FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2021
Adam Peck; [email protected]; 202-531-6408
JCC Association Partners with Latin Grammy Award winner for JFest December Events
MISTER G (Ben Gundersheimer), JArts, and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts to Celebrate Hanukkah with Virtual Arts Festival
170 local JCCs and communities can access unified, high-quality programming and content from JCC Association
New York, NY – Following a successful launch with multiple events in October, JFest: An Arts Festival for the JCC Movement, continues with two new exciting Hannukah-themed events. The first, Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights, on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, at 6 p.m. ET, will feature eight female international Jewish artists – including singer Tair Haim of A-Wa, Italian chef Silvia Nacamulli, and dancer Rachel Linsky – who will share their unique creations inspired by hanukkiot in the Shusterman Judaica Collection at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.
The second event, a Hanukkah Concert with Mister G and Friends, on Monday, December 6, at 5:30 p.m. ET, will feature Latin Grammy Award-winning musician Mister G and his Jewish music-makers and global collaborators in a lively, family-friendly holiday celebration.
Offering high quality cultural and educational content for all ages, JFest is a partnership between JCC Association of North America and the Schwartz Reisman JCC | Prosserman JCC, Toronto, ON, which hosts the JFest events on its Virtual J platform, specifically designed with JCC audiences in mind. This year, JFest’s dynamic programs and partnerships with artist-educators from around the world are exploring three core themes of storytelling: How to Tell Your Story, How Others Tell Our Story, and How History Tells Our Story. All programs are free of cost, made possible through funds granted by The Covenant Foundation with additional support from The Pertzik Fund for Arts and Culture at JCC Association.
“Our annual JArts/MFA Hanukkah program has become one of the most anticipated events of the Jewish Boston year, bringing communities together across generations and beliefs,” said Laura Mandel, executive director, Jewish Arts Collaborative, Boston. “And now, with our ability to reach audiences far beyond the walls of the museum, joining together with JCC Association this year has been the ultimate elevation of the program. Together, we’re proud to share a taste of some of the best global Jewish talent and a bit of one of the finest Judaica collections in the U.S. This is the beginning of what feels like an important partnership for the future of Jewish life and engagement as we all seek ways to inspire our audiences through culture.”
The final event for the 2021 season, a Hanukkah concert with Mister G and Friends, will include exciting guests: Senegalese talking drum master Massamba Diop (famous for his work on the Black Panther soundtrack, Baaba Maal, Mumford and Sons); Chilean jazz vocalist Claudia Acuña; Israeli-born clarinetist Oran Etkin; 93-year-old Rabbi Everett Gendler, an environmental activist long associated with Martin Luther King, Jr, and the Dalai Lama; and guitarist Adam Gardner from the bands Guster and The LeeVees, as well as a co-founder of Reverb.org. Mister G will bring to the stage these musical guests: Rabbi Riqi Kosovske, The Reform Synagogue of Greater Northampton, Florence, MA; Cantor Elise Barber, Temple Beth El, Springfield, MA; Katherine Jamieson (“Misses G”); and The Dreidels, a children’s choir from the local Jewish community.
With these two new events, JCC Association will continue to bring JFest to its network of more than 170 local JCCs and their respective communities. JFest content is curated by JCC Association, developed in partnership with strategic, creative partners and JCCs, and delivered digitally using the Virtual J platform.
“JFest anchors itself in the power and importance of storytelling as a cherished Jewish tradition and a way we connect the past, present, and future. As a result of the pandemic and JCCs’ timeless responsibility to strengthen and engage Jewish community, JCCs today are more aligned than ever—developing virtual programs together, pooling resources, and sharing content to engage far larger audiences,” said Randy Ellen Lutterman, vice president for development and arts & culture at JCC Association. “JFest offers JCCs innovative ways to connect and engage with members, regardless of individuals’ locations. We are seeing our movement grow from crisis to creativity—making way for a movement-wide arts initiative like JFest.”
Last month’s JFest events included a virtual cooking show, “SUSTAIN: A Root to Stem Jewish Cooking Experience” featuring renowned Israeli chef and restaurateur Michael Solomonov, and “Sparking the Jewish Story: Objects That Define Us” in partnership with Jewish Book Council and Reboot.
In a moment when many organizations exist in silos and fierce competition, Reboot’s partnership with JCC Association of North America has been mutually symbiotic and an amazing example, creating something more than the sum of its parts,” stated Josh Kantor, Director of Partnerships & Marketing, Reboot. “In amplifying and engaging with projects such as JFest’s “What Would You Bring?” initiative, JCC Association is leveraging their network (of JCCs) to reach new audiences and expand the cultural experience of Jews around the country.”
About JCC Association of North America
JCC Association of North America leads and connects the JCC Movement, advancing and enriching North American Jewish life. With 1.5 million people walking through the doors of more than 170 Jewish Community Centers and Jewish Community Camps (JCCs) each week, the JCC Movement is the largest platform for Jewish engagement on the continent. JCC Association, the convening organization of this dynamic network, partners with JCCs to bring together the collective power and knowledge of the entire JCC Movement, including 12,000 full-time and 41,000 part-time and seasonal professionals. By supporting them, together we enhance and strengthen Jewish life throughout North America. Learn more at JCCA.org or on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.