February 17, 2021 - 5 Adar 5781
The Book of V. – Zoom author talk with novelist Anna Solomon 
Presented by the JCA
Thursday, February 18th | 7:00 PM EST  

The Purim story of Esther is often told as the triumph of a Jewish minority over one man’s blinding hatred, through the courage and selflessness of one woman. Anna Solomon’s The Book of V. challenges this simple narrative — asking, what is Vashti’s  story? And how do we choose to represent women’s lives, both in the past and today? 

The Book of V. explores the idea of people living on the margins — geographically, socially, and economically, and offers new interpretations of the story of Esther.

Advanced registration required by Weds. 2/17
Free. Suggested donations of $10/household gratefully accepted. 
The Zoom link will be emailed to registered participants on Weds. afternoon 2/17. The book will be available to order from our friends at Longfellow Books. Limited signed copies available.
* The JCA is a member of the Jewish Book Council network. 
Sunday, February 21st | 3 PM 
Free via Zoom 
Join us to share some Purim fun with a story and songs. Show off your costume, dance along to the music and shake your grogger (noise maker)! For families with children 0-8 years old. 

Register by noon on Friday 2/19 to receive the Zoom link.
SONGS OF VICTORY & TRIUMPH: A Multi-Genre Musical Celebration of Purim
Presented by the National JCC Adult & Senior Alliance
Thursday, February 25th | 2:00 PM

Celebrate Esther and Mordecai’s triumph by joining James Sokol to journey through a diverse array of music – Broadway, pop and opera exploring the theme of victory and triumph along the way. Audio and video clips bring the joy of music into our discussion!    
PURIM, TOGETHER - A statewide Zoom celebration
Organized by the Center for Small Town Jewish Life 
Thursday, Feb. 25th | 6:30 PM 

We could all use a little celebration these days! Get your costumes ready, grab a refreshing drink, and join the Maine Jewish community for a festive Purim. 

The celebration will include: 
  • A spiel presented by Temple Beth El, Augusta 
  • A costume parade and contest (Send us a picture of your costume, details below!) 
  • A special challenge for our local clergy 
  • A traditional reading of the megillah, so get out your groggers and make some noise! 

Half of all donations for this program will go to support Maine’s Good Shepherd Food Bank, feeding the hungry in our state. It’s an easy opportunity to fulfill the Purim mitzvah of providing gifts for the needy. 
For children 3-8 years old

Whatever your favorite Purim traditions are and however your celebration may look this year, we hope that this activity kit will enrich your holiday. We wish you and your family a joyful Purim!

Free while supplies last, one kit per family – although some extra materials may be available. This kit is best for children ages 3-8 years old. (Note: some art materials in the kit are very small and may be choking hazards for very young children).

Sign up for contactless curbside pickup at the JCA at 1342 Congress St., Portland
Free films & discussion in honor of Black History Month
Presented by the Maine Jewish Film Festival (MJFF) and the JCA 
February 19-21 | FREE

Film streaming online – Feb. 19-21  
Tamar Manasseh, an African American rabbinical student, leads the fight against gun violence in her Southside Chicago neighborhood. A fascinating look at the complex identity and motivations of an extraordinary person who is Jewish and Black, and how these two identities offer her a road map for citizen activism. 
Zoom discussion with Tamar Manasseh and film producer Brad Rothschild   
Sunday, Feb. 21 | 7 PM  
When Tamar Manasseh decided to set up a presence on her Chicago block, she did so as a mother and neighbor, who wanted the gun violence to stop. Six years later, the organization she founded, MASK (Mothers and Men Against Senseless Killings) is credited with plummeting violence in that neighborhood. Join Tamar and the film's producer and director on Sunday, Feb 21st for an energetic and fascinating discussion. 
Film streaming online – Feb. 19-21  
The story of the son of an immigrant peddler, Julius Rosenwald, who rose to head Sears, and partnered with Booker T. Washington and African American communities to build 5,400 Southern schools in African American communities in the early 1900s during the Jim Crow era. Directed by Aviva Kempner, this was one of the most popular films shown at MJFF 2016. Renewed public attention to Rosenwald's work makes this film as timely today as when it was first shown. 
You must reserve your ticket to receive film and discussion links.
Italian-American “Mac & Cheese” & Noodle Kugel
Sunday, February 21st | 4:00 – 5:30 PM 
Noodles with cheese are a classic comfort food that can take many forms. In this cook along, we’ll make variations from the last century’s Jewish and Italian immigrant communities of Maine. Nana Q’s “Mac & Cheese” and classic Luchen Kugel from 100 Selected Recipes, plus a slightly embellished version of kugel that Margaret's family makes at home.  

Free! Register by noon on Friday, Feb. 19. Registered participants will receive the Zoom link, recipes and ingredient list on Friday afternoon 2/19
The Passover Haggadah: A Biography
A Zoom talk with author Rabbi Vanessa Ochs 
Thursday, March 4th | 7:00 PM EST 

“And you shall tell your son on that day….” This simple command in Exodus has led to more than five thousand versions of the Passover story. Ochs recounts its life beginning with various mentions in the Bible and ending with the profusion of Haggadot today; these variations reflect the geographical spread of Jewish communities, the diversity of practice, and historic events. For anyone interested in the emergence and complex evolution of the Haggadah, this biography offers a trove of information in engaging and inviting language. 

