Hidary to Entertain at Annual YAD Event

Young, beautiful and articulate, actress, poet and playwright Vanessa Hidary embodies Jewish pride and is dedicated to fostering understanding and friendship between all people. From The Bronx to Tel Aviv, she can be found at high schools, universities, poetry lounges and cultural centers, performing and speaking about Jewish identity, tackling stereotypes and dissecting the complicated question of “What does Jewish look like to you?”

In fact, she’s so good and so popular, that she was chosen to perform at the opening reception for the Lion of Judah Conference at the Jewish Federation of North America’s General Assembly in New Orleans last month.

Louisville is on Hidary’s itinerary, too. She will be the featured entertainer at the 2011 Annual Young Adult Division Event on Saturday, January 8, at 7:30 p.m. at Vincenzo’s. The elegant evening will also include cocktails and heavy appetizers.

A native of New York, Hidary grew up on Manhattan’s culturally diverse Upper West Side, graduating from LaGuardia High School of the Arts and Hunter College. Her experiences as a Sephardic Jew with close friends from different ethnic and religious backgrounds inspired her to write “Culture Bandit,” the nationally toured solo show that chronicles her coming of age during the golden age of Hip-Hop.

She’s appeared three times on “Russell Simmon’s Presents ‘Def Poetry Jam’” on HBO, and is featured in the short film “The Tribe,” which was selected for the Sundance Film Festival, The Tribeca Film Festival, and The Jewish Motifs International Film Festival in Warsaw, Poland.

Hidary was recently chosen as one of 50 speakers to appear at the “2010 IdeaCity – Canada’s Premiere Meeting of the Minds,’” and she appeared at the 2009 Limmudfest in the UK.

She has conducted poetry and racism workshops with Bnai’ Brith Youth Organization, and is the director/developer of  “MONOLOGUES” – An evening of solo performances by 15 young adults, exploring their Jewish Identity, inspired by a 10-day trip through Israel, produced by Birthright Israel NEXT.

Hidary received an M.F.A. in Acting from Trinity Rep Theatre Conservatory. She lives in Manhattan, where she is working on her first collection of poems and stories called “The Last Kaiser Roll in the Bodega.”

Tickets for the Annual YAD Event are $40 per person and include two drink tickets. A Vaad approved option is available upon advance request.

This is a solicitation event, and those in attendance will have the opportunity to make their commitments to the 2011 JCL Annual Campaign.

The event chairs are Heather and Seth Gladstein, and the hosts are Shifrah and Bob Bornstein, Elizabeth and David Kaplan, Lisa and Howard Kaplin, Jenna Koff, Elizabeth Post, Allison and Ari Schwartz, Kim and Scott Schwartz, Jennifer and Jeff Tuvlin, Melanie and Sean Wachsman, and Diane and Reed Weinberg.

The 2011 YAD co-chairs are David Kaplan and Jennifer Leibson. The Ben Gurion Society Chair is Julie Ellis.

RSVP to Mary Jean Timmel at mtimmel@jewishlouisville.org or 618-5309 by Thursday, December 23. Sign up online by clicking here.

This Jewish Community of Louisville event is partially funded through a Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services Louisville Jewish Community Excellence grant.

[by Shiela Steinman Wallace]

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