February 2019 Get the Folk Out

They say nothing brings people together like the cold, right? Well, “they” clearly never dealt with a polar vortex.

Fortunately, February looks to be… um… seriously!? This can’t be right. It’s still winter out there, huh? Hoo boy.

Well, let’s just say, we need to find something to do before we go kokh m’shuge. Get the Folk Outta your house and join us!

Starting February Off Right

“Practical Hebrew with Tal Dror Shalicha”
Saturday, Feb 2 — 10 a.m. @ Temple of Aaron, St. Paul. FREE [no RSVP].

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t plug something two months in a row… but this is super-neat, and it’s each Saturday through the end of the month. Get ready to impress your friends on your future Birthright/Honeymoon Israel trip [or just bring a l’il tear to your Bubbe’s eye] and learn some conversational Hebrew. No Hebrew speaking or writing experience necessary — just come on out ready to learn! Ongoing through February 23rd.

“Ice Skating & Hot Cocoa”
Saturday, Feb 2 — 2:30 p.m. @ Moishe House/Lake of the Isles. FREE

The good people at Moishe House kick off February with the most quintessential Minnesota outing possible — and on the first day above freezing in over a week, no less! Find some friends over at the House, grab some skates [or rent them at the lake], and then pop back to Home Base for some tasty, hot beverages. You might even be home by sunset!

“Tastes from the Mideast, to the Midwest”
Sunday, Feb. 3 — 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. @ Mount Zion Temple, St. Paul. $25

Let’s face it: everyone is sick of nachos for a Super Bowl snack [terrible combo from the start, if you ask me]. And we all know your Sunday is wiiiiiiide open until at least 5 p.m. This installment of “Tastes…,” the first of the Winter series, will help you find some fantastic pops of Israeli cuisine to add to your Super Bowl party. Plus, if the Patriots win again, your day won’t be nearly as bad as everyone else’s.

**Bonus: This is the first in a 5-part series, going through Mid-April. Sign up for all 5 at the same time and save!

“Birthright Israel Information Session [Ages 27 – 32]”
Tuesday, Feb. 5 — 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. @ Roti, St. Louis Park. FREE
Wednesday, Feb. 6 — 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. @ Davanni’s Highland Park, St. Paul. FREE

Hey! You, there, between the ages of 27 and 32 and of some form of Jewish descent! Wanna join a heavily subsidized trip to Israel, with a ton of soon-to-be lifelong friends from your Twin Cities home? Pop on over to Roti on Tue [or Davanni’s on Wed] to hear all about it from Minnesota native Shira Lavintman. This Birthright group will go this summer, July 15th-26th. [Psst: register for the trip itself at http://bit.ly/MinnesotaFederations]

“Israeli Stand-Up Shabbat”
Friday, Feb. 8  — Evening @ Moishe House. FREE

Our pals at MoHo have a once-in-a-blue-moon event this Friday night: a Shabbat Oneg [drinks/snacks/desserts] featuring a special set from Israeli stand-up comic, Benji Lovitt! Benji, who uses his comedy to aid in Israeli cultural education, even agreed to stick around afterward to schmooze. Learn all about him at benjilovitt.com.

“Heavy Mettle — From Shtetl to Tin Pan Alley,” with Millie & the Mentshn
Saturday, Feb. 9th —  8 p.m. to 10 p.m. @ Beth El Synagogue, St. Louis Park. $15 – $50

Color me intrigued! St. Paul native Millie, along with the Mentshn, are classically trained musicians who play World Music — ranging from Prokofiev, to Gershwin, to Latin, to dance-in-the-aisle Klezmer. No matter your background, this sounds like an absolute blast. Presented by Beth El Music & Arts [BEMA] Coffeehouse.

“Makom Fridays”
Friday, Feb. 15th — 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. @ Adath Jeshurun Congregation, Minnetonka. FREE

“Makom,” the Hebrew word for “space,” reanimates ancient Jewish wisdom for today. Join Adath Jeshurun for Makom Fridays, celebrating Shabbat with new and familiar faces through soulful prayer, delicious food, a space to unwind, and the sweet ruach [energy] of community. All are welcome to this “everybody friendly” event.

While they’re known to have a few gourmet cooks and bakers [and some take-out pros who know how to order], they do ask attendees to bring a dairy or vegetarian dish to share — after all, what better way to break ice, than to break bread to go with it? Challah, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided, but additional details on what to bring are on the Makom Facebook page & website.

Saturday, Feb. 16th — 8 p.m. @ Highland Park Center Theater, St. Paul. $23 – $38

Presented by the Minnesota Jewish Theater Company, “Actually” — playwright Anna Ziegler’s edgy, new drama — follows two Princeton students, a white Jewish girl and an African American guy, who must recount their intimate evening together to a university panel… charged with assessing whether sexual assault took place. This riveting play explores perception and reality concerning sexual consent and college social norms today, and is absolutely worth hitting.

*Side note: this night is opening night, which is always the most exhilarating night for the cast & crew. The run goes through March 10, but if you can go, this is a great night to show support!

“Soul Sisters: The Untold Stories of Biblical Women,” with Hazzan Joanna Dulkin
Thursday, Feb 21 — 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. @ Adath Jeshurun, Minnetonka. FREE

Full disclosure: I wish this was at a more accessible time. But, if you’re a daywalker [a.k.a., you don’t have a 9-5], this sounds like a fascinating seminar, exploring the stories behind the stories of our fearless matriarchs. All genders welcome.

“The Torah of Disability Inclusion,” with Rabbi Ruti Regan
Friday, Feb 22 through Sunday, Feb 24 @ Adath Jeshurun, Minnetonka. FREE

Celebrate a weekend of JDAIM [Jewish Disability Awareness Inclusion Month] by learning with Numero-Steinfeldt Scholar-in-Residence Rabbi Ruti Regan: a feminist rabbi, liturgist, and a disabled disability advocate. Rabbi Ruti Regan will give D’var Torah on “Standing our Sacred Ground,” and lead a special Makom co-sponsored Learn After Lunch on Shabbat entitled “From Degradation to Praise: A disability-informed approach to the Haggadah.” Flat out, this is a type discussion we all should be having, ongoing, and this sounds like a great way to learn more about keeping Judaism open and welcoming. Check Adath Jeshurun’s website [http://adathjeshurun.org] for more.

“Cutting Out Injustice: Revolution in Jewish Papercuts”
Sunday, February 24 — 2 p.m. @ Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art, Minneapolis. $12 [$6 for anyone 36 years and under]

Come explore papercutting, a traditional Jewish folk art practiced in Eastern Europe, North African and Middle Eastern Jewish communities, with queer artist Aaron Silver/Greenberg — who has focused almost exclusively on this art form for the past 10 years. The Rimon Artist Salon Series commissioned Aaron to create a new papercut for its February Salon, and Jewish cultural commentator/transgender activist Freya Richman will join Aaron in conversation on the process of creating new work, and on bringing contemporary experience into a traditional art form.

“NextGen Thursday Thrifting”
Thursday, February 28 — 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. @ PRISM, Golden Valley. FREE

NextGen is seeking volunteers to help PRISM Food Shelf and Thrift Shop curate and process its thrift shop donations. Bring yourself, your keen eye for fashion and quality goods, and, if you want, your own thrift shop donations! Open to anyone between the ages of 21-36, regardless of previous NextGen affiliation. Word is, there’ll be a group happy hour after, too!