Welcome to…

Virtually Yours: Arts + Culture with Brandy from the Tampa JCCs & Federation


We are so excited to launch our new Arts + Culture Google Classroom and ZOOM series. The events will be unique in genre and artistic category, but all will embrace a Jewish lens. Each Friday before Sundown, you will receive the following week’s virtual line-up! The information delivered will come via our A + C newsletter and by direct e-mail. You will also be able to find the details to Virtually Yours through Shalom Tampa.

Watch movies, learn about works of art, create culinary masterpieces, discuss award-winning literature, engage in all things on and off Broadway, and be kept abreast on our many local theater networks.


Please e-mail brandy.gold@jewishtampa.com to be added to the Arts + Culture e-mail newsletter. The newsletter will be updated weekly with ZOOM links for movie and book discussions. The Google Classroom links stay consistent with new material uploaded weekly. Enjoy!



*Monday Movie Madness

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This week enjoy another fabulous Film Festival based out of New York, ReelAbilities. 

This festival has taken their weeklong celebration virtual. Follow the link below to get FREE tickets to stream amazing cinematography.




ReelAbilities International Program

In 2012, other cities across the country followed New York’s footsteps by hosting ReelAbilities Film Festivals, starting with Cincinnati, Ohio. Since then, ReelAbilities events have been held in over 20 cities across the world – transitioning from ReelAbilities North America to ReelAbilities International. ReelAbilities events have expanded from the U.S., Canada, and Latin America—and take place in many different forms: Film festivals, year round screenings, and special programming that goes beyond film. Since its start, ReelAbilities has consistently received an increasing number of outstanding film submissions from around the globe. The ReelAbilities International headquarters is located in NY, expanding its screenings throughout schools, communities, offices and organizations in communities across the globe.


Featured film to see: Bube Maises




A daughter uses postcards to re-create past moments for her mother, who is living with dementia.


Please join the Google Classroom to share your thoughts about the short film or the

entire festival!


*Tuesdays / Artsy Artists and virtual class/demos

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Each Tuesday enjoy art demonstrations and artsy articles via Google Classroom VIRTUALLY YOURS Arts & Culture with Brandy from the Tampa JCCs. Then share your thoughts and own artwork by commenting and uploading pictures of your creations to the Google Classroom drive.


This week meet: Artist Yosef “Jojo” Ohayon

Born in Casablanca in 1958, Jojo became a farmer in Israel while pursuing art as a hobby. Eventually he began incorporating farming equipment and techniques into his artwork, leading to unusual artistic methods including water pressure to manipulate metal into artwork and furniture. In his paintings, Jojo uses bottles with a tiny hole cut from the end to distribute the colors in uniform patterns across large canvases, creating signature pieces that portray women, flowers and other forms of nature. Jojo opened his first gallery 10 years ago in Tel Aviv, followed by a New York City gallery and a website that sells his works with free worldwide shipping. He also has a studio and showroom at the Dead Sea.

Visit the Google Classroom to view Jojo’s work and see craft tutorials for creating bottle art.



*Wednesday Culinary Cooking, Recipes & Demos

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Each Wednesday enjoy three culinary videos and articles via Google Classroom VIRTUALLY YOURS Arts & Culture with Brandy from the Tampa JCCs & Federation. Then share your thoughts and pictures of your own culinary creations by commenting and uploading pictures to the Google Classroom drive.


This week meet:  Chef Zachary Engel


Zachary Engel’s decision to attend New Orleans’ Tulane University turned out to be more fortuitous than he may have ever imagined. While earning a degree in business, the Orlando native worked the line at Alon Shaya’s Domenica. Engel found a mentor in Shaya and emarked on a career in food. 

After college, Engel racked up experiences around the country. He learned the fundamentals of Israeli cooking from Michael Solmonov at Zahav in Philadelphia, worked under Jesse Mallgren at Madrona Manor in Healdsburg, California, and was the chef de cuisine at Federal Donuts back in Philly. In between, he spent a summer in Tel Aviv, Israel, staging alongside Chef Meir Adoni at Catit. Engel, hungry to continue to explore the foods of modern-day Israel and the Middle East, joined Shaya’s opening team for his new namesake concept in New Orleans.

At Shaya, Engel rose from sous chef to chef de cuisine in one short year. With a heartfelt obligation to honor the falafel and hummus he encountered in Israel (in a city known for gumbo and etouffée) Engel helped reel in Shaya’s James Beard Award for “Best New Restaurant” in 2016. In 2017, Engel won the James Beard Award for “Rising Star Chef of the Year,” was named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list, and promoted to Executive Chef.

Visit the Google Classroom to see recipes and more on this Rising Star Chef.



*Thursday Theatre Mania

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Each Thursday enjoy articles, snapshots and videos of spicy new shows on and off Broadway along with local Theatre in Tampa Bay. Engage in conversation in a group forum setting via Google Classroom VIRTUALLY YOURS: Arts & Culture with Brandy from the Tampa JCCs& Federation. Share your thoughts by commenting and uploading pictures to the Google Classroom drive.


Spotlight production this week: The Jewish Plays Project


The Jewish Plays Project (David Winitsky, Artistic Director) is proud to announce the Top 7 Finalists for the 9th National Jewish Playwriting Contest. Over 250 playwrights from 30 states and 5 countries submitted plays to the Contest.

"This is one of our strongest groups of plays," said Mr. Winitsky, "covering the most pressing stories in the Jewish world. Jews taking responsibility for refugees, Jews confronting racial injustice, American Jews and Israel, Jews in the face of anti-Semitism, Jews facing off with each other. This is the reason the JPP exists - to find plays that matter, and to champion them as they move onto the best stages in the world." More than 1,000 people will contribute to choosing the ultimate winner - a unique process that provides one-of-kind feedback to playwrights and invaluable audience response to prospective producers.


Please go to the Google Classroom to read about the top seven finalists in this year’s phenomenal competition.


*Friday Books & Conversations

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Each week you will receive three suggested pieces of literature hand selected by your Tampa Jewish Book Festival committee. Then tune in via ZOOM on Sundays at 6:30 pm pm to discuss the Featured Book listed. 

In addition, please visit Google classroom VIRTUALLY YOURS: Arts & Culture with Brandy from the Tampa JCCs& Federation to chat about the other works of literature recommended with fellow book lovers.


The Passover Haggadah: An Ancient Story for Modern Times


An Unorthodox Match by Naomi Ragen




Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin (Author will be present!)

Sunday, April 5 at 6:30 pm



ZOOM directions. Please go to ZOOM.US

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 486 502 662


The Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Sunday, April 19 at 6:30 pm

Grab your glass and ZOOM in with Debbie Doliner


ZOOM directions. Please go to ZOOM.US

Topic: Books and Conversations

Time: Apr 19, 2020 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 876 548 024


We will see you there!

If you have any questions about Arts + Culture with Brandy from the Tampa JCCs & Federation please contact Brandy at brandy.gold@jewishtampa.com