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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

  • March 17, 2021 9:00 AM | Laura Herring (Administrator)

    Yiddish Theatre Ensemble Presents… God of Vengeance (Got Fun Nekome)
    An artful online video adaptation of Sholem Asch’s groundbreaking 1906 Yiddish play
    Directed by Bruce Bierman / English translation by Caraid O'Brien

    Streaming Saturday, March 20 thru Tuesday, March 23, 2021

    Tickets ($18 - $54): klezcalifornia.org/yiddish-theatre-ensemble • www.Eventbrite.com

    For Immediate Release:

    Berkeley, CA… The Yiddish Theatre Ensemble (YTE) planned on presenting the English language translation of the 1906 controversial Yiddish play God of Vengeance (Got Fun Nekome) by Sholem Asch in September 2020 at a theater in Berkeley, California but had to halt production due to the pandemic. Dedicated to this endeavor, YTE devised an innovative approach to presenting theater during this unprecedented time. The play will now be mounted on Vimeo on March 20-23, 2021 as an artful video adaptation  with actors from around the country. Due to COVID restrictions, the actors were rehearsed and filmed on Zoom in full character and costume from their respective locations.  (The cast was never actually in the same room together).

    The multi-cultural, multi-generational and diverse LGBTQ cast of 17 actors, many of whom had never spoken a word of Yiddish before, comes from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond (New York and Las Vegas) and includes nonagenarian veteran of stage, Naomi Newman, co-founder of The Traveling Jewish Theater. Local Treasure Naomi Newman: 90 Years Old and Still Acting

    As the play has been re-set in New York’s Lower East Side during the Depression, digital set designs (or backdrops) were added creating the 1930’s atmosphere with a distinct graphic novel style. The sets, designed by Production Designer, Jeremy Knight, of West Edge Opera, are inspired by photographs courtesy of the Tenement Museum collection with period costumes coordinated by Wardrobe Consultant, Suzanne Stassevich, formerly of San Francisco Opera. The play will be enhanced by an original score, by San Francisco Bay Area Klezmer musician, David Rosenfeld, anchoring the emotional voice of this evocative family drama. 

    This adaptation based on the English translation (but including some Yiddish language and idioms) by Caraid O'Brien stays close to the script with new interpretations of character portrayals and plot development. Themes explored include: issues of domestic violence, dignity and portrayal of sex workers, freedom of expression and acceptance of LGBTQ relationships. As with many of Asch’s plays, powerful female characters give voice and agency to women. The themes speak directly to the inequities of human and civil rights still being fought for today. The play is peppered with humor.


    God of Vengeance tells the story of a seemingly observant Jewish couple and their daughter Rivkeleh who live upstairs in their Lower East Side apartment during the Great Depression. Yankl and Soreh do their best to protect their only child from mixing with their bustling livelihood---a thriving 'brothel' business downstairs in the basement. Rivkeleh is at a marriageable age and plans for a future husband are being made.  She is ensured an attractive dowry when her father commissions a Torah scroll, worth thousands, to be written just for her.  Supposedly, the hand-written scroll is believed to protect her and keep her kosher. Meanwhile young Rivkeleh has fallen in love with Mankeh, one of his prostitutes and a tender relationship blossoms. Tensions mount and soon life upstairs and downstairs begin to entangle. As Yankl’s plans are threatened, he begins to unravel.

    The themes of this play are deep and resonate today: can money buy salvation, happiness, holiness? All are explored in this family drama story that has extraordinary tenderness, elements of Greek drama —and a bisl (little) Yiddish. — Laura Sheppard, Producer

    Audiences should know this is not, God forbid, a moralistic play! Sholem Asch himself said he didn’t care if he wrote a moral or immoral play. He only cared about writing a good play that had an impact and spoke to people. — Bruce Bierman, Director


    After the play’s opening in Berlin, God of Vengeance had tremendous success throughout Europe and was translated into many languages. Upon arriving in New York, it was first seen in Yiddish at the Provincetown Playhouse in the West Village. The 1923 production in English at the Apollo Theatre in New York was the first to portray a lesbian relationship in a sympathetic light and included the first lesbian kiss on Broadway. That production was assailed by members of the religious and cultural establishment and was charged with obscenity and shut down. The producer and company members were arrested and found guilty.

    The history of Asch and this play was inspiration for the 2015-2017 Tony award-winning Broadway production Indecent which was also seen at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for which Director Bruce Bierman served as Yiddish Dance Dramaturge. This production only scratched the surface of the original play. Yiddish Theatre Ensemble would like audiences to experience the power of the characters and immediacy today. Yiddish Theatre Ensemble is particularly interested in Sholem Asch because he was the first playwright to incorporate modernity into his plays, mirroring 20th century life in cities and towns rather than focusing on Biblical stories or folk tales of the past.


