Home February 2011 Society Roundup

Society Roundup

By Any Other Name…

The Orange County Performing Arts Center has been renamed the Segerstrom Center for the Arts to pay tribute to the family’s continued contributions, which have helped to solidify the venue as one of the top institutions of its kind in the U.S. The announcement was made on Wednesday during a public ceremony honoring the center’s upcoming 25th anniversary.  Some 1,500 guests and community and center officials attended the ceremony.

Not To Be Forgotten

Santa Ana -Tustin chapter of Hadassah will present Gabriela Bohm, award winning documentary filmmaker, who will offer a showing of her extraordinary film, The Longing: The Forgotten Jews of South America.  Set in Ecuador, the film tells the story of a small group of South Americans who long to affirm their faith.  Their ancestors were European Jews who were forced to convert during the Spanish Inquisition. Isolated in Catholic countries, rejected by local Jewish communitties, they battle to become Jews regardless of the consequences.  This is a story of universal faith and conversion against all odds. It affirms the triumph of the human spirit.

Bohm will be available to answer questions and speak about her experiences in creating this documentary.

The event will be held at Temple Beth Sholom, 2625 North Tustin Avenue, Santa Ana on Tuesday February 22, 2011, at 11 a.m.  A catered lunch is included.  The cost is $13 for members and $15 for guests.  Reservations are required. Checks should be mailed to Shirley Cohen, 1040 Lamark Drive, Anaheim, CA 92802 by February 18.

Two Chosen by Hasbara

An influential group of 110 student leaders from more than 60 universities across the United States and Canada participated in the Hasbara Fellowships activism-training program in Israel from December 26 to January 10.  They were Kimberly Duenas, a Laguna Niguel resident and student at The University of Judaism, and Lauren Krasner, a Tustin resident and University of California, Santa Cruz student..

Hasbara Fellowship, created in 2001 as a partnership with the Foreign Ministry of Israel and Aish International, is an intensive two-week program with the goal of educating, training, and motivating students to become pro-Israel activists on their campuses to combat the wide ranging anti-Israel propaganda prevalent on campuses.  Since its inception in 2001, nearly 2,000 students have participated in the Hasbara Fellowships Israel Activism Training Program.

More Ma’a lot Program

The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s Israel Commission and Nefesh B’Nefesh, which works in close cooperation with the Jewish Agency, announced the continuation of their joint Ma’alot program for a third year.  Following the success of the program in deepening the connection between Conservative communities and Israel and enhancing Aliyah awareness, the program, called Ma’alot – Taking Steps Toward Raising Israel Awareness, will run for a third year in 2011-2012, according to organizers.

The initiative worked with 10 pilot synagogue programs from three regions in its first year.  Following the success of these programs, the project received a boost in 2010-2011 when 76 applications were submitted from synagogues across North America; 26 of them were chosen.

The program empowers Conservative movement leaders to increase the profile of Israel within their congregations, as well as to make congregants more aware of the possibility of making Aliyah. As in previous years, communities are invited to submit proposals for a grant to help develop programs that incorporate Israel and Zionist education and present aliyah as a realistic option for Conservative Jews.

For 2011-2012, submissions may take the form of either new programs or added elements to existing programs that ran in previous years. To apply, go to www.nbn.org.il/maalot. The deadline for applications is February 25, 2011.

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