¡Celébrate!, a cultural festival initiated by ADL’s New Mexico office, is a series of events held across the nation to remember the extraordinary journey of the Jewish people after their expulsion from Spain in 1492 and to celebrate the ties between the Jewish people and the Spanish-speaking world.
This year the program was held in May in three ADL regions: Orange County, San Diego, and New York. Each region celebrated the Jewish experience in Spanish-speaking countries with a series of film, music, and lecture events.
Hispanic-Sephardic Jews in the U.S.
Congregation Shearith Israel: The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue
Rabbi Marc D. Angel gave a tour of New York City’s oldest congregation, Congregation Shearith-Israel: The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, followed by a lecture on the history of Hispanic Sephardic Jews in the U.S. Born in Seattle’s Sephardic community, Rabbi Angel has written extensively about the Sephardic and Orthodox Jewish communities.
The Journeys, Hopes, Stories and Dreams of Cuban Jews
El Taller Latino Americano
Professor Ruth Behar, Professor of Anthropology and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, spoke about a historically significant community, Cuban Jews. Born in Cuba, Professor Behar’s research has focused on Latin America, with a specialization on Cuban Jews.
Gilberto Bosques Saldívar: ‘The Mexican Schindler’
Helen Mills Theater
A screening of the documentary, “Visa al Paraíso,” about Gilberto Bosques Saldívar, a diplomat known as “The Mexican Schindler” for housing and protecting European Jews and other refugees during the Holocaust in Marseilles, France, was held at the Helen Mills Theater in Manhattan. Bosques Salvídar was posthumously honored with the ADL Courage to Care Award in 2008 for his heroism. Remarks by Mexican Consul General Carlos M. Sada about the importance of recognizing ties between Mexico and the Jewish community preceded the screening.
New York Program (PDF)
Jews in Mexican Film
Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach
Documentary filmmaker Isaac Artenstein spoke about contributions by Jewish filmmakers in Mexico, including films such as Norah’s Will, Novia Que Te Vea, and his own, Tijuana Jews.
Mexico: Refuge for the Jews
University of California-Irvine
Mexican radio host, journalist and researcher Enrique Chmelnik spoke about Mexico’s open door policy for Jews fleeing from the Ottoman Empire and Nazi persecutions in Europe. Chmelnik hosts “El Aleph de Radio Red: La Voz Judía en la Radio,” the only Jewish radio program in Mexico and is the Director of the Center for Documentation and Research of the Ashkenazi Jewish Community in Mexico. Francisco Anza, Deputy Consul of Mexico in Orange County, introduced Chmelnik.
Orange County Program (PDF)
In the News:
San Diego Union-Tribune, May 19, 2012 (English version)
Film Seminar: Jews in Mexican Cinema
Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center
Documentary filmmaker Isaac Artenstein spoke about contributions by Jewish filmmakers in Mexico, including in films such as Norah’s Will, Novia Que Te Vea, and his documentary, Tijuana Jews. The Mexican Consulate of Orange County introduced Artenstein.
In the News:
San Diego Jewish World
Jaime Valle: Jazz Latino with Jewish Inspirations
Award-winning jazz guitarist-composer-producer Jaime Valle and his Latin Jazz ensemble, Equinox, played to a sold-out venue. Valle composed the original “Klez-Mex” music that mixed conga drums with Eastern European melodies.
Lecture: The Struggle for Tolerance in Mexico
Ohr Shalom Synagogue
Mexican radio host, journalist and researcher Enrique Chmelnik spoke about issues of discrimination and tolerance in Mexico in the past and now. A reception following the lecture featured traditional Jewish food.
San Diego Program (PDF)
“¡Celébrate! was one of the most enlightening programs we have had in New Mexico. It produced an immense amount of dialogue, and above all a deep understanding of a history we should all be aware of”
-- Edward Romero, Former U.S. Ambassador to Spain