Writer. Reader. Reviewer. Resource Maven.

Unmasked: The Ariella Dadon Story

You’d think that as someone who has never married, and as a daughter of parents who have been happily married for 42 years, I wouldn’t think about divorce very much.

You’d be wrong.

Which is why I found “Unmasked: The Ariella Dadon Story,” a cartoon about one woman’s struggle to obtain a get (Jewish divorce), utterly absorbing.



Museum of Jewish Heritage Seeks Emerging Jewish Artists

Here’s an excerpt from a press release I received today from the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York:

After three years of sold-out shows which the Downtown Express called “authentic, funny — and yes, subversive…” the Museum is seeking submissions by up-and-coming local Jewish artists for possible inclusion in this year’s event. The winners will be showcased in a dynamic evening of cutting-edge comedy, music, storytelling, and film at the Fourth Annual New York’s Best Emerging Jewish Artists at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust on Wednesday, June 17. The show will take place in Edmond J. Safra Hall, the Museum’s 375-seat-theater, which features state-of-the-art light and sound systems, and a Fazioli grand piano.

Filmmakers, musicians, singers, comedians, poets, spoken word artists, and dancers are invited to send performance samples by April 13 to Sarah Wolff at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, NY, NY 10280. Inquiries may be sent to Swolff(at)mjhnyc(dot)org with Emerging Artist in the subject line.

To be eligible, performers must: be at least 18 years old by May 1; submit materials informed by Jewish themes or identity; and be based in the New York tri-state area. Finalists may be required to audition at the Museum for the judging committee.

Submit a maximum of two (2), five to ten minute samples in DVD, or CD format – cued to play or including a cue time – that best represents the work that would be performed if selected. Do not submit originals; materials will not be returned. Samples must be labeled individually with the applicant’s name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and title. Include a brief description of the work. If possible, also enclose artist bios and/or photos. Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Submissions must be post-marked or received no later than 5 p.m. on April 13.

Up to four winners will be notified by phone by May 13 and will receive $250 for the performance.

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A Cantor Comments on Chatzi Kaddish

Some weeks ago, I subscribed to the Union for Reform Judaism’s “10 Minutes of Torah” e-mail series. On Thursday, the daily e-mail provided a wonderful lesson on “The Sounds and Music of Chatzi Kaddish,” replete with cantorial audio selections. I can’t say I’ve been won over to the final (Gottlieb) version discussed in the column, but I’ve really appreciated the opportunity to learn more about this incredibly important prayer.



Elie Wiesel on Madoff

One of the most despicable crimes committed by Bernard Madoff, as I’ve already suggested on this blog, is the defrauding of Elie Wiesel. The New York Times reports on Wiesel’s comments about what has happened here.



Bad News for Jewcy and an Update from Zeek

Disappointing news for fans of the online cultural magazine Jewcy: The Fundermentalist reported last week that Jewcy’s primary funders have pulled financial support from the magazine. “The staff is now looking for new funders and will continue to sell ads, but will not take a salary for now, nor will it be able to pay its 60-70 contributors.”

Once I read about Jewcy’s problems, I did wonder about the fate of Zeek, which has partnered with Jewcy for the past year. Here’s the text of an e-mail message from Zeek’s editor, addressing the issue:

Dear Zeekers,

If you read Jewish newspapers or blogs, you may have heard that the online Jewish magazine, Jewcy, just lost their funding and will have to shut their offices.

For the past year, Zeek has partnered with Jewcy at www.jewcy.com/zeek. This partnership has brought a lot to Zeek—it has quadrupled our number of readers, given us multimedia capabilities, and brought us much more attention from the mainstream Jewish world. The staff of Jewcy particularly have been great partners: I’d like to single out Tahl Rahz, Jewcy’s founding editor; Craig Leinoff, Jewcy’s techincal guru; and Tara Rice, Jewcy’s art director, as true menschen.

The staff of Jewcy plans to continue to maintain the Jewcy site, and you will find Zeek there for at least the next month. We are currently looking at partnering with other Jewish media or at returning to a redesigned Zeek site. We will let you know as soon as we make a decision. To be honest, one aspect of our decision is funding—to maintain our own Zeek site, we would need to locate at least $10,000 in funding per year. If you or someone you know would be interested in making that kind of tax-free donation, please contact me.

In the meantime, please keep your browser tuned to www.zeek.net. It will automatically take you to wherever Zeek lives online. Visit soon. In the next two weeks we will feature a new short story by Riad Baidas, a revised Freedom Seder from Rabbi Arthur Waskow, a piece on affordable housing from David Gottlieb, an autobiographical essay from Jay Michaelson, poems by Maya Bejerano and Courney Druz, and of course, Angela Himsel’s Wednesday column, Angetevka.

Jo Ellen Green Kaiser
Editor, Zeek magazine
Executive Director, Zeek Media, Inc.

P.S. We are searching for a few angels to help us transition our website. If you can help, please email me at joellen(at)zeek(dot)net

Stay tuned.

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