Category Archives: media

Save the Dates: Jewish Mexican Films at CBI this summer

Join us for Bagels, Coffee, & Films at CBI. This year, member Chaim Bronstein has organized a film series featuring Mexican Jewish movies. Join us for bagels, coffee, and movies projected on a big screen (a really big one — a whole wall in our darkened, comfortable classroom) and then conversation! Each film will begin at 11:11 on a Sunday morning, giving you time to show up, get your coffee and bagel, and schmooze a little before the movie begins.

NorasWillJune 2, 2013, 11:11am
Nora’s Will

Nora’s Will is a tale of lost faith and eternal love from one of Mexico’s most talented filmmakers. When his ex-wife Nora dies right before Passover, José (Fernando Luján) is forced to stay with her body until she can be properly put to rest. He soon realizes he is part of Nora’s plan to bring her family back together for one last Passover feast, leading José to reexamine their relationship and rediscover their undying love for each other. Join us for bagels, coffee, the movie (on a big screen!) and discussion.

LikeABrideJuly 7, 2013, 11:11am
Like A Bride / Novia Que Te Vea

In CBI’s continuing summer festival of Jewish-Mexican movies, we’re showing this story set in the 1960s in Mexico City, where the daughter of Ladino-speaking Turkish immigrants wants to be an artist, not a bride. Meanwhile, her friend (of Ashkenazic descent) shocks her parents by dating a Gentile boy who is active in liberal political circles! Join us for bagels, coffee, the movie (on a big screen!) and discussion.

MexicanShivaAugust 4, 2013, 11:11am
My Mexican Shivah

The third and final film in CBI’s continuing summer festival of Jewish-Mexican movies, My Mexican Shivah tells the story of a man named Moishe who commits suicide. After Moishe’s death, family and friends sit Shiva in Mexico City. During seven days, secrets will be disclosed. Join us for bagels, coffee, the movie (on a big screen!) and conversation.

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The First CBI Ne’arim Podcast: on Joseph

Introducing…

NearimPodcastLogo

21.1 MB / 22 minutes

– click on the small triangle to listen
or, download the file: NearimJosephPodcast (mp3)

You can read a little bit about how this podcast came to be in the post Beginning a Torah podcast…with my students.

Here are a few words from the opening of the podcast:

The Joseph novella is one of the richest stories in Torah. We read it every year as we approach the darkest days of winter. I like to teach it as a narrative about descent for the sake of ascent. What goes up, in other words, has to start out by going down.

But rabbinic opinions and teachings about Torah are a dime a dozen. How might the next generation of young minds understand this story? What implications might they tease out through a combination of bibliodrama, midrash, and improvisational theatre? Enter the CBI Ne’arim Podcast.

Act one: the Torah story, narrated by the students in their own words.

Act two: a taste of bibliodrama. We’ll hear segments of an interview with the Biblical characters.

Act three: going further afield. What if the Joseph story took place in outer space, or featured modern political personalities, or happened on a planet full of nothing but cows? Our young scholars will take us into some of these possible realities.

Act four: epilogue. A roundtable conversation with the students. What was this journey like for them? What, if anything, did they learn? Do they experience the Joseph story differently now than they did before?

My thanks are due to the Ne’arim students for entering into this adventure with such enthusiasm. I hope y’all enjoy!

North Adams: Rabbi chosen for fellowship program

Rabbi Rachel Barenblat of Congregation Beth Israel has been selected for the Rabbis Without Borders national fellowship program.

More than 90 applicants competed for the 18 spots.

Barenblat, ordained in 2011 by ALEPH: the Alliance for Jewish Renewal, has lived in Northern Berkshire for 20 years. Before becoming a rabbi, she was co-founder and executive director of literary arts nonprofit Inkberry; she also served as editor of The Women’s Times. She is the creator of award-winning blog “Velveteen Rabbi,” and author of “70 faces” (Phoenicia, 2011) a collection of Torah poems.

The program, now in its fourth year, encourages rabbis to think creatively about their work and the new American religious landscape. Building a network of religious leaders from all streams, RWB helps rabbis make Jewish insights readily available, adding to the well of American spiritual resources.

Rabbinic Fellows will gather in NYC four times over the academic year, 2012 to 2013. The first session, on Oct. 29 and 30, will feature Lisa Miller, religion editor at Newsweek magazine and The Daily Beast, who will discuss religion in America today.

The Dec. 17 and 18 program will feature social media innovator Daniel Sieradski, who will discuss technology’s effects on society.

