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August 10, 2012

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PAGE 14A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 10, 2012 By Matt Robinson studio during Hurricane Ka- - days in the Hall, Jaffe smiles When asked what else trina in2005, Jaffecontinues and says, "Memories? Mymight have led him to his to perform and promote his whole childhood is one big musical choices, Jaffe ex- Growing up in New Orleans beloved Jazz in New Orleans fairytalememory["Inaddition plains that he believes people as the son of the man who and around the world. As he collaborating with members "gravitatetoinstrumentsthat turned a French Quarterart preparestoperformattheleg- of his own band and their reflect their personality." gallery into one ofthe longest- endary Newport Jazz Festival musical predecessors, Jaffe Perhaps this is why Jaffe running and most-successful' Aug. 3-5 in Rhode Island and was privileged to go on gigs has been able to remain so music venues in the world-- to release a Preservation Hall and tours with some of New grounded despite the highs Preservation Hall Jewish Jazz Band 50th anniversary Orleans' (and the world's) of fame and the lows of sad- tubaplayerBenJaffehadjazz box set on the Columbia/ greatest creative powers. "I ness that have befallen his running through his veins Legacy label in September, wasblessedtogrowuparound family, his city, and his gem:e from a very early age. Jaffe found a "few moments an incredible community of in recent years. In addition Jaffe recalls in aninterview to reflect his musical life musicians and artists," he to mourning his father and with that spending thus far. says. his studio (which housed time during his childhood "I grew up around Preset- In addition to having the many of the Hall's archives, with the legendary likes of vation Hall," Jaffe explains, sound o Yiddish the "ma- some of which were thank- Allen Toussaint, Pete Seeger, reminiscing about days and, maioshen" in his ear, Ben fully saved and preserved on and the Creole duo of Billie nights spent with his father grew up at the knee of his the new box set), Jaffe lost and De De Pierce was like and local legends like the tuba-playing father, many friends in Katrinaand "going to your grandparents' Humphrey Brothers, Walter "I had the sound of bass in has also seen how jazz as a houseandhearingthemspeak Payton (father of Nicholas) my [head] long before Istarted whole has been slowly dying Yiddish." and others. "If I wasn't at playing music," explains the as clubs continue to close and Despite his father Allan's home, I was at Preservation bassandtubaplayerwhobegan radio stations continue to passing in- 1987 and the near Hall two blocks away." playingatage6andperformed cuttheirjazz programming. destruction of his home and When asked if he has any in his first Mardi Gras parade That is why he continues to his state- f-the-artrecording particular memories of his with his father at 9. work so hard to maintain jazz and preserve not only the legacy of the Hall (which, as its name attests, was created as a means of preservihg the original sound of New Orleans Jazz), but also of the city. While Katrina devastated much of his physical home, Jaffe is almost thankful for the hurricane that revealed the true heart and soul of the Crescent City. "I never knew how strong of a community we have in New Orleans until Hurricane Katrina," he says, noting that, as the Hall has gone, so too has the city. "Preservation Hall is a re- flection of New Orleans." he suggests. As the traditions of the Hall and of the city go so deep and stretch back so far, Jaffe sees it not only as a matter of pride, but as one of "responsibility" to care for and nourish his . traditions and those of the music on which he and his family (immediate and far extended) was raised. That is why, 50 years on, Jaffe gives the same heart and soul to the Hall and to musicthat his father and is many musical friends have and continue to give, "I want to pass on the tradition the older generation and the generations that came before me passed to me," Jaffe says. "It's important to me to pass on the musical traditions that I inherited. That's the greatest gift in the world." Jaffe remains astonished by what the Hall and its legend- ary "house band" have meant to his'city and the world. "It's amazing how much joy the band has brought into the world," he observes. "We are better people because of Preservation Hall.'" By Jason Miller bring esoteric Jewish concepts sode 8): It's likely that many into the series, including in a viewers thought this was a WESTBLOOMFIELD, Mich. recent episode that featured funeralserviceatthecemetery, (JTA)--Fans of the long-run- ruminations on the power but Jewish fans recognized the ning Showtime series "Weeds" purpose of immersing in the ritual as the unveilingofJudah know that writer and creator mikvah. Perhaps because the Botwin's tombstone. Once Jenji Kohan is not afraid to show is on the subscription- the family returns from the pepper the show withJewish based Showtime network, its cemeterylNancyBotwin(Mary- themes.Whiletheshow, nowin Jewish essence hasn't been Louise Parker) explains her itsfinalseason.haschangedits widely covered, but Kohan, day to the Drug Enforcement flavorovertheyearsandgained who