The Days of Awe were held at the Covenant House this last year and it was spectacular. So good we worked out a deal to move onto the Covenant House campus: we are in the Chai Building, next to the Jewish Light, facing north.
We have combined three projects into one effort: Single Life -- Whole World Project. It's a combination of Jewish Attention to Mental Illness (JAMI-StL), Jewish Prison Outreach, and Shalvan Outreach on Addictions; there is so much intersection between the three programs.
JAMI STL Jewish Attention to Mental Illness St. Louis: Its purpose is to keep mental health and illness central to the agenda of our community. We created a series of "nexts" -- our first accomplishments, including a spiritual support group for families living with mental illness that convened for the first time on Tuesday, November 17, 2009, at the JCC Staenberg complex. We continued with our community forums called "Falling Through the Cracks." The support has been good.
We continue as co-sponsor ofThe Jewish Prison Outreach (JPO). We have contacted every prison in the state of Missouri and southern Illinois and are compiling a data base of Jewish prisoners. We are now meeting on sites for study groups. We have already created and distributed our own materials to the prisoners on our list.
Shalvah, outreach on alcoholism and chemical dependency, continues to thrive. It is pikuach nefesh, saving souls, in every sense.
Update on New Programs:
The JAMI STL Jewish Attention to Mental Illness is coming along nicely. We are meeting once a month in a spiritual support group for family members (at the Jewish Federation Bldg.), and once a month for consumers (Achraiyut at Neve Shalom). We continue to convene the forum "Falling Through The Cracks" where we evaluate our activities and plan new ones. We now have a steering committee of dedicated souls. We stag a half day seminars for the community on a variety of related subjects. The next session will be in the Winter of 2013, stay tuned.
The Jewish Prison Outreach is also progressing. I have been cleared as a volunteer chaplain for the state of Missouri and have begun making a series of visits to institutions where I teach individuals interested in Jewish learning. We have contacted every institution in Missouri and southern Illinois and are compiling a list of interested persons in the prison system. I have been sending them materials for the past three years, and now I am now making regular visits.
It is all difficult and wonderful service -- "it is a sad and beautiful world."
Everything is rolling well. Join us. Stay tuned.
We had a concert as a fund raiser for One Life - Whole World. Check this out:
Brothers Lazaroff 2nd Annual Hanukkah Hullabaloo
Featuring Rabbi James Stone Goodman
Itʼs an unlikely collaboration, I suppose, a group of Indie folk-rockers, some
klezmorim, and myself waxing poetically on Eight Nights (actually nine) based on
Hanukkah themes. It began last year at this time when David Lazaroff of the
band Brothers Lazaroff showed up at one of my concerts carrying a guitar. He
asked if he could sit in.
The next time I heard from him he asked me to make a late night Hanukkah gig
at a club called Off Broadway in Soulard.
I made it down on the designated night to Off Broadway, not a location on my
schedule of stops. With a stage full of musicians and latke makers, I was singing
and reading poetry I had written around the themes of the Hanukkah holiday. The
series is called Eight Nights, with an attached ninth night (edgy).
The evening was so ascendant we decided to go into the studio and record it. A
week later we laid down nine pieces of poetry over deconstructed Jewish-
Klezmer music and everyone in the studio knew we had something special. Even
the rough recording, without mixing, sounded great.
The whole thing happened in the space of two – three weeks. Last year Brothers
Lazaroff dedicated all proceeds to the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry. We
sold downloads at http://bandcamp.com at a hearty clip, and were even in the
Top 5 on the site for over three weeks with over $6,500 raised for the food
pantry. It felt like a phenomenon. I was along for the ride and exulting in every
This year Brothers Lazaroff suggested we make the donations to a project I run:
One Life – Whole World Project. It includes three programs: Jewish Prison
Outreach, Jewish Attention to Mental Illness, and Shalvah Outreach on
Addictions. All three programs serve many more than Jewish people. All of the
participants feel like forgotten people; still at almost every meeting I hear “this
meeting is saving my life” in one form or another.
Now we're preparing for round two (called "Brothers Lazaroff 2nd Annual
Hanukkah Hullabaloo") again at Off Broadway on the first night of Hanukkah
Saturday, December 8th, beginning at 9 PM.
We'll be performing Eight Nights in its entirety and a whole lot more. We will have hard copies of the CD for sale.
The concert will feature myself (James Stone Goodman), Will Soll's Klezmer
Conspiracy, The Vaad (Ben Kaplan's brain-child), DJ Goldie frying latkes and
spinning select chosen tracks, Brothers Lazaroff who will be performing with
some special guests that recently did tracks for the remix of their most recent
album Science Won, and many more fun surprises.
You can get a taste on YouTube:
And you can hear the entire recording of Eight Nights
Hereʼs what it is:
Brothers Lazaroff 2nd Annual Hanukkah Hullaballoo: Saturday, December 8, at
Off Broadway (www.offbroadwaystl.com/, 3509 Lemp Avenue, 63118, in the
historic Cherokee Lemp District.
This year the proceeds from the concert went to One Life – Whole World
Project of Congregation Neve Shalom: Jewish Prison Outreach, Jewish Attention
to Mental Illness, and Shalvah Outreach on Addictions.
It was a blast.