Originally published in the Berkshire Eagle.

In today’s Berkshire Eagle: an article about fall, high holidays, and CBI’s Selichot play!

Coming Out
By Kate Abbott, Berkshires Week Editor, Thursday September 6, 2012

Apple season is coming early. I saw my first mention of local apples this week, at Whitney’s. I know the mythical fruit of Genesis was not an apple, but as I watch and listen to my friends preparing for Rosh Hashanah, it feels fitting that the Jewish New Year comes, in New England, when the apples are ripe.

Close friends bless Shabbat candles on the deck and convince their toddlers to wait to drink their juice, and they welcome me in to the ritual. It’s as natural as singing happy birthday. Tomorrow night, when they light candles, my family will light our own for my brother, who turns 28 as I write this.

And on Saturday night at 6, one local congregation will invite the whole community to learn how the High Holidays feel — and what a time of reflection can do.

Congregation Beth Israel will begin the High Holiday season with a staged reading of Merle Feld’s play, “The Gates Are Closing,” directed by David Lane. All are welcome, and the evening is free.

Feld tells the stories of 10 people meeting to pray on Yom Kippur and facing themselves. It is a play full of tough and liberating honesty. Feld has hold of a vital feeling too few people try to invoke: the feeling of telling something you have carried alone. The weight lifts, and you are sad and tired and released and reminded that things can make sense again, as Feld says. And you are left with the rebuilding.

“So long as Adam pretends that hiding is possible, he cannot begin to find his way,” Feld’s Rabbi tells his people. “God asks ‘where are you?’ to awaken Adam, to bring him out of hiding. Today is the day for you and me … to come out of hiding.”

(Originally published in The Berkshire Eagle.)

Clergy’s Favorite Films Series, Film 3: Walk On Water this Sunday at 10am!

This weekend we’ll have the second installment of the Clergy’s Favorite Films series — in which three fabulous (and very different) films will be presented at CBI, with bagels and lox, and with some contextualizing remarks / conversation about how these films connect with Jewish ideas and themes.

This week’s movie will be an amazing Israeli film called Walk on Water, presented by Cantor Bob Scherr. Here’s how imdb describes it: Following the suicide of his wife, an Israeli intelligence agent is assigned to befriend the grandchildren of a Nazi war criminal.

Here’s the movie trailer from when it came out in 2004:

(If you can’t see the embedded trailer, you can go directly to it at YouTube.)

Along with brunch, Cantor Bob will offer a short introduction to the film and some thoughts about why he chose it.

Please join us for something a little different: a fun, relaxing and informative morning. Plus bagels and lox….what could be better?!

This is the final installment in this film series. All films will be screened on a large projector screen in the CBI classroom. Join us!

Rabbis’ Favorite Films Series, Film 2: Local Hero this Sunday at 10am!

This weekend we’ll have the second installment of the Rabbis’ Favorite Films series — in which three fabulous (and very different) films will be presented at CBI, with bagels and lox, and with some contextualizing remarks / conversation about how these films connect with Jewish ideas and themes.

This week’s movie will be Local Hero.  Here’s how IMDB describes it: “An American oil company sends a man to Scotland to buy up an entire village where they want to build a refinery. But things don’t go as expected…”

The original trailer for Local Hero. If you can’t see the embedded video, you can go directly to it at YouTube.

Along with brunch, Reb Rachel will offer a short introduction to seeing this film through Jewish eyes.

Please join us for something a little different: a fun, relaxing and informative morning. Plus bagels and lox….what could be better?!

Further installments will feature Cantor Bob Scherr presenting Israeli film Walk on Water in August. All films will be screened on a “large-ish” screen in the CBI classroom. Join us!

Rabbis’ Favorite Films Series, Film 1: The Wizard of Oz

Welcome to the Rabbis’ Favorite Films series — in which three fabulous (and very different) films will be presented at CBI, with bagels and lox, and with some contextualizing remarks / conversation about how these films connect with Jewish ideas and themes.

The original trailer for the Wizard of Oz movie. If you can’t see the embedded video, you can go directly to it at YouTube.This coming Sunday, Rabbi Pamela Wax will kick off the series with The Wizard of Oz — through Jewish eyes.

Please join us for something a little different….a fun, relaxing and informative morning. Plus bagels and lox….what could be better?!

Further installments of the series will include Rabbi Rachel Barenblat presenting Local Hero in July and Cantor Bob Scherr presenting Israeli film Walk on Water in August. All films will be screened on a “large-ish” screen in the CBI classroom.