    Sholem Asch (1880–1957). Although he penned several of his 18 plays, shorts stories and novels in the US on New York City’s Lower East Side and at his home in Staten Island, Asch wrote only in Yiddish. Asch is often mentioned in the same breath as other modern Yiddish fiction writers like Sholem Aleichem and I.L. Peretz. The Polish-born author and playwright is the first Yiddish writer to be widely translated into English and to gain worldwide renown, and to have a bestseller in English (The Nazarene). The star literary contributor of the Yiddish newspaper, The Forward (Forverts) from 1915-1940 was the most widely reported and caricatured writer in the Yiddish press from 1915-1950.


    Laura Sheppard, Producer and Bruce Bierman, Director, have collaborated for twelve years to create community-based productions in affiliation with fiscal sponsor KlezCalifornia. Their collaborations include the popular Yiddish musical Di Megileh of Itzik Manger, produced as part of the Jewish Music Festival (2014, 2015), as well as KlezCalifornia’s Cabaret by the Bay. Yiddish Theatre Ensemble is dedicated to producing the rich, rarely performed repertory of the Yiddish theater as well as new works by living artists.

    This production is part of the 40th Anniversary of the Yiddish Book Center (Amherst, MA), the nation’s acclaimed center for the preservation of Yiddish literature and culture and their Year of Translation. This production is fiscally sponsored by KlezCalifornia and supported in part by a Civic Arts Grant from the City of Berkeley.

    CAST/LEAD ACTORS: Roni Alperin -Yankl | Jill Eickmann - Soreh | Elena Faverio - Rivkeleh | Zissel Piazza - Mankeh | Simon Winheld - Shlomo | Esther Mulligan - Hindl | Naomi Newman - Reb Eli | Josiah Prosser - A Scribe | Rebekah Kouy-Ghadosh - Basha | Frances Sedayao – Rayzel

    Click here to view the production photos

    For Calendar Editors:

    WHAT: Yiddish Theatre Ensemble Presents… God of Vengeance
    An artful online video adaptation of Sholem Asch’s 1906 Yiddish play

    WHEN: Streaming from Saturday, March 20 @ 8:30pm through Tuesday, March 23 @ 11:30pm PST

    WHERE: Vimeo

    INFO: klezcalifornia.org/yiddish-theatre-ensemble

    TIX: $18, $36, $54
    ($54 tickets include a VIP Conversation with the actors on Zoom on Sunday, March 21 at 4pm)



    Contact: Lisa Geduldig

    Disclaimer: JRelease is a press release service of AJPA. AJPA does not endorse and cannot vouch for material distributed by this service.
  • March 15, 2021 9:00 AM | Laura Herring (Administrator)

    The Great (Bar/Bat) Mitzvah Giveaway
    -Helping Families Save Money on Celebrations Through 2024-

    March 15, 2021, New York, N.Y.: Over 165 Bar/Bat Mitzvah vendors nationwide have teamed up with Mitzvah Market to offer post pandemic planning families substantial savings on their celebrations. The Great (Bar/Bat) Mitzvah Giveaway gives parents the opportunity to save thousands of dollars as they start to plan their 2021-2024 events. Mitzvah Market, a leading Bar/Bat Mitzvah media resource created this giveaway to support the Bar/Bat Mitzvah industry which has largely been shut down for a year. GMG provides industry experts free exposure to planning families while they offer post COVID savings.

    The pandemic stopped all big events including Bar and Bat Mitzvahs limiting them to Zoom Mitzvahs, drive-bys and small get togethers. The Great Mitzvah Giveaway will jump start the planning process for parents and connect them with experts ready to help with their simcha. Over 165 vendors are participating and offering savings on DJ services, favors, décor, invitations, photography and much more.

    “Although this past year has been tough for many, your child only turns 13 once and families want to celebrate this milestone,” explains Sheri Lapidus, Executive Director, Mitzvah Market. “We developed this program to help both families and vendors, after a year when both suffered.”

    The Great Mitzvah Giveaway is giving all event vendors a great way to restart their business.  It’s connecting us with families who are ready to start a conversation about their upcoming event,” says Todd Yahney, President, Todd Yahney Events. “Having these discussions now with prospective families gives them the best options and a chance to save money and brings new business our way.”

