Crazy Worldwide Hannukah Party

Over the last few months I've been working with the good people over at JDUB records on "The 8" which is a worldwide Hanukkah event this coming December 8th. We are starting to get some
nice press on it



Jews for Biden

Clergy are not supposed to endorse political candidates and I certainly am not about to do so on a blog, but I'm watching the Democratic candidates debate right now and I have to say that while the front runners are all smooth talking - and Richardson is winning a few points for comic edge - Senator Biden is coming across as the strongest of the lot. He is rude at times, I admit, but he speaks from experience and has a knowing smile and knows how to work across party lines. I was searching to see how he relates to Jewish issues and I found this old press release:

It seems like there are quite a few Jews for Biden...

March 12, 2002

Biden Receives Prestigious "Tree of Life" Award From Jewish National Fund

Wilmington, DE -- In front of a packed hall of more than 400 prominent Delawareans at a gala dinner, Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. last night received the prestigious Tree of Life Award from the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in recognition of his lifetime of work and devotion to the well-being of the State of Israel. With Republican U.S. Senator John McCain on hand to congratulate him, Biden accepted the award on behalf of millions of Israelis confronted by daily acts of terrorism.

“There can never be any excuse or explanation for terrorism against innocent civilians,” Biden said. “But I believe it is always darkest before the dawn, and I am convinced Israelis and Palestinians will find a way out of the current conflict. Those committing terrorist acts are desperate, and they know the path of violence is not supported by a majority who want to live normal lives.”

NY SUN article about my latest work

A newly hired vice president who is leading the new outreach effort, Rabbi Daniel Brenner, estimated the portion of Birthright Israel alumni who do not now engage in Jewish life at 60%.
But he said his new program presents an "amazing window of opportunity" — both for the Jewish community and for the many who have lost touch with it.
So far, he said, the new initiative has enough funding to support a $3.3 million annual budget, which it hopes to double next year, as well as a growing pool of interested young Jews. Online social networking is one recruitment device outlined in the strategic plan, and Birthright Israel already has one victory.
Rabbi Brenner said that a YouTube video modeled after the well-circulated "Obama Girl" video — this one is titled "Rosh Hashanah Girl," which features a Birthright alumna, singer-songwriter Michelle Citrin — has been watched by 402,000 people.
"You really cannot argue with 402,000 views," Rabbi Brenner said.

Here's the link to the NY Sun piece that ran last month. I meant to put it up.


update from nashville

Loyal readers of Reb Blog,

Please forgive me for taking so much time in between posts! The reality is that taking on a new job has been both wonderful and exhausting and spending time managing an international project and crafting a three year plan for a major educational effort has given me little time to write and reflect on the blog.

There have been many moments that I wanted to post in the last few months -- great audio highlights worth a few words like the sounds of my neighbor Jon Luks tap dancing with Paul Shapiro's Latin Jazz band Midnight Minyan, hearing my friend Ayoub from Face to Face on WNYC, and listening to Michelle Citrin play at PLP in Santa Monica. I also stumbled on a collection of old Israeli dance vinyl...a few classics from Moshiko that are priceless.

I also wanted to write about the show birthright israel monologues which I have been involved in producing. It just went up last Monday night at a burlesque club called the Slipper Room on the Lower East Side and a few of the actors have written about the experience. Vanessa Hidary directed, and she has been exceptional to work with on this project.

While I have not been writing plays or poems, I have been going to a lot of theater, and am looking forward to one show at Montclair State University coming up next month that is based on people we met in New Orleans last Spring. (Go Lisa!)

And one more thing....if you have a minute, check out this amazing animation of John Coltrane's Giant Steps.
It is what I thought "music television" would be like before MTV came on the air. brilliant.