Celebrity chef David Rocco will cook some spectacular Roman Jewish cuisine at Saluti a Jerusalem, a food, art, music and wine event presented by the Jerusalem Foundation of Canada and Villa Charities.
Some of Toronto’s favourite eateries, including Mistura, Grano, Fieramosca Trattoria and Pantry Foods & Catering (COR) will showcase their culinary delights at the event, with recipes from the ghettos of Jewish Rome to the Tuscany region. Also featured is the exhibit Where Two Worlds Meet, a photographic journey to Israel and Italy by Neil Dankoff and Beverley Abramson (on view until Oct. 1). Opera singer Lauren Segal also makes a special appearance.
“Villa Charities is proud to be partnering with the Jerusalem Foundation of Canada on this event,” said its president, Pal Di Iulio. “The Italian and Jewish communities in Toronto have worked side by side for years, strengthening their bonds and helping to build the city into the thriving metropolis it is today. It is important to honour and celebrate this kinship.”
Funds raised will help to build Giardino Canadese, a friendship garden at Canada House in Jerusalem. Columbus Centre, Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery, 901 Lawrence Ave. W. Thursday, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m. $250 per person. Partial tax receipt available. Call 416-635-5491. Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also in the same gallery, Roy Doliner, co-author of The Sistine Secrets, speaks on secret Jewish symbols, messages and mystical knowledge in Sistine Chapel paintings. Sept. 6, 7:30 p.m. Free.
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Feature Film: The Matchmaker, a film by Israel director Avi Nesher that was screened at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, opens Aug. 31 at Toronto’s Sheppard Grande Cinema and Montreal’s Cavendish Mall.
Inspired by Amir Gutfreund’s novel When Heroes Fly, The Matchmaker is set in Haifa, Israel, in 1968. It is a coming-of-age story about young Arik Burstein’s first romantic involvement and his unusual job working for a Romanian Holocaust survivor who is a relentless matchmaker. Arik is hired to research matchmaking candidates in the “lower city,” an infamous low-rent district frequented by sailors, gamblers, prostitutes and people looking for bootleg merchandise. Hebrew with English subtitles.
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Choirs Seek New Members: The Toronto Jewish Folk Choir, Canada’s oldest continuing Jewish choir, is seeking new singers for its upcoming season. The semi-professional choir seeks mainly Jewish music and songs on Jewish themes, in Hebrew, Ladino, Russian, English, French and Yiddish. Rehearsals are Wednesdays, 7:30 to 10 p.m. at the Winchevsky Centre, 585 Cranbrooke Ave., beginning Sept. 12. Luba, 905-669-5906, or send an email to: email@example.com
The Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre adult daytime choir is also seeking new voices. Conducted by Gillian Stecyk, this fun, light-hearted group performs all types of music. No audition or experience required. $5 drop-in. Tuesdays 1 to 2:30 p.m., beginning Sept. 11. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Opera Appreciation: Active Seniors and Boomers presents several fall opera appreciation programs with Iain Scott, one of Canada’s foremost opera educators. History and Development of New York’s Metropolitan Opera includes video excerpts of great productions and singers. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 1:30 p.m., program 2 p.m. $5 includes refreshments.
A four-part series (Tuesdays, 1:30 p.m.) highlights upcoming performances of the Met’s Live in HD operas to be broadcast in theatres in the fall: Verdi’s Otello (Oct. 16), Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito (Oct. 23), Verdi’s The Masked Ball (Nov. 16) and Verdi’s Aida (Nov. 23). $50 for series or $16 drop-in fee (if space permits). Registration, 416-924-6211, ext. 0, or Phyllis at ext. 155 for information.
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Indian & Israeli Fusion: Indo-Canadian and Jewish-Canadian young professionals join together for BINDAAS: Indian and Israeli Fusion, an evening of Israeli-Jewish and Indian culture at a hot night spot. Featuring internationally renowned Shy Ben Tzur and the Rajasthani Gypsies in association with Ashkenaz. Tryst, 82 Peter St. Thursday, Sept. 6, 7 p.m. Website: Sizedoesntmatter.com/bindaas
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Ashkenaz in Brief: Ashkenaz runs Aug. 28 to Sept. 3. Here is a sampling of offerings. For the full schedule, visit. www.ashkenazfestival.com
• Singer Mitch Smolkin presents a retrospective on Yiddish radio matinée idol Seymour Rexite with pianist Nina Shapilsky. Rexite on the Radio: The Golden Age of Yiddish American Music, at Harbourfront, Studio Theatre, Sept. 1, 6 p.m. Free.
• The Jewish National Fund co-presents the Israeli world-music supergroup Yemen Blues. Harbourfront WestJet Stage, 235 Queens Quay W. Sunday, Sept. 2, 9:30 p.m. Free.
• Mexico City’s Klezmerson explore Jewish musical traditions while reflecting the diverse sounds of their hometown. Presented by Koffler Gallery. Harbourfront WestJet Stage, Monday, Sept. 3, 3 p.m. Free.
• African-American by birth and Jewish by choice, basso-profundo Anthony Russell performs Yiddish songs that evoke Sidor Belarsky and Paul Robeson. Ashkenaz at Harbourfrount Lakeside Terrace, Sept. 3, 6 p.m. Free.
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At the Galleries: Ira Moscowitz: Spiritual Routes consists of multimedia prints and drawings on paper and oil paintings on the themes of Native American and Parisian culture, plus Isaac Bashevis Singer’s book illustrations. Presented by the Al Green Gallery and Ashkenaz. Miles Nadal JCC Gallery, 416-924-6211, ext. 250.