Episode 86: Doing Jewish Off the Grid
October 17, 2014

Image description: Photo of the lobby of the Federation CJA building in Montreal. Over the banner of the second floor, a banger hangs reading "Massacre à Gaza: CIJA is Complicit. CIJA (Centre for Israel-Jewish Affairs) offices are located on the second floor near the banner.

So squirrels are stealing schach from your Succah, cold rain is soaking everything, and you’re looking for some radio to extend the season of simkhe, warm sun and golden leaves? Happily, radio613 is back on air, with brand new programming for 5775!!! This episode’s feature interview is with Emily and Julia, two members of the organizing committee for the upcoming conference, Doing Jewish Off the Grid: Politics, Identity, and Spirituality, which is set to take place in Toronto, October 25-26. The conference aims to “create a space that recognizes the diversity of Jewish perspectives, to movement build with progressive Jewish community, and to generate alternative discussion around issues that do not currently hold enough space in the mainstream.” The show begins with coverage from a late summer action at the Montreal Federation CJA building where a group of Jews gathered to denounce the Israeli government’s assault on Gaza and the organized Jewish community’s complicity in it. Special thanks to Courtney Kirkby of CKUT Radio in Montreal for offering her reporting on the action.

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With music from Shuly Rand, the star of our favourite Succos movie “Ushpizin”.

Click here to listen/download the show.

For more information and to register for the Doing Jewish Off the Grid conference, click here.

Read the press release from the Jews who took action at the Federation CJA building in August here.

Stay tuned to our blog for new episodes of the show every month, or listen live on cfrc 101.9fm in Kingston.

Episode 84: “A Jew is not from scratch” – Miriam Hoffman Interview
April 1, 2014

Miriam Hoffman is a Yiddish  language, literature, and culture educator, author and sage. She is also a groundbreaking Yiddish playwright . We highly recommend tuning in to our interview with Hoffman, especially if you have a strong connection to Yiddish and diasporic languages. The interview took place at the Arbeter Ring’s “Vokh in Yiddishland” 2012.

Click here to download Part One of the interview.

Click here to download Part Two.

Episode 82: Turbo Folk Stories with Briga
December 3, 2013

A few years ago an album called Diaspora by Montreal based violinist Briga found its way into the CFRC library – a happy surprise for our collective that yearns for such fierce, beautiful music rooted in Balkan, Ashkenaz, Romani, and Middle Eastern traditions. Briga released Turbo Folk Stories in 2012 -an album produced after Briga’s return from a  tour through the Balkans playing Romani weddings & funerals with Bulgaria’s top violinist and mentor Georgi Yanev. You might have also heard Briga’s playing on one of our favourite Geoff Berner tracks, “Daloy Politsei”/”Down with the Police”. Avi caught up with Briga for an interview before her band’s performance at the “But is it Jewish?” showcase at this year’s Montreal Jewish Music Festival.

Click here to listen to the interview plus musical selections from Briga’s repertoire.

Track listing:
Briga – “Igraj Devojko”
Briga – “Qalbi (Mon Coeur)”
Briga – “7/8 Makedonska”
Briga – “Duj Duj”
Briga – “On The 40”

Episode 80: Doykeit
November 13, 2013

Tune-in to radio613’s 80th episode to hear our feature interview with Jenna Brager, artist, academic and zine-maker extraordinaire! Jenna’s latest project is the Doykeit zine series. Doykeit is Yiddish for “hereness,” which references The Bund’s perspective of the need for Jews to make a home and a political commitment to change ‘here and now’. The zines explore how the intersections of a Jewish & queer/feminist identification inform an anti-zionist politic as well as exploring themes of solidarity, identity and more.

The specific theme for Doykeit #2 is Diaspora and submissions are still being accepted! Jenna is particularly asking for “writing and art that considers one or more of the following topics: diaspora, home and “homeland,” galut, displacement, dispersal, remembrance, intergenerational relationships, borders, nationalism, and violence.” While the zine’s name comes from a Yiddish term,  it aims to include “site(s) of diaspora and site(s) of “home”” from around the globe. Read the full call-out here. Note that the submission deadline will remain open until enough submissions are received.  Contact Jenna directly to find out more about her projects and see how you can be involved: sassyfrasscircus@gmail.com.

In addition to our interview with Jenna, we were lucky to be given two recordings by the authors of pieces found in Doykeit #1.

Click here to for  our interview with Jenna plus MJ Kaufman reading “My grandmother’s queer prayer or how to pronounce the name of God”

Click here to hear Jessica Rosenberg reading “Pesah 5768-5772: ‘hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground'”

Episode 52: Highlights
September 14, 2011

Malcah & Avi return to the airwaves after a 6 month hiatus and share highlights from the first 50 episodes of radio613. If you are introducing your friend to the show, this episode is definitely a good place to start. We’ve got it all: Yiddishkeit, kabbalistic interpretations, book reviews, conversations with Jewish media-makers, musicians, artists and diasporists, poetry, Jewish political commentary… it’s good to be back.

Click here to listen (right-click to download).

Episode 22: Queering notions of diaspora
June 1, 2009

On June 1, 2009, Inextricable – a video art installation by Alexis Mitchell & Sharlene Bamboat – opens at the the Goldfarb Gallery at York University in Toronto. Inextricable presents three interconnecting videos that queer prevailing understandings of diaspora. Alexis Mitchell joins radio613 this week to speak about the upcoming exhibit. The interview outlines a queered notion of diaspora that does not rely on the restrictive binaries of the nation-state. Mitchell also discusses her own experiences as a queer Ashkenazi Jew living in Canada/Turtle Island and unattached to the idea of a homeland.

Music and poetry from Charming Hostess, LAL and Kevin Coval.

Be sure to check out Inextricable from June 1-5 at the Goldfarb Gallery, Fine Arts Building at York University. More information: alexismitchell.com

Click here to listen (right-click to download).

Episode 13: “Klezmer Mongrel” An interview with Geoff Berner
February 21, 2009

radio613 meets up with klezmer musician Geoff Berner in Kingston. Featuring music from Berner’s trip to Kingston on February 12 and a conversation about evolutions of Klezmer music, reclaiming the title of tradition, Jewish history and solidarity, and Vancouver 2010 – ongoing colonization, gentrification, and homelessness in occupied British Colombia.

Featured music:
Luck in Exile (live at an unknown wedding hall in Kingston)
Traveller’s Curse (from the album Whiskey Rabbi)
The Dead Children Were Worth It! (live at the Artel in Kingston)
King of the Gangsters (live at the Artel in Kingston)
Authentic Klezmer Wedding Band (live at the Artel in Kingston)

Click here to listen (right-click to download).

geoffberner.com