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October 10, 2014
 

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PAGE 18A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 10, 2014 Thoroughly modern 'Altina': close-up of an accomplished life Side, atRiverside Drive and 107th Street. Her father, Morris Schi- nasi, arrived in New York as a penniless Jewish im- migrant from Turkey. He invented a cigarette-rolling machine at a time when peo- ple still rolled their own, then branched out into making and selling his own brands of cigarettes packed with strong Oriental tobacco. Morris Schinasi managed to build a business empire without learning how to read or write but he spoke eight languages fluently. Tina Schinasi attended a predominantly Episcopalian boarding school in Wellesley, Mass., where she got her first youthful taste of anti- Semitism. Despite her familywealth, she went to work during the Depression, designing window displays for Fifth Avenue stores. Schinasi also collaborated with the sur- realist painter Salvador Dali on some assignments and studied under the German exile artist George Grosz. She found the spectacles worn by women in the early part of the 20 th century to be unflattering, so she cre- ated Harlequin or cat's eye frames, which swept By Tom Tugend LOS ANGELES (JTA)-- Ambitious girls of yore looking for role models among successful and acS- complished women might turn to scientist Marie .Cu- rie, aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart or first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, a social justice champion. And then there was Altina Schinasi, the subject of a new documentary feature, "Altina," directed by her filmmaker grandson Peter Sanders. "Tina" grew up among the opulent splendor of a New York mansion, became a painter and innovative sculp- tor, then an Oscar-nominat- ed film producer, inventor, business executive, backer of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and an advocate for refugees fleeing the Nazis. The new feature on her life has been shown this month in New York City and Beverly Hills, CalM.; future screenings are planned for Washington, D.C. Altina Schinasi-Sanders- Barrett-Carey-Miranda was born in 1907 and raised in a 12-bedroom white marble mansion that's still standing on Manhattan's Upper West set elegartly with round tables, with premeasured ingredients at each place" explained Bracha Liebowitz, program director at Chabad of Greater Orlando. "Each woman will mix her own dough and leave it to rise. While the dough rises, wo men will enjoy soup and salads. At this time they will be able to browse the beauti- ful displays highlighting all of the mitzvot for women. When they return, they'll be able to shape two Chal- lahs each" The loaves will be taken home for baking. "We have just entered a new Jewish New Year," said Dubov. "So this is an especially appropriate time to hold this event starting off the new year beseeching blessings for family members and friends" Mega Challah Bake will be held Oct. 23. 7 p.m. at the Maitland Civic Center, 641 Maitland Ave S, Maitland, FL 32751. Tickets are $20 before Oef. 20 and $25 after Oct. 20. Student Fee is $5. For reservations, go to www. Challahevent.com. Challah 6752 3864 5193 2976 9231 7548 4387 861 5 1429 From page IA challah according to specific requirements and then break off a piece of the dough to give to the priests. That action symbolized that "we recognize that everything we have comes from God," said Chani Konikov co-director of Chabad of South Orlando. "And bread itself is important in Jewish tradition because it represents everything we have." Since the temple's de- struction, there haven't been priests to whom the dough may be given. But Jewish women continue to make challah, removing a piece of the dough and making a special blessing as they do. Today in the absence of the temple the small piece of dough is burned. Rivky Lipskier, co-director of Chabad at UCF said she has held challah-making demon- strations in the past, but"do- ing this as a large, citywide event is extra-special. There is so much power when so many women are doing this together." "The ballroom will be 31849 7.9521 64278 18354 57486 26913 92165 43792 85637 the country in the 1930s. Subsequently, Schinasi es; tablished her own company to distribute her invention. Striking out as an artist, she experimented with bold paintings, showing the influ- ence of Picasso and Chagall. Then, turning to sculpture, she created "humanistic" benches and chairs that she dubbed "chairacters, ' de- picting lovers in passionate embrace or coolly turning their backs on each other. "I never thought I was a great painter, but I had a passion for the arts," she says in the film. In the 1940s, she moved to Los Angeles and naturally directed her talents toward making a documentary film. Titled "Interregnum" ("Germany Between Wars"), it tracked the artistic and political career of her ex- teacher Grosz, whose biting anti-Nazi caricatures led to his forced exile when Hitler came to power. This first-time effort won her an Oscar nomination and the prestigious Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. During the civil rights confrontations of the 1950s and'60s, she befriended King and obtained his agreement to make a film about his life and struggles. The project was too controversial at the time and Schinasi was un- able to find studio funding and backing, Sanders said. During the communist- hunting era