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

  • January 28, 2021 9:00 AM | Laura Herring (Administrator)

    Launch of Judaism on Demand Platform Creates a Hub and Marketplace for All Things Jewish


    Jewish Online Community platform serves unaffiliated and Interfaith Jewish individuals/families with direct-to-consumer resources, access to community and learning opportunities


    January 27, 2021 - FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – Florida-based Jewish start-up MyPersonalJudaism.com officially launched its online portal doors for Jewish educators, clergy, spiritual leaders and community partners aimed at serving unaffiliated and Interfaith families within the Jewish community. Having just completed a successful Kickstarter campaign with 80+ backers raising $25,000 in its first round of capital, MyPersonalJudaism is focusing on building resource infrastructure and curated content, and is set to launch to the public this February, 2021.

    The portal community has achieved early success in attracting Jewish professionals and organizations that serve and seek to provide self directed Jewish and Interfaith families to find, browse, compare, and access a myriad of choices for engagement, learning, and resources for how to celebrate a Jewish life, including milestone events in the digital age, and especially in times of Covid.

    “Today, we believe the Jewish Community is the real winner here,” shares visionary founder Debbi Ballard. “We set out to create opportunities for under-publicized Jewish professionals to find an advertising/marketing medium, a vehicle for business development, and a major new connection tool to build community for so many Jewish/interfaith families who otherwise would not find these amazingly talented, valuable people and resources.”

    For the professional, MyPersonalJudaism is the first directory and portal where independent Jewish professionals can reach unaffiliated Jewish families and individuals who can hire their services for a bar/bat mitzvah, wedding, funeral or special event, or to access online programming around the world. While competitors have wonderful resources, share information and make clergy referrals based on geo-specific and traditional needs, MyPersonalJudaism serves all denominations across all levels of observance with an open-minded, accepting, nurturing, and supportive attitude towards Jewish connection.

    “As the Chuppah is open on all sides..to welcome all family and friends… in the way Abraham and Sarah’s Big Tent was open… Cantor Debbi’s vision calls us to provide the biggest tent yet… to invite and welcome in those worldwide unaffiliated and disconnected… online, offline, and in line with the richness of our tribal wisdom and spiritual heritage. Yasher Koach, Kol Kavod” shares Cantor Marc Bacharac.

    For the self-directed seeker, it is important to note that MyPersonalJudaism creates a connection to Jewish community with no barriers for the professional and community alike. As a true, unifying online community, MyPersonalJudaism is the first of its kind gathering place for all unaffiliated, interfaith, biracial, multi-ethnic, same gender, LGBTQ, transgender and binary communities to find Jewish community professionals for their self-initiated, self-directed, values-driven, home-based Jewish experience. We help connect and refer to our associated Jewish professionals, clergy and leaders, who may not have received ordination from traditional programs, but are strong, qualified, caring, giving and creative spiritual guides.

    Sarah DeWoskin, Founder Lev Children’s Museum, shares, “This forming of a collaboration between various facets of Jewish engagement opens the door to endless possibilities. It is so important that we offer families vehicles to, literally and figuratively, meet them where they are and help guide them along their Jewish journeys.”

    As a successful spiritual leader serving the Unaffiliated Jewish population over the last 20 years, Cantor Debbi Ballard understands what unaffiliated Jewish families are seeking and the void in the marketplace. “Today, less than 20% of Jews in the United States are affiliated with a traditional house of worship.  This means 80% of the Jewish population does not have a spiritual home. The religiously “disconnected” population is growing exponentially, but people still want access to resources, community, and educational content because their Jewish foundation is important.”

    According to Pew Research, the ‘religious unaffiliated’ is overall the fastest growing segment of the religious population today. The number of people who now seek out self-directed “concierge-style” Jewish services is rising exponentially, as a result of the popularity of the “on-demand” services we have access to in our secular lives. Those that have left structured, force-fed ceremonial experiences seek out inclusive communities with customized, personalized options.  While many no longer value the ideals of local membership, outdated ceremonies, and inflexible leadership, the number of self-directed resources  has grown exponentially to meet this rising demand, creating do-it-yourself lifecycle events, learning and experiences, taking people far outside the congregation and into their own personal communities.

    About My Personal Judaism

    Founded in 2020, MyPersonalJudaism.com is an online community innovating Jewish inclusivity and community connection by connecting independent Jewish professionals and unaffiliated Jewish families seeking spiritual guidance and Jewish identity, experience and milestone event facilitation. Our mission is to close the gap by providing inclusion, acceptance, and choice to self-directed, unaffiliated Jews looking for meaningful connections to Jewish community, resources, and personalized experiences beyond traditional means. Our vision is to create meaningful solutions and personalized Jewish experiences and connection, non-traditionally. For more information, please visit www.MyPersonalJudaism.com.

