue, Temple Sholom of Chicago, and Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel.

    The event will be moderated by Jason Rosensweig, the inaugural Director of Chicago at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. When asked about his vision for how the Institute plans to build a vibrant Jewish peoplehood for the 21st century in Chicago, he shared,

    We are here to learn the landscape of organizational and institutional life, to identify the key challenges with which Chicago leaders are grappling, and to empower them to speak and lead on major issues of Jewish concern by providing the tools to lead communal conversations on Israel and Jewish life. In essence, we are here to imagine and build a future Jewish Chicago in which the various parts of our diverse community are connected to each other, through learning and conversation.”

    The Shalom Hartman Institute is a leading center of Jewish thought and education, serving Israel and North America and has a strong connection to the Chicago Jewish community. Chicago area rabbis have been part of Hartman’s Rabbinic Leadership Initiative from its inception and they serve as leaders in sharing the important and big relevant ideas impacting Jewish communities today.

  • May 25, 2022 10:55 AM | Jessica Painter (Administrator)

    New Coast-to-Coast Series Brings Trailblazing Jewish Musicians to Audiences Everywhere

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:

    Sarah Maiellano, The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History, (267) 598-5401; sarah@broadstreetcomms.com

    Beth Kraemer, Lowell Milken Center, (310) 825-3650; bdkraemer@schoolofmusic.ucla.edu

    NEW COAST-TO-COAST SERIES BRINGS TRAILBLAZING JEWISH MUSICIANS TO AUDIENCES EVERYWHERE

    Bicoastal partnership focused on American Jewish experience premieres short-form Secret Chord Concerts this June

    PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (May 25, 2022): On Wednesday, June 1, the first season of Secret Chord Concerts, a new series spotlighting top Jewish musicians worldwide today, will launch.

    Secret Chord Concerts is a free on-demand video series featuring 15-25 minute performances from celebrated Jewish musicians representing a broad range of styles, heritages, and histories and recorded live in front of intimate audiences in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Season 1 episodes will air the first Wednesday of every month from June until October.

    A cross-country partnership between The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History (The Weitzman) on historic Independence Mall in Philadelphia, and the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music (Lowell Milken Center) in Los Angeles, generated this new online offering. Both presenting organizations are committed to inspiring in people of all backgrounds a greater appreciation for the diversity of the American Jewish experience. This season’s episodes were filmed at The Weitzman, against the striking backdrop of Independence Hall, and in UCLA’s beautiful recording studio.

    “I’ve had the idea of a Jewish ‘Tiny Desk’ style series in my head for years,” said Dan Samuels, The Weitzman’s Director of Public Programs. “When people think of ‘Jewish music’, they tend to think of klezmer, which is deeper, more nuanced and less monolithic than many believe. With the expertise and support of the Lowell Milken Center, Secret Chord Concerts will spotlight the latest in Jewish music across genres, which truly reflects the diversity and nuanced cultural landscape not only of the Jewish community, but of America.”

    Concerts will air live via Facebook on the pages of The Weitzman, the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience and the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. The series will be available on-demand after the event on the above Facebook pages, The Weitzman’s website, and on the Lowell Milken Center’s YouTube page.

    “We couldn’t be more pleased to partner with The Weitzman once again in presenting this new endeavor,” said Lorry Black, Associate Director of the Lowell Milken Center. “Our shared vision of how music reflects all aspects of the American Jewish experience, from East Coast to West, guides this joint effort. We’re excited to expand audiences for these outstanding musical artists and introduce new people to their incredible music.”

    Inaugural Season Line-Up

    Episode 1
    June 1
    New Moon Rising, a trio of powerhouse female voices in Jewish music. Original spiritual music with lush, powerful harmonies interwoven with violin, mandolin and guitar. The audio from which will be released as a debut album this summer.

    Program: “The Other Side of Fear” by Elana Arian, “Dodi Li”, by Deborah Sacks Mintz, “What If” by Chava Mirel, “Sunrise Nigun”, by Deborah Sacks Mintz, and “Oseh Shalom” by Elana Arian

    Details of subsequent episodes will be included when they launch.

    Episode 2
    July 6
    Mostly Kosher
    Jewish cultural revival music

    Episode 3
    August 3
    Neta Elkayam
    Moroccan-Jewish fusion
    Community partner

    Episode 4
    September 7
    Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell with the Baymele ensemble
    Yiddish art and folk songs

    Episode 5
    October 6*
    Andy Statman
    NEA National Heritage Award Winning Klezmer and Bluegrass multi-instrumentalist
    *Wednesday, October 5 is the Jewish High Holy Day of Yom Kippur so this month’s episode will be released on Thursday, October 6.

    How to watch

    On Wednesday, June 1 at 12:00 p.m. PT / 3:00 p.m. ET, the first Secret Chord Concert will air live via Facebook on the Facebook pages of The Weitzman, the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience and the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. The series will be available on-demand after the event on the above Facebook pages, The Weitzman’s website, and on the Lowell Milken Center’s YouTube page.