of the 1940s and '50s, Sanders noted. Schinasi sheltered movie director John Berry, who was trying to avoid a congressio- nal subpoena, in her Beverly Hills home. Alongside these varied activities she married a procession of husbands. In chronological order they were architect Morris Sand- ers; Eric Barrett, a Viennese doctor and concert pianist; Charles Carey, her co-pro- ducer on "Interregnum"; and finally, Celestino ("Tino") Miranda, an artistic refugee from Castro's Cuba who joined Tina in her painting nd sculpturing studio.. Miranda makes for one of the more arresting figures in the film. He married the con- siderably older Tina in 1981, when she was already in her 70s. Speaking in Spanish, he courtesy of altinathefilm.com The Schinasi Mansion on Manhattan's Upper West Side, 1907. courtesy of altinathefilm,com Altina Schinasi is shown in.Santa Monica, Calif., 1970. tells the viewer, "She was hot, she liked sex. She didn't just lie there, she had the stamina of a 25-year-old." Schinasi died in 1999 at age 92. In making his docu- mentary, Sanders was greatly aided by the discovery of foot- age that Morris Sanders shot on the couple's honeymoon in 1927 and in 1928. A two- hour interview filmed with an 84-year-old Schinasi filmed by her son Terry Sanders also was instrumental. During the last decade of her life, Schinasi and Mi- randa lived in Santa Fe, N.M., and Peter Sanders joined them for half a year at their combination homestead and artists' studio. He remembered his grand- mother as cool and private, not the hugging type. "I tried to decode what her paintings and sculptures meant," Peter Sanders told JTA. "And everywhere there were animals, inside and out- side. peacocks, sheep, Chi- nese roosters and Bernese Mountain Dogs." Asked about the Jew- ish aspect of his family tree, Sanders observed, "My grandmother Tina was proud of her Jewishness, deeply affected by the rise of the Nazis and personally fur- nished 13 affidavits to enable Jewish refugees to enter the United States. But we were never practicing Jews in the religious sense." An upbeat aspect of the film is the musical score, including ragtime and jazz. reflecting the various de- cades of Tina's life. Following fivi years of work, "Altina" came in at a budget of about $250,000, mainly underwrit- ten by Schinasi's grand- daughter Victoria Sanders, who first conceptualized the film, and executive producer Diane Dickensheid. To borrow from satirist and songwriter Tom Lehrer's paean to the much and fa- mously marriedAlmaMahler, "awoman like this makes one realize how.little one has ac- complished in one's own life.'" JCRC From page IA during the Civil Rights era over the next month. Be on the lookout for these incred- ible stories. Porth has been a longstand- ing member of JCRC and the Federation board: She previ- ously served as Federation president and as JCRC chair- person several years ago. Her passion for justice guides all of the work of the Council. JCRC subcommittees also have new leadership. The community relations com- mittee is being chaired by Mark Cooper. The Israel Advocacy Committee is being chaired by Mark Klafter, and the Social Justice Committee continues to be chaired by Marty Sherman. It was a busy summer for the Israel Advocacy commit- tee, with memorials, rallies and general support efforts for Israel. The committee is planning an Israel messaging training session for the winter. The social justice committee has already had a group from The Federation's Our Jewish Orlando initiative share an ice cream party at Pathways to Care, a post-hospital rehab center for the homeless. The social justice committee will be scheduling dates for volun- teer nights at Second Harvest again this year. The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando's mission is to nurture a unified Jewish community that transcends generations and neighbor- hoods. The Jewish Federa- tion of Greater Orlando has been in existence for over 60 years. We are part of a greater umbrella, the Jewish Fed- erations of North ?merica which represents 155 Jew- ish Federations and over 300 Network communities, raise and distribute more than $3 billion annually for social welfare, social services and educational needs. The Federation movement col- lectively is among the top 10 charities or the continent, protecting and enhancing the well-being of Jews world- wide through the values of charity, social justice and learning. To learn more about our impact locally through the Jewish Com- munity Relations Council please visit, www.jfgo.org. Party From page 1A uted to the center's success over the years, including Bonnie Friedman. Judy Levin, Amy Geboff. Nancy Green- field, Paula Roth, Carol Miller, Debbie House, and Jodi Alter. In 2007, Karen Duncan, who had worked as a teacher and supervisor in the pre- school, for 15 years, took the reigns in reinventing the parenting center. With sponsorships from Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Darden, Shayna's Village was reborn with a new look and schedule of unique classes. The Party After Dark event on Nov. 8 will recognize Es, Justin, and Matt, while also raising funds for the Richard S. Adler Early Childhood Learning Center. The evening will feature hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, a children's art auc- tion, and a live band. For more information or to RSVP, visit www.orlandojcc. org/partyafterdark, or call Carol McNally, early childhood director, at 407-645-0923 or CarolM@orlandojcc.org.