Welcome to…


Arts + Culture with Brandy from the Tampa JCCs & Federation


We are so excited to launch our new Arts + Culture Google Classroom and ZOOM series. The events will be unique in genre and artistic category, but all will embrace a Jewish lens. Each Friday before Sundown, you will receive the following week’s virtual line-up! The information delivered will come via our A + C newsletter and by direct e-mail. You will also be able to find the details to Virtually Yours through Shalom Tampa.


Watch movies, learn about works of art, create culinary masterpieces, discuss award-winning literature, engage in all things on and off Broadway, and be kept abreast on our many local theater networks.


Monday Movie Madness

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This week enjoy five Jewish short films screened and selected by the UK Jewish Film Festival.



Please visit Google classroom VIRTUALLY YOURS: Arts & Culture with Brandy from the Tampa JCCs& Federation | Monday Movie Madness to view the films and to chat about the films with many community film aficionados too!


Call Me Alvy | https://ukjewishfilm.org/film/call-me-alvy/

Gefilte | https://ukjewishfilm.org/film/gefilte/

Inheritance | https://ukjewishfilm.org/film/inheritance-2/

The Last Schvitz | https://ukjewishfilm.org/film/the-last-schvitz/

Samuel 613 | https://ukjewishfilm.org/film/samuel-613/



ZOOM directions are as follows:

You may have to download ZOOM to your devise, when asked to enter a meeting ID, please enter meeting numbers below.

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking link below.


Meeting ID: 599 804 912

Monday Movie Madness

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Movie #1 | Comedy

Narishkayt: YidLife Crisis in Krakow

ZOOM discussion 3/23 @ 2:00 pm

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking link below.


Meeting ID: 599 804 912


When Jamie Elman and Eli Batalion, Jewish Canadian comedians and creators of the award-winning Yiddish series “YidLife Crisis” (yidlifecrisis.com), travel to Poland in search of their Yiddish roots and Ashkenazi culture, they end up finding a unique Jewish community built by Poles looking to face their own complex roots. “Narishkayt” (Yiddish for “silliness”) follows the duo on tour as they bring their show to Krakow and explore the dynamic and delicate intersections of Polish and Jewish life in the past and present.


Movie #2 | Modern

Jews and Punk


Profiling Hassidic punk rockers, Yiddish street performers, African-American Jewish activists and more, Punk Jews explores an emerging movement of provocateurs and committed Jews who are asking, each in his or her own way, what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century. Jewish artists, activists and musicians from diverse backgrounds and communities are defying norms and expressing their Jewish identities in unconventional ways. In the process, they are challenging stereotypes and breaking down barriers. Meet Yishai, lead singer of Moshiach Oi; Radical performance group, the Sukkos Mob; the renegade Orthodox participants of Cholent; the Amazing Amy Yoga Yenta; Kal Holczler, founder of Voices of Dignity; and African American Jewish hip-hop sensation Y-Love.




Movie #3 | Oldie but goodie

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz


It's the post WWII era. Taxi driver Max Kravitz, who pimps on the side, lives with his two grown sons - early twenty-something medical student Lennie Kravitz, and late teen Duddy Kravitz, who has just graduated from high school - in the working class Jewish neighborhood of Montréal. Lennie receives all the positive attention from family and others of authority in the neighborhood, especially from Max's businessman brother, their Uncle Benjy, who is financing Lennie's medical school education, while Duddy is on the most part neglected. The only elder in the family and in the neighborhood who shows Duddy any respect is their zaida. As such, Duddy aspires to his zaida's assertion that land ownership is the way to make a name for oneself, especially after Duddy finds a lake, the entire property around which he would like to purchase. With only his ingenuity and chutzpah at hand, both of which he has plenty, Duddy embarks on one get rich scheme after another to make money to buy the land, usually following the belief that doing favors for those in power will yield financial favors in return.


Tuesdays / Artsy Artist and virtual class/demos

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This Tuesday enjoy Passover arts and crafts ideas and two artsy artists via Google Classroom VIRTUALLY YOURS Arts & Culture with Brandy from the Tampa JCCs. Then share your thoughts and own artwork by commenting and uploading pictures of your creations to the Google Classroom drive.


This weeks Featured Artist

Peace, שלום Shalom in Hebrew Calligraphy

by Michel D'anastasio


Michel D’Anastasio was born 19.01.1968, in France. He is a left-handed calligrapher, painter and graphic designer.


