What to watch this February for Black History Month


February 2, 2021

February marks Black History Month. We have compiled a list of events and streams to watch by our partner organizations, celebrating and honoring Canadians in our community.

no silence on race films

The No Silence on Race Film Playlist @ TJFF

The Toronto Jewish Film Festival has teamed up with No Silence on Race to curate a selection of films. From India to Ghana, Uganda to Iraq, Israel to North America, the films reflect Jewish life from around the world. The list also includes films that delve into the complexities of race, the politics of recognition and social unrest faced by Jews and non-Jews within the Jewish Diaspora and in Israel.

No Silence on Race is a movement born out of the necessity for racial equity and inclusivity within Canadian Jewish spaces. Dedicated to building a Jewish community reflective of its immense diversity, the movement is committed to advocacy, education, and change.

Watch the films on J-Flix for free!

Doing Jewish: A Story from Ghana

While working on Ghana, Gabrielle Zilkha discovers the vibrant Sefwi Jewish community. She brings us along on her journey to better understand what it means to belong to the Jewish people and why some people’s Judaism is questioned while that of others is taken at face value.

The panel will be discussing the film in light of current discourse and movement to achieve an anti-racist, equitable and inclusive global Jewish community. Panelists included: Gabrielle Zilkha, Director of Doing Jewish: A Story from Ghana, Stephen Jacob Ennin, Film subject from Doing Jewish: A Story from Ghana, Akilah Allen-Silverstein, Co-founder of No Silence on Race and Tema Smith, Moderator, Writer and Diversity Advocate and Educator. Presented in partnership with TJFF and No Silence on Race.

Watch the film on J-Flix and watch the recorded panel discussion.

Art and Artists on Being Black and Jewish

A dynamic group of Canadian and U.S. artists who identify as Black and Jewish come together for an unparalleled conversation on art and identity hosted by theatre artist and Rabbi-to-be, Kendell Pinkney. See and hear the compelling artistic work of Ella CooperRebecca S’manga FrankSara Yacobi-Harris and Anthony Russell. As a jumping off point for a lively dialogue, each artist will share projects that explore the intersection of Jewishness and Blackness through film, photography, music and performance. A not-to-be-missed evening of multi-disciplinary art and wide-ranging discussion!

This online event was inspired by the current exhibition in Toronto’s FENTSTER window gallery, Witness by Ella Cooper. The program has been developed by Kendell Pinkney and FENTSTER curator, Evelyn Tauben.

Presented together by FENTSTERKlezKanadaMuseum of Jewish MontrealThe Jewish Theological SeminaryAsylum ArtsRebootNo Silence on Race and Jews of Colour Canada.

In Conversation with Michael W. Twitty

In October 2020, the Koffler presented an online conversation with African-American, Jewish food writer, culinary and cultural historian and educator Michael W. Twitty. 

Continuing the theme of food culture begun with the Koffler.Digital project A Matter of Taste, the Koffler Centre of the Arts is delighted to present an online conversation with African-American, Jewish food writer, culinary and cultural historian and educator Michael W. Twitty. Mr. Twitty will discuss such themes as food justice, cultural appropriation, and how Black and Jewish people have mediated otherness and oppression through what they eat, as well as the global stories Diasporic foodways have to offer.

Michael W. Twitty is a recognized historical interpreter, independent scholar, and the founder of Afroculinaria.com, the first website/blog devoted to the preservation of historic African American foods and foodways. Twitty’s book, The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African-American Culinary History in the Old South, won two James Beard Awards in 2018 for Food Writing and Best Book and his piece in Bon Appetit, I Had Never Eaten in Ghana Before. But My Ancestors Had” was nominated for a 2019 James Beard Award and was selected to be included in The Best American Food Writing 2019. In 2020, The Cooking Gene was named on Book Authority’s List of 100 Best Food Books of All Time. Michael’s next book, Kosher Soul, is slated for publication in 2021.

duke ellington

Music was his Mistress: The Sophisticated Sounds of Duke Ellington

Legendary jazz musician and bandleader Duke Ellington, famous for such standards as Mood Indigo, Take the A Train and Sophisticated Lady, composed thousands of scores for the stage, screen and contemporary songbook over his 50 year career. Ellington overcame racial, social and musical obstacles to create his own unique blend of complex yet accessible jazz. Enjoy this illustrated lecture, including video clips and musical selections performed by Jonno. Presented in honour of Black History Month.

Join the Miles Nadal JCC for this illustrated lecture with musician Jonno Lightstone on February 11 at 1:30pm. Click here to register.

An Evening of Deep Listening; Facing and Combating Racism With/In the Jewish Community

Jews often pride themselves on past alliances with the Black community in social justice pursuits. But where are we now? How can we go further? A Jewish community-wide dialogue with Jews of Colour—Canada in response to the reality of racism both within and outside our community.

Recorded in June 2020. Click here to watch it on the Virtual J.

Panelists: Rivka Campbell (Co-Founder, Jews of Colour—Canada), Tema Smith, and Tyler Samuels

Moderator: Emery WarnerPresented by Toronto Board of Rabbis and Jews of Colour Canada; and co-presented by Hillel Ontario, UJA-Federation, Downtown Jewish Community Council, Miles Nadal JCC, Schwartz-Reisman Centre and Prosserman JCC

Conversations on the Green with Philip Akin and Sterling Jarvis

Get an inside look at the life and career of some of Canada’s best theatre artists. Avery and David (co-artistic directors of the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company) talk LIVE (virtually) with the wonderful performers and directors who have graced their stage.

In June 2020, they were joined by Philip Akin Director of The Whipping Man, Driving Miss Daisy, Actually and Sterling Jarvis The Whipping Man, Driving Miss Daisy.

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