    Download High-Resolution Photos and Credits

    ABOUT THE WEITZMAN NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN JEWISH HISTORY

    Established in 1976, and situated on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History is the only museum in the nation dedicated exclusively to exploring and interpreting the American Jewish experience. The Weitzman presents educational programs and experiences that preserve, explore, and celebrate the history of Jews in America. Its purpose is to connect Jews more closely to their heritage and to inspire in people of all backgrounds a greater appreciation for the diversity of the American Jewish experience and the freedoms to which Americans aspire. For more information, visit: https://theweitzman.org/virtual-museum/

    ABOUT THE LOWELL MILKEN CENTER FOR MUSIC OF AMERICAN JEWISH EXPERIENCE AT THE UCLA HERB ALPERT SCHOOL OF MUSIC

    Established by a gift from philanthropist Lowell Milken in 2020, the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience is dedicated to exploring American Jewish music through research, publications, performance, educational programming and community engagement in Los Angeles and beyond. The Lowell Milken Center builds upon the activities of the Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music, established at UCLA in 2017, to expand the reach of the Milken Archive and its vast holdings of recordings, scores and historical materials to students, scholars and the public. With the establishment of the Lowell Milken Center, American Jewish music has its first permanent dedicated academic home, allowing it to expand the reach of its scholarship and performance through academic offerings, public programs, concerts and recordings. Committed to expanding audiences for this music beyond the UCLA campus, much of the programming happens through partnerships with local, national and international organizations, and features artists from UCLA and around the world. For more information, visit: https://schoolofmusic.ucla.edu/resources/lowellmilkenmaje/
  • April 25, 2022 1:26 PM | Jessica Painter (Administrator)

    Jewish Memory and This Moral Moment 

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Monday, April 25, 2022

    A Virtual  Conference and Commemoration for Yom HaShoah hosted by the Shalom Hartman Institute   

    NEW YORK CITY, New York – On April 28, The Shalom Hartman Institute hosts a virtual conference and commemoration on Yom HaShoah, connecting lessons of the Holocaust to the current crisis in Ukraine, home to one of the largest thriving populations of Jewish communal life pre-WWII. 

    Leading scholars and luminaries will relate the themes of Yom HaShoah to the Ukraine-Russia war to inspire a Torah of Action. As the world witnesses the ongoing toll of the war in Ukraine and the refugee crisis in Eastern Europe continues, Jews are confronted by memories from World War II that are tragically familiar. 

    At the Jewish Memory and This Moral Moment Conference, Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer, President of the Shalom Hartman Institute, along with Mark Hetfield, the President and CEO of HIAS, Roman Shmulenson, Executive Director of COJECO - the central hub for the Russian-speaking Jewish community in New York tri-state area, Dr. Tal Becker, legal adviser of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dara Horn, author and two time winner of Jewish Book Award, legal adviser of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs along with other leading scholars on Holocaust and Jewish Studies explore the unique moral responsibilities Jewish people have in light of the Shoah.

    “With this year’s commemoration of Yom HaShoah, the Jewish community is struggling with big moral questions considering our long, difficult history in Eastern Europe. For over 70 years since the Holocaust, Jews have vowed “never again.”– Dr. Kurtzer    

    Dr. Kurtzer will deliver the keynote address, Never Again, Revisited. Later, he will be joined on a panel The Mobilization of Memory - Activating an Emergency Response in Crisis by Mark Hetfield, the President and CEO of HIAS, the global refugee agency of the American Jewish community. Founded in 1881, HIAS is the oldest organization in the world that is dedicated to refugees.  

    Roman Shmulenson, the Executive Director of COJECO - the central hub for the Russian-speaking Jewish community in New York tri-state area, will lead a panel Voices of Russian Speaking Jews and at noon, a Yom HaShoah Commemoration will be led by Rabbi Avram Mlotek, co-founder of Base and the rabbi-in-residence at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan.

    The conference hosted by the Shalom Hartman Institute will look back in remembrance of the Holocaust while addressing the complex moral questions of power and responsibility in today’s world. The Shalom Hartman Institute is a leading center of Jewish thought and education, serving Israel and North America. Our mission is to strengthen Jewish peoplehood, identity, and pluralism; to enhance the Jewish and democratic character of Israel; and to ensure that Judaism is a compelling force for good in the 21st century.

    For all media inquiries and to arrange interviews please contact: Jan.Greenfield@shalomhartman.org 

    For a full list of panelists and sessions: https://moralmemory.hartman.org.il/agenda 
  • April 01, 2022 12:39 PM | Jessica Painter (Administrator)

    Premiere of Original Musical By and About Contemporary Orthodox Women

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Friday, April 1, 2022

    PREMIERE OF ORIGINAL MUSICAL BY AND ABOUT CONTEMPORARY ORTHODOX WOMEN

    This past Sunday and Monday night, Nshei Players, a new religious women’s theater group in Montreal, Quebec, premiered Puzzle Pieces, an original musical written by, and about the lives of, religious Jewish women.  

    This show was a first in North America and in the global Orthodox world, as it is an original musical comedy about the lives of contemporary religious Jewish women. 

