To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces and local community member will speak on Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 8 p.m. at the Marlboro Jewish Center. Shmuel Varod, who fought with the Armored Corps on the Sinai Front will share his experiences and, in light of the current conflict in Israel and Gaza, will compare the similarities of the events then and now. The program, which is being co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey, will also touch on what has been learned and how Israel’s recovered from the attack then and how it does now, what has been learned and the differences between the two devastating events. It will include a memorial ceremony for those lost in both conflicts. The program is free but registration is requested at https://jewishheartnj.ticketspice.com/yom-kippur-war-50th-commemoration-101723-8pm.
For information call Dan Rozett at federation, (732) 588-1836 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Confronting Antisemitism will be the theme of the annual Dr. Norman and Syril Reitman Scholar-in-Residence Weekend, Oct. 20-22 at Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick. The weekend will feature Dov Waxman, director of the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies and a political science professor and the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair of Israel Studies at UCLA.
Friday’s program will begin with dinner at 6 p.m. followed by Waxman speaking at 8 p.m. on a newly revised topic, The Hamas Terrorist Attack and Israel’s Response. On Saturday at 9:30 a.m. he will speak on Why is Antisemitism Rising Today? and at 12:30 p.m. after lunch on Antisemitism on American Campuses: How Bad is It?
On Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Waxman’s topic will be Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism.
All speaker programs are free, but lunch and dinner are $15 each per person. RSVP required at aemt.net for meals. The programs will also be streamed via YouTube. For information please visit https://www.aemt.net/events/dr-norman-and-syril-reitman-scholar-in-residence-weekend-with-prof-dov-waxman/ or call the synagogue at (732) 545-6484.
Do chickens speak Yiddish? Maybe not but author Seth Stern, a legal journalist and editor at Bloomberg Industry Group, will talk about the Holocaust survivors who came to south Jersey in the decade after the war to become poultry farmers on Sunday, Oct. 22 at 11 a.m. at Congregation Torat El in Oakhurst. His book, “Speaking Yiddish to Chickens!” outlines how these Eastern European refugees, including Stern’s own grandparents, found refuge and an unlikely way of life to gain a foothold in the United States. Several thousand survivors became poultry farmers in America, many of them around the Cumberland County city of Vineland, in a rural area that already had a network of Jewish cultural and religious institutions established by earlier immigrants.
His book can be purchased on Amazon or at bookshop.org, which supports independent authors. Cost is $15 in advance and $20 at door, which includes brunch. The cost is $10 to receive a Zoom link. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.torat-el.org.
The 24th annual Rutgers Jewish Film Festival will kick off Oct. 26 with 15 films from Israel, Poland, Ukraine, Germany, the United States and France, including regional and New Jersey premiers. Showings will include discussions with filmmakers, actors, scholars, and other special guests.
Screenings will be held in person through Nov. 5 at the Regal Cinema, North Brunswick, and the Rutgers Business School in Piscataway. Four films will be available virtually from Nov. 6-12.
The festival kicks off with Irena’s Vow, which premiered in September at the Toronto International Film Festival. It is based on the true story of Irena Gut Opdyke, a young Christian nurse who risked her life to save Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland while forced to work as a housekeeper in the home of a Nazi commandant. Irena’s daughter, Jeannie Opdyke Smith, will speak at both festival screenings.
Other films include the New Jersey premier of “Closed Circuit,” a film employing cutting edge cinematic use of closed-circuit camera footage from closed-circuit cameras at the 2016 terrorist attack in Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market, weaving it in with current memories of Arab and Jewish survivors of the incident. Producer Nancy Spielberg will speak.
In-theater and virtual tickets are both $14. Discount passes are also available. The festival is sponsored by Rutgers University’s Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life and made possible by a grant from the Karma Foundation. For information or to purchase tickets, https://bildnercenter.rutgers.edu/events/film.