    Vendors from across the U.S. are participating in The Great Mitzvah Giveaway program, which launched March 1, 2021 on MitzvahMarket.com. Thirty-six lucky winning families will have the opportunity to hire participating businesses at a significant discount. There is no cost for families to enter and the deadline to participate is April 30, 2021. Winners will be randomly selected on May 7, 2021. Parents interested in participating should visit MitzvahMarket.com.

    About Mitzvah Market
    Mitzvah Market, a division of Davler Media is the largest and most authoritative resource on Bar/Bat Mitzvah planning. Featuring ideas and inspiration from our readers and vendors, since 2010, we connect Bar/Bat Mitzvah planning families with experts in the party planning industry. Thousands of families rely on our website and expertise to find unique ways of making their son/daughter’s special moment memorable. The Mitzvah Market division offers vendors a unique opportunity to connect with families at the time when parents are deep into the planning process.

    About Davler Media Group
    Davler Media Group is one of metropolitan New York’s leading specialty media companies serving parenting and tourism categories. Davler-Parents division consists of four brands NYMetroParents, Staten Island Parent, Mommybites and Mitzvah Market and is the largest local parenting media in the U.S. Each brand publishes content across magazines, websites, email newsletters, Facebook, Instagram and events. Cumulatively, our media reaches approximately 1,000,000 families monthly in the metropolitan area bringing them ideas about activities, resources and advice supporting the mission of “helping parents make better decisions.” Since 1982, City Guide has historically been New York City’s largest tourism media, publishing over 3,000,000 magazines that are distributed in Manhattan hotels. City Guide also has a full complement of digital products including cityguideny.com, Everything To Do NYC Facebook Group, This Week in the City e-newsletter and soon to be launched the ETD Pass.

    Contact: Sheri Lapidus

    Disclaimer: JRelease is a press release service of AJPA. AJPA does not endorse and cannot vouch for material distributed by this service.
  • February 19, 2021 9:00 AM | Laura Herring (Administrator)


    Special Virtual Event Will be Available to Watch Both Live and On-Demand

    PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (February 19, 2021) – On Monday, March 15, a new operatic event will showcase U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s favorite arias on what would have been her 88th birthday. 

    Presented by the National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH), Opera Philadelphia, and the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, For the Love of Opera: Celebrating RBG’s 88th Birthday will feature commentary as well as performances recorded this month in NMAJH’s Dell Theater and UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall. 

    A lifelong opera fan and advocate, Ginsburg often spoke publicly about her love for the art form. The plots of her favorite operas often paralleled her professional pursuit of justice. For the Love of Opera will feature arias from her favorite operas, including “Hai già vinta la causa” from Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and “To this we’ve come” from Menotti’s The Consul.

    The program features performances by Joshua Blue (tenor), Norman Garrett (baritone), Michelle Rice (soprano), and Ashley Marie Robillard (soprano), with instrumental accompaniment by Stephen Karr (piano) and Grant Loehnig (piano). 

    Remarks and reflections will be offered by Peter Kazaras, Director of Opera, UCLA; Lawrence Brownlee, operatic tenor and artistic advisor to Opera Philadelphia, who shared the stage with Justice Ginsburg in Donizetti's La Fille du Régiment at Washington National Opera (WNO) in 2016; and Francesca Zambello, the WNO’s stage director and artistic director.

    In 2019, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a longtime member of NMAJH, became the 21st inductee into the Museum’s Only in America Gallery/Hall of Fame. She accepted the honor in person at the Museum during a ceremony that included a performance of Abscheulicher! ... Komm Hoffnung, Leonore’s aria from Beethoven’s Fidelio, by WNO soprano, Alexandria Shiner, one of the Justice’s favorite young performers. NMAJH was the first East Coast venue for the special exhibition about the legendary Jewish Justice, called Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in late 2019, which was created and circulated by the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. 

    “In Jewish culture, when a person passes away, we say ‘May Their Memory Be a Blessing’,” said NMAJH CEO, Dr. Misha Galperin. “In that spirit, we look to celebrate Ruth Bader Ginsburg through her favorite art form in partnership with two exceptional organizations, Opera Philadelphia and the Lowell Milken Center.” 

    For the Love of Opera will also highlight operas that deal with legal issues, justice, and equality — such as Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Menotti’s The Consul — and those with strong, independent female characters like Despina in Mozart’s Cosî Fan Tutte.

    “We are honored to partner with NMAJH and the Lowell Milken Center to share this tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg with opera lovers across the country, highlighting not just her favorite arias, but her commitment to justice and equality,” said Opera Philadelphia General Director & President David B. Devan. 