    Its audience was standing room only and brought together women from across the Jewish spectrum, from Chassidic and Litvak to Sephardi, Modern Orthodox and non-Orthodox.

    While Puzzle Pieces is a character driven story that focuses on the inner questions people ask themselves, it portrays a host of characters who, together, capture the spirit of a vibrant community, and invites audiences to enjoy the humor of the mundane. 

    The project was launched through the collaborative effort of three women, all landed immigrants in Quebec and “returnees” to Orthodoxy, drawing from their former theater experiences in Pennsylvania, New York, Israel and the UK.

    Producer Miriam Leah Gamliel, professionally trained in musical theater prior to adopting Orthodoxy, directs ATARA, The Arts And Torah Association (artsandtorah.org), a network to support creative religious women worldwide. Gamliel recently finished a doctorate through Yeshiva University, but gained her early theater experiences in her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.  Gamliel met Harrisburg born playwright Sarah Rochel Hewitt in the early 2000s while both were living in Bergen County, NJ Hewitt has a diverse background in writing and crafted the engaging script based on her observations of her current community.  The pair teamed up with Dr. Rachel Gray, a native of London, whose fun and funny original songs capture the special nuances of the busy lives of community women.  Gamliel and Hewitt co-direct, while Gray managed the show’s musical direction and choir.

    The creative team are also members of the cast, along with an outstanding array of women who have never before had the opportunity to display their talents. The show includes native Montreal cast members Esty Gebus Krausz, Feigie Taub Moses, and Hindy Shechter Friedman, as well as others from Toronto, Los Angeles, CA, Providence, RI, New York, the UK, Belgium and South Africa, with co-choreographer Yonit Wenick from Chicago.

    Puzzle Pieces brings to the stage the lives, humor, and stories formerly experienced only in private circles of religious women. The all-female audience delighted at connecting to drama and humor that reflected their own life experiences, whatever their level of religious observance.  In the aftermath of the show, women reported catharsis as they felt their own lives being accurately portrayed.  

    The show fostered goodwill and unity among the various religious communities locally, as well as awe in appreciating the formerly dormant talent in the religious community.  More women have come forward with interest in performing, and the group hopes to continue creating productions that speak to the experience of women throughout the Orthodox world and its diverse subcultures and communities. 

    PRESS CONTACT

    Miriam Leah Gamliel (438) 763-8083 | drozmr@icloud.com
  • March 10, 2022 9:15 AM | Jessica Painter (Administrator)

    Mid-Atlantic Media acquires Philadelphia Jewish Exponent

    A Week Highlighting Powerful Events, Timely Information, and Resources to Help Raise Awareness of the Importance of Genetic Screening

    NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Release Date: March 1, 2022

    Contact: Craig Burke, CEO, cburke@midatlanticmedia.com

    Mid-Atlantic Media acquires Philadelphia Jewish Exponent

    Baltimore, Md. (Feb. 28, 2022)—Mid-Atlantic Media, LLC announced today that it has expanded its media holdings with the acquisition of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent.

    Philadelphia Jewish Exponent, a regional Jewish publication covering Philadelphia and its Pennsylvania suburbs and South Jersey, was sold by the Jewish Publishing Group, a subsidiary of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. Terms of the deal were not released.

    “Our steadfast commitment to engage, educate, entertain and connect Jews across the religious, political, demographic and geographic spectra of our community has never wavered,” said Michael Balaban, President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. “However, the ever-changing media landscape can make owning a local Jewish publication challenging to maintain. Under Mid-Atlantic Media, the Exponent will have proven experts in the field focusing on its growth, development and relevance in the marketplace. We expect under this ownership that the Exponent will remain an award-winning publication, better able to meet the needs of its readers including expanding its footprint in the digital media marketplace.”

    Mid-Atlantic Media CEO and Publisher Craig Burke said that the acquisition of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent fits in well with the media company’s strategic plans. “The Jewish Exponent has always been one of preeminent Jewish publications in the country. Seven years ago, we considered it an honor and privilege to help provide custom media services to Jewish Exponent. Now, the opportunity to acquire Jewish Exponent and bring it into our corporate media portfolio is a true thrill.

    “Jewish publications build and strengthen Jewish community with their content, both in print and digitally. We look forward to providing valuable content to Jewish readers in the greater Philadelphia area.” Burke continued, “And helping our advertisers grow their business with Philadelphia Jewish Exponent.”

    Mid-Atlantic Media is a growing media company with a strong presence in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Mid-Atlantic Media publishes Baltimore’s Child, Baltimore Jewish Times, Baltimore Style, Consumer’s Eye Magazine, Frederick’s Child, Home Services Magazine, Philadelphia’s MetroKids, Montgomery Magazine, Washington Family and Washington Jewish Week. The company — which maintains a corporate office in Owings Mills, Maryland — also operates a substantial national custom media division providing services to clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, Key West, Pittsburgh, New York, San Francisco and Scottsdale.
  • February 03, 2022 1:35 PM | Jessica Painter (Administrator)

    JScreen Promotes 3rd Annual Jewish Genetic Screening Awareness Week (JGSAW) February 1 - 7, 2022

    A Week Highlighting Powerful Events, Timely Information, and Resources to Help Raise Awareness of the Importance of Genetic Screening

    Atlanta, GA – February 2022 – JScreena national non-profit public health initiative dedicated to preventing genetic diseases, announced plans to participate in the third annual Jewish Genetic Screening Awareness Week (JGSAW) February 1 – 7, 2022. Initiated two years ago with organizational partners across the nation, JGSAW serves to educate the Jewish community about the importance of screening for genetic diseases and raise awareness about testing resources through a week of powerful events and timely information. Jewish Genetic Screening Awareness Week will be officially recognized in the morning orders by the Georgia State Legislature according to the Proclamation Declaring Jewish Genetic Screening Awareness Week passed two years ago.

