Bits & Bytes: Doug Varone and Dancers at Jacob’s Pillow; youth online safety training for adults; Lantern Library talk; Judith Schumer at CAS

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By Thursday, Jul 27 Life In the Berkshires
Nikki Carrara
Doug Varone and Dancers will perform a 30-year retrospective at Jacob's Pillow in Becket beginning Wednesday, Aug. 2.

Doug Varone and Dancers to perform 30-year retrospective at Jacob’s Pillow

Becket — Doug Varone and Dancers will celebrate it 30th anniversary as a company with a program at Jacob’s Pillow Wednesday, Aug. 2, through Sunday, Aug. 6.

As artistic director and Founder of the company, Varone has been an inspiration to the contemporary dance field for decades. Varone will open the program with an ode to his life’s work titled “Nocturne(s),” a partnership of self-performed solos from the past and the present including a world premiere. The reflective dance will be followed by Varone’s iconic group piece “Boats Leaving” and his newest work, “ReComposed,” inspired by the pastel drawings of visual artist Joan Mitchell.

Doug Varone & Dancers is a New York City-based company that presents work internationally. Varone has been commissioned by companies such as Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Martha Graham Dance Company and Batsheva Dance Company, and has staged dances with students in more than 75 college and university programs. The company has received 11 New York Dance and Performance Awards and has traveled to more than 125 cities worldwide.

Tickets range from $39 to $69. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Jacob’s Pillow at (413) 243-0745.

–E.E.

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Multicultural BRIDGE, USDOJ to present training on youth online safety

Great Barrington — Multicultural BRIDGE will present the United States Department of Justice and the United States Attorneys Office program “Keeping Children Safe & Secure Online: A Project Safe Childhood Presentation for Parents” at the Great Barrington firehouse, 37 State Rd., on Wednesday, Aug. 16, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The presentation will cover topics such as sexting, gaming, sextortion, bullying and identity theft and will be followed by a 30-minute question-and-answer session with USDOJ and USAO staff and lawyers. Light appetizers will be provided and beverages will be available for purchase. Participation is limited to 50 people and registration is required. For more information or to register, contact adminsupport@multiculturalbridge.org.

–E.E.

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Galina Vromen to discuss Lantern Library

Galina Vromen. Photo courtesy Lee Library

Galina Vromen. Photo courtesy Lee Library

Lee — On Monday, July 31, at 6:30 p.m., the Lee Library will welcome Galina Vromen, founding director of Lantern Library (“Maktabat al-Fanoos” in Arabic), the largest Arabic-language book-gifting program in the world.

Based in Israel and operated through a partnership of the Israel Ministry of Education and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, Maktabat al-Fanoos has distributed more than 2 million books in Arabic to children ages 3 to 6, part of the foundation’s commitment to strengthening Israeli society by instilling a love of books and parent-child conversations from an early age in both the country’s Jewish majority and Arab minority. Vromen, head of HGF’s office in Israel, will offer insight into the cultural considerations that go into selecting books that are suitable for a highly diverse population which are then distributed to all children in Arabic-language public preschools in Israel.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Lee Library at (413) 243-0385 or rborsody@cwmars.org.

–E.E.

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‘A Family’s Journey to Freedom: Escaping the Holocaust Through the Far East’

Judith Schumer. Photo courtesy Congregation Ahavath Sholom

Judith Schumer. Photo courtesy Congregation Ahavath Sholom

Great Barrington — On Monday, July 31, at 7:30 p.m., Congregation Ahavath Sholom will host Judith Schumer, who will tell the story of her parents’ odyssey to the United States.

Schumer was born in Shanghai, China, in October 1945 to parents who survived the Holocaust by first escaping to Lithuania from Nazi-occupied Poland and then using a visa to travel to Japan and China. They spent the war under Japanese occupation in Shanghai and were able to get visas to the United States in 1948. Schumer’s father, a Yiddish journalist, eventually became the editor of the Jewish Daily Forward in New York City. Schumer published a book about her family’s escape and survival, “Esther’s Journey: A Holocaust Memoir,” in 2012.

Schumer was a teacher in New York and New Jersey for 35 years and has two married daughters and two grandchildren. She and her husband live in Sheffield and in Reno, Nevada, where she was recently appointed vice chairperson of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Education Relating to the Holocaust and is also a member of the Northern Nevada Holocaust Education Task Force. She speaks to schools, universities and adult groups about her family’s survival as well as her experience and responsibility as a “second generation” survivor.

For more information, contact CAS at (413) 528-4197.

–E.E.


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