considered attending Agency agent who becomes some critics, many devotees rabbinical school but was not her boyfriend: "It's where they still enjoy the story about a permitted to do so because unveil the gravestone. It's a marijuana-selling wjdQwed she is intermarried, has taken Jewish thing. I know you're mother from the suburbs and on some controversial Jewish thinking,'Shedoesn'tlookJew- her family's experiences, subjects in the past eight sea- ish.' I come from Welsh stock Throughout the different sons. Here are the top Jewish I'mnotJewish.Myhusband. webs of relationships, Kohan, references: He's dead now. Hewas Jewish." who is Jewish, has managed to * Unveiling (Season 1, Epi- The episode also tackles the anity Call on Central Florida's Exclusively Jewish Funeral Home for Details Regarding: Traditional Jewish Funerals Non-Traditional Services Interstate Shipping Pre-Arranged Funerals (Shalom Assurance Plan) Headstone, Grave Markers (Cardinal Memorials) 640 Lee Rd. Orlando, Florida W.E. "Manny" Adams, LFD James R. Cardinal, Executive Director Samuel P. (Sammy) Goldstein, Assoc. Exec. Director www, bethshalommemorialchapel,com Showtime/Jenji Kohan Facebook Jenji Kohan, creator of the Showtime series "Weeds," which is in its:final season, has been integrating Jewish themes into the show since its beginning. controversial topic of Jewish have Nancy kill the boy's father and insists lineage when the Orthodox * Sitting Shiva (Season 4, on a brit for the baby, whom rabbi tells the Botwin bo) s, Si- Episode 4): While shiva is one he promises to raise proudly las (Hunter Parrish) andShane of the mostwell-known Jewish as his Jewish son. At the brit, (AlexanderGouid),thattheyare rituals, not many television babyStevieisgiventheHebrew notlegitimatelyJewishbecause shows have accurately por- name Avi Melech. their mother isn't Jewish and trayed it. This episode focuses- * Mikvah (Season 8, Episode they had never converted to entirely on the Botwin family 5): At the end of this episode, Judaism. The young Shane is sitting shivafor Bubble at son Rabbi David Bloom (David hurt by the newsand takes out Lenny's insistence. Several Julian Hirsh), the rabbi/hospi- hisaggression on his wrestling laws and customs of shiva are tal chaplain, finally confronts opponent, whose foot he bites,mentioned duringthe episode, Nancy, who has been secretly after yelling "Sh'maYisrael!" including the understanding swimming in his backyard * Rabbinical School (Sea- that family members should swimming pool. This is the son 2): Nancy's out-of-work notcook forthemselves.Ashiva same rabbiwho talks theology brother-in-law Andy (Justin candle is lit, and friends and withAndyatthehospitalwhen Kirk) decides the best way to neighbors come to pay their he is concerned aboutNancy's keepfromreturningtomilitary respect, well-being after she is shot service will be to become a * Levirate Marriage (Ongo- ' in the head at the end of the rabbi. Heenrollsinthe fictional ing): WhileAndyrnentions the previous season. When Nancy Hamidrash L'Torah rabbinical Jewish concept of a Levirate explains that swimming in the school, where he falls in love marriage to his sister-in-law pool feels like a sort of rebirth with the dean, the attractive Nancy at one point in the for her, the rabbi explains the Israeli Yael Hoffrnan (Meital . show's history, the theme is Jewish concept oftevillah (im- D0han). While much of the an ongoing one. The Torah mersion in a mikvah). This is ongoing rabbinical school dictates that an unmarried likely the most zpiritual and experience is silly, some rather man must marry his brother's New Age definition of the mik- serious issues are discussed, widow, but that applies dnly if yah ritual that has ever been including Andy's theological thewidowhasnothadchildren, offered on television. convictions, which come up So even if the law would not Kohan has said that she's while he is writing his admis- apply in Nancy andAndy's case not afraid to take on inherently sions essay. -- both because she already has Jewishconceptsontheshowno Euthanasia (Season 4, Children and she is not Jewish matter how esoteric they may Episodes 2 and 3): The Botwins -- the constant and sometimes be. For the many Jewish fans of leave the Agrestic/Majestic awkward attraction between ' teeds,"therehavebeenmany community after it burns and them seems continually to instances of surprise andpride relocate tothehomeofNancy's remind the viewer of AndY's overtheyearsafterunpredicted father-in-law. There they find enjoymentandfrustrationover mentions of a Jewish ritual Lenny Botwin (Albert Brooks) the hunt. or theme. As the final season and hismother, Bubble (Jo Far- * Bris (Season 5, Episode 8): comes to a close, there may kas),who is hooked up to aven- Nancy gives birth to Tijuana just be more Jewish references tilator.TheAuschwitzsurvivor MayorandcartelleaderEsteban to come. regainsconsciousnessandasks Reyes' baby boy, but the father Rabbi Jason Miller is an Lenny to kill her. The Botwin (DemianBichir)refusestosign educator and blogger. He is men discuss the wisdom and the birth certificate for fear of president of Access Computer ethics of euthanizing Bubble, its effect on his political career. Technology in Michigan and but in the end Lenny agrees to An@ signs the birth certificate is on Twitter at @Rabbi Jason.