    Media inquiries, please contact Jeremy Broekman, (818) 212-9201,
    Jeremy@broekmancomm.com or founder Debbi Ballard directly at (954) 850-0453, Debbi@MyPersonalJudaism.com


     



     

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

  • January 27, 2021 9:00 AM | Laura Herring (Administrator)

    CEEOL Press presents a new book

    Recipes for a New Beginning

    Transylvanian Jewish Stories of Life, Hunger, and Hope
    by Kinga Júlia Király


    January 26, 2021 - Having realized that, with the exception of cholent and flódni (a Jewish multilayered poppy-seed pastry), she knew nothing about Transylvanian Jewish cuisine, Kinga Júlia Király set out on a three-year project to fulfill her own cravings for authentic flavors—but, more profoundly, to learn about prewar recipes and customs and to find out what remained of kosher households in Northern Transylvania. She conducted some three hundred hours of participant-observer interviews, sometimes spiced with cooking sessions, with ten survivors who had experienced the Holocaust as teenagers or children. At the heart of Kinga Júlia Király’s work are the simplest things, the minutiae of everyday life. Tiny details, which, in the recording, are transformed into something of huge significance. She created handholds of remembrance for the last surviving members of a minority.

    Keywords: Holocaust; Jewish cuisine; oral history; Central and Eastern Europe, history; WWII

    About the author:

    Kinga Júlia Király is a writer, literary translator, and playwright. She graduated in dramaturgy from the University of Arts in her hometown (Marosvásárhely/Târgu Mureș). She is a translator and interpreter of Italian literature. She has published several volumes of dramas, novels, and short stories. The Hungarian edition of Recipes for a New Beginning [Az újrakezdés receptjei] was published by Mentor Könyvek in 2018.

    Endorsement:

    How do the senses remember? What begins as a conversation about food, followed by cooking what is recalled, sometimes only vaguely, and then eating together, leads to the revelation of traumatic memories. Shining a light on ten elderly Holocaust survivors who were children or teenagers during the war and stayed in Transylvania after the war, this beautiful book brings together their stories, photographs, and food to reveal the power of the senses to bring forth an uneasy mix of culinary nostalgia and traumatic memory. The body is indeed an archive, and this book plumbs its depths in a deeply personal way.—Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Ronald S. Lauder Chief Curator, Core Exhibition, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

    ISBN: 978-3-946993-90-2
    E-ISBN-13: 978-3-946993-89-6
    332 pages with more than 300 illustrations and 30 recipes
    $60 / €50

    Contact for review, interview with the author etc.:
    Krisztina Kos, Publisher 
    kriszta.kos@ceeolpress.com +36304036794

    Book information and orders:
    https://ceeolpress.com/book/13#gsc.tab=0
    https://www.ceeol.com/search/book-detail?id=916740
    https://www.amazon.com/Recipes-New-Beginning-Transylvanian-Stories/dp/3946993907/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=%22recipes+for+a+new+beginning%22&qid=1608546470&s=books&sr=1-1


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

  • January 25, 2021 9:00 AM | Laura Herring (Administrator)

    I Will Not Remain Silent:
    New Milken Archive of Jewish Music Album
    By Composer Bruce Adolphe Speaks to Past, Present, Future


    “The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful and the most tragic problem is silence.”—Rabbi Joaquim Prinz, 1963


    January 25, 2021 - With themes central to our times, the Milken Archive of Jewish Music: The American Experience is releasing its first new album since 2015 with I Will Not Remain Silent, by prominent American composer Bruce Adolphe. Featuring two compositions, the album explores themes of social justice through the prism of 20th-century activist Rabbi Joachim Prinz.

    “The Milken Archive release of I Will Not Remain Silent and Reach Out, Raise Hope, Change Society brings together two very different works about violence, injustice, human rights, and hope at a moment when there is an urgent need once again for this message to be powerfully sounded in America,” said Adolphe. “I appreciate that the Milken Archive recognizes the significance of these works and the importance of Prinz’s message.”

    Born in 1902, Prinz spoke out against the rise of anti-Semitism as a rabbi in Germany in the 1920s and 30s and became a prominent voice of the American Civil Rights Movement. Though not as well-known today, Prinz's public profile was such that he preceded Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the 1963 March on Washington, where King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Prinz used this highly visible, national platform to stress the importance of speaking out against hatred and bigotry, and to emphasize the dangers of silence.

    “When I was the rabbi of the Jewish community in Berlin under the Hitler regime, I learned many things,” Prinz told the crowd assembled that day in 1963. “The most important thing that I learned under those tragic circumstances was that bigotry and hatred are not the most urgent problem. The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful and the most tragic problem is silence.”

    In focusing on silence as the most important problem of the American Civil Rights Movement, Prinz emphasized the responsibility that those not affected by racism and inequality have in creating a more just and equal society. “A great people which had created a great civilization had become a nation of silent onlookers,” Prinz said in reference to Germany under the National Socialist Party. “They remained silent in the face of hate, in the face of brutality and in the face of mass murder.”

    Reach Out, Raise Hope, Change Society

    When Adolphe was commissioned in 2010 to write a work for the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work for its 90th anniversary, he made Prinz’s words a central part of a ten-movement cantata titled after the School of Social Work’s motto: Reach Out, Raise Hope, Change Society. The cantata’s second movement is a setting of the line from Prinz’s 1963 speech, “The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful and the most tragic problem is silence.” Also included in the cantata are social justice-themed texts by other mostly American sources, including Chief Joseph, Carolivia Herron, and June Jordan. The recording features renowned choral conductor Jerry Blackstone with the University of Michigan Chamber Choir and a small chamber ensemble.

