Jews sch­mooze in city fes­ti­val

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community - BY JOSEPH CO­HEN BELFAST

THE COM­MU­NITY in North­ern Ire­land is to make its mark on the cul­tural cal­en­dar with a se­ries of events to raise aware­ness of Ju­daism.

Belfast’s Lord Mayor Coun­cil­lor Naomi Long and the Min­is­ter for Cul­ture, Arts and Leisure, Nel­son McCaus­land were among 70 guests who at­tended Belfast He­brew Con­gre­ga­tion for Tues­day’s launch of “Jews Sch­mooze”.

Mr McCaus­land said: “I am de­lighted to show my sup­port for Jews Sch­mooze and the in­valu­able work that the Belfast Jewish com­mu­nity and oth­ers un­der­take to build aware­ness and un­der­stand­ing of Jewish cul­ture in the wider com­mu­nity.”

Jews Sch­mooze co-or­di­na­tor Katy Rad­ford said: “ Since the 1800s, the Jewish com­mu­nity in the north has fed into cul­tural and ed­u­ca­tional vi­brancy here, es­tab­lish­ing schools and the­atres and spon­sor­ing arts events. Jews Sch­mooze is an op­por­tu­nity for the com­mu­nity to con­tinue that work and its com­mit­ment to part­ner­ing with other com­mu­ni­ties, to pro­mote cul­tural di­ver­sity and de­ter racism and an­tisemitism.”

Forth­com­ing events in­clude a mu­si­cal evening fea­tur­ing Los Dester­ra­dos, who will play a con­cert of Sephardic mu­sic as part of the Belfast Fes­ti­val at Queen’s Uni­ver­sity. Belfast Syn­a­gogue will host a “Jewish Way of Life” ex­hi­bi­tion, as well as per­for­mances of a new play, This is what we sang, by Dubliner Gavin Ko­stick. The drama was de­vel­oped from oral his­tory gath­ered from ex­ist­ing and for­mer mem­bers of Belfast’s Jewish com­mu­nity.

There will also be a screen­ing of the film Circumcise Me, about the life of Amer­i­can stand-up Is­rael Camp­bell Hochstein, who con­verted from Catholi­cism to Or­tho­dox Ju­daism. Fol­low­ing the film, co­me­dian Dave Sch­nei­der will en­gage in a dis­cus­sion about cul­tural iden­tity with doc­u­men­tary maker and jour­nal­ist Matthew Kal­man.

Those at­tend­ing the launch in­cluded rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Board of Deputies. The ini­tia­tive was funded by The Racial Equal­ity Unit at the Of­fice of First Min­is­ter and Deputy First Min­is­ter, Belfast City Coun­cil and the Board of Deputies.

Lord Mayor Coun­cil­lor Naomi Long, BHC chair­man Michael Black and Katy Rad­ford at the launch of Jews Sch­mooze

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