Festival of Rights LA

Just returned from PJA/REBOOT/JDUB’s Festival of Rights at the El Ray on Wilshire. A talkative and mixed crowd or highbrows and lowbrows and piercedbrows. Highlight of the night was the marvelous performance by GOLEM, part of the JDUB Family. PJA created a very high-profile candle lighting, with Mayor Antonio the most popular man in LA. There were TV Cameras filming his every move, he used the words mitzvah AND tikkun olam. Gd he’s good. There was R’ Sharon Brous of IKAR, labor leaders, politicians, and a Muslim, some Jews, it was very progressive, at times even inspiring, as they turned the bulbs on the electric menorah.

Reboot’s Julie Hermalin read a fantastic retelling of the Chanukah story, Eric “Smooth E” Schwartz laid down some fine grooves and performed his latest song about Chanukah Gelt. Beverly and Ronna hilarious! Oy I can’t remember everyone. Heaping Hanukah…


ng with Aaron Bisman, sporting a very fine new kelly green JDub shirt, he told me they about their Nationwide JDub Chanukah tour: 12/ 14 San Francisco, 2/ 17 Great Barrington, MA, 12/ 20 Chicago, 12/21 Boston, 12/ 23 Brooklyn, NY

Golem remind me of the cabaret acts in Krakow I watched as a graduate student, but hyped up on lots of red-bull. Great show.

Bumped into Ruthie Andrew Ellenson, one of Jewlicious 2.0’s stars, Craig Taubman, Jon Fischel. The Jewish world is getting smaller each day.

Artwork the victim of Auschwitz Syndrome

gypsyDina Gottliebova Babbitt, who was sent to Auschwitz with her family and fiancé from Czechoslovakia, saved her life in Auschwitz painting for Megele and SS guards. The portraits she made of doomed gypsies were acquired by the Auschwitz Bikenau Museum and Memorial in the 190’s and 70’s and they want to keep them. The LATIMES today has a long and moving story about this elderly Jewish woman, who now lives in Northern California, has been trying for several decades to get them back. Her case has support from congress, community leaders, and even hundreds of cartoonists.

In September, about 450 cartoonists and artists from around the world petitioned the museum to make reproductions and give the originals to Babbitt. Signers include Art Spiegelman, creator of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Maus” graphic novels about his family’s Holocaust experience.

You see after she emigrated to America, she worked for Hanna Barbara as a cartoonist!
The artwork of a slave laborer belongs in Auschwitz says the museum, where else can the horror of the place be better illustrated. Babbitt and others say, why not hang copies of the originals in the museum and send the originals to the painter.

Nothing can bring back the gypsies who were sent to the gas chambers, but returning the paintings will help heal the wounds and soul of this survivor. Hello, Your Honorable Polish Ambassador Reiter, do you get it?

Just in case you feel like voicing you opinion, here is the contact page from the Polish Embassy.



moshavI want to get closer to you, sings YEHUDAH SOLOMON on the latest MOSHAV release, Misplaced Master. After spinning the disk in our offices for the last week, we all want to get closer: to God, the album, and this wonderfully enchanting and luring melody. Always a fan of this band of master musicians, Moshav have created yet another album that delights the senses.

Each song has a distinct personality and flavor, some playful (Jockey full of Bourbon) and others serious (Cold Cry). There are some wonderful references to great song makers Elton John (Dream Again) and Peter Gabriel (When I’m gone).

There are trances and spirit, some popular tunage, and some clever production. Especially as the song Closer opens up to Yehudah’s Sephardic Chazzanut, which morphs into Subliminalistic hip-hop, only to end up in a wholly new place. Thanks guys for another musical odyssey that will keep me interested for many moons.

Thanksgiving Coffee’s Mirembe Kawomera

The first in a series of posts about Jews and coffee

Those who know me know I love coffee. One of my students from UCLA, Jonathan P. brought me a delicious bag of Ugandan coffee from the Mirembe Kawomera Cooperative and the Thanksgiving Coffee Company. TCC have high moral and ethical ambitions and Jewish roots. Not the kind of Jews that make the international scandal sheets for rigging contracts and bringing down powerful politicians that were on their payroll. But another kind of Jew, the tikkun-olam yid that is out there trying to run an ethical and ecologically sensitive company:

Founded in 1972 by Joan and Paul Katzeff, Thanksgiving Coffee has long been a pioneer in transforming the coffee business. Our philosophy blends business and politics; our goal is to be a force for change in support of social and economic justice, and environmental sustainability.

The light roast coffee deserves it’s name “delicious peace.” According to the website: Mirembe Kawomera (mir´em bay cow o mare´a) means “delicious peace” in the Ugandan language Luganda. It is the name of a Ugandan cooperative of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian coffee farmers.

Happy Thanksgiving!