    I Will Not Remain Silent

    In 2011, when violinist Sharon Roffman approached Adolphe about composing a violin concerto, his mind turned immediately back to Prinz and he suggested a piece based on his life. Roffman agreed and was able to engage Michael Stern and Iris Orchestra to commit their support. In 2014, Adolphe began work on I Will Not Remain Silent, a 22-minute, two-movement violin concerto that depicts the broad arc of Prinz’s life from Europe to America. The violin—an instrument Adolphe sees as “profoundly tied to Jewish musical identity”—represents Prinz as an orator and prophet, the voice that refuses to remain silent in the face of violence and opposition.

    In the first movement, “Berlin During the Nazi Era,” a potent and foreboding orchestra represents the powerful, oppressive National Socialist regime. In the second movement, titled “America During the Civil Rights Movement,” the orchestra represents the forces of both good and evil: the violin soars over quotations from “Oh, Freedom” and “We Shall Overcome,” but struggles as it confronts angry masses opposed to the Civil Rights Movement. The recording features Roffman as violin soloist, with Michael Stern conducting Iris Orchestra in the 2015 premiere performance.

    Bruce Adolphe is one of the most creative voices working in music today and Joachim Prinz’s story is one that deserves to be more widely known,” said Milken Archive curator Jeff Janeczko. “Events of the past year have shown the harsh inequalities that continue to exist more than 150 years after the 13th Amendment made slavery illegal and more than 50 years since the brave activists of the Civil Rights Movement achieved hard-won legal protections regarding racial discrimination. One of the most brilliant things about these two works is that they treat Prinz as a historical actor rather than a hero or savior. And yet, through Prinz we see how powerful it can be to simply speak—to refuse to remain to silent.”

    The Milken Archive album, I Will Not Remain Silent, will be released on Friday, February 5th and will be available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and all other major digital service providers. For more information, contact info@milkenarchive.org.

    About Bruce Adolphe

    Bruce Adolphe is a composer, author, and public speaker who has created a substantial body of chamber music and orchestral works inspired by science, visual arts, and human rights. He is known to millions of Americans for his public radio show Piano Puzzlers and the engaging lectures he gives through the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Adolphe has been a Visiting Lecturer in the Residential Colleges at Yale, a fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar, on faculties at New York University and the Juilliard School, and composer-in-residence and Visiting Scholar at the Brain and Creativity Institute in Los Angeles.

    https://www.milkenarchive.org/artists/view/bruce-adolphe/

    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: media@milkenarchive.org
    (310) 570-4770

  • January 21, 2021 9:00 AM | Laura Herring (Administrator)

    Michael Aloni (of Netflix’s Shtisel) Stars in Happy Times Coming to DVD & VOD on February 9th

    A Dinner Party Descends into Murderous Mayhem

    For feature film screener link, please e-mail press@artsploitation.com

    January 21, 2021

    Artsploitation Films will be releasing the decidedly raucous Happy Times directed by Michael Mayer on DVD, Blu-ray and streaming platforms this February 9th. An Israeli American co-production, the film marks a stylistic departure for director and co-writer Michael Mayer who directed the 2012 gay romance Out in the Dark.

    An Israeli American couple invite friends and family over to their Hollywood mansion for a Shabbat dinner party. But a deadly mix of alcohol, inflated egos, inappropriate lust and raging jealousy turns the sedate affair into a cauldron of murderous mayhem.

    Filmed with a mix of English and Hebrew, this Jews Behaving Badly story stars Israeli actor Michael Aloni (Out in the Dark, Netflix’s Shtisel), Shani Atias (Ten Days in the Valley, Shameless, MacGyver), Guy Adler (The Angel, Big Bad Wolves) and Israeli TV star Liraz Chamami (Manayek, Unchained, Asylum City, Malkot).

    • Initial reviews:

    “Gleefully sadistic and wholly unpredictable, Happy Times takes the Tarantino template, sprinkles liberally with some insightful social and cultural context, and lets loose with a torrent of inspired mayhem.” 
    – John W. Allman, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay

    “A bloody hilarious and hilariously bloody movie.”
    – Michael HaberfelnerSearch My Trash

    “A wildly amusing dark comedy with every impulsive-driven and tension-wrought scene chock full with bated breath.”
    Steven Lewis, It’s Bloggin’ Evil


    Watch the Trailer
    Electronic Press Kit

    Happy Times
     

    Country:            USA, Israel

    Language:         English, Hebrew with English Subtitles

    Year:                     2019

    Running Time: 93 minutes

    Director:             Michael Mayer

    Producer:           Tomer Almagor, Paola Porrini Bisson, Michael Mayer

    Screenplay:        Guy Ayal, Michael Mayer

    Cast:                      Michael Aloni, Liraz Chamami, Iris Bahr, Alon Pdut, Stéfi Celma, Ido Mor, Guy Adler, Shani Atias, Daniel Lavid, Mike Burstyn, Ziv Berkovich       

    Copyright © 2021 Artsploitation Films, All rights reserved.