    JScreen makes genetic testing simple, accessible, and affordable by offering easy-to-use at-home saliva kits. JScreen’s reproductive test gives prospective parents a deep understanding of their genetic makeup and the risk of having a child with a genetic disease.  If a couple’s risk is elevated, genetic counselors privately address their results by phone or video teleconference and provide them with options to help them plan for the health of their future children. JScreen’s cancer genetic test alerts a person to their risk for hereditary cancer. If results are positive, it allows them to take action for the prevention or early detection of many common cancers. By providing convenient at-home access to cutting-edge genetic testing technology, patient education, and genetic counseling services, JScreen strives to prevent devastating genetic diseases and ensure a bright and healthy future for all.

    “Our #1 goal is to ensure a healthy future by preventing genetic diseases through screening and education,” says Karen Arnovitz Grinzaid, Executive Director of JScreen. “For the third consecutive year, we’re proud to promote Jewish Genetic Screening Awareness Week. We’re asking for your help in making that healthy future a reality by raising awareness and showing your support for the life-saving power of genetic testing. This week will showcase valuable resources and events to get more people tested and save more lives.”’

    “It is my absolute pleasure to work alongside JScreen to raise awareness about the vital importance of genetic screening,” said Mike Wilensky, State Rep. of Georgia HD79 who introduced the resolution declaring Jewish Genetic Screening Awareness Week. “In our third year promoting Jewish Genetic Screening Awareness Week, we endeavor to make sure the message is understood loud and clear: take action, take control, and get screened.”

    During JGSAW, JScreen is offering a $72 off coupon code for testing. People can register for testing at www.jscreen.org and use code JGSAW72 at checkout to receive the discount.

    For more information, please visit www.jscreen.org.

    Proclamation Declaring Jewish Genetic Screening Awareness Week

    Senate Resolution
    By: Michael Wilensky

    A RESOLUTION

    Designating the week of February 3rd as Jewish Genetic Screening Awareness Week in Georgia and other purposes. 

    WHEREAS everyone is a carrier for a number of genetic diseases, and there are certain genetic diseases that are more common in certain ethnicities.

    WHEREAS, Jewish people are among the ethnic groups at high-risk for certain genetic diseases, some of which cause early death or severely debilitating symptoms. Non-Jewish people can also be carriers of these and other genetic diseases.

    WHEREAS, genetic screening is recommended for any couple thinking of starting or expanding their family.

    WHEREAS, carriers are healthy individuals who unknowingly have a mutation in a disease gene. They do not have symptoms, thus the only way they can know if they are a carrier is to get tested or to have an affected child. 

    WHEREAS, carrier couples have a twenty-five percent risk, with each pregnancy, of having a child affected by the genetic disease they both carry. 

    WHEREAS, many couples are only offered genetic testing once they are already pregnant and for a limited number of diseases. Educating the community about the importance of comprehensive pre-conception screening is essential to afford couples more options to plan ahead.

    WHEREAS, Jewish people are also at higher risk to have mutations in genes (e.g. BRCA) that increase the risk for certain cancers, and knowing those risks can be lifesaving.

    WHEREAS, genetic screening is now easily accessible to those in Georgia and nationwide via at-home screening on saliva. 

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA that the week of February 3rd shall be set aside and officially designated as Jewish Genetic Screening Awareness Week in Georgia. 

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of the Senate is authorized and directed to make appropriate copies of this resolution available for distribution to the public and the press. 

    Disclaimer: JRelease is a press release service of AJPA. AJPA does not endorse and cannot vouch for material distributed by this service.

  • December 16, 2021 11:38 AM | Jessica Painter (Administrator)

    The Association for Jewish Studies Announces

    2021 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award Winners

    (NEW YORK, NY, December 2021) The Association for Jewish Studies has announced the 2021 winners of the Jordan Schnitzer Book Awards.

    Since 2008, these annual awards recognize and promote scholarship in the field of Jewish Studies and honor scholars whose work embodies the best in the field: rigorous research, theoretical sophistication, innovative methodology, and excellent writing.

