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December 18, 2009     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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December 18, 2009

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PAGE 12A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 18, 2009 By Ruth Ellen Gruber Quarter6Quarter7 is thedowntown basement music"Ifyouaskmewhywearetak- mostambitiousinitiativeofthe club Take 5 for a Q6Q7 festi- ingpart, thesimplestansweris, BUDAPEST, Hungary lot. The festival, coordinated val concert by RotFront, an why not?" said David Kautezky, (JTA)--Just call Budapest by the Jewish youth group ethno-fusion-klezmer-punk one of the owners of Szoda, a Chanukah Party Central. Marom with financial support band from Berlin. They popular Seventh District cafe. Thisyear, theHungariancap- from the American Jewish cheered and danced as the During the Q6Q7 festival, ital is host to an unprecedented Joint Distribution Committee, band played an anti-racist Szoda, decorated with big number of events celebrating includes about 130 concerts, anthem. In recent years, mangacartoons, hosted an art the Festival of Lights, ranging performances, guided tours, Hungary has seen rising anti- exhibit and party. from the Jewish community's exhibitions, lectures and other Semitism, political gains by "Itisveryimportantthatthe annual gala Chanukah ball to events, the extreme right and recent quarter cooperates as a com- Quarter6Quarter7--a first- They are taking place in violent attacks against the munity,"hesaid."Thecoopera- of-its-kind eight-day festival about 30 venues in the Sixth Gypsy, or Roma, minority, tion between different spaces celebrating the history, culture and Seventh districts, Buda- "Gay, Gypsyor Jew, Hungary and places in this quarter are and community of the old Jew- pest's oldest and most impor- is so proud of you," they sang. good and important, and they ish quarter, tantdowntownJewishquarter. "Gypsy, Jewishorgay, Budapest are definitely growing." Chabad lights a public me- Venues range from the Jewish is the place to stay." Ofcourse, headded,"Wealso norah each night, Chanukah Museumandthreeornatesyna- Aniko Fenyvesi, the deputy have a Christmas party." parties are taking place in gogues to bars, clubs, shops, editor of Time Out Budapest, Some events reflected Cha- several of Budapest's dozen bistros and art galleries, saidsheheardaboutthefestival nukah themes of miracles, or more synagogues, and Festivalorganizersplastered from one of the magazine's light and rededication. Along mini-festivals of klezmer and the Jewish quarterwith bright writers, these lines, one exhibition classical music are being held yellow, red and blue posters "I went to check out the space featured a nightly fire in various locales, and handed out stacks of RotFront concert at the Take5 juggler, andtherewasacooking Even the British Embassy is programs. Each venue chose club and was really amazed by demonstrationofholidayfoods. joiningin, co-sponsoringa riv- programming tailored to its the turnout," Fenyvesi said. "It An exhibition of contempo- erboat"music against racism" clientele. A bookstore hosted was packed." raryHungarianphotographyat concert of Gypsy and klezmer a 20th birthday party for the Organizers hope the festival the Boulevard & Brezsnyev art music called "Hanukkah 5770/ Jewish monthly Szombat. Par- will help develop general com- gallery featured photographs Christmas 2009." ticipating restaurants offered munity spirit in the Jewish dealing with light hanging in "There's more going on here discounts and special meals, quarter and draw attention to a gallery that was purposely than ever," said Michael Miller, and some also held exhibits, efforts to preserve its architec- kept dark; visitors had to use a professor of Jewish studies at On the second night of tural heritage, which has been flashlights to see the works. Central European University, Chanukah, more than 400threatened by gentrification "Chanukah is about light, "and it's more varied." people crowded into theand real estate development, andforme, lightisthe celebra- tion," said gallery director Zsolt Victora. Like other local business- men involved in the Q6Q7 festival, Victora said it was important to take part. "We are here, we are in this quarter," he said. Ruth Ellen Gruber Robert Vajda chants the blessings and lights Chanukah candles set up on the bar of the Siraly care in Budapest dur. ing the Quarter6Quarter7 festival. Not long ago, the Sev- formthereareJewishorJewish enth District was dilapidated, friendly," she said."Around the Though much of it is still cornerthere'sabuildingwhere rundown, in the past few years a Jewish theater group holds it has become one of the city's its rehearsals, and down the trendiest downtown neighbor- street there is Froelich's kosher hoods for youth-oriented cafes pastry shop." and clubs. During the festival, candle- It also is a growing focus of lighting ceremonies were held entrepreneurialJewishactivity, each night at several venues> On a Q6Q7 festival walk- including the Jewish Museum ing tour of the district, guide and the cafe Siraly, which is Agi Antal showed a group co-managed by Marom. the historic synagogues, the At Siraly, Robert Vajda lit headquarters of the Jewish candles set up on thebar. Busi- federation and Holocaust me- nesshaltedasVajda, whoheads morials. She also pointed out an alternative Jewish theater other Jewish sites, group, chanted the blessings, "Here there is a kosher shop, Then, as the flames began to and across the street is the flicker, patrons turned back cafe Spinoza, which also has a to their drinks and conversa- stage- and I would say that 90 tions---or headed out to catch percent of the actors who per- a concert. SAVE $5 on Tickets to any Performance! 