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European Jews get arts grants

ROME, April 7 (JTA) — A London-based Polish-born author, the musical director of the klezmer super-group Brave Old World and a cantor in Belgrade are among the recipients of the second annual Jewish creativity grants awarded by the European Association for Jewish Culture. Ranging from more than $3,000 to almost $16,000, the grants were awarded to 26 artists and projects in 13 countries — Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, the United Kingdom and Yugoslavia. “We were very pleased with the breadth and quality of the projects submitted,” said Lena Stanley-Clamp, director of the London-based EAJC. “They are just the tip of the iceberg of much new creativity in the arts that has the Jewish experience as a springboard.” The EAJC is an independent grant-making body established in 2001 by London’s Institute for Jewish Policy Research and the Alliance Israelite Universelle in Paris. Its mission is to enhance Jewish life by fostering and supporting artistic creativity and achievement and encouraging access to Jewish culture in Europe. The grants were awarded last week for new projects addressing the Jewish experience in the performing arts, music composition, the visual arts and documentary film-making. The winners include London-based Eva Hoffman, a former New York Times writer; Brave Old World’s musical director Alan Bern; and Stefan Sablic, a Belgrade musician and theatrical director. Hoffman is the author of the books “Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language,” “Exit Into History: A Journey Through the New Eastern Europe” and “Shtetl: The History of a Small Town and an Extinguished World.” Her grant is for production of a play she wrote based on recent disclosures and debates surrounding the 1941 massacre of Jews by their neighbors in the Polish village of Jedwabne. Bern, an American musician and composer who lives in Berlin, received his award for his composition “New Music for Brave Old World.” It will be recorded on a CD and performed in concert by his band — one of the most influential groups in contemporary klezmer music — and the Neues Kammersorchester in Potsdam. Sablic, who also serves as cantor for the Belgrade Jewish community, received his grant to help Belgrade’s Center for Youth Creativity complete a CD recording, “Reviving Long Lost Traditions.” Other recipients of grants this year include: • Olek Mincer of Rome for a performance called “A Shed, the Demon from Tishevitz,” based on a short story by Isaac Bashevis Singer, to be staged in Rome. • Marek Czerniewicz of Orneta, Poland, for “Songs of the Ghetto,” new music for poems and songs written in the Vilnius and Krakow ghettos, to be performed in Warsaw, Cracow, Lublin, Wroclaw and Gdynia. • Charlie Citron of Amsterdam, “Trans-formations: History in the Present,” an exhibition of scrolls and photographs tracing the Spanish roots of the Dutch Jewish community. • Robert Turan, director of the Jewish Museum in Budapest, for a ballet, “Moses Beyond,” to be performed by the Ballet Company in Gyor, Hungary.A full list of grant recipients, their projects and biographical information can be found at the Web site www.jewishcultureineurope.org.

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