MANALAPAN, NJ - Join the Monmouth County Library System in celebrating Jewish American Heritage month this May, a national month of recognition of the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture.
Come watch actress Renee Taylor’s one woman show An Afternoon with Golda Meir about Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir. Come enjoy Klezmer music performed by the Avi Maza Orchestra, come hear a lecture by TV and radio personality and best-selling author Rabbi Shmuley, and come learn about the history of Jewish communities in Monmouth County.
By Congressional resolution and Presidential proclamation, May is Jewish American Heritage Month. This month-long celebration aims to raise the national consciousness regarding contributions Jewish Americans have made to our country’s heritage.
“We invite Monmouth County residents to join the Library System in celebrating the richness of Jewish life in America, and to discover the many contributions made by those of the Jewish faith to the American experience,” said Renee B. Swartz, chair of the Monmouth County Library Board of Commissioners.
Events will be held throughout the month at four branches: the Monmouth County Library Headquarters at 125 Symmes Drive, Manalapan; the Ocean Township Branch at 701 Deal Road, Ocean; the Monmouth County Library Eastern Branch at 1001 Route 35 in Shrewsbury, and the Marlboro Library Branch at 1 Library Court and Wyncrest Drive, Marlboro.
All events are free. The events are as follows:
At the Library Headquarters in Manalapan
Sunday, May 2: At 2 p.m. pianist/singer/narrator Fred Miller will present his musical and anecdotal overview of four great Jewish personalities in American popular song in a program entitled: The Other Jewish Songwriters.
Thursday May 6: At 7 p.m., international television and radio personality and bestselling author Rabbi Shmuley will give a talk about his recent meeting with the Pope.. Rabbi Shmuley hosts the award-winning national TV show, Shalom in the Home on TLC, is heard nationally on the Oprah and Friends radio network, and is the author of 22 books.
Tuesday, May 11: At noon, meet author Michelle Cameron at a brown bag author talk. Cameron is a historical novelist and author of The Fruit of Her Hands: The Story of Shira Ashkenaz Sponsored by the Hadassah Women’s Group.
Wednesday, May 12: At 3 p.m., musician and educator Nancy Beller-Krieger presents Shir Ruach/Song and Spirit. The program is sponsored by the National Council of Jewish Women, Central Jersey Section, co-sponsored by the Monmouth County Library.
Sunday, May 16: At 2 p.m., the Avi Maza Orchestra will perform a free Klezmer concert. Enjoy traditional Jewish classics, Israeli horas and Klezmer music featuring world-class musicians who have performed on Broadway.
Sunday, May 23: At 2 p.m., Broadway and Hollywood actress Renee Taylor will present her one-woman show, An Afternoon with Golda Meir. Meir was Israel’s Labor Party Secretary during the Six Days War of 1967 and later became the county’s prime minister. Taylor, an accomplished Broadway actress, is perhaps best known for her television role as Fran Drescher’s mom in “The Nanny.”
Wednesday, May 26: A two-part slide show, Coming to America: History of the Jews of Monmouth County - 17th & 18th Centuries. Part one, Coming to America, begins at 10 a.m. and explores the first wave of Jewish immigration to America. Part two, Coming to Monmouth, begins at 1 p.m. tells the story of the first Jews who came to Monmouth County as peddlers, merchants, and tavern keepers from New York. Presented and sponsored by the Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County.
At the Ocean Township Branch Library
Wednesday, May 5: At 7 p.m., the Adult Book Club will discuss Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness by Simon Wiesenthal. Simon Wiesenthal tackles the question of the possibilities and limits of forgiveness when, as a slave laborer, he is asked to give atonement to a dying Nazi soldier. Copies of the book are available at the Circulation Desk.
Wednesday, May 12: At 12:30 p.m., come and Celebrate Food. Barbara Capeloto Sharon was born into a large community of Jews who can trace their heritage back to Turkey and Rhodes. Barbara will demonstrate Turkish variations of the traditional Shavuot Cheese and Potato Bourakas as handed down from her "Nonnies". Be prepared to taste your way back to Turkey.
Wednesday, May 12: At 2 p.m., come learn about the Jewish Newport at the Jersey Shore. At the turn of the century, Long Branch was the destination of a group of wealthy German-Jewish vacationers who came to the area to escape the New York summer heat and the discrimination they faced in resorts like Saratoga and Newport. Presented by author Jean Klerman from the Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County.
Sunday, May 16: At 2 p.m., come hear a discussion of The History of Anti-Semitism by Irving Roth. This current issue of intolerance and bigotry knows no age or time limit. This talk is relevant to students of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Irving Roth is the Director of the Holocaust Remembrance Center-Temple Judea of Manhasset, New York and co-author with his son, Edward Roth, of Bondi's Brother; A Story of Loss, Betrayal, and Liberation.
At the Eastern Branch Library in Shrewsbury
Tuesday, May 11: At 10 a.m. and again at 7:30 p.m., there will be a book club discussion of Elie Wiesel’s Night. Elie Wiesel was a teenager in 1944 when he and his family were taken from their home to the Auschwitz concentration camp, and then to Buchenwald. Night is the terrifying record of his memories of that time. Copies of the book will be available at the circulation desk starting April 13.
Wednesday, May 12: At 7 p.m. a slide show presented by the Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County will trace the roots of Monmouth County’s Jewish population. The first permanent Jewish communities in Monmouth County were established by German - Jewish immigrants arriving in the mid 1880s. By the end of the Civil War, sizable numbers of these immigrant businessmen and their families were settled in and around Keyport, Red Bank, Long Branch and Freehold.
At the Marlboro Township Branch Library
Thursday, May 27: At 2 p.m., The Minyonettes, a singing group of 24 singers and musicians who have been performing together for 13 years, will present a program on Yiddish and Hebrew songs from six different countries.
Please check with your branch library for free screenings of movies related Jewish American Heritage Month.
For more information of these and other events, please visit the Library System’s website at http://www.monmouthcountylib.org/ or call 732-431-7220.