Tarbut: Festival of Jewish Culture

Tarbut 2021 – Festival Brochure(PDF)

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An Evening of George Gershwin
Featuring the Jon Gordon Ensemble

Jon is a native New Yorker, saxophonist, and composer, as well as a professor in the Desaultels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba. He has played with a wide range of musicians including Benny Carter, Aretha Franklin, Lionel Hampton, Harry Connick, Jr., Bruce Springsteen, Clark Terry, Roy Eldridge, John Scofield, and Maria Schneider. He is a winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk Competition. His most recent album, Stranger than Fiction, was released in September 2021. With Erin Propp and Monica Huisman on vocals, Jon on alto saxophone, Carter Graham, piano, Julian Bradford, bass, Fabio Ragnelli, drums, and Andrew Littleford, trumpet, this band of outstanding musicians and singers will showcase the repertoire of the incomparable George Gershwin. Expect jazz standards that range from Embraceable You to Summertime, with many toe-tapping rhythms that have formed the basis of the Great American Songbook.



Ma Nishma Manitoba

Hot off of a highly successful premiere at Gimli Film Festival 2021 – this, playful, funny, and evocative documentary by two local Jewish filmmakers explores the history of Jews in Winnipeg – the complex, diverse, and dynamic experience of the current Jewish community and what exactly it means to be ‘Jewish enough’. Through interviews with a Rabbi, a politician, an artist, a student, and others; combined with joyful graphics, archival footage and animation; the film explores questions of identity, spirituality, family, inclusivity, creativity, and a range of perspectives on Israel.

Q & A following the film with the filmmakers Sara Bulloch and Johanna Reimer-Henteleff




True Stories of Jewish Lives
Featuring Authors Allan Levine, Rebecca Frankel, and Wayne Hoffman

Join us for a stimulating discussion with three well respected authors. Beginning with local author Allan Levine on stage, followed by Rebecca Frankel on screen from Washington DC, and concluding with Wayne Hoffman on screen from New York, Karla Berbrayer (Producer, Tarbut) will introduce the audience to each of these three authors as they take the stage, live and virtually. The Q & A portion of the evening for each author will be moderated by Karla Berbrayer and Allan Levine.

About the Authors:

Winnipeg-based Allan Levine, award-winning internationally selling author and historian, will discuss his most recent book, Details Are Unprintable: Wayne Lonergan and the Sensational Café Society Murder. The story primarily unfolds over a seven-month period from October 1943 to April 1944—from the moment the body of twenty-two-year old Patricia Burton Lonergan is discovered in the bedroom of her New York City Beekman Hill apartment, to the arrest of her husband of two years, Wayne Lonergan, for her murder, and his subsequent trial and conviction. It is the chronicle of Lonergan in denial as a bisexual or gay man living in an intolerant and morally superior heterosexual world; and of Patricia, rich and entitled, a seeker of attention, who loved a night out on the town—all set against the fast pace of New York’s ostentatious café society.

Rebecca Frankel is an author based in Washington DC. A long-time editor and journalist, her latest book is Into the Forest: A Holocaust Story of Survival, Triumph and Love.  In the summer of 1942, the Rabinowitz family narrowly escaped the Nazi ghetto in their Polish town by fleeing to the forbidding Bialowieza Forest. They miraculously survived two years in the woods―through brutal winters, Typhus outbreaks, and merciless Nazi raids―until they were liberated by the Red Army in 1944. During the first ghetto massacre, Miriam Rabinowitz rescued a young boy named Philip by pretending he was her son. Nearly a decade later, a chance encounter at a wedding in Brooklyn would lead Philip to find the woman who saved him. And to discover her daughter Ruth was the love of his life.

Wayne Hoffman is executive editor of Tablet, a daily online Jewish magazine, and his cultural reporting has appeared in The Washington PostWall Street JournalThe ForwardHadassah MagazineThe NationVillage Voice, Slate, and elsewhere. He has also published three novels, including the Stonewall Book Award- winning Sweet Like Sugar.  Although he lives with his husband in New York City and the Catskills, he has roots in Winnipeg.  His grandmother was born and raised here, and his great-grandmother—a Russian immigrant—was murdered in the city’s North End in 1913, which served as the catalyst for his new true crime memoir The End of Her: Racing Against Alzheimer’s to Solve a Murder.

The Wandering Jew
Featuring Orit Shimoni

Orit Shimoni takes you on a journey of song as she explores the ways her Jewish and Israeli identity have shaped her music and her experiences as an internationally wandering troubadour for the past decade.  With stories, lyrics and melodies that will make you laugh and cry, nod your head in thought and maybe even sing along, Orit’s creative reflections will engage you in the very crux of where the uniqueness of Judaism and universal Humanity meet. The talented Paul Balcain will be accompanying Orit with an array of instruments as she sings, each carefully chosen to bring out the joy and sorrow of her enchanting texts.

Named, “one of this nation’s most intriguing and alluring vocalists,” [The Calgary Herald], Orit Shimoni had been touring Canada and Europe, full-time, solo, independently, and by public transit, with no fixed address, until due to the pandemic she wound up in Winnipeg.




Here We Are

Aharon (Shai Avivi) stepped away from a successful career as a graphic designer long ago. Now his life’s work is managing the delicate balance of each day for his autistic son Uri (Noam Imber). Uri is a young adult, and is due to move into a residential home. Aharon, however, believes he knows his son’s needs better than anyone else and decides to take his son on a road trip across Israel, with the ultimate aim of fleeing the country together. Handling its themes with sensitivity and respect, the latest film from Nir Bergman is a gratifyingly textured portrait of a loving father – son relationship as it shifts and grows to face the inevitability of change.

Here We Are was an Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival for 2020, and was nominated for 10 Israeli Ophir Awards




A Celebration of Jewish Stars Through the Decades
With the Prairie Hearts Band

Led by Paul De Gurse, Prairie Hearts features a group of killer musicians and vocalists: Rochelle Kives and Reid McTavish on vocals, Duncan Cox, guitar and vocals, Ruslan Rusin, bass, Brendan Thompson, drums, and Paul De Gurse, keyboards. This six-piece band takes us on a journey of outstanding music written by Jewish composers or sung by Jewish singers, from the 1960s through 2010, dipping into each decade. Celebrating artists that include Barbara Streisand, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Paula Abdul, Steven Page, Amy Winehouse, Adam Levine, Pink and more, this concert is sure to close the 2021 Tarbut festival with razzle dazzle!





Tarbut is presented by the Rady JCC and is produced once again by Karla Berbrayer

The Rady JCC is grateful to the Babs Asper Centre for Cultural Arts, Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, Jewish Foundation of Manitoba and United Way Winnipeg for their ongoing support.  

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