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

  • December 03, 2020 1:00 PM | Laura Herring (Administrator)
       

    UCLA Launches Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience

    December 3, 2020 - LOS ANGELES, CA – UCLA has opened North America’s first permanent academic home for the study of music of American Jewish experience. Housed in the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, the new Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience will foster artistic creativity, scholarship, performance and other cultural expression, thanks to a $6.75 million gift from the Lowell Milken Family Foundation.

    “The Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience will unite the academic and the artistic, showcasing the artists, scholars and educators who reveal to us the authentic voice of our shared humanity and the inexhaustible call toward our noblest self,” said Eileen Strempel, dean of the school of music.

    “We are incredibly grateful to Lowell Milken for his generous gift to endow this center, which builds on our latest learnings, establishes a standard of excellence and an enduring infrastructure at UCLA for music of American Jewish experience, and gives us the ability to plan more ambitious initiatives for years to come.” 

    The new center is a natural extension of the Milken Archive of Jewish Music, which was founded by Milken in 1990 to record, preserve and disseminate music inspired by more than 350 years of Jewish life in the United States.

    “Shaped by Jews from every corner of the globe, who absorbed their host cultures while retaining their Jewish heritage, the archive is as diverse and beautiful as America itself,” Milken said. “From the outset, our vision was to create a living archive making education central to our mission. The partnership with the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music positions the new center as a global leader in the field of music of American Jewish experience.”

    The Lowell Milken Center also builds on the Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music at UCLA. That fund’s establishment, in 2017, enabled the school of music to
    begin its collaboration with the Milken Archive and build a track record that opened 
    the door to the more expansive center. The fund has produced a diverse calendar of concerts, lectures and projects, ranging from klezmer workshops to large choral and orchestral performances to artist residencies and commissions of new music.

    Its inaugural program, “American Culture and the Jewish Experience in Music,” featured the world premiere of the oratorio “David’s Quilt,” along with programs in conjunction with the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies. This co-presented event was part of a three-day conference covering major intersections between Jewish creativity and American opportunity. The conference featured lectures on heritage, innovation, key facets of the Jewish-American musical experience, and Hollywood pioneers.

    In March 2020, the Lowell Milken Fund produced the UCLA American Jewish Music Festival, which culminated in the “Titans of Jewish Music” concert in Royce Hall with performances by various UCLA ensembles.

    In the first three years of programming, the Lowell Milken Fund partnered with over 12 different Jewish organizations to deliver both academic events and public performances which highlighted the broad range found in American Jewish music, and featured artists from UCLA, Los Angeles and across the world.

    Additionally, a partnership with the two national organizations, Cantors Assembly and American Conference of Cantors, enabled UCLA’s Lowell Milken Fund to launch an adult education curriculum, called Stories of Music, designed to engage participants in music of North American Jewish experience.

    The Lowell Milken Center is currently producing videos on subjects including the story of “David’s Quilt,” a concert work by 15 composers of different backgrounds and styles, and insights on the scope of music showcased in the UCLA American Jewish Music Festival. The series of videos will be available for viewing on the website of the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience. Once public health conditions allow, the center also plans to hold a concert to celebrate its opening.

    “Over the past three years, Lowell Milken has enabled our exploration of the intricate ways in which music reflects and shapes the diverse American Jewish experience,” said Mark Kligman, UCLA’s Mickey Katz Professor of Jewish Music, who will direct the new center. “The Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience will expand these efforts at UCLA and into the community, and will enhance the field of American Jewish music on an international scale.”

    A graduate of UCLA School of Law, Milken is an international businessman and philanthropist who chairs National Realty Trust, the largest property owner of early childhood centers in the U.S., and London-based Heron International, a worldwide leader in property development. Known for his philanthropy in education, music
    and design, he has long supported UCLA and previously gave to establish the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law and the Lowell Milken Family Centennial Scholars Endowed Scholarship Fund for student-athletes.

    Milken received an honorary doctorate from Hebrew Union College, and his work through the Milken Archive to preserve Jewish heritage and culture was recognized by the Jewish Theological Seminary on the 65th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

    Since 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, 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.

    About the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience

    Established by a gift from philanthropist Lowell Milken and in collaboration with the Milken Archive of Jewish Music, several academic units at UCLA, and dedicated community partners, 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. In 2017, the Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music was established 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 exploration, scholarship and performance through academic offerings, public programs, concerts and recordings, and partnerships with community organizations.

    The Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience at the UCLA Herb Alpert Music school is located on the UCLA campus at 2686 Schoenberg Music Building, 445 Charles E. Young Dr East, Los Angeles, CA 90095. For more information, please visit: https://schoolofmusic.ucla.edu/lowellmilkenmaje.

    Media Contacts

    Jeremy Broekman, (818) 212-9201, Jeremy@broekmancomm.com
    Lawrence Aldava, (310) 486-8953, lawrence.aldava@schoolofmusic.ucla.edu

      
     
     

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

  • December 02, 2020 9:00 AM | Laura Herring (Administrator)

    Association for Jewish Studies Launches AJS TV
    Free Front-Row Access to World-Renowned Speakers




    (NEW YORK, NY, December 2) The Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) is launching AJS TV, which offers free online access to select sessions at the upcoming AJS Annual Conference, to be held virtually December 13 - 17, 2020.

