An Eclectic Mix of Intriguing Projects: A Round-up of Recent Initiatives Supported by Targum Shlishi
March 16, 2014 – From sponsoring an initiative that brings a soundtrack of Jewish spiritual music to yoga studios to a documentary on Eichmann’s interrogators, Targum Shlishi recently has supported a range of innovative and significant projects. Here we provide a selection of projects that received modest grants from the foundation. Before listing the initiatives, we’d like to take a moment to extend best wishes to all for a very happy Purim!
Limmud Miami takes place on the afternoon of Sunday, March 23, at Florida International University’s Kovens Conference Center, bringing scores of local, national, and international Jewish educators, performers, teachers, and artists to Miami for a dynamic learning experience that includes workshops, study sessions, discussions, panels, performances, exhibits, films, and more. Limmud, Hebrew for “learning,” is a worldwide movement that organizes Jewish learning festivals across the globe. The Miami conference includes more than sixty events, from a presentation by anthropology professor Ruth Behar titled “Jewish and Cuban, Ashkenazi and Sephardic: How to Cherish all our Identities” to a performance by singer/songwriter Ari Lesser, who raps from the perspective of different biblical personalities. For more information, visit Limmud Miami’s website.
Miami Jewish Film Festival, Bureau 06, Documentary Film
A team of eleven police investigators spent ten months interrogating Adolf Eichmann in preparation for his 1961 trial. During those months the investigators, known as Bureau 06, lived together in a detention facility along with Eichmann, closed off from the world and their families, as they prepared for the case brought by the Jewish people against Eichmann. The Israeli documentary film Bureau 06 tells their story. The film’s North American premiere took place recently, at the Miami Jewish Film Festival (January 23–February 3, 2014), with the screening supported by Targum Shlishi. This is the tenth year that Targum Shlishi has helped fund the Miami Jewish Film Festival by supporting the screening of a film related to the Holocaust and specifying that it be shown on Saturday night, one of the festival’s busiest times. Bureau 06 was viewed by a full theater of people, who learned of the investigators’ experiences, including their personal stories and the emotional turmoil they experienced as they prepared for the trial that presented the Shoah to the world in a way that had not been told before. Visit the website of one of the film’s distributors for further information.
Translating Faith After the Holocaust into Serbo-Croatian
Eliezer Berkovits (1908–1992), a Jewish philosopher and theologian, is known for his philosophy of Judaism that focuses on man’s role in history, and his view that the task of Jewish philosophy is to “make Judaism a significant philosophy of life in the intellectual climate of our age … [and] equip it with the truth of God in relationship to the vital issues of present-day human existence.” A prolific writer who published nineteen books and hundreds of articles, Berkovits’s Faith After the Holocaust (1973) takes on the problem of evil in the wake of the Holocaust. Targum Shlishi recently supported the translation of Faith After the Holocaust into Serbo-Croatian so that the Jewish community there, under the guidance of Belgrade’s dynamic theologian, Rabbi Isak Asiel, could gain familiarity with Berkovits’s defense of the covenant. Among Berkovits’s arguments in Faith After the Holocaust is the consideration of human responsibility when considering the Holocaust and the role that Christianity played in promoting anti-Semitism in Europe.
Jewish Sacred Music
Piyut North America launched the Piyut project in January 2013 to bring to New York, Boston, and San Francisco ten pilot programs geared to young adults by connecting the music of Piyut with activities that go beyond synagogue walls to appeal to that age group, such as music festivals, yoga, and meditation. Piyut is the global music of the Jewish people, first composed in Israel nearly two thousand years ago and now a living tradition, especially for those from Spain, North Africa, Iran, and Iraq. The melodies, which began as sacred poetry, a way to set holy texts to music, are now seen as a new method of relating to prayer and a powerful way to bring people together. Piyut North America takes its cue from the way in which Piyut has swept Israel in the past decade, becoming a national music with annual music festivals, recordings by Israeli rock stars, and even new crossover music. To learn more, and to listen to soundtracks of the music, go to Piyut North America’s website.
Just Workplaces for Kosher Restaurants
Who works to ensure that kosher restaurants are just workplaces, with the workers receiving fair pay and overtime pay, adequate breaks during their shifts, and safe and sanitary work environments? Targum Shlishi is supporting Tav HaYosher, a grassroots effort by New York’s Uri L’Tzedek, an Orthodox social justice organization dedicated to combating suffering and oppression. Tav HaYosher works to end discrimination, wage theft, and abuse in the restaurant industry. The project is affiliated with more than eighty restaurants. Targum Shlishi is supporting Uri L’Tzedek’s effort to expand the program to additional establishments during 2014. In speaking of the project, Steven Kraus, executive director of Uri L’Tzedek, comments on the significance of just workplaces in kosher kitchens: “Rav Yosef Breuer, one of the leading figures of twentieth century Orthodoxy, famously stated, ‘Kosher is intimately related to Yosher. God’s Torah not only demands the observance of Kashruth and the sanctification of our physical enjoyment; it also insists on the sanctification of our social relationships. This requires the strict application of the tenets of justice and righteousness, which avoid even the slightest trace of dishonesty in our business dealings and personal life.” For more information about Uri L’Tzedek, visit its website.
About Targum Shlishi
Targum Shlishi is dedicated to providing a range of creative solutions to problems facing Jewry today. Premised on the conviction that dynamic change and adaptation have historically been crucial to a vibrant and relevant Judaism and to the survival of its people, Targum Shlishi’s initiatives are designed to stimulate the development of new ideas and innovative strategies that will enable Jewish life, its culture, and its traditions to continue to flourish. For more information on the foundation, visit its website at www.targumshlishi.org.