Newsletter: May 2016


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Commission Corner

Remembering NJIHC Chair Emeritus Larry Paragano – The New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission is saddened by the loss of Cavaliere Larry Paragano, who passed away on March 29th. Larry was an incredibly intelligent and generous individual who served as a leader of the Italian American community. He was one of the Commission’s founders and its first Chairman. On our website you will find links to his obituary in both English and Italian, along with with an Italian News Channel’s video report showing how much he meant and still means to his hometown of Perdifumo (Salerno). View Article

Theater Ticket Giveaway Winners! – Congratulations to Christopher Binetti, Giovanna Cristiano, Meytol Misrahi, and Katrina Schroeder, each of whom won a pair of tickets to see “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m In Therapy” at the South Orange Performing Arts Center by subscribing to the NJ Italian Newsletter during last month’s raffle.

All new email subscribers to the NJ Italian Newsletter were automatically entered for a chance to win through Sunday, April 10th.

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NJIHC Curriculum Filmed by NJTV – On Tuesday April 12th, The Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District was filmed by NJTV integrating a lesson on immigration from The Universality of Italian Heritage Curriculum for “Classroom Close-up, NJ” a half-hour television program that features innovative projects in New Jersey public schools. The Curriculum was developed for educators by the New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission, in consultation with the New Jersey Department of Education and is a free resource that meets all the federal and state curriculum mandates. The segment won’t be aired on NJTV until the Fall, but check out our article for several behind-the-scenes shots!

Cav. Gilda Rorro Baldassari, Ed.D.

Cav. Gilda Rorro Baldassari, Ed.D. preparing for Classroom Close-up, NJ Interview

New Jersey Visited by Italian Trade Commissioner – The New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission was happy to welcome Maurizio Forte when he visited Newark on Monday, April 18th, to give a talk on “Inspiring Italian Trade With New Jersey.” While based in New York, his office is responsible for promoting trade between Italy and over a dozen states in Northeast America. Click here for pictures and an in-depth analysis of the event.

Local Organizations Fight Plan to Cut Middle School Italian Program –Leaders from NJIHC, UNICO, and the Italian American One Voice Coalition spoke with one voice during West Orange’s Monday, April 25th Board of Education meeting. West Orange is home to over 1,500 Italian American Families and many more parents and students who are also upset by the prospect of losing Italian language instruction. Faced with such staunch resistance, the Board is now developing plans to continue funding the program. If you’re interested in learning more, read the letter from the President of the Orange-West Orange Chapter of UNICO National to West Orange’s Superintendent.

NJIHC Chair Recognized as “Man of the Year” –On Thursday April 28th, New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission Chairman Robert DiBiase was recognized by the Ocean County Federation of Republican Women during their Annual Gala. Bob is a long-time resident of Toms River and when not busy running the Commission he donates his talents to the community and his efforts were instrumental in rebuilding Ocean County following Hurricane Sandy. Read more about award…

May 2016 Events

“The Universality of Italian Heritage” Curriculum Presentation

May 17, 2016 @ 9:30 am
Ocean County College (Toms River)

The NJ Italian Heritage Commission invites you to join us for a presentation at Ocean County College that will feature testimonials from administrators, teachers, and even students to the effectiveness of our Italian Heritage Curriculum. The Commission’s lesson plans allow teachers throughout the state to incorporate Italian culture in their curriculum. Attendees will learn how to integrate this significant educational tool for preserving and promoting Heritage for all students from kindergarten to the undergraduate level.

Embroidered Stories

May 1, 2016 @ 6:00 pm
Dorothea’s House (Princeton)

Come view a display of handmade linens and other handcrafted items, and listen to the history and stories behind them.

Giada Valenti from PBS’s From Venice with Love

May 3, 2016 @ 8:00 pm
Count Baise Theatre (Red Bank)

Following her stunning and highly anticipated PBS Special, Italian songstress Giada Valenti will take her audience on a romantic and magical journey as she performs her own interpretations of American and Italian hits from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, as well as recent songs.

My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m In Therapy

Recurring Event Beginning May 4, 2016 @ 8:00 pm
South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) (South Orange)

It’s described as “one part lasagna, one part kreplach, and two parts Prozac,” but you don’t have to be Jewish or Italian to love this show.

Southern Italian Folk Dance Classes

Recurring Event Beginning May 5, 2016 @ 6:00 pm
Afro Brazilian Cultural Center of New Jersey (Bloomfield)

Every Thursday in May I’ll be teaching a class of Southern Italian Folk Dance – examining the rhythms and steps of traditional dances and their variations, such as the Tarantella, from different regions in Southern Italy.

Saddle Brook UNICO Wine Tasting

May 18, 2016 @ 7:00 pm
Biagio’s Restaurant (Paramus)

Join the Saddle Brook chapter of UNICO for a wine tasting at Biagio’s Restaurant featuring wine vendors, antipasto, pasta stations, and raffles.

UNICO Montclair Presents Frank Sinatra

May 18, 2016 @ 7:00 pm
Saint Cassian Church (Upper Montclair)

Richard Muti presents his book Cent’Anni, The Sinatra Legend at 100.

Bobbi Valli – “A Jersey Legends Show”

May 22, 2016 @ 3:00 pm
Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center (Bloomfield)

You are invited to take a nostalgic trip down memory lane with music from Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and others.

November 12th, 2016 NJIHC Annual Congress

2016 Annual Congress – Showcasing New Jersey Artists

November 12, 2016 @ 2:30 pm
Zimmerli Art Museum (New Brunswick)

Mark your calendars! Saturday November 12th is the date set for the New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission’s 2016 Annual Congress, which will feature presentations from local visual artists. Doors open at 2:30pm and program will be immediately followed by a reception hour featuring heavy hors d’oeuvres and musical entertainment. More details to follow.