Unless noted otherwise, all events were free and open to the public.

Fall 2015

The Hebrew Mamita
Sept. 17, 6:30 p.m., USF

Growing up in the cultural diversity of New York City, artist Vanessa Hidary’s experiences as a Sephardic Jew with close friends from different ethnic and religious backgrounds inspired her to write a number of acclaimed poems and stories, and create powerful shows, including the nationally toured “Culture Bandit.” She has also had multiple appearances on Russell Simmons’ “Def Poetry Jam” on HBO, was featured in the award winning film “The Tribe,” and recently directed “Kaleidoscope,” an ebbing of monologues featuring Jews of racial and ethnic diversity.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and Program in Performing Arts and Social Justice.

Amnesia: A Play about Race and Immigration
Oct. 1, 6:30 p.m., USF

Layering theater, dance, spoken word, and an original score inspired by Hip Hop, Klezmer, and Mexican folk music, Amnesia tells the story of a young man who retraces his family’s migration from a small Jewish village in Eastern Europe through New York’s Lower East Side to Phoenix, Arizona, only to find that the identity-based violence his family fled cannot be so easily forgotten. Performed by poet, playwright, performer, and scholar, Ariel Luckey, this one-person show raises awareness about many of the injustices surrounding race and immigration, both historically and in today’s United States, and how they relate to each one of us.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Center for Latino Studies in the Americas (CELASA), and Program in Performing Arts and Social Justice.

Little White Lie
Oct. 15, 6:30 p.m., USF

The movie Little White Lie tells Lacey Schwartz’s story of growing up in a typical upper-middle-class Ashkenazi Jewish household in Woodstock, NY, with loving parents and a strong sense of her Jewish identity, despite the open questions from those around her about how a white girl could have such dark skin. But when her parents abruptly split, her gut starts to tell her something different, which sends her on a fascinating journey through her multi-dimensional past. Following the film’s screening, Lindsey Newman, Jew of Color and Program Manager at Be’chol Lashon (Jewish not-for-profit organization working toward societal ethnic, cultural, and racial inclusiveness) will lead us in a discussion about the film. (The video found below is a recording of the post-movie discussion.)

Co-sponsored by the Department of Theology and Religious Studies.

Saved by Language
Oct. 29, 6:30 p.m., USF

Can a language save your life? Yes it can, even an ancient one that emerged in the 15th century. Saved by Language tells the story of Moris Albahari, a Sephardic Jew from Sarajevo (born 1930), who spoke Ladino/Judeo-Spanish, his “mother tongue,” to survive the Jewish Genocide of WWII. Following our simultaneous showing of the film with English subtitles (Maraschi Room) and Ladino subtitles (Xavier Room), we will be joined by co-filmmaker/co-director Susanna Zaraysky for a special Q&A about the film. (The video found below is a recording of the post-movie Q&A.)

Co-sponsored by the Departments of Theology and Religious Studies, History, Modern and Classical Languages, Center for Latino Studies in the Americas (CELASA), and Program in Spanish Studies.

Spring 2016

The Courage to Do What is Right: From the Hell of Rwanda to the Plight of Syrian Refugees
March 7, 7 p.m., USF

During the 1994 Rwandan genocide, as the world turned its back on East Africa, Lt. Gen Dallaire chose to stand up. His actions as the leader of a small United Nations peacekeeping force saved 30,000 lives. Since then, he has become one of the greatest humanitarians of our time, tackling issues including the use of child soldiers, sex trafficking, and support for military veterans. In a world facing what sometimes seems like insurmountable challenges, Lt. Gen. Dallaire embodies the idea that the human capacity for creating a better world may be limitless. In recognition of Lt. Gen. Dallaire’s outstanding service, he will be offered an honorary degree as part of the evening’s events.

Social Justice in Israel and Palestine
April 10, 7 p.m., JCCSF

For the sixth annual Social Justice Lecture we will be joined by Dr. Chen Alon – actor, facilitator, theater director, and teacher – who has been at the forefront of restorative justice programs in Israel and Palestine for over a decade. A lecturer in the Department of Theater Arts at Tel Aviv University and a co-founder of Combatants for Peace – a movement of Jewish Israelis and Palestinians promoting nonviolence between these two communities – Alon served for four years in the Israeli military and eleven years in the reserves before refusing to serve in the occupied Palestinian Territories, which resulted in prison time. Alon is committed to moving fractured communities toward positive transformation. JCCSF admission fees are $15/members, $17/non-members, and FREE for USF students and faculty.

Co-sponsored by the Program in Performing Arts and Social Justice.

Conflict Transformation through Movement
April 11-13, 6:30 p.m., USF

Serving as Scholar-in-Residence for the JSSJ program and Performing Arts and Social Justice (PASJ) program, Dr. Chen Alon will lead a select group of USF students through a three-day evening workshop focusing on body movement, conflict transformation, and restorative justice. This program is by invitation only.

Co-sponsored by the Program in Performing Arts and Social Justice.

Combatants for Peace
April 14, 6:30 p.m., USF

Founded in 2005, Combatants for Peace is made up of former Palestinian militants and Jewish Israeli soldiers leading a nonviolent, bi-national movement against the occupation and violence in support of an independent Palestine alongside Israel existing in peace, security, and with good neighborly relations. For this event we will be joined by two co-founders of the organization and movement, Palestinian Suleiman al-Hatib and Israeli Chen Alon, who will share their vision of ways to break the cycle of violence between Palestinians and Israelis.

Co-sponsored by the Program in Performing Arts and Social Justice.

Social Passover Seder: Toward Environmental Justice
April 26, 6:30 p.m.

The seventh annual JSSJ Social Justice Passover Seder will be led by long-time activist and acclaimed writer and poet, USF professor Andrew Ramer. He will focus the Seder on the imperative to take better care of our physical world. Light refreshments will be served as part of the Seder.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Environmental Studies and Program in Urban Agriculture.