By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Concerts in Brooklyn:
Evenings Showcase Church’s Music Ministry
The First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn Heights will be presenting two special evenings of music in support of its highly acclaimed music program. The First Unitarian Quartet, Marielle Murphy, Melissa Paul, K’idar Miller and Andrew Cook-Feltz, will offer two programs of music ranging from Baroque to Modern. Works to be featured will include Vaughan Williams’ cycle, “Songs of Travel”; Samuel Barber’s “Four Songs Opus 13”; plus works from Bach and Handel to William Grant Still, Gershwin, and vocal jazz. Music Director William Peek will accompany on organ and harpsichord, and Alden Gatt will accompany on piano.
Rev. Ana Levy-Lyons, First Unitarian’s senior minister, says, “We are very proud of our congregation’s music program. It is so exciting to be able to feature our soloists and our historic organ in two evening concerts that are available to our friends and neighbors throughout Brooklyn.”
These concerts are presented n First Unitarian’s historic neo-gothic sanctuary on Pierrepont Street (corner of Monroe Place) on Friday March 7 and Friday, March 28 at 8 p.m.
The suggested donation: $25 for single concert; $40 for both concerts, and for students/senior citizens: $15, $25 for both concerts. Patron-level donations include reserved seating and champagne: $75 for single concert, $100 for both concerts.
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‘Israel Talking at the Movies’ Festival Now in Its 7th Year
Israeli cinema has been receiving international acclaim, for cinematography and for tackling challenging and thought-provoking themes. For several years, at least two Brooklyn synagogues have presented Israel film festivals. Every January for the past 10 years the Kane Street Synagogue has presented its Brooklyn Israel Film Festival, and the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue is preparing to host its 7th Annual Israel Talking at the Movies Film Festival for three weeks starting on March 9.
Isaac Zablocki, executive director of the Other Israel Film Festival, will be this year’s facilitator in the festival. Filmgoers will have the chance to grapple with the issues that the movies bring to the service as part of a discussion that will follow each viewing. One of the questions being asked: “How are the Jewish challenges of identity, diversity and responsibility reflected in Israeli films today?”
The films and their viewing dates (on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings) are: “Do You Believe in Love? – directed by Dani Wasserman (50 min.) on Sunday, March 9 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; “The Women Pioneers” – directed by Michal Aviad (50 min.), Thursday, March 13 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; “Dove’s Cry”– directed by Ganit Ilouz (52 min.), Sunday, March 23 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; and “Mom, Dad, I’m a Muslim” – directed by Anat Tel Mendelvich (58 min.); Thursday, April 3 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Zablocki is the director of film programs at the Jewish Community Center in New York, where he is also the director and a founder of the Israel Film Center. He is the executive director of the Other Israel Film Festival, and the executive director and a founder of ReelAbilities: New York Disabilities Film Festival. Isaac grew up in Israel and served in the Israel Defense Forces as an educational filmmaker. He recently completed his first feature film “Reality Lost.”
The Other Israel Film Festival, now in its 7th year, was founded in 2007. The Festival uses film to foster social awareness and cultural understanding. Their goal is to promote awareness and appreciation of the diversity of the state of Israel. It provides a dynamic and inclusive forum for exploration of, and dialogue about populations in margins of Israeli society, and encourages cinematic expression and creativity dealing with these themes.
Admission for members of the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue is $5 for individual films and $20 for the series; for non-members the cost is $10 for individual films and $30 for the series. RSVP to [email protected] or via phone: 718-522-2070, ext. 21.
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Israel Talking at the Movies: This Year’s Themes
Pioneering women, conversion, outreach and of course love, are the themes of this year’s Annual Israel Talking at the Movies festival at the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue.
- “Do You Believe in Love?” – directed by Dani Wasserman (50 min.) (March 9)
Even though Tova does not believe in love, she has had a remarkable success as a matchmaker. And so, people flock to her apartment where her husband, housekeeper and daughter weigh in as she divines matches. Tova, who is paralyzed because of muscular dystrophy, specializes in finding matches for people with disabilities. Her tough-love approach leads to a unique matchmaking style but her passion for the work and for her clients is undeniable. Funny, heartwarming and endlessly entertaining, this documentary follows Tova over the course of a year and introduces the viewer to her family, inviting us to join in on her pain, humor, love and an enormous lust for life.
- “The Women Pioneers” – directed by Michal Aviad (50 min.) (March 13)
At the turn of the 20th century, individuals from across Europe brought their pioneering spirit and revolutionary ideals to Palestine, with a dream to create a new and more equal society. Among these pioneers were the fierce women who strove to reinvent a new woman in a new world. This film unfolds the course of their passionate battles and painful disappointments, dedicating their lives to their personal liberation and national struggle.
- Dove’s Cry– directed by Ganit Ilouz (52 min.) March 23)
Hadeel, a lively 27-year-old Arab teacher from Israel’s Wadi Ara region teaches spoken Arabic to a sixth-grade class at a Jewish elementary school as part of “a cross-cultural outreach program.” The camera follows Hadeel over a year, during which she faces casual prejudice at work and mounting pressure to marry at home. Hadeel remains convinced she can make a difference and moments of curiosity and dialogue with her students and co-workers offer reason for optimism.