    For over 50 years, the AJS has been the world's premier home for Jewish Studies scholars and scholarship. For the first time, the AJS is excited to share with the public via Facebook Live the breadth and depth of Jewish Studies, from insights into Black-Jewish relations, to Holocaust research, to even a discussion of the rock band Phish. AJS TV gives the public FREE front-row access to world-class speakers from Lonnie Bunch, the head of the Smithsonian Institution, to H. Susannah Heschel, Jewish Studies scholar and daughter of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, all from the comfort of home.

    The public is invited to attend fifteen conference sessions, featuring lectures, conversations, and performances on wide-ranging topics:

    • Social justice issues, including Black-Jewish relations, antisemitism, and #MeToo
    • Jewish culture, including American Jewish education
    • Jewish religious practice, including the cantorial “Golden Age”
    • History, including the Holocaust in art, blood libel, the Blaustein Ben-Gurion “understanding”
    • Pop culture, including the Jewishness of the band Phish
    • Performances of queer and trans Yiddish drag and burlesque and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion

    Notable speakers include historians Deborah Dash Moore, Pamela Nadell and Magda Teter; expert in Jewish social justice Marc Dollinger; Afro-Jewish philosopher and activist Lewis R. Gordon; head of the Smithsonian Lonnie G. Bunch III; social scientists Arnold Dashefsky, Leonard Saxe, and Chaim Waxman; and Jewish Studies scholar H. Susannah Heschel.

    All AJS TV sessions are in English. Registration is not required, although interested parties may also register to receive AJS email reminders for the events. Access to AJS TV is available by going to www.associationforjewishstudies.org/AJSTV.

    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 AJS TV, the AJS Annual Conference, or the Association for Jewish Studies, please contact Amy Ronek at 212-294-8301, x6202 or aronek@associationforjewishstudies.org.

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

  • November 24, 2020 9:00 AM | Laura Herring (Administrator)

    The 28th Annual Kung Pao Kosher Comedy
    On Zoom and YouTube Live!



    Jewish comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant
    (this year, a virtual one)

    FEATURING JUDY GOLD, ALEX EDELMAN, & LISA GEDULDIG

    THURSDAY, DECEMBER 24 & FRIDAY, DECEMBER 25
    at 5pm PST (6pm MST/7pm CST/8pm EST)

    SATURDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2020
    at 2pm PST (3pm MST/4pm CST/4pm EST)

    Info: www.KosherComedy.com

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

    Partial Proceeds Benefit:

    • Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Teaching Tolerance”
    • The Helen and Joe Farkas Center for the Study of the Holocaust

    PLANET EARTH… Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™ — Jewish comedy on Christmas in a (this year, virtual) Chinese Restaurant — is an annual tradition in San Francisco, California.

    Kung Pao, which has been featured in the NY Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune... is a take off on the tradition of Jews going to a Chinese restaurant and a movie on Christmas. The brainchild of San Francisco-based Jewish comedian, Lisa Geduldig, Kung Pao solves the age-old question, “What are Jews supposed to do on Christmas?” Created in 1993, Kung Pao was the country’s first Jewish comedy on Christmas in a Chinese restaurant show. The event caters to over 2000 people each December, with some people having attended every year. Kung Pao features Yiddish proverbs in its fortune cookies including “With one tuchus, you can’t dance at 2 weddings” which will be available this year through the event web site. Kung Pao has been ordering custom fortune cookies from the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in San Francisco’s Chinatown since 1994 and continues to support this local business during the pandemic. For the first time in 58 years, the fortune cookie factory had to stop production in March but has since started up again albeit slowly.

    Due to the pandemic, the 28th Annual Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™ will take place virtually this year, on Zoom and YouTube Live (rather than in a Chinese restaurant). Audiences worldwide will be able to “attend” and will be encouraged to order Chinese take out from their local Chinese restaurants or cook recipes of Chinese dishes (i.e our signature dish Kung Pao Chicken) provided by Kung Pao. Attendees watching the show on Zoom will be able to gather with friends and family in Breakout Rooms one hour before the show. The rooms will mirror the tables traditionally reserved by participants at the in-person event with table names that include Bubbelah, Kvetch, Meshugganah, Barbra Streisand, and Joan Rivers.

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

    A San Francisco institution. – San Francisco Examiner

    This legendary event has boasted a Who’s Who of household name Jewish comedians including Henny Youngman, Shelley Berman, David Brenner, and Elayne Boosler.

    This annual Jewish Christmas tradition spans three days, December 24-26, and will feature Jewish comedians Judy Gold, Alex Edelman, and Lisa Geduldig. (See bios below.)

    The New Asia Restaurant, Kung Pao Kosher Comedy’s home in San Francisco’s Chinatown since 1997 (the fifth year of the show) and one of the last 2 Chinese banquet restaurants in San Francisco’s Chinatown, is currently operating as a supermarket due to the pandemic while waiting to be able to re-open as a restaurant.

    This July, 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 on Zoom, hosted from her mother’s retirement community in Florida where Lisa has accidentally found herself on lockdown since going to visit for two weeks in March. Lisa’s 89-year old budding comedian mother, Arline, has been a special guest each month, performing stand up on the show. In August, the San Francisco Examiner did an article on the duo. Kung Pao Kosher Creator Introduces “Lockdown Comedy”: Lisa Geduldig and Her Mom Stream Standup, with Guests, from Florida.

