Check out the documentary “Doing Jewish: A Story From Ghana” on Nov. 12

Join Bookclub-in-a-Box founder Marilyn Herbert as she attends a film and speaker special for a documentary called Doing Jewish: A Story From Ghana, presented by Kulanu Canada & Na’amat Canada Toronto.

Who would expect to find Jews in Ghana? Certainly not filmmaker Gabrielle Zilkha. But when she volunteered to work in Africa, and found herself alone as the Jewish New Year approached, she made a surprising connection with the Jewish Africans she met there. In remote Sefwi Wiawso, Zilkha encounters a group of practising, dedicated and devout Jews.

Meet Toronto filmmaker Gabrielle Zilka, purchase beautiful Ghanian challah covers, and support an isolated Jewish community by viewing this amazing, award-winning documentary.

Date: Sunday, November 12, 2017
Location: Borochov Cultural Centre, 272 Codsell Ave., Toronto
Time: doors open at 7:15 p.m., film starts at 7:30 p.m., Q&A with filmmaker to follow
Admission: $12.00 (at the door)

For more information, contact Marilyn Herbert at merbert@rogers.com.

If you have used or unused tallitot to donate to the Jews of Ghana, please bring to the event; donations are not tax receiptable but will be very welcome. Kulanu Canada will send them to Ghana.

If you would like to support the community and purchase a handmade, unique challah cover, see the selection. Prices are $36 per cover or two for $60 CDN. Kulanu Canada is a registered Canadian charity and donations are tax receiptable.

Recommendation: Check out Toronto art show The Course of an Empire

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The Course of an Empire, by Danielle Cole

Opening reception: Sept. 14, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Show runs Sept. 14 – Sept. 24
Unlovable Gallery (1415 Dundas St. W., Toronto)

Exhibition statement:

When we have no more oil for cars, we will drag them behind horses so we can keep on riding in them. Our love for cars is so all-encompassing that we cherish even the bad ones: the ones with wooden panels, the ones too small to hold our baggage and the ones with seatbelts so feeble they are merely decorative. We name them because we want to cheer them on as they deliver us from place to place: Ruby, Sylvie, Lulu, Mabel, and Rusty. This series is the natural extension of our unrelenting love of automobiles — sexy and sturdy, they are the stuff of fantasy.

About the artist:

Danielle Cole creates playful and intriguing collages through an assembly of original vintage graphics. If her work seems familiar, it may be because it can be found on Collective Arts Brewing’s most recent beer label. Danielle has also won the 2015 Art Here award and has been featured in Kolaj Magazine Issue #16 and in Collage Collective Co.’s book ANNUAL 2016. Following the success of her 2016 show, Clipped Wings, at Gravenfeather Gallery, several of her pieces have found homes in L.A. and San Francisco. Danielle has spent the last year traveling across the west coast of the U.S.A., as well as visiting Rome and Spain in search of materials and inspiration. Her most recent work, The Course of an Empire, has been four years in the making and benefited greatly from the colourful, lush old magazines found in her travels.

Book review: Life Among the Qallunaat, by Mini Aodla Freeman

cover-lifeReviewed by Marilyn Herbert

Today I’d like to highlight an Inuit author who has seen a lifetime of change in her own family and in Canada’s Inuit north. If you are not familiar with the Inuit word “qallunaat,” it literally translates as “those who pamper their eyebrows,” but figuratively refers to those who live in the south or in non-Inuit environments.

I have met and come to know many Qallunaat … and learned to be cautious with them. Some are nice and kind, but none want to see or understand my Native culture. Some don’t want to know, some don’t have time, some try but find it too deep to understand or accept. They all want to cover it up with their own ways. They always want me to be different, a novelty, and they refuse to see that I am a plain human being with feelings, aches, hatred, the desire to cheat, lie, love, adore, understanding, kindness, humanity, pain, joy, happiness, gratitude, and all the other things that every other being was capable of having, doing, thinking and acting. (p.219, 220)

Mini Aodla Freeman was born in 1936 in Canada’s north, in James Bay. Her memoir Life Among the Qallunaat, first published in 1978, is a glimpse into her life as an Inuk child within a hunting family. But it is bigger than that: It compares and contrasts her rural life with the urban life of Canada’s south.

Aodla Freeman and her family lived on the land, hunting and fishing and moving from winter lands to their summer lands. They were familiar with the Native Cree tribes and dealt with the Hudson’s Bay Company. She grew up in tents and was in for a major culture shock when she came to southern Ontario for the first time.

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Bookclub-in-a-Box’s 2017 summer must-read list

Summer is here, and there are still plenty of days left to spend reading a book at the cottage, on the beach, or even in your own backyard. Bookclub-in-a-Box’s Marilyn Herbert has put together a list of recommendations for your summer reading list.

cover1Exit West (Mohsin Hamid)

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. Exit West follows these characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.

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