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SM Come 90 minutes before show time to see our Asian elephants atthe Animal Open Horn . And, meet the stars an hour before the show at the All Access Pro-show- FREE to all ticket holders! G-BLUE By Jodi Bodner eye in sight at his grave in the home as a living memorial for Jewish National Fund military cemetery in Haifa generations to come." as we listened to her story It. Uri Binamo was killed Never underestimate the of her son's bravery in the when he intercepted and pre- transformative power of a face of his impending death," vented--with his body--two trip to Israel, not just on the says Meitin. "He knew what suicidebombersfromentering visitors but also on the people was coming when he saw the Israel at a checkpoint to com- who live there, man approaching the check- mitanactofterrorism. Hewas Three years ago, about 25 point with a bulky coat and awarded a Medal of Honor for women participated in Jew- he hurried his soldiers away his bravery and dedication to ish National Fund's Queen of so that only he would be im- his mission. Sheba women-only mission, pacted. Newspaper headlines The menorah was chosen It is a once-in-a-life-time ex- screamed 'Uri Saves Chanu- to pay tribute to Uri for his perience for women only--no kah.' Can you imagine how courageous actions that saved husbands, no kids, no boy- many lives would have been countless lives and created friends--just women experi- lost if the suicide bomber had a Chanukah miracle for the encinglifeastheirsistersdoin reachedanopen-airChanukah people of Israel. Inscribed on Israel;seeingandfeelingIsrael celebration in a nearby city?" thebranchesarethesignificant through women's eyes only. This Chanukah--on Dec. milestones in Uri's life. The They laughed, they cried, 15, the fifth night--a new shamash symbolizes his stat- they met women who are menorah was lit in memory ure as ahuman being---atrue soldiers, in business, pio- ofUriBinamo, whowaskilled leader who enlightened others neers in the Negev, evacuees protecting the lives of others around him. The menorah's from Gaza, Bedouin, profes- four years ago on the fifth day waveshapeemphasizesthelink sors--you name it--women of Chanukah.The menorahis between commemoration and representingallpartsofIsrael's attheentrancetotherecently the continuity of life. An am. demographics.And they lefta completed educational trail phitheaterservesasagathering little different than when they aptly named "Uri's Way." It placeforstudents, soldiers, and arrived, is a testament to the bravery hikers to learn about heritage During this trip one meet- andlegacyofUri, whosename and nature. The chameleon, ing in particular left a lasting means light; a testament to nature's master of camouflage impression. The group met up the tenacity of his mother in and the symbol Uri designed in an IDF cemetery in Haifa her search for a meaningful for his army unit, guides the withRosieBinamo, abereaved way to honor his life; and a visitor along the trail to the mother whose 21-year-old testament to the power of a Suspension Bridges. son, Lt. Uri Binamo, had been trip to Israel and the power "Uri's Way is something killed in a terrorist attack in of women. The nature trail that's very much alive," said 2005. Their meetingwas most winds through the forest and Rosie. "It is a memorial but a extraordinary. She sharedher presentsvisitorswithavariety dynamic one; you don't just tragic story with them and of activities and observation stand there, it engagesyou in told them she needed to do points before they reach the to-doactivities.Andthemeno- something in his memory-- Suspension Bridges. rah allows you to both honor something that would have "Uri used to play in Nesher it and get close to it. Kids even been meaningful to Uri. The Park as a child," said Rosie, hug the branches. It's very group left Rosie committed who lived in Baltimore, Md. emotional. If a 7-year-old can to raising the funds to build before makingaliyah."Nature hug it, then we got it right." an educational trail in Nesher was a passion of his and I was The next Queen of Sheba Park in Uri's memory, determined to make his short Mission will take place March DebbieMeitinofAltamonte life meaningful for the future. 1-10, 2010. For information Springs participated in that This project is the best way on how to take part in this Queen of Sheba mission with possible to keep hisvalues and experience, visit her daughter, and met Rosie dreams, his lifestyle and his travelorcallElisaSchindlerat Binamo. "There was not a dry loveofIsrael, and his childhood 212-879-9305, ext. 297.