Jewish travel guide specialists will present the history, cultural background and status of important sites central to Jewish communities in China, India, Spain and the Netherlands.
Congregation Beth Ahm in West Bloomfield will host a Zoom series highlighting global Jewish communities on four Sundays in February from 7-8:15 p.m. Jewish travel guide specialists will present the history, cultural background and status of important sites central to Jewish communities in China, India, Spain and the Netherlands.
On Sunday, Feb. 6, Israeli Eliaz Reuben-Dandeker, a descendant of leaders of the Bene-Israel community in India, will outline his community’s ancient story as well as Jewish involvement in 20th- century politics and culture like Bollywood. The evening also features American artist Siona Benjamin, originally from Mumbai, who identifies as a Bene Israel Jew.
Jewish life in China, on Feb. 13, will explore three historic communities: Kaifeng, Harbin and Shanghai. Argentinian Pablo Faivel Levinton is studying in China and runs the YouTube channel “A Mole Around the World,” dedicated to showcasing faraway Jewish communities. Also, Hebrew Union College’s archivist Jordan Finkin will speak about a recovered Kaifeng Haggadah and other ancient manuscripts in the college’s collection.
On Feb. 20, visit the Spanish island of Majorca, known for its beach resorts. However, for centuries, few discussed one of its biggest secrets: The Chuetas or Crypto-Jews, in response to the Inquisition, publicly professed Catholicism while privately practicing Judaism. Speaker Dani Rot-stein moved to Majorca in 2014 and became fascinated with their legacy. Participants will also learn about Ladino music and the songs transmitted from mothers to daughters through music by Israeli musician/singer Noam Vazanaon.
The series will end with a presentation on Jewish Netherlands on Feb. 27. When people think of Amsterdam, they think about Ann Frank, but there is so much more. Nachshon Rodrigues Pereira is a community leader, cantor of the Bendigamos community and works for the Jewish Seminary of Amsterdam. Participants are urged to read House on Endless Waters, a novel by Israeli Emuna Elon. A brief book discussion will conclude the program.
Registration for this series is free and open to the community at www.cbahm.org/event/jewishcommunitiesaroundtheworld. This series is underwritten by Congregation Beth Ahm’s Sisterhood.