Leah Finkelstein wants Orthodox Jews of colour to feel welcome—so she's offering to take them to shul
Rivkush
by The CJN Podcast Network
2w ago
As an Orthodox Jewish woman of colour, Leah Finkelstein knows what it's like to feel like an outsider. Unfortunately, her kids know, too—like when one of them scored a record-breaking triple double for his yeshiva's basketball team, resulting in the school proudly celebrating the box score on an image on social media... with a photo of a different, white teammate. (She complained; they ended up taking it down—not even reposting it with her son's own face.) Incidents like these, and those endured by her fellow Jews of colour, inspired her to create a new organization in 2023, Am Echad Inclusive ..read more
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Chaya Lev, a Black Jew in Israel, desribes life in Israel after Oct. 7—and why Palestinians aren't people of colour
Rivkush
by The CJN Podcast Network
3M ago
When Chaya Lev converted to Judaism, she was determined to move to Israel. Later on, after surviving breast cancer, she decided to transform her dream into reality, making aliyah in 2016 and starting an Afro-inspired dance movement in the Middle East. But after Hamas launched a lethal terror attack on Oct. 7, it changed her life. With rockets being fired and Israeli sirens blaring, she and her synagogue congregants grabbed their building's Torah scrolls and started running through the streets on Simchat Torah to safety—a scene she says she will never forget. Now, weeks into a war with Hamas, a ..read more
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How Sara Braun moved from Holland to NYC and became 'That Black Hasidic Lady'
Rivkush
by The CJN Podcast Network
4M ago
Sara Braun grew up as a Black Jewish woman in a small town in the Netherlands, which was, she says, exactly what most North Americans imagine: windmills stretching up from fields of tulips and delicious smells wafting from rustic kitchens. But that's where the picturesque scenes end. While her Blackness was more or less accepted—treated as exotic, though not demeaned—her Judaism was not. She downplayed her religious identity all through her school years... until she turned 18 and moved to New York City with just $400 in her pocket. From there, she found herself embracing the Hasidic lifestyle ..read more
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Does Canada really need another organization to 'combat anti-Jewish hatred'? Daniel Koren thinks so
Rivkush
by The CJN Podcast Network
5M ago
With the third largest Jewish Diaspora in the world, Canada has no shortage of communal organizations: B'nai Brith, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, plenty of Federations, cross-country campus Hillels—the list goes on. All of them, in some way, claim they are combatting antisemitism. So do we really need another one? Daniel Koren thinks so. After working at The CJN, B'nai Brith Canada and Hasbara Canada over the past decade, this May he founded Allied Voices for Israel, a campus organization that promotes Zionism by bringing together Jewish and non ..read more
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How Nissim Black went from gangster rapper to Christian convert to making aliyah
Rivkush
by The CJN Podcast Network
6M ago
One of Israel's most exciting rappers is Nissim Black, the Seattle-born Hasidic musician whose conversion story is as fascinating—and heartfelt—as his art. Born in Seattle to parents who themselves helped pioneer rap music, Black was always asking big questions and seeking genuine answers, but never found a meaningful connection until he found Judaism. Now living in Israel with his wife and seven children, Black is on a mission to blend rap with his religion, and has emerged as one of the most successful in the scene. He's the subject of an upcoming HBO comedy series about his life, the face b ..read more
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For globetrotting filmmaker Charly Wai Feldman, Judaism is a borderless identity
Rivkush
by The CJN Podcast Network
7M ago
Charly Wai Feldman is a woman of the world. Born in Montreal to a Jewish father and mother from Hong Kong, she lived in Jamaica and Vietnam before settling in the United Kingdom with her husband, himself of Indian descent (but grew up in Germany and Singapore). But while her nationality is an evolution, a central underpinning has always been her Jewish faith. As she puts it in this episode of Rivkush, "The whole principle of learning how to exist as a diaspora and being able to exist as a diaspora really hit home for me, at a time when I was looking for that sense of belonging." Today, Wai Fel ..read more
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These rural Ugandan villagers dedicated themselves to Judaism—but Israel won't recognize them
Rivkush
by The CJN Podcast Network
9M ago
When Tamás Wormser, a documentary filmmaker from Montreal, first heard about a small community of Jewish Ugandans who live in a rural village, he knew he had to visit. He was struck by the poverty: no running water, no electricity, no cutlery. And of course, without television for entertainment, they turn to each other. They sing and dance. Wormser was taken aback: this community, which he'd considered "poor" by Western standards, was in fact much richer than any other he'd witnessed in Europe or North America, with tighter social cohesion and a true dedication to the Jewish faith. Thus began ..read more
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Live from Holy Blossom: How Jennifer Podemski blends Jewish and Indigenous generational trauma in her new TV show, Little Bird
Rivkush
by The CJN Podcast Network
9M ago
During the infamous Sixties Scoop, the Canadian government forcibly relocated tens of thousands of Indigenous children, separating them from their families and placing them in foster homes or adoptive households. Little Bird, a new show by Crave and APTN, which premiered May 26, follows one young woman who was taken from her reserve in Saskatchewan at age five and raised in a Jewish home in Montreal, having her name changed from Bezhig Little Bird to Esther Rosenblum. In her 20s, Bezhig returns to the Prairies to find the family she lost and discover the secrets of her past. When the idea for ..read more
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'We want to belong to a common narrative': Devyani Saltzman on making systemic changes happen
Rivkush
by The CJN Podcast Network
1y ago
Devyani Saltzman was born into the arts and culture world, the daughter of two filmmakers—one Jewish, one Indian. Raised on production sets, she went on to write dozens of articles for newspapers and magazines, become the founding curator at Toronto's Luminato festival and work at numerous arts institutions, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, where she was the director of public programming from 2018 to 2021. Her current goal is to change the behind-the-scenes makeup of the arts world. Despite how diverse the industry seems from audiences' perspectives, she says, boards are still largely wh ..read more
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In her art, Tamara Podemski channels the survival of her ancestors—both Jewish and Indigenous
Rivkush
by The CJN Podcast Network
1y ago
As the descendent of Holocaust and residential school survivors, Tamara Podemski understands generational trauma better than most. She grew up hearing those stories and internalizing those struggles, and now carries these themes in her work as an actress and singer—along with her personal experiences living in ethnic societies that didn't always accept her, including Jewish spaces. Podemski joins Rivkush, our podcast featuring Jews of colour sitting down for in-depth conversations, to discuss her rocky upbringing in Jewish Toronto, her connection to traditional First Nations territories and he ..read more
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