The Canadian Jeiwsh News

Thursday, December 25, 2014

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Textbook features essays by prominent scholars

Tags: Arts

Academic Studies Press of Boston has produced Canada’s Jews: In Space, Time and Spirit, edited by Ira Robinson, a professor at Concordia University, Montreal. The book gathers essays by 25 experts in Canadian Jewish studies to present a wide-ranging view of Canada’s Jews in history (time), geography (space) and according to their religious and cultural aspects (spirit).

The list of contributors reads like a Who’s Who of contemporary scholarship on the subject: the list includes Pierre Anctil, Jack Lipinsky, Frank Bialystok, Yolande Cohen, Michael Brown, Ellen Scheinberg, Richard Menkis and Rebecca Margolis. The book is “a topical encyclopedia covering a wide variety of subjects from history and religion to the intellectual and cultural contributions of Canada’s Jews.” www.academicstudiespress.com

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Names in the News: Toronto author Anne Michaels (Fugitive Pieces) and distinguished illustrator Bernice Eisenstein are both included in the preliminary lineup for the upcoming International Festival of Authors, Oct. 24 to Nov. 3 at Harbourfront Centre, Toronto. The two have collaborated on Correspondences, a “beautifully produced accordion book” featuring Eisenstein’s illustrations alongside a book-length poem by Michaels. The book is to be published by Knopf/Random House and goes on sale in early November. www.readings.org, 416-973-4000. 

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Names in the News II: Last May, Toronto writer Michael Wex made a noble attempt to use the website Indiegogo to fund an English translation of Joseph Opatoshu’s 1921 Yiddish novel In the Forests of Poland. Unfortunately the crowd-funding effort fell short of its target, and the project did not go ahead.

Other parties in New York have likewise attempted to raise funds via crowd-funding websites for various Yiddish projects including a Yiddish production of the Samuel Beckett play Waiting For Godot. Alas, that, too, did not meet its target, but even so, a Yiddish production of Godot will soon be produced on a New York stage.

According to a New York Times blog post that was picked up by the Forward newspaper, the New Yiddish Rep Theatre Company of New York will mount a Yiddish production of Waiting For Godot at the Castillo Theatre on 42nd Street, Manhattan, Sept. 20 to Oct. 13. The production is being directed by Moshe Yassur and is based on a text translated by Shane Baker, who discovered that Beckett had initially given the name Levy to the character known as Estragon in the play’s final draft. Baker also commented that the existentialist classic actually has great relevance for the Jews. “Who’s better at waiting than the Jews?” he said in a press release.

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Arts in Brief


• Admission is free to a film panel discussion featuring critics Kevin Courrier, Adam Nayman and Shlomo Schwartzberg who will discuss American directors Robert Altman, David Lynch and Steven Spielberg, with film clips. Facilitated by David Levine. Miles Nadal JCC, Monday Sept. 23, 7 to 9 p.m. 416-924-6211, ext. 606.

• The Jordan Klapman Trio plays 1950s-’60s music at the Miles Nadal JCC Anniversary Brunch. Active seniors/boomers, $10. Sunday Oct. 6, 12:15 p.m. 416-924-6211, ext. 0.

• JewishFiction.net, edited by Nora Gold, has announced the release of its Rosh Hashanah issue containing four stories involving the Jewish New Year and 12 other pieces of fiction. Visit the online journal to see why it has attracted readers from 117 countries.

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At the Galleries: After 40 years of operation, the Ontario Jewish Archives has gathered some rare historic photographs from its vaults for an exhibition that opens this week at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, Bloor and Spadina.

“The Ontario Jewish Archives at Forty: Four Decades of Collecting and Sharing Our Community’s History” features 30 photographs including many that have never been on view before. According to a press release, the exhibit “highlights political and community activism, immigration and the growth of Toronto’s neighbourhoods – forces that continue to shape Toronto and the province.” On view to Oct. 3 in the JCC’s Jacobs Lounge, 750 Spadina Ave. Reception, Sept. 23, 7 to 9 p.m. 416-924-6211, ext. 250. 

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