The Azrieli Foundation was preparing to introduce nine new titles this week in Montreal.
Three English-language memoirs, four French-language memoirs and two short films were set to be launched on June 4. The English-language titles are Little Girl Lost, by Betty Rich; If Home Is Not Here, by Max Bornstein; Gatehouse to Hell, by Felix Opatowski. The short films are Tenuous Threads, which tells the story of Judy Abrams, and One of the Lucky Ones, focusing on the story of Eva Felsenburg Marx.
A philanthropic enterprise with many objects, the Azrieli Foundation sponsors a Holocaust survivor memoirs program through which it publishes and distributes writings of Holocaust survivors in Canada. It is funded by philanthropist David J. Azrieli. Born in Poland in 1922, Azrieli came to Montreal in 1954, and became an innovative builder with huge projects in Canada, United States and Israel. www.azrielifoundation.org.
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Luminato Festival: Luminato and the Toronto International Film Festival present a 10-day program of film screenings that includes director Tomer Heymann’s Out of Focus, a documentary on Ohad Naharin, choreographer and artistic director of the Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company. Also, writer Annie Proulx introduces director Ang Lee’s acclaimed film Brokeback Mountain, based on her short story of the same name, and much more. June 8 to 17. www.luminato.com
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War of 1812: The Encampment is a large-scale village of tents assembled by artists Thom Sokoloski and Jenny-Anne McCowan to highlight the civilian history of the War of 1812 at the Fort York National Historic Site. One historical figure highlighted in The Encampment is William Solomon, a German Jew from Berlin who led an adventurous life in British North America and the American frontier, and served as an interpreter for the British. Part of the Luminato Festival, The Encampment is at Fort York in Toronto from June 8 to 24. www.thomasandguinevere.com
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NXNE Festival: Johnny Cash’s former manager Saul Holiff, who lived in London, Ont., and Vancouver, is the subject of son Jonathan’s film My Father and the Man in Black, which features previously unseen material Jonathan found in his father’s storage locker after his death. It’s being screened at the NXNE Film Festival, as is KMS – Jewish Negroes, a film about Ethiopian Jews in Israel by Israeli director Adi Zvieli. June 11 to 17. www.nxne.com
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Names in the News: Toronto singer Lenka Lichtenberg has finished her seventh album, Songs for the Breathing Walls, consisting of liturgical songs recorded in Czech and Moravian synagogues. The CD is being launched in Prague’s Jeruzalemska Synagogue on June 20. Then Lichtenberg and friends have a number of European concert dates, including the International Conference of Jewish Genealogy in Paris on July 17. Back home, they’re slated to perform in Stratford on Aug. 12 and at Toronto’s Ashkenaz Festival on Sept. 1. www.lenkalichtenberg.com
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Arts in Brief
• Active Seniors presents opera educator Iain Scott discussing Nabucco, Verdi’s Jewish opera. $5. Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, Thursday, June 7, 1:30 p.m., 416-924-6211, ext. 155.
• The 70-voice MNJCC Community Choir performs world, folk, tango, Jacques Brel, Ladino and more. $10. Al Green Theatre, Miles Nadal JCC, Thursday, June 7, 8 p.m. 416-924-6211, ext. 0.
• The 2012 Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Awards, hosted by CBC Radio personality Michael Enright, takes place in the well-appointed Bram and Bluma Appel Salon of the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St. Free admission, everyone welcome. Thursday June 7, 8 p.m.
• Lecturer Adam Nayman continues his series on the films of Stanley Kubrick, with film clips. Next topic is The Shining, the classic horror film based on the novel by Stephen King. $12 drop in, students $6. Miles Nadal JCC, Monday, June 11, 7 to 9 p.m. www.mnjcc.org
• The Koffler Centre presents Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company in a gala North American première performance of Sadeh21. MacMillan Theatre, 80 Queen’s Park. Thursday, June 14. Tickets $250. 416-638-1881, www.kofflerarts.org
• Blockade, a new book by Gerald Ziedenberg, tells the heroic story of Jewish immigration to British Mandate Palestine. A Torontonian, Zeidenberg is a retired pharmacist who became a historian (earning a master’s degree in modern history) late in life. A book launch takes place at Beth Lida Synagogue, 22 Gilgorm Rd. Sunday, June 17, 2 to 5 p.m. RSVP, 416-481-3624.
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At the Galleries
• Watercolours by the late Toronto artist Sylvia Starkman are on display to mark her 100th birthday. A graduate in occupational therapy from Harbord Collegiate, Starkman won numerous painting awards but shared her art only with close family and friends. Now her daughter, Cheryl Lefton, is sharing her mother’s art and passion in this exhibit, titled Her Spirit Shone Through Her Art. Carrier Villa Gallery, Columbus Centre, 901 Lawrence Ave. W. June 7 to July 4. Opening reception June 7, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. 416-789-7011, ext. 300, www.carriergallery.com
• A solo exhibit of works by young sculpture-installation artist Itamar Jobani, an Israeli artist currently living in New York, continues through the summer at the Julie M. Gallery, 15 Mill St., Distillery District.