His work bears the harmony of the Hebrew and Roman letters, abstract signs.


Approach to the creation of Hebrew calligraphy


2004 to this day…


Michel’s trip to Malta shortly after the country of his ancestors celebrated joining the European Union proved to be very beneficial. During his genealogical research he discovered that part of his family was of Jewish origin. Thus Michel travelled on to Israel. He was overwhelmed by local culture, especially by Hebrew script. Back in Paris, he spent hours and then weeks studying Judaic calligraphy. Working with these letters brought immense satisfaction to him, every time he set down to work, Michel was swept with an inexplicable feeling of joy. A new world of forms and signs now opened its gates to him.


Michel found out that slanting type letters allow much more freedom and a contemporary feel; it seems they are full of life. Original admiration naturally evolved into a clear and obvious desire to improve and modernize the mastery of Hebrew alphabet design. In the same way Michel had modernized the Roman alphabet.


Today Michel continues to study the Hebrew language to hold a firmer grasp on all those signs and letters that come from under his quill so easily.


His work evolves fluently; Michel uses new materials to enrich his chefs d’oeuvre. Photographers, who specialize in calligraphy and décor photography, make good money cooperating with Michel.


As a visual communication agency director, Michel designs: corporate logos, graphic images, billboards, and decorative lights, with the help of the art of calligraphy.

Wednesday Culinary Cooking, Bagel French Toast-SERIOUSLY!


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Each Wednesday enjoy culinary videos and articles via Google Classroom VIRTUALLY YOURS Arts & Culture with Brandy from the Tampa JCCs & Federation.

Then share your thoughts and pictures of your own culinary creations by commenting and uploading pictures to the Google Classroom drive.




Molly Yeh

If you don’t know who Molly Yeh is, you must have taken a break from being part of the national conversation for a bit, but don’t worry, this Jewish-Chinese American chef who just scored a Food Network show is about to be everywhere. She’s about to bring Jewish cuisine to the TV screen, her blog mynameisyeh, with its comfortable, sparkle-friendly take on foods, is an internet favorite, and her new book on yogurt is set to make people rethink their dairy semi-solids.


Bagel French Toast


"Like a good little maid of honor, i hosted the morning-after brunch for Stoopie's wedding and like a good little aspiring Jewish mother I acquired way too many bagels and now I am left with a ton of bagels that are about to pass that good-even-if-you-toast-them-and-slather-them-with-cream-cheese phase. So this morning i listened to Mozart and made french toast and even though the kitchen is currently covered in poppy seeds, it was a delight. the french toast came out super chewy and crispy on the edges, texturally fantastic, i'd say.


I chose to cut the bagel into wedges, as opposed to big slices, because i didn't want to be stuck with two end pieces that were mostly crust (and minor fun) and also because i envisioned this as a cute little brunch hors d'oeuvre."




1 bagel, a couple days old


1 large egg


1/4 c milk (i used vanilla almond milk!)


1/2 tsp cinnamon


1 tb oil, for frying


for serving: syrup, berries, powdered sugar, nutella, whatever you please!




slice bagels into 1-inch wedges.


in an 8-inch pan, whisk together the milk, egg, and cinnamon.


let bagel wedges soak in the mixture for a few minutes on each side.


heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat.


cook the wedges until browned, about 2 minutes on each side.






Thursday Theater Mania

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Each Thursday enjoy articles, snapshots and videos of spicy new shows on and off Broadway along with local Theatre in Tampa Bay. Engage in conversation in a group forum setting via Google Classroom VIRTUALLY YOURS: Arts & Culture with Brandy from the Tampa JCCs& Federation. Share your thoughts by commenting and uploading pictures to the Google Classroom drive. 



Spotlight show of the week

The Bands Visit



The Bands Visit

Coming tot he Straz Center for the 2020-21 season


It is 1996, and through an error in pronunciation, the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra is stranded in the isolated desert town of Bet Havitka, Israel (rather than the city Petah Tikva, their actual destination). Without knowing the language and with very little money, the band members - led by conductor Tewfiq Zakaria - are welcomed by the locals, including cafe owner Dina and her two employees, Papi and Itzik. During this one night in a sleepy town where nothing much changes, the Egyptian band members and their Israeli hosts communicate in English (their only common language) and find their mutual love of music, whether traditional Middle Eastern ballads or American jazz and Chet Baker. Winner of ten Tony Awards and a score based in traditional middle eastern styles (with musicians planted all around the stage), The Band’s Visit appeals to the universal romance and passion people find in music, no matter where they are from.


