Israeli musicians to perform in Toronto

Itzhak Perlman

By Bill Gladston

Canadian Jewish News

Several upcoming concerts in the Toronto area feature Israeli musicians, beginning April 1 with Jerusalem Makes Music, a special musical evening co-hosted by the German Consulate of Toronto and the Jerusalem Foundation of Canada.

Jerusalem Makes Music, a fundraiser for the Jerusalem Foundation, features three young musicians from Germany and Israel: Tobias Baz, a cellist from Germany studying in Toronto, Israeli clarinettist Ido Azrad and Toronto-born Gili Loftus on piano. A donation of $500 is required per ticket. April 1, 7 p.m. 2 Bloor St. E., 25th floor. 416-635-5491,

A week later, Israeli pianist Ishay Shaer performs a program of Beethoven, Chopin and Canadian composer Harry Somers in a Syrinx Sunday Salon concert. Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave. Sunday, April 8, 3 p.m. Reception follows concert. $25, students $20. 416-654-0877,

And later still in April, Israeli master violinists Gil Shaham and Itzhak Perlman each have dates scheduled. Shaham performs Bach and Perlman performs Mozart, Shostakovich and Mendelssohn in concerts set respectively for April 21 and April 29 at Koerner Hall, Royal Conservatory of Music, 273 Bloor St. W. 416-408-0208,

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Names in the News: Servitude is a new cinematic workplace comedy written and produced by Torontonian Michael Sparaga, who credits such Hollywood heavyweights as Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters) and Etan Cohen (Tropic Thunder) for mentoring the project through its crucial early development.

The film is a semi-autobiographical comedy that follows a group of frustrated waiters who take over their restaurant for one final, glorious night when they discover they are all about to be fired. The cast includes Joe Dinicol, Dave Foley, Enrico Colantoni, Lauren Collins and Margot Kidder.

“The lead character is essentially me at age 25 – a young Jewish man at a crossroads, having to decide whether it’s time to grow up and go to law school or continue to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a writer,” Sparaga, a York University film department graduate, told Eye On Arts. Canadian release date for the film is March 30.

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Film and TV

• The Toronto Workmen’s Circle presents a screening of Bundai’im, a lively documentary about the Bund movement from its inception in Lithuania to its current status in Israel. In Hebrew and Yiddish, with English and Hebrew subtitles. 471 Lawrence Ave. W., Sunday, March 25, 2 p.m. Members free, guests $5.

• The Thomashefskys: Music and Memories of a Life in the Yiddish Theater is a celebration of Yiddish theatre pioneers Boris and Bessie Thomashefsky by their grandson, conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. It airs on the PBS network, Thursday, March 29, 8 p.m.

• Critic Kevin Courrier presents the final lecture, with film clips, in his series on American movies. The topic is the Obama era: The Visitor, Rachel Getting Married, The Hurt Locker, No Country for Old Men and more. Includes film clips. Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, Monday, March 26, 7 to 9 p.m. $12 at the door; students $6.

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Arts in Brief

• Liz Pearl, editor of the Living Legacies series of creative non-fiction by Canadian Jewish women, is featured in the fifth annual Canadian Hadassah-WIZO Literary Levee, which includes a reading, discussion, light dinner and silent auction. Presented by Miriam and ATID chapters of CHW-Toronto Centre. $36. Reuben Cipin Healthy Living Community, 2 Neptune Dr. Thursday, March 22, 6:30 p.m. 416-630-8373,

• Usher in the month of Nisan with Night without a Moon: Jewish Women’s Cabaret. The evening of song and storytelling is hosted by Annie Gilbert and features the music of Marcia Beck, Tova Kardonne, Marni Levitt and Ilana Newman. $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Miles Nadal JCC, Saturday, March 24, 8 to 11:30 p.m. 416-924-6211, ext. 0,

• Janusz Makuch, director of the Krakow Jewish Culture Festival, presents a talk on Jewish culture in contemporary Poland. Miles Nadal JCC, Sunday, March 25, 2 to 4 p.m. Co-presented by Miles Nadal, Ashkenaz Foundation and Polish-Jewish Heritage Foundation; $10 at the door. 416-924-6211, ext. 154,

• Four community leaders and philanthropists dance to raise funds for Baycrest’s research on aging and brain health. Andrea Martin hosts the third annual Dancing With Our Stars in support of the Baycrest Foundation, with judges Dina Pugliese, Rex Harrington and Jean-Marc Genereux. Tickets start at $1,000. Allstream Centre, 105 Princes Blvd., Thursday, March 29, 6 p.m.

• Elegy: Deborah Samuel, an exhibition of a new series of images by photo-based artist Samuel, is on view in the Royal Ontario Museum’s Hilary and Galen Weston Wing, Level 2, until July 2.