    The idea for Kung Pao Kosher Comedy, came about in October 1993, when Geduldig 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™.” The creation of Kung Pao is a twist on the unwritten law that Jews must go to a Chinese restaurant and a movie on Christmas. Study: “Safe Treyf: New York Jews and Chinese Food” (Treyf means unkosher in Yiddish.) Geduldig appeared in a Canadian documentary, Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas, which aired on Canadian and European TV in December 2017.

    This year features Judy GoldAlex Edelman, and
    Kung Pao creator, Lisa Geduldig.


    COMEDIANS’ BIOS:


    Judy Gold, Alex Edelman, and Lisa Geduldig

    JUDY GOLD has had stand up specials on HBO, Comedy Central and LOGO. She has written and starred in two critically acclaimed, Off-Broadway hit shows: The Judy Show – My Life as a Sitcom (Outer Critics Circle Nomination), and 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother (GLAAD Media Award – Outstanding NY Theater, Drama Desk Nomination – Actor). Judy received rave reviews as Gremio in The Public Theater’s all female production of The Taming of The Shrew for Shakespeare in the Park. She also co-starred in Off-Broadway’s Clinton! The Musical, and Disaster! The Musical. Judy plays the role of Chaya on FX’s Better Things. She guest starred on CBS’ Madame Secretary and on the Showtime series I’m Dying Up Here. She has had recurring roles on Netflix’s Friends from College and TBS’ Search Party.

    Judy is the host of the hit podcast, Kill Me Now. She has appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Tonight Show. From 1999-2010, Judy was the host of HBO’s At the Multiplex with Judy Gold. Judy also won two Emmy awards for writing and producing The Rosie O’Donnell Show. Judy has made numerous appearances on The View, The Today Show, The Wendy Williams Show, and The Steve Harvey Show. She often pops up on The Food Network, but please do not mention Chopped All Stars to her, or Rachel vs. Guy for that matter. Judy’s newest comedy album, Conduct Unbecoming, and her previous albums, Kill Me Now and Judith’s Roommate Had a Baby are available wherever you get your music. Judy Gold is the author of YES I CAN SAY THAT – When They Come for the Comedians We’re All in Trouble, released this July from Dey Street Books. JudyGold.com

    ALEX EDELMAN has made numerous TV appearances in the US, Australia, and the UK and has been featured at the Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal as a New Face, has appeared on Conan multiple times, and is a staple on those “Comedians You Should Know” type lists. He tours both nationally and internationally and is one of the founders of Jerusalem’s Off the Wall Comedy Club. Alex has opened for comedians Ricky Gervais, Jack Whitehall, Patton Oswalt, Gary Gulman, and a handful of musicians including Beck and San Fermin. In 2015, he travelled to Berlin and Moscow with Eddie Izzard to perform two shows to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

    Alex’s first show, Millennial – about very traumatic stock photos and young people – won the Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Newcomer, the first show by an American to do so since 1997. The follow-up, Everything Handed To You – about identity and the availability of outlets in airports – was even more acclaimed: selling out its entire Edinburgh run and garnering the second best reviews of any comedy show at the Festival. His third show, Just for Us – which centers on a meeting of neo-Nazis that Alex attended in New York – has cemented his reputation as a writer-performer of impressive ambition and technical skill. In its premiere run at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, it was nominated for a Barry Award for Best Show. In Edinburgh, it earned a Herald Angel Award, a nomination for Best Show, and superlative praise that made it the best-reviewed comedy show at the Festival in a decade.

    Alex was the Head Writer and Executive Producer of Saturday Night Seder, a star studded 70-minute special, posted on YouTube, that raised $3.5 million for the CDC Foundation (COVID-19) Emergency Response Fund. More than 1 million people watched the initial livestream, which was hosted by Jason Alexander with participants that included Rachel Brosnahan, Idina Menzel, Debra Messing, and Bette Midler. Alex writes regularly for The Atlantic and The Believer, has written and produced documentaries for the US State Department and ESPN’s 30 FOR 30 series, and spent more than a decade working as a speechwriter for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox. He likes ramen and David Foster Wallace. AlexEdelmanComedy.com

    LISA GEDULDIG is the creator, producer, and MC of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy. Before the pandemic, Lisa had been running a monthly decade-long comedy show at El Rio in San Francisco where her comedy career began 30 years ago. Lisa also does freelance arts PR in both English and Spanish…again when there is not a pandemic. In July, she began producing the monthly online comedy show, Lockdown Comedy, every third Thursday of the month out of her mother’s house in a retirement community in Florida, with her mom appearing as a monthly guest.

    BENEFICIARIES:

    Over the past 27 years, Kung Pao has raised tens of thousands 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:

    The Helen and Joe Farkas Center for the Study of the Holocaust (based in San Francisco, California) preserves the history of the Holocaust for future generations by bringing survivors together with today’s students. The Center integrates the use of oral testimony in educational settings to create programs and events that promote social justice and moral courage. Working in partnership with educators and students, the Farkas Center connects Holocaust history with how we act locally and globally so that the slogan, “Never Again!” can become a reality for all people.

    Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Teaching Tolerance” provides free resources to educators—teachers, administrators, counselors, and other practitioners—who work with children from kindergarten through high school. These resources include classroom lessons, webinars, grants, podcasts, policy guides and much more. Educators use our materials to supplement the curriculum, to inform their practices, and to create civil and inclusive school communities where children are respected, valued and welcome participants. The program emphasizes anti-bias and social justice. The anti-bias approach encourages children and young people to challenge prejudice and learn how to be agents of change in their own lives. Our Social Justice Standards show how anti-bias education works through the four domains of identity, diversity, justice, and action. Teaching Tolerance was founded in 1991 to prevent the growth of hate. We began by publishing Teaching Tolerance magazine and producing films chronicling the modern civil rights movement. Today, our community includes more than 500,000 educators who read our magazine, screen our films, visit our website, participate in our professional development workshops and webinars, use our curriculum or engage in our social media community.

    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

    Calendar Listing:

    WHAT:

    The 28th Annual Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™
    Jewish Comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant (this year, a virtual one)

    Featuring Judy Gold, Alex Edelman, and Lisa Geduldig

    WHEN:

    • Thurs, Dec 24 & Fri, Dec 25 @ 5pm PST (6pm MST / 7pm CST / 8pm EST)
    • Sat, Dec 26 @ 2pm PST (3pm MST/4pm CST/4pm EST)

    WHERE:

    Your Couch (Zoom and YouTube Live)

    TICKETS:

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

    INFO:

    www.koshercomedy.com • (415) 205-6515

    PARTIAL PROCEEDS BENEFIT:

    •Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Teaching Tolerance”
    •The Helen and Joe Farkas Center for the Study of the Holocaust

    PROMO CLIP:

    https://tinyurl.com/KungPao2020Promo

     (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.

  • September 18, 2020 9:00 AM | Laura Herring (Administrator)

    The Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, and Mohamed bin Zayed University in the UAE to Collaborate on Artificial Intelligence Research


    A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) in the United Arab Emirates was signed on September 12, 2020.

    The signing ceremony, which was held virtually, took place in the presence of Weizmann Institute of Science President Prof. Alon Chen and His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and member of the Federal Cabinet, and Chairman of the MBZUAI Board of Trustees. A delegation headed by Weizmann Institute President is expected to travel to Abu Dhabi next week to finalize the details of the MoU and discuss its implementation.

    The MoU was made possible by the recent agreement for normalization in relations between Israel and the UAE that will be signed in Washington, DC, later this week.

    The MoU covers a range of opportunities for collaboration between the two institutions, including student and postdoctoral fellow exchange programs, conferences and seminars, various forms of exchange between researchers, sharing of computing resource and the establishment of a joint virtual institute for artificial intelligence.

    The collaboration will advance the Weizmann Institute’s flagship project, the Artificial Intelligence Enterprise for Scientific Discovery, which will build on the Institute’s prominence in mathematics and computer science, and which is meant to activate the potential of AI to speed knowledge acquisition in data-heavy endeavors like biomedicine, environmental research, chemistry and astrophysics.

    His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber: “As a pioneering university, MBZUAI seeks partnerships with leaders in their respective fields to further our collective scientific understanding and push the boundaries of technological innovation. Therefore, I welcome the opportunity to collaborate with such a renowned establishment as the Weizmann Institute of Science. Through this MoU we can leverage the expertise of both our institutes towards using artificial intelligence to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges, from COVID-19 to climate change and beyond.”

    Prof. Alon Chen, President of the Weizmann Institute of Science: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with this unique, pioneering institution and to advance the field of artificial intelligence together. As a neuroscientist, I believe that AI is an extension of the power and intricacy of the human brain into the digital realm; the implications will be vast, affecting our lives our health and the global economy. It is said that science knows no borders. I have every hope this collaboration between scientists in the same region will be a shining example of this expression, and will extend the boundaries of human knowledge.”

    The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world’s top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions and offers masters’ and doctoral-level degrees across five faculties. Noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences. Institute scientists are advancing research on the human brain, artificial intelligence, computer science and encryption, astrophysics and particle physics, and they are tackling diseases such as cancer, and addressing climate change through environmental, ocean and plant sciences, and more.

    The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, established in 2019, is a graduate-level, research-based academic institution located in Abu Dhabi. Named for the UAE crown prince, the University is part of a broader national strategy to make the UAE a leader in artificial intelligence. It offers doctoral and master’s degree programs in the fields of computer vision, machine learning and natural language processing.

    Contact: Jeffrey J. Sussman | 212.895.7951 | j.sussman@acwis.org

    Disclaimer: JRelease is a press release service of AJPA. AJPA does not endorse and cannot vouch for material distributed by this service.
  • September 10, 2020 9:00 AM | Laura Herring (Administrator)

    The National Center to Encourage Judaism
    is now giving grants for on-line programming
    that helps connect new people with Judaism

    For over 35 years the National Center to Encourage Judaism has supported programs offered by established Jewish nonprofits (synagogues, JCCs, and others) that educate, engage, and connect people who do not identify as Jewish with Judaism. In that time, we have funded hundreds of in-person programs for individuals in the process of conversion, those who have recently converted, interfaith families, and others interested in exploring Judaism. Now, due to COVID, we are funding virtual programs that meet our eligibility guidelines. Applications are accepted anytime, and a decision is generally made within 45 days. Grants partially cover marketing, program materials, and other direct expenses for a variety of programs, including holiday workshops, introduction to Judaism classes, family programs, and discussion groups. Read more about what we fund online.

