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  • Arts & Culture at Huge Jewish Dance Festival in Brazil, Life’s Nothing but a Hora

    Mayim, mayim, mayim, mayim. Brazil is not usually considered to be one of the worldwide centers of cultural Jewish life. But the country recently hosted what is believed to be the largest Jewish dance festival outside Israel. The 22nd annual Carmel Festival gathered 83 dance groups, comprising some 2,500 dancers, from Brazil, the United States… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Some 20,000 people attended a Jewish dance festival in Brazil. The Carmel Festival, held over the weekend in Sao Paulo, is billed as the largest such event to be held outside Israel. More ▸

  • E-mail Lists ‘good Addiction’ for Brazil’s Jewish Community

    Brazil’s 120,000 Jews increasingly are using the Internet to learn more about their heritage. The listas de discussao — Portuguese for “discussion lists” — have become an alternative “non-shul” way for Brazilian Jews of all ages to debate the meaning of their Jewishness, discuss Jewish religion and culture and get news about Israel and the… More ▸

  • Around the Jewish World: Despite Shrinking Numbers, Moldova’s Jews Enjoy Revival

    As a new century dawns, the Jews of Moldova — unlike their impoverished compatriots — actually have something to celebrate. After four decades of communism during which there was barely a pulse of Jewish life, Jews in this ex-Soviet republic are enjoying a remarkable renaissance. It’s about more than schools and meals-on-wheels. There are Jewish… More ▸

  • Focus on Issues: Religious, Secular Israelis Taking Stock in Culture War

    Dana International’s triumphant visit to the Knesset was something of a surprise in the world of Israeli politics. To many secular Israelis, the appearance earlier this month of Israel’s raven- haired transsexual singing star before the legislature’s Education and Culture Committee was a victory in what Israeli newspapers recently dubbed an ongoing “cultural war.” The… More ▸

  • Israeli Winner of Music Contest Stirs Religious-secular Tensions

    An Israeli transsexual has charmed the judges in an international song competition — but she has failed to do the same with leaders of Israel’s fervently Orthodox community. Dana International defeated singers from 24 other countries in the annual Eurovision song contest, held this year in Birmingham, England. Dana, who sang a tune titled “Diva,”… More ▸

  • News Analysis: Dance Troupe Controversy Spurs Fears of Cultural War

    Israel’s jubilee celebrations were held under the official slogan, “Together in Pride, Together in Hope,” but Israelis emerged from the festivities even less together than usual. All over the country, people are speaking of a “kulturkampf,” a cultural war – – and even a civil war — in the wake of a controversy that erupted… More ▸

  • Israel at 50: American Support for Israel Seen in Jubilee Celebrations

    Americans have enthusiastically embraced Israel as the Jewish state celebrated its 50th year as an independent nation. From cultural events featuring some of Israel’s performing artists — to public celebrations in cities across the country, to extensive media coverage – – Israel this year has received the kind of attention that few countries get when… More ▸

  • High Holiday Feature (9): Embracing the Arts As a Path Toward Spiritual Fulfillment

    Worshipers at High Holiday services might find something new this year: the arts. Poetry, storytelling, musical performances and dance will play a significant role in ushering in the Jewish new year. Indeed, a growing number of religious leaders across the country are finding that artistic expression heightens the religious experience. “It’s an emerging phenomenon,” says… More ▸

  • New Russian Jewish Groups Will Get Government Funding

    Russian Jewish groups are taking advantage of a new law to obtain government funding for communal activities. As a result of legislation passed by the Russian Parliament in May, minority groups across the country have won the right to form bodies known as local autonomies. The two Jewish autonomies formed here last week will deal… More ▸