Episode 36: Hip Hop Meets Feminist Kabbalah w/Victoria Hanna

Episode 36: Hip Hop Meets Feminist Kabbalah w/Victoria Hanna

Every Letter, Every Vowel Is Its Own Universe.

-Victoria Hanna

Victoria Hanna is a “vocal artist” – not a singer. What does that mean? The Israeli artist has set herself the aim of creating art through the combined use of language, voice and music. And she has achieved that to a most astonishing degree. Victoria Hanna moves between ancient music and contemporary beats, between philosophical and religious texts. Her compositions are shaped by diverse vocal techniques, both sung and spoken. She explores the boundaries of the human voice, plays with letters, recites the Aleph-Bet.

Having grown up in a strictly orthodox tradition (her father an Egyptian rabbi and her mother of Persian descent), Victoria Hanna has liberated herself from the confines of that orthodoxy while at the same time preserving and continuing its cultural heritage, which she has translated into an idiosyncratic and thoroughly contemporary context. She has stuttered since childhood. This inborn speech disability was actually her greatest gift, and what led her to explore the boundaries of sound and diction. She embarked on an inner journey to explore “the mouth” as creator, which became the inspirational and emotional journey of her life.

Victoria Hanna studied acting and can be seen in various films (such as “Next To Her” by Asaf Korman) and learned a variety of song traditions. She has performed at festivals all over the world. Continue reading “Episode 36: Hip Hop Meets Feminist Kabbalah w/Victoria Hanna”

Episode 35: Poetry: The Anti-Obituary w/Mark Yakich

Episode 35: Poetry: The Anti-Obituary w/Mark Yakich

Dispel the notion that reading poetry is going to dramatically change your life. Your life is continually changing; most of the time you’re simply too busy to pay enough attention to it. Poems ask you to pay attention—that’s all.

-Mark Yakich

Mark Yakich is the Gregory F. Curtin, S.J. Distinguished Professor of English at Loyola University New Orleans, where he is also editor of New Orleans Review. His most recent books are Poetry: A Survivor’s Guide (Bloomsbury, 2016) and Spiritual Exercises (Penguin Poets, 2019). He is also co-director of Poetic Advantage, a seminar and workshop for business leaders and managers. Mark was a Fulbright Fellow in the Faculty of Letters at the University of Lisbon. Continue reading “Episode 35: Poetry: The Anti-Obituary w/Mark Yakich”

Episode 22: Pride In Our People From Pride in Our Food w/Jeffrey Yoskowitz of ‘The Gefilteria’

Episode 22: Pride In Our People From Pride in Our Food w/Jeffrey Yoskowitz of ‘The Gefilteria’

“In today’s reality, most families don’t store a live carp in the bathtub before the holidays, or spend all day preparing labor-intensive foods. Under the banner of convenience, the past several decades have seen treasured food traditions stuffed into jars and neglected, gefilte included.

Gefilte fish was once an innovative way to stretch how far one fish could go to feed a family, a powerful symbol of European peasantry. The canned variety, by contrast, is a poignant reminder of how far we’ve strayed from the old days, so much so that gefilte has become synonymous with the outdated, the gray, the antiquated and the Old World.

But we need not accept the extinction of this tradition, or of the robust, colorful, fresh flavors of Ashkenazi cuisine.”

Excerpt from the “The Gefilte Manifesto” Continue reading “Episode 22: Pride In Our People From Pride in Our Food w/Jeffrey Yoskowitz of ‘The Gefilteria’”

Episode 11: Creativity To Get You On Stage In Front Of 10k w/Andrew Lustig

Episode 11: Creativity To Get You On Stage In Front Of 10k w/Andrew Lustig

“Anytime I’m creating something, or working, I always ask either myself or somebody else: ‘what am I not thinking of?’”

— Andrew Lustig

Andrew Lustig is a ‘Jewish Spoken Word Artist’ whose poetry has reached millions, in viral videos and in hundreds of live performances. Andrew has delivered keynote addresses for Hillel, URJ, USCJ, UJIA and BBYO and written Annual Campaign films for JFNA, UJIA, Pardes and JFGD. A 2013-14 Dorot Fellow in Israel, Andrew is a Pardes alumnus, a Limmudnik, and a frequent attendee on Or HaLev retreats. From 2013-2017 Andrew has worked as an artist-in-residence at the Brandeis Collegiate Institute in Los Angeles. Andrew is the co-founder of the Muslim Jewish Interfaith Coalition and a 2019 facilitation trainee with Resetting the Table. Continue reading “Episode 11: Creativity To Get You On Stage In Front Of 10k w/Andrew Lustig”

Episode 9: How to Tackle Huge Projects; on Talmud and Haiku creation w/Rabbi Avi Strausberg

Episode 9: How to Tackle Huge Projects; on Talmud and Haiku creation w/Rabbi Avi Strausberg

“Dictionary for the Day:

Talmud: Interpretations on the Torah (Hebrew Bible).
Daf Yomi: Studying a page (daf) per day (yom).
Haiku: a very short form of Japanese poetry in three phrases.

Rabbi Avi Strausberg: creative thinker about how to make torah and talmud wisdom come alive in new and exciting ways.”

Rabbi Avi Strausberg is the Director of National Learning Initiatives at Hadar, and based in Washington, DC. Previously, she served as the Director of Congregational Learning of Temple of Aaron in St. Paul, Minnesota. She received her rabbinic ordination from Hebrew College in Boston and is a Wexner Graduate Fellow. She also holds a Masters in Jewish Education. While pursuing her studies, Avi was honored to serve as a rabbinic intern at Kehillath Israel and Temple Sinai. Continue reading “Episode 9: How to Tackle Huge Projects; on Talmud and Haiku creation w/Rabbi Avi Strausberg”

Mussar Mondays – Pirke Avot: Not letting perfectionism get in the way of our passion

“One good deed leads to another. One transgression leads to another.”

– Pirke Avot 4:2

It takes so much energy to start something new, why get in our own way with thoughts of self-doubt or perfectionism when it’s experimentation and simply staying present in the process that will get us so much further anyways? Continue reading “Mussar Mondays – Pirke Avot: Not letting perfectionism get in the way of our passion”