    Winners and finalists are recognized for books in four categories:

    Jewish Literature and Linguistics

    Winner: Amelia M. Glaser (University of California, San Diego) for Songs in Dark Times: Yiddish Poetry of Struggle from Scottsboro to Palestine (Harvard University Press)

    Finalist: Sheila E. Jelen (University of Kentucky) for Salvage Poetics: Post-Holocaust American Jewish Folk Ethnographies (Wayne State University Press)

    Medieval and Early Modern Jewish History and Culture

    Winner: Francesca Trivellato (Institute for Advanced Study) for The Promise and Peril of Credit: What a Forgotten Legend about Jews and Finance Tells Us about the Making of European Commercial Society (Princeton University Press)

    Finalist: Eric Lawee (Bar-Ilan University) for Rashi’s Commentary on the Torah: Canonization and Resistance in the Reception of a Jewish Classic (Oxford University Press)

    Modern Jewish History and Culture: Africa, Americas, Asia, and Oceania

    Winner: Devi Mays (University of Michigan) for Forging Ties, Forging Passports: Migration and the Modern Sephardi Diaspora (Stanford University Press)

    Finalist: Laura Leibman (Reed College) for The Art of the Jewish Family: A History of Women in Early New York in Five Objects (Bard Graduate Center)

    Philosophy and Jewish Thought

    Winner: Annabel Herzog (University of Haifa) for Levianas’s Politics: Justice, Mercy, Universality (University of Pennsylvania Press)

    Finalist: Alexander Kaye (Brandeis University) for The Invention of Jewish Theocracy: The Struggle for Legal Authority in Modern Israel (Oxford University Press)

    This book award program is made possible by funding from Jordan and Arlene Schnitzer through the Harold & Arlene Schnitzer Family Fund of the Oregon Jewish Community Foundation. Of this year’s awards, Jordan Schnitzer said “Now in its fourteenth year, I continue to be humbled to support critical scholarship in the field of Jewish Studies. This year, the award winners and finalists help us understand the past and add insight to today’s issues. Congratulations to each one of you!”

    AJS Executive Director, Warren Hoffman, PhD, said "The AJS is grateful to Jordan Schnitzer for sustained support of the Jordan Schnitzer Book Awards, one of the most prestigious book awards that one can receive in the field of Jewish Studies. These awards prominently elevate Jewish Studies scholarship around the world."

    The 2022 Jordan Schnitzer Book Awards will begin accepting submissions in spring 2022 in the categories of Biblical Studies, Rabbinics, and Jewish History and Culture in Antiquity; Jews and the Arts: Music, Performance, and Visual; Modern Jewish History and Culture: Europe and Israel; and Social Science, Anthropology, and Folklore.

    Winners will receive a $10,000 prize; finalists will receive a $2,500 prize.

    The Association for Jewish Studies is the largest learned society and professional organization representing Jewish Studies scholars worldwide, with more than 2,000 members in 33 countries. The mission of the AJS is to advance research and teaching in Jewish Studies at colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher learning, and to foster greater understanding of Jewish Studies scholarship among the wider public.

    If you would like more information about the Jordan Schnitzer Book Awards or the Association for Jewish Studies, please contact Amy Ronek at (917) 606-8249 or aronek@associationforjewishstudies.org.


  • December 16, 2021 11:34 AM | Jessica Painter (Administrator)

    New Oral History of America Jewish Music Platform Brings the Past to Life

    LOS ANGELES, CA (December 14, 2021) – The field of Jewish Music is gaining a valuable resource which will expand knowledge about the evolving nature of music of the American Jewish experience.

    The Oral History Project of American Jewish Music, created by the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience at The Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA in partnership with the Milken Archive of Jewish Music: the American Experience, is an audiovisual platform that will provide a portal for scholars, researchers, musicians, listeners, and fans of Jewish music to explore interviews of leading musicians, composers, cantors, and performers. A number of the oral histories feature historically significant individuals who are no longer living, such as Dave Brubeck and Freydele Oysher.

    “Oral histories and personal interviews constitute some of the most important primary sources in the field of Jewish music. But there have long been barriers to access that have inhibited the field's progress. Interviews and transcripts generally take a very long time to consume and analyze, and finding the connections among different interviews is laborious,” said Jeff Janeczko, Curator of the Milken Archive of Jewish Music. “By integrating audiovisual and textual material with the power of search and metadata, the Oral History Project of American Jewish Music removes those barriers and opens up new avenues for research and exploration.”

    The platform contains video interviews and searchable transcripts that allow for easy access to learn about genres, concepts, and works of Jewish music. The resource allows viewers first-hand access to the background of musicians, their teachers and their experiences in creating, performing and engaging with music. Students of famed Cantor Yossele Rosenblatt, colleagues of Leonard Bernstein, and performers of Yiddish theater share how they learned and the opportunities they had in performing Jewish music.

    “This collection at present is only the beginning. We will continue to add interviews over time, including today’s leading scholars, cantors, and performers to make their experiences known,” says Mark Kligman, Mickey Katz Endowed Chair in Jewish Music, Professor of Ethnomusicology and Musicology at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and Director of the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience. “Our intention is to build this platform in order to advance the field of Jewish music.”

    “Finally, we can hear the vital voices of America’s eminent Jewish musicians of many generations and styles, a wellspring source for students, scholars, and music lovers everywhere,” commented Mark Slobin, Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music Emeritus, Wesleyan University.