    Our goal remains the same: encouraging Jewish organizations to offer programming that helps individuals and families establish a Jewish identity and create a Jewish home. We encourage inquiries and innovative ideas via email throughout the year. For example, recent grantees are supplementing Zoom with holiday baskets (such as “Shabbaskets”) and other physical materials to reinforce on-line learning, build community, and strengthen connections to Judaism. Find more supported programs on our website.

    For more details, go to NCEJ’s grants page or apply now.

    Links from above for reference:

    NCEJ -- https://www.ncejudaism.org/

    Apply for a grant -- https://www.ncejudaism.org/grant-process/

    Our grantees -- https://www.ncejudaism.org/our-grantees/

    What we fund -- https://www.ncejudaism.org/what-we-fund/

    Virtual programs -- https://www.ncejudaism.org/virtual-programming/


  • September 09, 2020 9:00 AM | Laura Herring (Administrator)

    The groundbreaking Let My People Eat podcast joins Jewish Coffee House, a single online destination to discover, download, and enjoy the most popular Jewish podcasts

    Los Angeles, CA (September 8, 2020) — Let My People Eat, is proud to announce that it is joining Jewish Coffee House, a leader in premium podcasting that tackles authentic issues in the Jewish world.

    Let My People Eat, (https://letmypeopleeat.com/) is the only podcast devoted exclusively to a kosher, holistic nutrition lifestyle, with new weekly episodes focused on the health of the Jewish community. Co-hosts Jill Sharfman, a holistic nutritionist, and Dr. Andrea Moskowitz, MD, an accomplished psychiatrist, demystify confusing talk about food and wellness, arming their audience with the knowledge and confidence to eat, feel, and be healthy every day!

    One of the most recent episodes featured The Plant-Based Nutritionist, Julieanna Hever, and discussed whether you should be eating a vegan diet and what the Torah’s viewpoint on the subject is. This episode added to the over 16,000 unique downloads that the podcast has garnered since launching in January 2019. LMPE has over 80 episodes currently available on all streaming services.

    “As a Jewish mother in LA focused on providing the most nutritious and well-balanced diet for my family, I understand the frustration of having to cut through the clutter surrounding health and nutrition,” says podcast co-host and holistic nutritionist Jill Sharfman. “Our podcast, Let My People Eat, is dedicated to improving the health and happiness of the Jewish community by providing straightforward kosher content that presents the facts. Our approach to a healthy lifestyle is founded on medical research and mindful of the integral halachic and spiritual tenets of Jewish life. In each episode we illustrate how to incorporate various avenues of healthy living, such as gluten-free or keto diets into a kosher lifestyle, discussing what really works and what doesn’t. Feedback from the Let My People Eat podcast audience, shows that listeners highly recommend that their friends and family in the Jewish community tune in as it "really does apply to us and our kosher nutrition needs." We are looking forward to sharing informative and entertaining episodes about Jewish healthy living with our audience, and becoming a part of the Jewish Coffee House family.”

    “Jill and Dr. Andrea represent everything we look for in our premium lineup of stars on Jewish Coffee House,” said founder Rabbi Scott Kahn. “This collaboration illustrates our love for relatable, spirited, and informative content. With all the false information surrounding health, Jill and Dr. Andrea prove to be great resources as hosts of the only lifestyle podcast focused on kosher, holistic, healthy living.”

    The new Fall 2020 season lineup includes high holiday cooking tips with world-renowned Jewish cookbook author, Danielle Renov, how food can help manage anxiety and depression, and an October episode in conjunction with Sharsheret, a nonprofit organization with the goal of supporting Jewish women diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancers.

    Fans of the podcast can contact Jill Sharfman via email (jill@letmypeopleeat.com) to provide feedback for the podcast or to become a guest on the show.

    To listen to the podcast, visit Apple Podcasts, Spotify, GooglePlay, and Stitcher and https://letmypeopleeat.com/. It is also available on the NakiRadio wi-fi player portal.

    Follow Jill Sharfman on Instagram @letmypeople_eat and on Facebook @letmypeopleeatpodcast.

    ###

    About Jewish Coffee House:

    Jewish Coffee House is a podcast network, which produces and broadcasts both audio and video content focusing on matters of genuine concern to our Jewish heritage, while simultaneously appreciating aspects of secular culture. Our lineup of podcasts are enlightening, entertaining, professionally produced, and deal with authentic issues in the Jewish world. Jewish Coffee House’s other popular podcasts include The Franciska Show, Orthodox Conundrum, Intimate Judaism, Chochmat Nashim, The Maimonides Minute, Ask the Rabbis, and Intellectual Spirituality. General inquiries: scott@jewishcoffeehouse.com

    Dr. Andrea Moskowitz & Jill H. Sharfman, NC, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition

    CONTACT:
    Jill Sharfman
    CEO Let My People Eat
    310-666-4454
    jill@letmypeopleeat.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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