Arts & Culture

The JCA is proud to present our annual Arts & Culture Series, featuring scholars, authors, films, photography and musical performances.

The 2019-2020 Arts & Culture Series is presented with generous funding from the Sam L. Cohen Foundation, our donors, and community members, whose support makes these special programs possible.


Advanced registration strongly recommended to ensure sufficient seating. Register online at the links below or by calling (207) 772-1959.

Events are subject to change or weather cancellation – please see our e-newsletter and Facebook page for the latest information.

Finances should not be a barrier to participation. Please contact Deena at or (207) 772-1959 for discounted or free event admission.

JCA’s Arts & Culture events are free for students with a valid high school, college or university ID, unless otherwise noted.


Culinary Historian Michael Twitty discusses Kosher/Soul

Sunday, October 27th, 6:00 PM

USM Hannaford Hall - Abromson Center, 88 Bedford St, Portland

Funded by the Maine Humanities Council

Co-sponsored by the University of Southern Maine Dean of Students Office

Admission: $10 – JCA members, $12 – general public

Free for students with a valid ID.

Culinary historian Michael Twitty is the James Beard award winning author of The Cooking Gene – A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South. Kosher/Soul explores what Michael has termed “identity cooking.”  Identity cooking isn’t about fusion; rather it’s how we construct complex identities and then express them through how we eat. Very few people in the modern West eat one cuisine or live within one culinary construct.

Being Kosher/Soul is about melding the histories, tastes, flavors, and Diasporic wisdom of being Black and being Jewish. Both cultures express many of their cultural and spiritual values through the plate and Kosher/Soul is about that ongoing journey.


MJFF & the JCA present The Yiddish Culture Festival

For tickets for all events and more info, visit (tickets go on sale in Sept.)

*   Saturday, November 2nd, 7:30 PM

Hankus Netsky & Ensemble - Live in Concert

One Longfellow Square - 181 State St, Portland

With vocalist and violinist Eden MacAdam-Somer


*   Sunday, November 3rd, all events below at the JCA (1342 Congress St.)

10:30 AM        Michael Wex book talk - Born to Kvetch

12:00 PM         Refreshments, crafts & children's book corner with PJ Library

12:30 PM         Free Family Program - Music & Stories with Rabbi Sruli Dresdner and Lisa Mayer

2:00 PM           Ashkenaz Rising: The Resurgence of Yiddish Culture in the 21st Century with Hankus Netsky

4:00 PM           Chew-daism film - A culinary tour of Jewish Montreal with Yid-Life Crisis

5:15 PM           Reception catered by Rose Foods

Code of Conduct

The JCA is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all community members, guests, visitors, and staff, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, ethnicity, ability or financial status. Failure to abide by the Code of Conduct may result in the suspension or revocation of participation in JCA programming.

  • Program participants are committed to maintaining a respectful and pluralistic environment.
  • Harassing, bullying, threatening or proselytizing behavior will not be tolerated, and we reserve the right to remove from the premises any individual acting in an inappropriate manner.
  • Distributing flyers, booklets or other literature is prohibited without prior approval.
  • No one may enter the JCA facility while carrying or concealing weapons.