    A team of UCLA students supervised by staff and faculty work to ensure the accuracy of each transcript and to create metadata for easy searching prior to making each new interview live to the public.

    The Oral History Project of American Jewish Music is built upon state-of-the-art Aviary technology.

    ABOUT THE LOWELL MILKEN CENTER FOR MUSIC OF AMERICAN JEWISH EXPERIENCE AT THE UCLA HERB ALPERT SCHOOL OF MUSIC
    Established by a gift from philanthropist Lowell Milken in 2020, American Jewish music has its first permanent dedicated academic home in the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. It is dedicated to exploring American Jewish music through research, publications, performance, educational programming and community engagement in Los Angeles and beyond. The Lowell Milken Center expands the reach of the Milken Archive and its vast holdings of recordings, scores and historical materials to students, scholars and the public. For more information, please visit: schoolofmusic.ucla.edu/lowellmilkenmaje.

    ABOUT THE MILKEN ARCHIVE OF JEWISH MUSIC: THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
    Founded by philanthropist Lowell Milken in 1990, the Milken Archive has engaged an international roster of artists, composers and experts of different faiths and disciplines to share sacred and secular music pertaining to the Jewish experience in America, much of which was undiscovered or in danger of being lost. Engaging an equally global audience, the Milken Archive has completed more than 600 recordings, 200 oral histories and a series of 50 award-winning albums on the Naxos American Classics label. www.milkenarchive.org

    CONTACT

    Mark Kligman, Director, Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
    T: 310-206-5282; mkligman@schoolofmusic.ucla.edu

    Jeff Janeczko, Curator, Milken Archive of Jewish Music
    T: 310-570-4746; info@milkenarchive.org
  • December 08, 2021 9:00 AM | Laura Herring (Administrator)

    The 29th Annual Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™ - On Zoom and YouTube Live*
    Jewish Comedy on Christmas in a (virtual) Chinese Restaurant

    Featuring Ophira Eisenberg, Jessica Kirson, 
    Lisa Geduldig, & Arline Geduldig (Lisa’s 90 year old mother)

    Friday, December 24 & Saturday, December 25 @ 5pm PST
    (6pm MST/7pm CST/8pm EST) 

    Sunday, December 26, 2021 @ 2pm PST
    (3pm MST/4pm CST/5pm EST)

    *San Francisco attendees’ option: Lazy Susan Chinese food delivery on Dec 25 & Dec 26

    Info: www.KosherComedy.com

    Tickets: $25- $50 (Pay what you want) | www.CityBoxOffice.com/KungPao

    Partial Proceeds Benefit

    San Francisco-Marin Food Bank
    Shalom Bayit: Ending Domestic Violence in Jewish Homes

    San Francisco, CA… Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™ — Jewish comedy on Christmas in a (virtual) Chinese Restaurant — is an annual tradition in San Francisco, answering the age-old question, “What are Jews supposed to do on Christmas?” Due to the pandemic, the show, which has been operating in San Francisco’s Chinatown every December since its inception in 1993, was livestreamed on Zoom and YouTube Live last year catering to 2000+ people and reaching audiences throughout the country and some internationally. To keep everyone safe, Kung Pao will take place virtually again this year (vaccination still mandatory), but next year in 2022 for its 30th Anniversary, the show will be live in-person, while keeping the online component (aka a hybrid event) in order to continue to entertain the national audiences built during the pandemic. Last year’s virtual show was a Pick in the New York TimesThe Forward, and Jewish newspapers in cities including Atlanta, Tampa and St. Louis, in addition to the San Francisco Bay Area press.

    Kung Pao is the brainchild of San Francisco-based Jewish comedian, Lisa Geduldig, and is one of San Francisco’s longest running comedy shows. Kung Pao has been featured in the NY Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune…and was the country’s first Jewish comedy on Christmas in a Chinese restaurant show. The idea for Kung Pao came about in October 1993, when Lisa was booked to perform at The Peking Garden Club in South Hadley, Massachusetts at what she imagined would be a comedy club, but upon her arrival she discovered it was a Chinese restaurant. A phone conversation the following day with an old friend (Tobi Sovak) from Jewish summer camp (Camp Hemshekh) about the irony of telling Jewish jokes at a Chinese restaurant led to the idea of Jewish comedy on Christmas in a Chinese restaurant, and a brainstorming session of Jewish, comedy, and Chinese food-related words led to the name, Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™.

    Feeding the soul as well as the stomach. – New York Times

    A San Francisco institution. – San Francisco Examiner

    Now in its 29th year, Kung Pao is a take-off on the tradition (law?) of Jews going to a Chinese restaurant and a movie on Christmas. Study: Safe Treyf: New York Jews and Chinese Food” (Treyf means unkosher in Yiddish.) The event has been consistently catering to over 2000 people each December (including last year in Cyberspace), with some people having attended 20+ years while others have attended every year since its inception in 1993. This legendary event has boasted a Who’s Who of household name Jewish comedians including Henny Youngman, Shelley Berman, David Brenner, and Elayne Boosler.