Free. Suggested donations of $10/household gratefully accepted. Advanced registration required by Weds. 3/3

The book is available to order from the publisher at this link:
For Yoga classes, Torah study group, Israeli folk dancing sessions, and more,
Coordinated by the Osher Marin JCC in partnership with JCCs around the country
For program details and ticketing information, click the ‘Register’ link below each listing.

Please select “ME - JCA of Southern Maine - Portland” when asked through which program partner you learned about this event. A portion of the proceeds benefit the JCA.
Sunday, February 21st | 2:00-3:15 PM EST 

Let JCC trip leader James Sokol whisk you away to The Netherlands to explore – with a terrific, professional local guide – facets of their beloved cheese. Begin off the beaten path at the quaint farm/shop where our guide buys her cheese. Learn about her traditional Dutch breakfast. Follow our guide to for a highlights tour of the town of Gouda and other points of cheesy interest. Finally, head to Amsterdam for a stop at the Rijksmuseum to see how cheese shows up in Dutch art. 
Presented in partnership with the JCC Literary Consortium and the Atlanta JCC 
A portion of the proceeds benefits the JCA
BILL GATES - How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need 
Interviewed by Kristen Welker, Co-Anchor, “Weekend Today” and NBC News Chief White House Correspondent 
Weds. February 24th | 8 PM ET 

In this urgent, authoritative book, Bill Gates sets out a wide-ranging, practical--and accessible--plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe. 

Tickets: $36 for a virtual ticket and hardcover copy of the book (shipping included)
JTA Conversations: SMALL TOWN JEWISH LIFE IN AMERICA - With Rabbi Rachel Isaacs
Wednesday, February 17th | 1 PM 

Join Rabbi Rachel Isaacs, Executive Director of the CSTJL, and Lane Kadish ’20, an alum of our student Jewish Leadership Fellowship program, as they participate on a panel about small town Jewish life in America, moderated by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 
A Zoom course with Temple Beth El led by Dr. Sarah Emanuel of Loyola Marymount University 
Sundays, February 21, 28; March 7, 14 | 10 AM  

What is biblical prophecy? What does it have to do with conceptions of the end of the world? Through this four-week course, we will investigate the historical, cultural, and theological contexts of ancient prophecies and apocalypses. We will then put into dialogue these ancient ideologies with contemporary ideations, including those surrounding our current political climate. No prior knowledge is required. Register by 2/18. 
Featuring Sophie Bjork-James 
Presented by University of Pennsylvania’s Katz Center 
Thursday, Feb. 18th | 1:30 PM 

Explore the relationship between religion and white supremacy in the United States. 
THE POWER OF DANCE - Featuring Israeli and American Jewish Artists and Companies
Presented by the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC Houston 

We are excited to bring you a virtual glimpse into the life and creations of four of the top Israeli and American Jewish artistic directors and their companies. Explore the artistic director’s vision, process and how they continued to create during the pandemic. View pieces from their repertory followed by a Q & A. 
Thursday, February 18th | 8:00 PM EST - Peridance Contemporary Dance Company 
Thursday, March 11th | 8:00 PM EST - Ephrat Asherie Dance 
Sunday, March 21st | 8:00 PM EST - Koresh Dance Company 
Thursday, March 25th | 8:00 PM EST - Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company 
A portion of the proceeds benefits the JCA. Please note “JCA of Southern Maine” in the Comments section when you register. 
WE RISE: BUILDING AN ANTI-RACIST JEWISH COMMUNITY - Featuring Yavilah McCoy and Black, Indigenous and People of Color Leaders 
Presented by Kehilla Community Synagogue 
Sunday, Feb. 21st | 7 PM EST 

What does consciously anti-racist Jewish community look like? How can the process of building such a community deepen our awareness of structural racism and activate our capacities for collective liberation? Relevant to all who are engaged in uprooting racism, creating spiritual community, or passionate about Jewish culture, we invite you to join us as we launch our deepest work yet on the path to racial justice.
Jake Cohen Upends His Grandmother’s Kitchen 
A virtual event from the Temple Emanuel Streicker Center 
Tuesday, February 23rd | 7:00 PM EST 
Let’s admit it: The old favorites are heavy, under-spiced and more than a little outdated. Enter Jake Cohen, who has reconsidered, tweaked and reworked them for modern palates. 
The result, Jew-ish: A Cookbook: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch, brims with Jake’s signature enthusiasm and joy. He will not only share his new recipes with us but the tips and tricks he gleaned during his personal culinary journey to modern mensch-ness. 
MAYIM BIALIK: Women Inspiring Women
A free virtual event from the Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center 
Thursday, Feb. 25th | 11:30 AM EST 
We all have our role models, heroines and influencers who help us keep setting our bars higher and higher, who inspire us to take risks, who serve as our bulwarks against social pressure. But who plays that role in the lives of America’s most successful Jewish women? 
1342 Congress St. Portland, ME 04102 | 207-772-1959