Hoen Building funding, Tony Award winners and more

Hoen Building receives $1 million in federal funding

The nearly $30 million conversion of East Baltimore’s abandoned A. Hoen & Co. Lithograph building is getting some federal support, with a $1.6 million grant announced June 10 to help outfit the historic former printing plant with infrastructure needed for its rebirth, according to Baltimore Fishbowl. The money, awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, will help the developers build out stormwater management, sewer and auxiliary infrastructure, according to an announcement by the agency. The project is receiving the funding due to its location within a federally designated Opportunity Zone, one of 42 in Baltimore. “This project is a win-win – not only will it revitalize a historic Baltimore landmark, but the end product will create jobs and provide valuable services to our community,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen in a statement. Van Hollen, fellow U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, Rep. Elijah Cummings, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young and Gov. Larry Hogan were among the officials who attended an announcement at the Biddle Street building. The federal grant will be matched with $1.1 million in local funds, according to a press release. Collaborating with the nonprofit Strong City Baltimore, developers Cross Street Partners and City Life Historic Properties have been renovating the Hoen building since breaking ground in April of 2018. They plan to build it into a mixed-use facility for nonprofits, social enterprises and researchers, with an adult literacy center and a workforce incubator offering construction job training, collectively called the Center for Neighborhood Innovation.

Read more: Feds give $1.6 million for Hoen Lithograph building renovation

Also see: Michael Cross-Barnet of Strong City Baltimore on Weekend Agenda on Facebook Live:

Roger Waters
Roger Waters at a news conference in Rome, Jan. 16, 2018. He is a leading celebrity in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. (Ernesto S. Ruscio/Getty Images)

Update June 12, 2019: The screening mentioned below has been canceled for the time being.

Takoma Park to screen anti-Israel film

A Maryland suburb of Washington D.C. is screening an anti-Israel film narrated by Roger Waters as part of a free documentary series. “Occupation of the American Mind” is being shown by the municipality of Takoma Park on June 13 as part of the town’s “We Are Takoma” free cultural event series, taking place in its community center. “’Occupation of the American Mind is a captivating documentary that reveals how the Israeli government, U.S. government, and pro-Israel lobbying groups have engaged in a decades-long propaganda campaign to shape American media coverage of Israel and its occupation of Palestinian lands,” says a blurb on Culture SpotMD, a culture website paid for in large part by Montgomery County, where Takoma Park is situated. Waters, the Pink Floyd member, has become a leading advocate of boycotting Israel. The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington asked the municipality, a famously liberal enclave that includes a thriving Jewish community, to reconsider showing the film.

Read more: Maryland suburb of DC to screen anti-Israel film

Rainbow flags with Stars of David
Rainbow flags with Stars of David were not allowed at the DC Dyke March. (Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images)

DC Dyke March gets small number of protesters

A handful of protesters demonstrated at the DC Dyke March over a ban on the Jewish Pride flag, a rainbow striped flag with a white Star of David in the middle. The flag looks too much like the flag of Israel, organizers had said before the march, which banned the flags of countries with “specific oppressive tendencies.” The flags of Israel and the United States were the only two mentioned specifically in the ban. There was no such ban on Palestinian flags. Some would-be marchers carrying the Jewish Pride flag were turned away by marshals at an entrance point to the march. A marshal said they could enter if they removed the Star of David from the flag. Jewish stars reportedly were welcome in any other context. Despite what the AFP news agency called a “handful of protesters,” the D.C. Dyke March was “otherwise calm.”

Read more: Small number of protesters demonstrate at DC Dyke March over ban on Jewish Pride flag

British-based online store offering products with ‘Zyklon B’ logo

A British-based online purveyor of customized products is in trouble again, this time for selling items with the word “Zyklon B” printed on them. On sale via Redbubble, which has an office in downtown Berlin, are cups, T-shirts, cell phone cases and postcards bearing the brand name of Zyklon B, one of the chemicals – crystalline hydrogen cyanide – that Nazis used to murder millions in its death camp gas chambers. Redbubble currently has 70,000 different T-shirts for sale, making it difficult to easily locate the offensive ones. But the Berliner Zeitung newspaper, which broke the story, published a photo of the Zykon B wares and said the logo resembles that of a popular mouthwash. Last month, Redbubble, which sells tens of thousands of items bearing slogans of all kinds, was pressured to remove mini-skirts printed with the Arabic word for God – “Allah” – following a Twitter storm of criticism. Also removed recently – after a Twitter complaint from staff at the Auschwitz concentration camp memorial in Poland – were miniskirts and handbags printed with images of the death camp. Redbubble’s website said it offers “awesome products designed by independent artists” and encourages artists to display and sell their wares, with the disclaimer: “You must ensure, and you bear the related responsibility, that your art and its publication on Redbubble do not violate applicable law.”—JTA

Jewish vegan center opens in London

The center for Jewish Vegetarian Society in England recently transformed into an all-vegan facility after completing a successful crowdfunding campaign to improve its kitchen, meeting rooms and garden, according to the VegNews. The grand opening event featured cooking workshops, gardening and a discussion about food ethics in relation to the Jewish faith led by rabbis Jonathan Wittenberg and Debbie Young-Somers. “We are delighted to open the doors to the world’s first Jewish vegan centre at just the right time, when community centres are in short supply, and when the production of animal products is crueler than ever,” JVS Director Lara Balsam said. “We hope to inspire the creation of many more such hubs around the world, servicing the ever-increasing demand for and interest in Jewish veganism.”

Rachel Chavkin
Rachel Chavkin won best director of a musical at the 2019 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, June 9, 2019. (Bruce Glikas/WireImage/Getty Images)

Jewish directors dominate at Tony Awards

“Hadestown,” a musical about the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and the underworld, won best new musical at the Tony Awards, and a coveted prize for its Jewish director. Rachel Chavkin won the Tony Award for best director of a musical for “Hadestown,” the 10th woman ever to win best director for a Broadway play or musical, during the award ceremony on June 9. Sam Mendes, the Jewish director of the “The Ferryman,” also won for best director of a play. “The Ferryman” also earned a Tony for Best Play. Mendes is known for his work on the James Bond films “Skyfall” and “Spectre,” and won an Academy Award for directing “American Beauty.” Actress and comedy legend Elaine May received her first Tony award — for best leading actress in a play. She stars in Jewish playwright Kenneth Lonergan’s “The Waverly Gallery,” his semi-autobiographical play about a family dealing with the declining health of its matriarch. Actor Bryan Cranston, whose father is of Austrian Jewish descent, won the Tony Award for best leading man in a play for his performance as newscaster Howard Beale in “Network.” Sound designer Nevin Steinberg, was awarded with Jessica Paz for their sound design of “Hadestown.” James Corden hosted the awards ceremony.–JTA

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