    The New Asia Restaurant, Kung Pao’s home in San Francisco’s Chinatown from 1997 (the fifth year of the show) to 2019 and one of the last 2 Chinese banquet restaurants in San Francisco’s Chinatown, is currently operating as a supermarket due to the pandemic.

    This year, attendees have the option to view the livestream on Zoom or YouTube Live; those watching on Zoom will be able to gather with friends and family worldwide in Breakout Rooms one hour before the show. The rooms, with names that include Bubbelah, Kvetch, Meshugganah, Barbra Streisand, and Joan Rivers, mirror the tables traditionally reserved by participants at the in-person event. Last year, Breakout Room participants kvelled about the ability to, during lockdown, nosh and schmooze virtually with loved ones before the show.

    Kung Pao’s audience is encouraged to support and order Chinese take out from their local Chinese restaurants or cook recipes of Chinese dishes (i.e the signature dish Kung Pao Chicken or Tofu) posted on the event website. And for its San Francisco-based audience, Kung Pao has launched a new partnership with the new take-out and delivery restaurant Lazy Susan Chinese. On December 25 & 26 only (the chefs are off on December 24), San Francisco viewers will be able to order delivery of a price fixed Chinese menu including a vegetarian option along with a packet of custom-made Yiddish proverb fortune cookies from San Francisco Chinatown’s Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory (that has made fortune cookies since 1962 and Kung Pao’s since 1994). The Yiddish proverbs include the infamous “With one tuchus, you can’t dance at 2 weddings.” (You can’t be in two places at once). Last year, the fortune cookies were merely virtual (motion graphics). Lazy Susan Chinese will make a donation to this year’s beneficiaries (San Francisco-Marin Food Bank and Shalom Bayit: Ending Domestic Violence in Jewish Homes) from each order placed.

    Last July 2020, a few months into the pandemic, Kung Pao creator, producer, and MC, Lisa Geduldig, introduced her audiences to online comedy shows with the monthly Lockdown Comedy every third Thursday of the month (and still running) on Zoom hosted from her mother’s retirement community in Florida where Lisa accidentally found herself marooned for 17 months after going to visit for two weeks last March, just before the pandemic hit. Lisa’s 90-year old budding comedian mother, Arline, has been a special guest each month, performing stand up on the show. The duo has received accolades and press: The LA Times ran How A California Comic Launched A Virtual Stand-Up Show and Discovered A New Star: Mom; the San Francisco Examiner ran the article, Kung Pao Kosher Creator Introduces “Lockdown Comedy”: Lisa Geduldig and Her Mom Stream Standup, with Guests, from Florida, and in September, the San Francisco Chronicle did a feature S.F.’s Lisa Geduldig Happily Sharing Comedy Spotlight with A Fresh Talent, Her 90-Year-Old Mother.

    The annual Jewish Christmas tradition, Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™, spans three days December 24-26 (with the last day being a matinee so audiences in Europe can join), and this year features NY Jewish comedians Ophira Eisenberg and Jessica Kirson, along with Arline Geduldig (Lisa’s 90 year old mother) and Lisa Geduldig.

    COMEDIANS’ BIOS

    Ophira Eisenberg is a stand up comedian, and writer. She was the host of NPR’s Ask Me Another for 9 years where she interviewed and played silly games with Sir Patrick Stewart, Rosie Perez, Awkwafina, Roxanne Gay, Bob The Drag Queen, Jessica Walter, Bowen Yang, Debra Messing, Nick Kroll, Chelsea Handler and more. She’s a regular panelist on Hulu’s Up Early Tonight and has appeared on Comedy Central, This Week At The Comedy Cellar, The New Yorker Festival, Kevin Hart’s LOL Network, HBO’s Girls, Gotham Live, The Late Late Show, and The Today Show. Her stories have also been included in two of The Moth’s best-selling collections, including the most recent: Occasional Magic: True Stories About Defying the Impossible. Ophira’s own comedic memoir, Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy was optioned for a TV series. Her comedy special Inside Joke is available on Amazon, and her new comedy album Plant-Based Jokes will be available soon. www.OphiraEisenberg.com

    Jessica Kirson is a powerhouse on stage and a hilariously relatable performer of sheer silliness, vulnerability, and ridiculous characters. Her countless comedic character videos have racked up over 30 million views on social media. In an era where only 10% of all touring comedians are female, Jessica stands out as one of the strongest, regardless of gender. She executive produced FX’s Hysterical, a feature-length documentary, that premiered at SXSW 2021, exploring the changing landscape of women in stand up and features Margaret Cho, Nikki Glazer, Chelsea Handler, Fortune Feimster, and other notable comedians. Her one-hour special, “Talking to Myself,” debuted on Comedy Central. She is a regular on This Week at the Comedy Cellar and has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy FallonThe Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The View, and Kevin Can Wait. Last year, Jessica was featured playing herself on the HBO series Crashing and recently acted in and served as a consultant, producer, and writer on the Robert De Niro film The Comedian. Her prank call album, The Call Girls, also featuring Rachel Feinstein, was released in September. Recorded virtually during the depths of quarantine, the album features characters such as old Jewish grandmothers and a conservative mother and her gay son. Jessica’s characters are coming to life in her new podcast, Disgusting Hawk. Through her Relatively Sane podcast, she has interviewed the likes of Bill Burr, Jim Gaffigan, Margaret Cho, and Rosie O’Donnell. Jessica was recently awarded “Best Female Comic” by the MAC Association in New York City and received the prestigious Nightlife Award for “Best Stand-up Comedian.” She is also a regular contributor to The Howard Stern Show, where she produces and stars in prank calls. www.JessicaKirson.com