    “Justice Ginsberg was the embodiment of the biblical precept, ‘Justice, justice shall you pursue’ (Deut. 16:20). While her practice of justice likely stemmed from her identity as a Jew, her commitment to this principle was profoundly and universally applied. We also recognize her love of opera and music as an expression of her deep connection to all of humanity, as music is a universal language,” shared Mark Kligman, Director of the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. “Participating in this collaboration to celebrate her life and legacy ensures that her memory will always be for a blessing.”

    “Una furtiva lagrima”
    from L'elisir d'amore by Donizetti 

    “O mio babbino caro”
    from Gianni Schicchi by Puccini

    “Hai già vinta la causa”
    from Le nozze di Figaro by Mozart 

    “In uomini, in soldati”
    from Così fan tutte by Mozart

    “Pst, pst, Nannetta....”
    from Falstaff by Verdi 

    “To this we've come”
    from The Consul by Menotti 

    “Make Them Hear You”
    from Ragtime by Flaherty

    How to Watch
    On Monday, March 15, at 5:00 p.m. PT / 8:00 p.m. ET, For The Love of Opera will air via Facebook Live on the NMAJH Facebook page, the Opera Philadelphia Facebook page, and the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience and The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Facebook pages, with a limited number of Zoom slots also available. This special production will be available on-demand after the event on the above Facebook pages, NMAJH’s website, and on the Opera Philadelphia Channel.

    Visit https://www.nmajh.org/events/for-the-love-of-opera/ to learn more.

    Download High-Resolution Photos and Credits

    Established in 1976, and situated on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, the National Museum of American Jewish History is the only museum in the nation dedicated exclusively to exploring and interpreting the American Jewish experience. NMAJH 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. https://nmajh.org/virtual-museum 

    Opera Philadelphia, the only American finalist for both the 2016 International Opera Award for Best Opera Company and the 2020 International Opera Award for Best Festival, is “the very model of a modern opera company” (Washington Post). Committed to embracing innovation and developing opera for the 21st century, the company is “one of American opera’s success stories” (New York Times).The company is in the midst of a digital season on the Opera Philadelphia Channel, which creates a digital space in which artists can perform and explore, through a series of new commissions by visionary composers and dynamic performances produced for the screen. Season subscriptions priced at $99 are offered along with pay-per-view rental options for individual performances. The channel is available for viewing on computers and mobile devices, and on TV screens via Chromecast and the Opera Philadelphia Channel app on AppleTV, Android TV, Roku, and Amazon FireTV. For more information, visit operaphila.tv.

    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, please visit: schoolofmusic.ucla.edu/lowellmilkenmaje.

    Media Contacts:

    Sarah Maiellano, NMAJH
    T: (267) 598-5401; sarah@broadstreetcomms.com

    Frank Luzi, Opera Philadelphia
    T: 215.893.5902; luzi@operaphila.org 

    Jeremy Broekman, Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
    T: (818) 212-9201; jeremy@broekmancomm.com

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

  • February 15, 2021 9:00 AM | Laura Herring (Administrator)

    JWV Celebrates 125th Anniversary

    The Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A. (JWV) celebrates its 125th anniversary on March 15, 2021. The organization started with a group of 63 Civil War veterans who gathered in New York on that date in 1896 to form the Hebrew Union Veterans Association.

    Since 1896, the HUVA, which eventually became JWV, has played a role in national and international events in the support of the military, veterans, Israel, and the Jewish community at large.

    Whether holding the first boycott of Nazi Germany in 1933, raising more than $250 million for the war effort in the 1940s, advocating for the U.S. to recognize the state of Israel, or fighting against anti-Semitism, JWV has been at the forefront. Today we continue to serve the nation as the oldest, continuously active veterans service organization.

    JWV has grown to include either Posts or Departments in dozens of state and most large cities in the country.

    JWV will also host this year’s Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on November 11, 2021.

    For information on how to contact our National Commander or someone in your area for more on this milestone anniversary, or how JWV helps in your community, please contact our Public Relations Coordinator Cara Rinkoff at (202) 265-6280 ext. 413 or crinkoff@jwv.org.

    About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
    Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America is the oldest active veterans’ organization in America. JWV is dedicated to upholding America’s democratic traditions and fighting bigotry, prejudice, injustice, and discrimination of all kinds. As a national organization, JWV represents the voice of America’s Jewish veterans on issues related to veterans’ benefits, foreign policy, and national security. JWV also commits itself to the assistance of oppressed Jews worldwide.

    Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date on news, veterans’ issues, and happenings within JWV.

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

  • 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.


    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:

    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.


    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.

    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.

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