Study Guide with so many interesting facts: https://thebandsvisitmusical.com/The_Band's_Visit_Study_Guide.pdf


Sunday Books & Conversations

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Each week you will receive three suggested pieces of literature hand selected by your Tampa Jewish Book Festival committee. Then tune in via ZOOM on Sundays at 6:30 pm to discuss the first Featured Book listed.


Discussions will have guest Authors visiting and talks will be led by Debbie Doliner via ZOOM.


In addition, please visit Google classroom VIRTUALLY YOURS: Arts & Culture with Brandy from the Tampa JCCs & Federation to chat about the other works of literature recommended with fellow book lovers.


This week on Sunday, April 5 at 6:30 pm

ZOOM with Author Melanie Benjamin; Mistress of the Ritz

ZOOM meeting info:


Join Zoom Meeting



Meeting ID: 486 502 662


Featured Book with discussion on May 27 @ 3:00 PM

Where the Crawdads Sing

By Delia Owens


Synopsis: For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life--until the unthinkable happens.


Recommended books that will not have a live discussion. Please join us at our Google classroom.



Book 2


By Sarah Blake


Synopsis: In her debut novel, Sarah Blake vividly conveys the story of Noah and the Ark from an unusual perspective — that of Noah’s wife, Naamah. Blake writes with strong, sensual, modern language, and utilizes time travel and dream sequences to create a multilayered story. With this book, Blake has taken one of the best-known biblical tales and opened it up in ways both inventive and provocative.

Naamah is filled with the sights, scents, and sounds of Naamah, Noah, and their family’s trying existence on the Ark. Blake brings this world alive in many ways, from detailed descriptions of the construction of the Ark and preparations for the journey, to the day-to-day practicalities of living with a literal boatload of creatures who need to be fed, cleaned up after, cared for, and controlled. This is not to mention the interactions among the eight people living on the Ark: Naamah, Noah, their three sons, and three daughters-in-law.

Blake examines Naamah’s complex inner life: the pain of leaving behind a lover, her relationship with an angel, her relationship with God. She also explores the psychologi-cal implications Naamah, Noah, and their children face as the last eight people left on Earth — their guilt, confusion, and anxiety, and the weight of the responsibilities that lie ahead of them. Here is Naamah speaking to her family before they enter the Ark: ”This is the last time you will see a crowd of people. Enjoy them. Observe them. Remember what you can. And don’t try to stick together. Soon we’ll all be together more than we can stand.”

With Naamah, Blake provides insights both unique and moving, and makes an ancient tale feel vibrant and relevant to today.


Book 3


By Marra B. Gad


In April 1970, Marra Gad was born in New York to an unwed, white Jewish mother and an unnamed, black father. Three days later, she was adopted by a Jewish family in Chicago.

In The Color of Love, Gad reflects on her childhood and early adulthood. She revisits critical moments and relationships, which both helped and hindered her as she tried to grapple with her identity as a mixed-race Jewish girl.

The first part of the book focuses on her childhood. She describes a fiercely loving and protective nuclear family, which expelled from their lives anyone who showed signs of racism. And the slings came from all sides. The neighborhood friend she played with told Gad that she was unwanted by her real mother, and that was why she lived with her current family and did not resemble them. Despite transparency about the adop-tion, neither she nor her parents or siblings had ever felt the difference in skin color as a difference. “I had always been told that it was because I was so loved, by both my birth mother and by my parents, that I had been adopted,” Gad writes. So, the neigh-bor disappeared from their lives.

When Gad wanted her hair straightened, her “Bubbie” took her to a hairdresser in Chicago’s South Side, a primarily black neighborhood in 1978. “We dressed in syna-gogue finery for our trip to the beauty shop,” she writes. There, the author hears herself referred to for the first time as, “that light-skinned child.” At that point she had heard about her brownness from white people but not about her lightness from people of color.

As she got older and tried to navigate the world of dating, which is fraught even under the easiest of circumstances, she found that “Jewish boys didn’t want to explain my brown skin. And black boys could not understand or embrace my Judaism.”

The second part of the book explores one of the most difficult relationships in Gad’s life. Her great aunt Nette, who had been unapologetically racist

If you have any questions about Arts + Culture with Brandy from the Tampa JCCs & Federation please contact Brandy at brandy.gold@jewishtampa.com