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The Mystery of San Nicandro, a film by executive producer Vanessa Dylyn, is based on a book by Professor John Davis about a group of Italian Roman Catholics in a small village. The group underwent a mass conversion to Judaism in fascist Italy, and over a period of 20 years of observing Jewish practices, they left Italy and emigrated to the new state of Israel in 1949.
In the making of the film, the producer discovered a bigger story — that of the powerful revival of Judaism in Southern Italy. About 10 years ago, Rabbi Barbara Aiello, Italy’s first female rabbi, opened the first synagogue in Serrastreta, Italy in 500 years. She serves the new communities of Jewish presence in Calabria and Sicily, and more recently Pugalia and Sardinia, all areas with an ancient Jewish population before the Spanish Inquisition forced Jews to flee.
The spirit that called the converts of San Nicandro back to Judaism has also been stirring in North America, where many people of Italian origin are discovering links to a Jewish past.
Date: Sunday, April 2, 2017
Time: 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:15 p.m.)
Location: Lodzer Centre, 12 Heaton St. (Bathurst & Sheppard), Toronto
Admission: $10.00 per adult, $5.00 for students
In partnership with the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company, Bookclub-in-a-Box is offering tickets to the March 30 (7 p.m.) and April 2 (8 p.m.) performances of the Canadian premiere of an off-Broadway hit, David Ives’ New Jerusalem. The tense courtroom drama, directed by Mitchell Cushman, reenacts the life of Baruch de Spinoza, a 17th-century Jewish-Dutch philosopher. Regular ticket prices are $57.63, but you only pay $48 (tax included) when you buy through Bookclub-in-a-Box!
With thoughts of spring in the air, travel is on everyone’s wish list, but if, like me, you are homebound because of work and family, then virtual travel may be a viable alternative. Let your mind transport you to New York with me for this ongoing discussion series—the first event features Woody Allen’s iconic film Manhattan, and the next three sessions will feature three different New York–based books. To register in advance (preferred but not mandatory), call 416-633-5100.
Location for all events: National Council House, 4700 Bathurst St., Toronto
Hosted by Marilyn Herbert
Thursday, April 11, 1 p.m.
Free public screening of Woody Allen’s Manhattan
The books and panelists for CBC’s Canada Reads 2013—which will air its live debates February 11 to 14—were finally revealed on Thursday on CBC Radio’s Q, and also at a live event at the CBC Headquarters in Toronto, hosted by Jian Ghomeshi. For its 12th year, Canada Reads has added the new twist that each book, and the panelist championing that book, will represent a different region of Canada. Below are this year’s finalists, and the Canadian celebrities chosen to defend each title. Which one will you get behind?