Jewish Film Festival


By Joan Kurtz What do these have in common:

  • Woody Allen and Zero Mostel
  • Bethlehem, NH
  • Larry Bush (of Jewish Currents)
  • 1950’s blacklist

The answer: The film “The Front,” which deals with the McCarthy-era “witch hunts” in the entertainment industry in the 1950’s and starred Woody Allen and Zero Mostel.

I saw the film when I attended the White Mountain Jewish Film Festival this past August. Larry was invited to comment on the Hollywood blacklist with his knowledge of the Jewish involvement in the political Left. Attended by over 75 people (which is HUGE is this small northern city of New Hampshire), the evening was well worth the one-hour drive to see both Larry and the movie. I highly recommend this 1976 film.

Folkshul Statement Supporting “Welcoming the Stranger”


The Jewish Children's Folkshul and Adult Community is a parent-run cooperative committed to providing a secular, humanist Jewish educational experience in the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area. To learn more, visit The mitzvah of hachnasat orchim, literally the "bringing in of strangers," extending ourselves and welcoming others, is a central value of Judaism and one that we practice with warm hearts at Folkshul: on the holiday of Sukkot, we welcome new families into our community; at our Soup Kitchen event, we collectively make and share a meal, encouraging others to join us as we raise money for those in need.

And in studying the theme of Immigration, we recognize that we were once strangers ourselves in this country and unwelcome in many places around the world. In the words of the poet Emma Lazarus, we were the “tired,” the “poor,” the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” The Statue of Liberty indeed lifted her lamp for us and, despite many hardships and obstacles along the way, we have made great strides in this country.

However, we also recognize that this was not always the case, such as in 1939 when 937 Jewish refugees on the S.S. St Louis were NOT permitted in to enter the US and were turned back to Europe, many to meet their deaths in concentration camps. This tragic decision was made in a political climate of deep fear, suspicion and anti-Semitism.

Today we are hearing similar opposition to welcoming refugees who are escaping war and horrific persecution in their homelands. They are victims, seeking such mundane treasures as safety, a better life, and opportunity – just as our families and others did in years past.

Folkshul stands with numerous organizations and individuals, religious and secular alike, to urge our elected officials to welcome those refugees who meet the complex and stringent requirements of the UNHCR and our national refugee resettlement program.

Folkshul encourages its members to take action to make the lives of new immigrants and refugees of all backgrounds better and safer. Here are some links that will help you find the right action for your family:

We fervently hope that all who come here to find safety discover a country with compassion, reason, peace and a welcoming heart.

Holiday Card Contest


The High Holidays are here and we are once again sending out greetings to family and friends, wishing health and happiness. Holiday cards have been a best seller at our annual conferences and on our website. Unfortunately, we have not had them in stock for some time. However, with all the talented artists in our organization, we are sure that we could create some new cards. CSJO would like to have a contest, open to all members, to design cards for next year and beyond. Hopefully, this year’s holidays are filled with inspiration.

Below is a list of groupings and we are asking each affiliate to work with their members to solicit designs for each of the listed categories. Please do not submit more than 3 designs per grouping. We hope associate members will also take part in the contest. The winning designs will be selected by the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of CSJO and, yes, there will be prizes.

The winners, if below age 13, will receive a gift card, and if above age 13, will receive a discount on registration for our annual CSJO conference.

Due to the nature of our groups, the categories are broken into several groups and are as follows:

  • Group 1: Kindergarten through Second Grade (ages 5-8)
  • Group 2: Third Grade through Fifth Grade (ages 8-11)
  • Group 3: Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade (ages 11-14)
  • Group 4: Ninth Grade through Twelfth Grade (ages 14-18)
  • Group 5: All those above Twelfth Grade (youth and adults)

Please have your members submit a holiday card that represents what Rosh Hashana means to them on a card 4 1⁄4 in. X 5 1⁄2 in. The card should include a design on the front, some sort of wording inside the card, and the signature of the artist on the back including the age and the affiliate of the artist. If the submission is from an associate member, then please include the state of residence of the artist.

We have extended the deadline, so please have all submissions sent, no later than December 1st, 2015 to:

CSJO 320 Claymore Blvd. Cleveland, OH 44143

We look forward to seeing all of the submissions we will receive.

- Madi Burns, Youth Representative to the Executive Committee of the CSJO Board