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About Town: Week of Feb. 9


Thursday, Feb. 9



Israeli Ladino/flamenco singer Yasmin Levy gives her Montreal premiere concert at the Outremont Theatre at 8:30 p.m. Acclaimed in Europe as a rising world music star, Levy is the daughter of Yitzhak Levy, a cantor and musicologist who is dedicated to preserving the 500-year-old Sephardi song tradition. She’s bringing that heritage to new audiences by adapting it to flamenco, jazz and other contemporary styles. Her latest album includes a Ladino version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Tickets, 495-9944.


Friday, Feb. 10



A Tu b’Shvat seder, featuring four cups of wine, fruit and nuts, is held at Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom following 8:15 p.m. services. This informal Shabbat, led by Rabbi Julia Appel and cantorial soloist  Rachelle Shubert, celebrates the New Year of the Trees and their bounty. Reservations, Rosie Zizek,937-3575, ext. 213.


Sunday, Feb. 12



Teams from Congregations Beth Israel Beth Aaron and Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem take to the Bell Centre ice to vie for the first annual Kiddush Cup at 2 p.m. Coached by their respective rabbis, Reuben Poupko and Chaim Steinmetz, the teams are raising money for the two Côte St. Luc shuls, which are friendly rivals. There’s also an auction of hockey memorabilia and skating for the family afterward. Registration, 487-1323.



Rabbi Gedaliah Fleer leads a workshop on overcoming “self-sabotage,” at Congregation Tzohar, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. It’s designed for people who want to overcome negativism to reach their full potential. Reservations, yael.dworkin@gmail.com.



Sex therapist Laurie Betito speaks on relationships, at an event for singles over 45 at The Chevra, 7:30 p.m. Dessert reception follows. Reservations, Iona, 482-3366.



The Jewish National Fund’s 24th annual Tree-a-Thon phone campaign takes places 9 a.m.-5 p.m. This year’s focus is on saving the endangered acacia tree of Israel’s central Arava desert. 934-0313, ext. 221.


Monday, Feb. 13



The French-language play Le chien, la nuit et le couteau by the German Marius von Mayenburg opens at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts’ Le Studio and continues until Feb. 25. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic world where the law of jungle reigns supreme. The play is presented by Les productions quitte ou double as part of the Montreal High Lights Festival. Tickets, 739-7944.


Thursday, Feb.16



John Felvinci begins a four-part series on the Muslim Brotherhood at Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom’s seniors group from 1-3 p.m. The retired professor covers the group’s history from its 1928 founding its growing power in Egypt. Registration, Stefani Novick, 342-1234, ext. 7201.



“Yiddish Love Café,” a cabaret-style evening of song and poetry by local talent is presented by the Jewish Public Library, 8 p.m. Tickets, 345-2627, ext. 3006.



Singer/guitarist Hélène Engel performs Jewish songs from around the world with an innovative klezmer flavour at Balattou, 4372 St. Laurent Blvd., at 8:30 p.m. She is joined by accordionist Mélanie Bergeron and violinist Marie-Neige Lavigne.


...Et Cetera...



March 12 will be the 100th anniversary of poet Irving Layton’s birth, and his eldest son, Max, of Cheltenham, Ont., is planning  centenary celebrations across Canada. Layton, the first poet to receive the Governor General’s Award for literature, died six years ago. Anyone who would like to organize an event should contact  the younger Layton at max@maxlayton.com or visit the Irving Layton Centenary Hub on Facebook.



B. Glen Rotchin was a new novel out this month, Halbman Steals Home (Dundurn), the first since his debut The Rent Collector in 2005. The title character is described as “a crotchety, divorced 65-year-old garment manufacturer who laments losing the one true love of his life: the Montreal Expos.” To make matters worse, he is the prime suspect of an arson: his own luxury Hampstead house. His Orthodox daughter barely speaks to him, and his gay son is about to get married – by a rabbi… Joel Yanofsky’s memoir Bad Animals: A Father’s Accidental Education in Autism is shortlisted for British Columbia’s 2012 National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. The winner of the $40,000 prize is to be announced this month…

Oxford University Press has published The Responsibility to Protect: The Promise of Stopping Mass Atrocities in Our Times co-edited by MP Irwin Cotlerand Jared Genser, an American international human rights lawyer and founder of Freedom Now, which works to free political prisoners worldwide. The book examines the responsibility of states and the international community to protect civilians from atrocities if the country where they are occurring is unable or unwilling to do so.



Pioneering AIDS researcher Mark Wainberg, a former director of the Jewish General Hospital Lady Davis Institute, will be formally elected a fellow of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science for distinguished contributions to HIV drug development and accessibility at the organization’s Feb. 18 annual meeting in Vancouver. Wainberg is now director of the McGill AIDS Centre… Benita Goldin, community relations co-ordinator at the Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors, has been named to the board of directors of the CSSS Cavendish, a regional health and social services body.


The Holocaust-themed Polish movie In Darkness by the acclaimed Agnieszka Holland, nominated for a 2012 Academy Award for best foreign-language film, opens in Montreal Feb. 17. The film depicts the true story of a Polish Catholic sewer worker in Lvov who hides Jews fleeing the ghetto in the sewers for money. In time, his motives become more noble as his sense of responsibility toward the rescued grows…

The travelling exhibition on Anne Frank from Anne Frank House in Amsterdam is now at the Ecole secondaire Jean-Paul II in Baie Comeau until March 1. The exhibition began its two-year Quebec tour Nov. 11 at Collège Bourget in Rigaud. Anne Frank, un historie d’aujourdhui, which has a message of tolerance, has toured the world, but this is the first time it has been in North America. It consists of about 30 panels and a half-hour video on the Jewish teenager’s life and death.

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