- “Mom, Dad, I’m a Muslim” – directed by Anat Tel Mendelvich (58 min.) (April 3)
Like any devout Muslim, Maor goes to the mosque, studies the Qu’ran, and prays towards Mecca five times a day. But something sets Maor apart - she was born May Davidovich, to a Jewish family in a small Israeli town called Karmiel, and converted to Islam when she was 18. ‘Mom, Dad, I’m a Muslim’ picks up four years later, when Maor begins seeking an observant Muslim husband. This informal domestic portrait illustrates Maor’s plight, torn between two worlds, longing to find a place in the Arab community while dealing with the shunning she faces from her own.
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American Guild of Organists Chapter Presents ‘Three Perspectives on Hymnody’
The singing of hymns, in any style, is a beloved tradition. A program of the American Guild of Organists-Brooklyn chapter will offer “Three Perspectives on Hymnody” in March.
The Rev. Angela Askew, a past honoree and chaplain for several years of the Brooklyn chapter, hymn poet Jacque Jones and internationally-acclaimed organist and composer David Hurd will lead this presentation. Their perspectives are titled, “People Who Sing Are Praying”,
“The Congregation’s Song” and “Hymn-Based Organ Music of David Hurd.”
Plymouth Church hosts this program on Sunday, March 8 from 1-4 p.m. Admission is free for members of Brooklyn A.G.O. members, $5 for students and seniors, and $10 for non-members. Plymouth Church is at 75 Hicks St. in Brooklyn Heights.
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‘Pot Luck Catholicism’ Series Tackles Tough Issues With Focus on Talk, Healing
The popular “Pot Luck Catholicism” series is returning to Sacred Hearts-St. Stephen’s Roman Catholic Church in Carroll Gardens
The series offers lively discussions on contemporary Catholic issues. An announcement on the Parish’s website beckons a welcome: “If something’s getting in the way between you and Jesus, find your support here. Let’s talk!” Topics, being tackled on selected Thursdays, include: “The Challenges of Family Life” (Feb. 27); “Divorced and Separated Catholics” (March 13); “Catholic, Gay and Conflicted” (March 27); and “Stressed Out: My 24/7 Life” (April 10). All gatherings meet at 7 p.m. in the Parish House. For more directions and information, contact the church via email: [email protected]
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As the Christian penitential season of Lent approaches, churches are offering a variety of spiritual enrichments programs.
St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedral in Prospect Heights offers “Lenten Prayer Reflections, Breaking Bread over Warm Winter Soup,” starting before the onset of Lent. The first gathering is this Sunday, Feb. 23. Lent in the Latin-Rite (Roman/Western) Catholic tradition begins on Ash Wednesday, this year on March 5.
Deacon Manuel Quintana will lead this six-part series, starting with a soup lunch at 1:15 this Sunday, Feb. 23. Thereafter it will take place every Thursday starting March 13 until April 10. All Thursday meetings will begin at 7 p.m. The themes will be: So Enormously Blessed; Lord, Teach Us to Pray; Unanswered Prayer (Mother Teresa's Guidance); Praying Holy Scripture; The Gift of Contemplative Prayer; and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
The series will meet in the Red Room of the St. Joseph’s Rectory, at 856 Pacific St, between Vanderbilt and Underhill avenues.
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Mayor de Blasio Appoints Catholic Charities Director As New Department for the Aging Commissioner
Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Mayor de Blasio appointed Donna Corrado, executive director at Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services Inc. (CCNS), as the new commissioner for the New York City Department for the Aging. CCNS is an affiliate of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens.
“During her 22 years of dedicated service and leadership to Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, Donna has displayed a deep compassion for those we serve and a creativity in responding to human needs,” remarked Robert Siebel, chief executive officer of Catholic Charities and affiliated agencies. “Through her time here, Donna has demonstrated that she is a champion for the older adult. We know she will make a strong contribution as a vibrant member of Mayor de Blasio’s team.”
Dr. Corrado remarked, “My formative years at Catholic Charities grounded me and strengthened my commitment to issues of social justice. I share Mayor de Blasio's vision and values and I am honored to join the administration to serve and represent over 1.4 million older adults living throughout all five boroughs of New York City.”
Through her career with Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, the human services arm of the Diocese of Brooklyn, Dr. Corrado provided leadership across the 160-plus programs, which serve vulnerable populations across the continuum of care in the agency’s five service areas. Dr. Corrado began her career in 1992 as a Program Director for Catholic Charities older adult programs. Later, serving as the director of the Office of Government Relations and Public Policy, she developed a broader understanding of policy issues and expanded her knowledge and expertise of CCNS' diverse service areas and funding entities. From there, she was promoted to Chief Operating Officer, where she played an integral role in expanding the agency service portfolio, developed new and innovative programming, diversified funding entities, staffed and developed the board of directors, co-led agency-wide strategic planning efforts, which led to a major agency reorganization, and heightened expectations for creating an organization of excellence.
Dr. Corrado also actively serves on several local and national committees and professional associations. In 2010, she received the Reverend Robert V. Lott Humanitarian Award, presented by the Council of Senior Centers and Services of New York City Inc. In 2005 she was elected a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine.
She holds a doctorate and masters of philosophy degrees in social policy and administration from the Graduate Center of City University of New York, a master of social work degree from Stony Brook University and a bachelor degree from St. Joseph's College.
Thaddeus Taberski, who held the position of Executive Director of CCNS at Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens for 14 years before Dr. Corrado succeeded him in November, has agreed to return in a full-time capacity to his former role in the interim period. Taberski was working as a part-time special assistant for agency integration for the past few months.