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Newton temple donates prayer books to Uganda

SECOND TIME AROUND: Carol Stollar, a member of the Religious Services Committee at Temple Reyim in the Auburndale section of Newton, had been helping to search for a suitable home for 800 gently used prayer books ever since new ones were purchased for the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur last summer.

The dilemma was recently solved by Waltham resident John Mulinde, a native of Uganda who has been a frequent visitor to the synagogue while studying for conversion to Judaism.

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Mulinde connected Stollar with Rabbi Gershom Sizomu, who trains African teachers and rabbis in Mbale, Uganda. According to Stollar, Sizomu graduated from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University in California, and returned to his homeland in 2008 as the first native-born black rabbi in sub-Saharan Africa.

Stollar said she has “never raised money so quickly or easily” than the $1,500 cost of shipping the books overseas and then trucking them to Uganda. She said the prayer books will be used at Congregation Abayudaya in Mbale, and also given to visitors who study with Sizomu and assist in his efforts to improve health care for members of the Jewish community and their Christian and Muslim neighbors.

Stollar said the congregation is pleased to be contributing to the advancement of Jewish literacy. In addition, she is optimistic that the relationship between Temple Reyim and Congregation Abayudaya will continue to develop.

“It’s not so easy to be part of mainstream Judaism in Uganda,” Stollar said. “Perhaps we take it all a little too much for granted here.”

MUSIC ON THE CUTTING EDGE: Electronic musician, guitarist, composer, and

Brookline resident Michael Bierylo, chair of the Electronic Production and Design Department at Berklee College of Music, is producing the Nona Hendryx Re-Wired concert on March 26 at 8:15 p.m. at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston.

Brookline resident Michael Bierylo, chair of the Electronic Production and Design Department at Berklee College of Music, is producing the Nona Hendryx Re-Wired concert on March 26 at 8:15 p.m. at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston.

sound designer Michael Bierylo of Brook­line is producing the “Nona Hendryx Re-Wired” concert, featuring Hendryx and members of the Berklee College of Music’s electronic production and design department, Tuesday at 8:15 p.m. in the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave. in Boston.

The concert will offer a mix of new and older material composed and performed by Hendryx and her collaboration with 20 of Berklee’s students and faculty members, incorporating the latest music technology equipment, including sensors developed by the students.

A resident of New York City, Hendryx is a member of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Hall of Fame who has performed with Patti LaBelle and Sarah Dash.

Bierylo’s commercial work includes music and audio production for Hasbro Interactive, the Smithsonian Institution, Nickelodeon, and the Oxygen Network, as well as music and sound design for the Incredible Hulk roller coaster at the Universal Studios Islands of Adventure in Orlando. His work as a composer has been featured on A&E’s “Biography,” the Learning Channel, and Martha Stewart Living.

“All of the pieces are Nona’s,” noted Bierylo, chairman of Berklee’s electronic production and design department, “but she has given students the opportunity to reinvent them using their own musical language.”

The general admission tickets cost $8 in advance, and $12 on the day of the show. For more information, call 617-747-2261 or visit www.berkleebpc.com.

GIVING BACK: Four students from the Solomon Schechter Day

Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston students (left to right) Jordan Cutler of West Roxbury (first grade), Talia Borensztajn of West Roxbury (third grade), Talia Harlow of Newton (sixth grade), and Emma Nesson of Newton (seventh grade) each donated 10 inches of their hair to Locks of Love.

Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston students (left to right) Jordan Cutler of West Roxbury (first grade), Talia Borensztajn of West Roxbury (third grade), Talia Harlow of Newton (sixth grade), and Emma Nesson of Newton (seventh grade) each donated 10 inches of their hair to Locks of Love.

School of Greater Boston each donated 10 inches of their hair to Locks of Love as part of the annual community service day at the private school in Newton last month.

The students ­— sixth-grader Talia Harlow of Newton, seventh-grader Emma Nesson of Newton, first-grader Jordan Cutler of West Roxbury, and third-grader Talia ­Borensztajn of West Roxbury — were trimmed by stylists from Newton Centre’s Dellaria Salon and Spa who donated their services for the project. The nonprofit Locks of Love organization provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children who have suffered hair loss related to long-term medical conditions.

In all, approximately 500 Solomon Schechter students, siblings, parents, and faculty and staff members participated in more than 30 community service projects on Mitzvah Sunday, including making gifts for hospitalized children, cooking meals for shelters, visiting seniors in nursing homes, assisting at animal shelters, crafting baby blankets for a hospital in Jerusalem, and participating in a blood drive.

Mitzvah Sunday is dedicated to the memory of JoAnn Toledano, the mother of two Schechter graduates, who died in 2003 and was known for her gentle nature and concern for the well-being of others.

TIPS ON EXPLORING PAST: Arlington Community Education will host Medford author Stephanie Schorow in “Writing Boston’s Past,’’ from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in the media center at Arlington High School, 869 Massachusetts Ave.

Schorow, who has written six books on colorful figures and events that are part of Boston’s legacy, will conduct a multimedia presentation sharing research tips and her experiences writing about the area’s history.

A freelance reporter whose work has appeared in The Boston Globe, Schorow (inset) has written about the Boston Harbor Islands, James “Whitey” Bulger and other members of the criminal underworld, the Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire, the Brink’s robbery, and the role that alcohol has played in the city’s history.

The cost is $10. To register, visit www.arlingtoncommunityed.org.

FOLK ARTIST: Sculptor Jessica Straus of Newton is among

Sculptor Jessica Straus of Newton is exhibiting in the show “Contemporary Folk’ at the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston through April 13.

Sculptor Jessica Straus of Newton is exhibiting in the show “Contemporary Folk’ at the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston through April 13.

six contemporary artists from across the country with works in “Contemporary Folk,” an exhibition by the Society of Arts and Crafts at 175 Newbury St. in Boston through April 13.

Her pieces include “Box O’ OXO” and “Box of Reds,” both of which are painted and carved found-wood objects. According to Straus, half of the artists in the show hold graduate art degrees, while the others have no formal art training.

“The commonality is the love for painstaking, hand-crafted workmanship,” in contrast to the material culture that supports mass-produced consumer goods, she said.

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and by appointment on Mondays. For more information, visit www.societyofcrafts.org.

People items may be submitted to Cindy Cantrell at cantrell@globe.com.
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