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$24,000 Granted to JCC of Greater New Haven

A $24,000 grant to the JCC (Jewish Community Center) of Greater New Haven awarded by CT Humanities will enable residents across the region to engage with issues related to history, politics, current events, race/racism, ethnicity, family structure, and parenting through artistic and cultural mediums.

The politically minded will appreciate the first event in the series – a live podcast with Tablet Magazine called “Unorthodox,” exploring the “science” associated with elections and campaigning, the power of prediction, and the ethical implications of information distribution tactics. Virtual and physical audiences are welcomed to the JCC on Monday, September 19 at 7 p.m.

Comedy enthusiasts and Broadway fans, will enjoy “Fried Chicken and Latkes,” performed by Rain Pryor. The one-woman show, accompanied by a live band, tackles race, religion, and spirituality in the 1960s and 1970s as it rolls out the life story of the actress, a Jewish and African American woman, and daughter of the famous comedian, Richard Pryor. Q & A with Ms. Pryor will to follow the show on Saturday, December 3.

“A Jewish Joke” performed by Phil Johnson will cater to everyone ages 13+, families, and history buffs. This captivating performance displays the story of Bernie Lutz, a Hollywood screenwriter navigating the Communist blacklist in the 1950s. Facilitated discussions will follow both the evening and the matinee on March 4-5, 2017 at the JCC.

On March 30, educators and parents at large will have the opportunity to meet Lewis Bernstein, former executive, producer, and researcher at Sesame Workshop who guided Sesame Street and Shalom Sesame for several decades. In his talk, Bernstein will discuss ways in which children from diverse and global cultures learn, the delivery methods of communication that helped Sesame Street engage children most effectively, and the ways that parents and teachers can positively impact children’s views of the world. Audience members will have a chance to engage in conversation with Bernstein after his talk.

The last event in the lineup is an inspiring coming-of-age documentary about five Israeli soldiers – four men and one woman – through their transition from civilian life to the military and back again. The film, “Beneath the Helmet,” illustrates the ways in which young men and women are defending not only their homes but also the values of peace, equality, opportunity, democracy, religious tolerance, and women’s rights. One of the soldiers, Aviv Regev, will travel from Israel to give a talk-back after the screening on April 30, 2017. This event will be part of the 2017 Beckerman Jewish Film Series, and will engage the Jewish Federation’s Young Emissaries program in observance of Yom Haaztmaut, Israel’s Independence Day.

“As a community center serving 30 towns, the JCC is uniquely positioned to improve community engagement and cultural outreach on a large scale. Our programs reach more than 20,000 people and 300,000+ online users annually,” says Shelley Gans, Director of the JCC of Greater New Haven. “By heightening the visibility, participation, engagement, and reputation of cultural enrichment programming at the JCC, we are presenting members of the Greater New Haven community with the opportunity to become connected to each other through meaningful shared experiences.”

“This lineup adds a unique component to the Greater New Haven community’s cultural learning opportunities by examining global themes such politics, racism, history, media culture and more with a Jewish lens. The programs are captivating, engaging, and educational, leveraging a wide range of mediums such as live theater, film, public speaking, and podcasting – that also communicate the emotional and human aspects of the subjects at hand, increasing the accessibility of these topics to the community,” says Dr. Mara Balk, Program Director at the JCC of Greater New Haven.

Details about the JCC’s 2016-2017 Arts and Culture season will be available soon. To learn more please visit www.jccnh.org/cultural-arts.

Connecticut Humanities, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, supports cultural and historic organizations that tell the state’s stories, build community and enrich lives. Note: Funding for these grants is provided by money allocated to Connecticut Humanities (CTh) in the 2015-2016 state budget. This funding has been eliminated by line-item veto for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, resulting in the suspension of the Connecticut Humanities Fund granting program effective July 1, 2016. As a result, this will be the final round of CTh grants funded for the foreseeable future.

The JCC of Greater New Haven is a nonprofit community center that promotes total wellness at every stage of life through programs that stimulate mind, body, and spirit. More than 20,000 people representing 83 zip-codes engage with the JCC every year. Proudly Jewish, the JCC enthusiastically welcomes people of all backgrounds and perspective.

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