Fun Times at BBYO

Written by Larry Shor on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

Looking back to when I was a teenager in the early 1970s, almost all of the Jewish kids went to public school. The number of kids who went to any kind of Jewish day school could have fit on the head of a pin, and they all ended after ninth grade anyway. In high school, the Jews were one of the minorities; the group of Jewish kids was larger in some schools than others, but we were always a minority nonetheless. As such, we all searched for places we could be together and be the majority, since we never could experience this in the outside world.

NoVa Film Festival Aims to Reframe, Positively Represent People With Disabilities

Written by Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

In 1989, the movie “My Left Foot,” starring an up-and-coming Anglo-Irish actor named Daniel Day-Lewis, was released. The movie detailed the biography of Christy Brown, an Irish artist and writer born in the 1930s. Brown was born with cerebral palsy, and the only limb he was able to control was his aforementioned foot. He was raised among his siblings rather than institutionalized and abandoned, as was common at the time, and the world is richer for it. Brown wrote the autobiography from which “My Left Foot” was adapted, and his art has been exhibited in his native Ireland and in New York.

Uri Davidi, Simcha Leiner, and 8th Day Band Headline Annual NCSY Benefit Concert

Written by Miriam Cleeman and Aaron Tessler on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

On Dec. 23, hundreds attended Atlantic Seaboard NCSY’s annual benefit concert at Baltimore’s Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, home of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The 44th Annual Isaac H. Taylor Jewish Music Festival drew a crowd from across Baltimore and the Greater Washington area and featured musical performances by popular Jewish artists Uri Davidi, Simcha Leiner, and 8th Day band.

The Bluebird of Happiness

Written by Larry Shor on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

Jan Peerce was one of the greatest voices of the 20th century, and I was lucky enough to meet him twice — once by accident, and once on purpose. Those meetings remain wonderful and cherished memories to this day. To understand how special he was, let’s start at the beginning.

To My Father, Nathan Shor, On His 14th Yahrzeit

Written by Larry Shor on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

My father, Nathan Shor, of blessed memory, was a man of honor and respect. Every part of his life was seen through that prism. He was born in Albany, New York, but as a first generation American, his outlook was completely influenced by his European parents, grandparents, and other relatives. He lost his father when he was only 19, and had to assume many family responsibilities way before his time. He became the substitute father, even walking all four of his sisters down the aisle in place of his father at each of their weddings! Yet I never heard a word of complaint from him. If it was the respectful thing to do, he simply did it.

Theater J Welcoming New Managing Director

Written by Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

On Jan. 28, Jojo Ruf became the new managing director of Theater J, the nation’s pre-eminent professional Jewish theater. Ruf joined Artistic Director Adam Immerwahr in the leadership of the theater, which is a program of the Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (EDCJCC). Ruf came to Theater J from The Laboratory for Global Performance & Politics (The Lab) at Georgetown University, where she has been serving as managing director since 2015. She is a nationally recognized field leader with particular expertise in international collaborations and new play development.

Not Your Typical Birthday Celebration

Written by Shamai Leibowitz on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

Legendary pianist celebrates 90th birthday with live performances in the Greater Washington area.

Concert pianist Leon Fleisher marked his 90th birthday by performing a series of live concerts with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. I attended his Jan. 5 performance at the Strathmore Music Center in North Bethesda, Maryland, and in between the notes, played with grace and elegance, you could hear his message of finding hope and optimism in the face of adversity.

Fighting Ignorance With Knowledge, Prejudice With Empathy

Written by Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) recognized seven individuals at the 24th Annual ADL In Concert Against Hate, held Nov. 8 at the at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The recipients of the Kay Family Award are individuals who work to bring communities together in response to bigotry, injustice and extremism – using their experiences as catalysts to build a better world.