Irish Catholic comedian creates play of his journey to Judaism

 

He went from Christopher, an Irish-Catholic alcoholic and drug addict, to being Yisrael, a sober, recovering drug addict Jew who has practiced reform, conservative, unorthodox and now practices ...

By Bea L. Hines | bhines@MiamiHerald.com

He went from Christopher, an Irish-Catholic alcoholic and drug addict, to being Yisrael, a sober, recovering drug addict Jew who has practiced reform, conservative, unorthodox and now practices Orthodox Judaism.

You can hear Yisrael Campbell’s story as he tells it in his one-man show, “Circumcise Me,’’ at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center now through March 27.

The show is presented by Mazel Musicals, Inc. and the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The show is Campbell’s true story and spiritual journey that stretches across four decades, two continents and three circumcisions, according to Rachel Shapiro, a public relations spokeswoman.

Campbell wrote and performs the comic piece, in which he describes himself as, “… your average Irish, Italian, Catholic kid from Philly, who becomes a comic actor, sober alcoholic, recovering drug addict, husband, father, reform, Conservative, unorthodox, Orthodox Jew, who was born to be funny.”

The show also features slides, home movies and snapshots.

Show times are Wednesday and Thursday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 8:15 p.m. and Sunday at 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $36 each.

For more information and to purchase tickets, call Shapiro at 954-776-1999, ext. 230, or email her at rshapiro@piersongrant.com.

55 years of ministry

Bethel Apostolic Temple at 1855 NW 119th St., is getting ready to celebrate its 55th anniversary of ministry to the community with a weekend of activities, starting at 7 p.m., March 24, with a Family and Friends Worship Service. Elder Raymond Baker will be the guest speaker.

On March 25, Lucinda Moore, the 2011 Stellar Award winner, will perform in a concert that will also feature recording artists Francine Ealey Murphy and Derek Smith. The concert will be at 7 p.m. and tickets are $10 each.

The Anniversary Brunch will be at 11 a.m. on March 26 in the fellowship hall at the church. Tickets are $20 each.

The Anniversary Worship Service will be at 11 a.m. on March 27, with District Elder Robert Martin, Jr. of Zion Temple Apostolic Pentecostal Church in Denver, Colorado as the guest speaker.

The Rev. Dr. Carol Nash-Lester, the spiritual leader of the church, invites the community to celebrate this milestone with the Bethel congregation. “Bethel has been and continues to be a place of refuge, stewardship and hope for both our members and the community… We are both humbled and thankful that our Lord continues to show us His favor and grace, allowing our ministry to serve His people for 55 years.”

Tickets to all events may be purchased at the church or by calling the churchoffice at 305-688-1612, or by going to the church’s web site at www.bethelat.org.

Scholar in residence

Temple Sinai /Jacobson Sinai Academy, the Carolyn Kemelhor at 18801 NE 22nd Ave. in North Miami Beach, welcomes Dr. Daniel Matt as the Scholar-in-Residence on March 26.

The day’s program will begin at 9 a.m. with a study session and light breakfast, where Matt will discuss, “How the Zohar Reimagines Torah.” In his talk, Matt will explain, through passages from the Zohar, how the study of Torah turns into a romantic quest and into an experience that is both intellectual and spiritual.

At 10:30 a.m. with a Shabbat service, to be followed at noon with a study session and light lunch, at which Matt will discuss, “Raising the Sparks: Discovering God in the Material World.” He will teach about the nature of God and the universe, the act of Creation, and the challenge of discovering god here and now.

Matt is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on Kabbalah. He has been featured in Time Magazine and has appeared on National Public Radio and the History Channel. He is presently engaged in a project of translating and annotating the Zohar, the masterpiece of Kabbalah.

Purim celebration

Temple Hatikvah at 183 NE Eighth St. in Homestead will celebrate the Purim holiday with a carnival.

The holiday, centered around the story of the biblical character Queen Esther, is usually celebrated by telling the story through a play, where everybody wears costumes and masks.

Temple Hatikvah’s story will be told through the music of ABBA, the Swedish band from the 70’s, with only the words of the music changed. There will still be costumes and masks.

The community is invited. For more information call Sandy at 305-321-4661.

‘Pearls and Hats’

Angels from Heaven, a non-profit organization made up of women from Miami-Dade and Broward counties, will have their annual “Pearls and Hats Tea Party” at 4 p.m. Sunday (March 20) at 13889 SW 32nd St. in Miramar.

I’ve attended these affairs and they are done in an absolutely beautiful setting, with women wearing beautiful hats and springtime attire. The program always includes music, a Jamaican folk presentation and lots of goodies.

Tickets are $20 each and all the proceeds will benefit children in Jamaica with school supplies, clothes and shoes.

To make your reservations for this worthy cause, call Cecile at 954-593-6520 or Nesta at 954-913-6094.

Legacy of Judiasm

A workshop designed to help Miami-Dade teachers and administrators who are interested in teaching students the legacy of Judaism, will be at 4 p.m. Wednesday (March 23) at the University of Miami ‘s Hurricane 100 Room at the Bank United Center.

Called “The Rosenfeld Legacy Project: Connecting Children’s Literature with Judaic Heritage,” the project was two years in the making and will show teachers in grades K-3 in Jewish Day Schools and Religious School Programs how to use quality children’s literature to bring awareness to the rich heritage of Judaism.

According to a press release, The Legacy Project begins a conversation concerning Jewish wisdom, ethics, and history using child centered activities and methodology to both engage and inspire.

Additional workshops for teachers and administrators in Jewish Day Schools and Religious Schools will be in Broward on March 24; in South Palm Beach County on April 3, and in North Palm Beach County on April 4.

For more information, or to make reservations for the workshops, call Anita Meinbach at 305-495-4818, or email her at a.meinbach@miami.edu.

Law enforcement invitation

Bishop Arthur Wilson, Jr., pastor of Sure Foundation Ministries Church of God of Prophecy at 5541 SW 20th St. in West Park, is inviting all law enforcement personnel in Miami-Dade and Broward counties as guests at a special worship service to be at 10:45 a.m. Sunday (March 20).

“We want to give honor to whom honor is due,” Wilson said. “As we pray for God’s protection and guidance over the men and women who put their lives on the line each day for our communities, we want them to know we appreciate them.’”

The invitation is open to all law enforcement personnel and their families. For more information call 954-965-3919 or 954-573-5105.

More purim events

Temple Beth Tov-Ahavat Shalom at 6438 SW Eighth St. in West Miami, will have its annual Purim celebration at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (March 19), with the traditional Reading of the Megillah, a costume parade, refreshments, including Hamantaschenand sufganiot (donuts), music and a raffle.

The event is sponsored by the Temple Sisterhood and it’s free.

The temple will have its usual Minyan service at 10a.m. Sunday (March 20), along with the reading of the Megillah.

Jewish Special Education event

The Association for Jewish Special Education (AJSE) will have its annual Purim celebration at Bet Breira Samuel Or Olom, 9400 SW 87th Ave. from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday (March 20). The program this year is dedicated to the memory of Rosel Tuetzer, who was a significant advocate of AJSE, which has programming that focuses on Jewish adults with developmental disabilities and their peers.

The program will feature crafts, games, music and refreshments. It’s free.

To make reservations call 305-279-8051.

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