    Arline Geduldig, mother of comedian and Kung Pao Kosher Comedy producer, Lisa Geduldig, is a Florida-based budding stand up comedian who took to the (virtual) stage for the first time* in July 2020 on her daughter’s monthly Zoom comedy show, Lockdown Comedy; she has been performing and charming audiences on the monthly show ever since. Arline grew up in Brooklyn, raised her kids on Long Island, and retired to Florida, as is Jewish law. She offers her keen observations on aging, hearing aids, and hot young firemen and reminisces about her first kiss. Arline, who is 90 years young, has always been funny, and it was time for her to share her natural humor with her daughter’s audiences.

    *She hadn’t been onstage since she was a teenager when she performed in a play while working as the rabbi’s secretary at Temple Israel of Jamaica (Queens).

    Lisa Geduldig is a San Francisco-based comedian and the creator, producer, and MC of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™ — Jewish comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant, which celebrates its 29th year this December (albeit in Cyberspace). Lisa appeared in a Canadian documentary, Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas, which aired on Canadian and European TV in December 2017. Before the pandemic, Lisa had been running Comedy Returns to El Rio, a monthly decade-long comedy show at El Rio in San Francisco where her comedy career began 30+ years ago. Since July 2020, she has been producing Lockdown Comedy every 3rd Thursday of the month on Zoom from her mother’s retirement community home in Florida, where she accidentally got marooned for 17 months during the pandemic (and became a fan of the Early Bird special). Lisa also has been instrumental in helping thousands of people in Florida and visitors from Latin America get vaccinated against Covid-19 through two South Florida Covid vaccine Facebook pages that she helps moderate, Being bilingual (Spanish/English), she has helped countless travelers in their native tongue through the Spanish language Facebook page she co-founded. SF Comedian’s Side Hustle: Helping People Get Vaccines in Florida Lisa is also a freelance arts publicist in both English and Spanish. www.SFPublicist.com

    BENEFICIARIES

    Over the past 28 years, Kung Pao has raised 10’s of 1000’s of dollars and awareness for numerous organizations. www.koshercomedy.com/beneficiaries In keeping with the Jewish tradition of tzedakah (charity, in Hebrew - tied in with a sense of duty and social responsibility), each year Kung Pao donates partial proceeds to organizations and causes in which we believe.

    THIS YEAR’S BENEFICIARIES

    San Francisco-Marin Food Bank’s mission is to end hunger in San Francisco and Marin. Before the pandemic, one in five neighbors was at risk of hunger, the pandemic upended thousands of people’s lives and livelihoods forcing more people than ever before to wonder where their next meal would come from. While we see our community slowly recovering, there is no vaccine for hunger. It will take time for those most impacted by the crisis to get back on their feet. The Food Bank continues to serve more than 50,000 households, compared to 32,000 pre-pandemic, and traffic to the find food page on our website is still up four times what it was pre-pandemic. We’ve met this need so far with the help of community partners, volunteers and other supporters. After more than a year responding to the pandemic, we are focused on returning to solutions that work and continuing to implement services developed during the crisis. It will take a collective effort to ensure we can continue to feed our neighbors facing hunger. www.sfmfoodbank.org

    Shalom Bayit: Ending Domestic Violence in Jewish Homes is the Bay Area’s Jewish resource for responding to domestic violence and sexual harassment. Throughout the pandemic, Shalom Bayit has been on the front lines providing free, confidential counseling, crisis intervention and safety planning (including bilingual services in Russian) to those abused at home. Promoting healthy relationships and a culture of respect, Shalom Bayit’s innovative prevention/education programs like Love Shouldn't Hurt (consent education for teens and parents), MenschUp men's education, and We Commit workplace harassment trainings are transforming the Jewish community’s response to abuse, empowering women to safety in the places that matter most. www.shalom-bayit.org

    Some Random Kung Pao Kosher Comedy Facts

    • Henny Youngman, The King of One-Liners, headlined in 1997, performing at what ended up being his last show; the 91 year old comedian died two months later in February 1998.
    • A chapter in the book, A Kosher Christmas: 'Tis the Season to be Jewish focuses on Kung Pao.
    • One couple, after 25 years, got married at the show by a rabbi they met at their table.
    • One year someone brought a rooster named Vern as an emotional support animal. Really. https://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/LEAH-GARCHIK-3299717.php


    MEDIA CONTACT
    :

    Lisa Geduldig 
    (415) 205-6515 | lisag@igc.org | www.koshercomedy.com


    Disclaimer: JRelease is a press release service of AJPA. AJPA does not endorse and cannot vouch for material distributed by this service.

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