DEEPENING ROOTS: David Greenfield said he and fellow
Temple Emanuel Brotherhood members Dennis Buchenholz and Danny Mandeau have sensed a growing loss of appreciation for what life was like for Jews before the United Nations recognized Israel in 1948.
Adding to the Newton residents’ dismay, according to Greenfield, is the news media’s focus on Israel “through a lens of conflict” with its Middle East neighbors, while overlooking its contributions in humanitarian aid and innovative technology.
Last fall, the men’s group launched Roots in Israel, an initiative designed to strengthen the congregation’s connection with Israel. According to Greenfield, this objective is being addressed by sharing stories of Israel’s accomplishments in the temple’s weekly newsletter and monthly bulletin, and in photo essays documenting Roots in Israel events.
Through a grant from the New England chapter of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, customized Jewish National Fund collection boxes were distributed to all 1,100 families in Temple Emanuel’s congregation. The contents are collected on holidays for donation to the Jewish National Fund, as a lesson for children on the value of supporting their historic homeland.
Ultimately, Greenfield hopes other Jewish men’s clubs will implement similar programs nationally and internationally.
“Israel’s reestablishment after 2,000 years is miraculous, and it continues to be a beacon to the world in so many ways,” said Greenfield, whose parents were both Holocaust survivors. “We want the pendulum to swing back to a time of celebrating, supporting, and standing with Israel while countering misrepresentations against it.”
NOW YOU SEE IT: At recent count, 85-year-old Wellesley resident Gil Stubbs (inset) had perfected approximately 248 magic
tricks, many of which he invented. In April, he will lead a four-week course so other seniors can share their love of magic.
Designed for people age 60 and older, the workshops will take place on April 4, 11, 18, and 25, from 1 to 2:30 p.m., at the Wellesley Community Center, 219 Washington St. in Wellesley Hills. Stubbs will provide participants with a set of notes reviewing sleight-of-hand techniques and tricks using cards, coins, dollar bills, string, rope, rubber bands, pens, paper clips, tableware, napkins, and handkerchiefs.
A retired electrical and space engineer, Stubbs has written many articles on magic, and was the longtime newsletter editor for the Massachusetts chapter of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. He has taught a magic seminar at Wellesley High School for the past five years, and regularly performs and teaches workshops at libraries, schools, parties, retirement homes, churches, hospitals, and on YouTube.
Only a small investment of time is needed to acquire a repertoire of tricks, Stubbs said, with good presentation far outweighing manual dexterity.
And there are other advantages.
“Magic is good brain therapy because it’s a challenge to learn to do it,” he added. “You also get a lot of pleasure out of giving other people pleasure.”
Registration opens to Wellesley residents on Tuesday, and to nonresidents on Thursday. The fee is $30. To enroll, call the town’s Council on Aging at 781-235-3961.
CELEBRATING RICHARD: Friends of actor Richard Italiano Jr. of Saugus are invited to celebrate his work and offer their support as he battles stage
4 pancreatic cancer at an event being held Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St. in Arlington.
Italiano, who is married and has 13-year-old twin daughters, was diagnosed in July 2011.
Elisangela DiAlencar, an actress who is helping to organize the event, said volunteers have produced a montage of Italiano’s acting clips. A member of the Screen Actors Guild, he has performed in dozens of feature and independent films, televisions shows, and theater productions alongside actors such as Ethan Hawke, Mark Ruffalo, Amanda Peet, Lenny Clarke, and Donnie Wahlberg.
“His biggest dream was being a well-known, successful actor, and having a movie theater full of people watching him on the big screen. It’s the least we can do to help make this dream come true,” said DiAlencar, noting Italiano (inset) will be watching from home via Skype. “We want him to feel like he’s being honored, and people love him.”
Admission is free, with raffles to raise money for Italiano’s medical expenses and other necessities. For more information, or to make a donation, visit www.youcaring.com and search for Italiano. Continued...