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About Town: Week of Jan. 12


Thursday, Jan.12



The quintet Magillah Ensemble, featuring singer Michelle Heisler and accordionist Henri Oppenheim, gives a performance titled  “Klezmer: From the Old World to the New,” at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ Bourgie concert hall, 6 p.m. Tickets, 285-2000.


Friday, Jan. 13



McGill University Jewish studies professor Gershon Hundert speaks on how Chassidism began, at the Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors, 10 a.m. Joyce, 342-1234, ext. 7318.


Saturday, Jan. 14



The Montreal-based Sinha Danse, which merges classical Indian dance with contemporary dance, as well as martial arts and technology, performs at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, 8 p.m., along with Ensemble Constantinople. It’s part of the Choreographer-in-Residence series, which showcases works in progress free of charge and includes a discussion between creators and audiences. Reservations, 739-7944.


Sunday, Jan. 15



The documentary Blanc et Noir: Crimes de Couleur about albinos in Tanzania who are victims of prejudice and sometimes murder will be shown at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, 4 p.m., by the Fondation Sénégal Santé Mobile, led by Shara Rosen. It’s in French with English subtitles. The foundation aims to provide home-based prenatal and post-natal care in rural Senegal. Its goal this year is to equip a birth centre in Gorom. Tickets,


Tuesday, Jan. 17



A free lecture on l’Opéra de Montréal’s next production, Verdi’s Il Trovatore, will be given at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m., by musicologist Pierre Vachon. Reservations, 739-7944.


Wednesday, Jan. 18



Two documentaries about Montreal characters – The Posthumous Pickle Party about Simcha’s Grocery on The Main and Man of Grease about Tony Koulakis who owned the greasy spoon Cosmos – will be screened at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts by the Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors, 7 p.m. Tickets, 342-1234, ext. 7201.



McGill University professor Paul Yachnin speaks on “Shakespeare, Violence and Women” at a meeting of the FAB group of Act to End Violence Against Women (formerly Jewish Women International), 1:30 p.m. at Loblaws party room, 6600 St. Jacques St. W. Reservations, 487-2330.



A busy day for the Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors: a four-part series on nutrition and food labelling runs 1:30-3 p.m. Registration, 342-1234, ext. 7305.

The West Island Prime Time division offers weekly co-ed bowling  at Laurentian Lanes, 7:30-9:30 p.m. 624-5005, ext. 230.

The Chomedey division  visits the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre museum. Bus leaves from 1025 Elizabeth Blvd. at 11 a.m. Reservations, 450-978-7056.



The Chomedey chapter of Act to End Violence Against Women  holds a dinner meeting at Restaurant Jardino’s, 3455 St. Martin Blvd. at 7 p.m. Rosalee, 450-681-5335.


Thursday, Jan. 19



A series of four weekly beading classes led by Michelle Wiseman starts with necklaces, Congregation Shaar Hashomayim at 7 p.m., presented by the sisterhood. Reservations, 937-9471, ext. 139.



The travelling tour of the 49th Ann Arbor Film Festival, the oldest of its kind in North America, opens at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m. Emerging and established filmmakers, are featured. Tickets, 739-7944.


...Et Cetera...



Former Town of Mount Royal councillor Sidney Margles brings some new insight into the controversial decision this year by the current TMR council to remove a menorah and nativity scene from the holiday display outside the town hall.

Margles, calling from his winter home in Florida, said the menorah that was dispensed with first went up in 1988, one year after Margles and another Jewish councillor, Harry Schwartz, were first elected. He said it was their idea to add the symbol of Chanukah to the display, which had for years included the nativity scene, as well as the traditional tree and lights.

TMR’s population at the time was about 20 per cent Jewish , he said, and there was no controversy whatsoever over the addition. The menorah, which TMR has given to Congregation Beth-El, was constructed by town workers out of PVC pipes, which were painted gold and wired for lights.



Jim Torczyner, founder director of the McGill Middle East Peace Program (MMEP), says the Canadian government will cease funding the program in the coming year. The Canadian International Development Agency has  been a major funder of the 18-year-old program. Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian students are no longer studying at McGill for a year in a special graduate social work course. The MMEP is now concentrating on the development of its 11 rights-based community practice centres in the region, which have been staffed by alumni of the McGill program. Their mission is to equip disadvantaged people with the skills to improve education, employment, housing and health care. The MMEP has launched a new publication, Building a New Middle East from the Ground Up, which will provide updates on its work and plans. Fundraising efforts will continue in Canada and increasingly outside Canada as well.



The first major retrospective in Canada of German-American painter/cartoonist Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956) will be mounted at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts from Jan. 20-May 13. “From Manhattan to the Bauhaus” traces the life and work of native New Yorker Feininger, who spent much of his life in Germany. He had a brilliant career until the Nazis condemned his art as “degenerate” and he returned to the United States. The exhibition, which includes more than 150 works, will continue in the Hornstein Pavilion until May 13.



University of Michigan professor Henry Greenspan begins a four-month research project, funded by a Fulbright scholarship, at Concordia University this month on “Beyond Testimonies: Developing the Collaborative Model in Oral Histories with Genocide Survivors.”A Concordia-based project has been collecting the testimonies of Montrealers victimized by genocide and other major human rights violations.

Greenspan, a graduate of Brandeis and Harvard universities, will assess the project’s success in promoting collaboration. Greenspan is also a playwright whose Holocaust-themed Remnants has appeared on 200 stages globally.

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