Rabbi David Nesenoff uses humor to discuss heavy topics, including his relationship with the Divine, his front-row seat in the world media, Israel, anti-Semitism and his own personal journey. His international tour brings him to Clearwater's Holiday Inn Express at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Nesenoff, an independent filmmaker, blogger and publisher, is most famous for publishing a video he made in 2010 showing Helen Thomas, the "dean" of the White House press corps, making anti-Semitic statements, resulting in Thomas' resignation.
"David's journey is unique to him, but also universal," said Rabbi Shalom Adler, director of Chabad of Pinellas County, which is co-sponsoring the program with Chabad of Clearwater. "He faced the ugliness of bigotry and anti-Semitism, but has come out stronger and even more confident than before."
Tickets are $10 per person.
To RSVP by phone, call (727) 265-2770 or (727) 789-0408.
To register online, visit YICHABAD.com or Clearwater Jewish.com.
• • •
Travel back in time to hear music from the baroque and classical periods played live on replicas of authentic instruments at the annual "Go for Baroque Early Music Festival" beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday at First Presbyterian Church of Dunedin, 455 Scotland St.
The music of Telemann, Pepusch, Loeillet, Quantz, Haydn and Beethoven will be performed by Nathaniel Thomas on recorders, Terry Rejko on baroque violin, Theresa Villani on baroque cello and Carol Skinner Alexander on harpsichord and fortepiano.
The program is sponsored by AGO Clearwater Chapter, Greater Pinellas Music Teachers Association and Chamber Music on the Beach.
Donations will be accepted.
Call (727) 446-7344 or (727) 446-3001, ext. 224.
• • •
As part of its 35th anniversary tour, Tim Zimmerman and the King's Brass will perform a 7 p.m. concert Saturday in the sanctuary of Bethel Lutheran Church, 3166 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater.
For 35 years, the group, composed of three trumpets, three trombones, a tuba, keyboards and percussion, has performed more than 100 concerts each season, presenting a wide variety of music, including hymn classics, jazz spirituals, Christmas carols and patriotic marches.
Tickets are $15; $10 for students.
For tickets, call (727) 799-3010 or email blutheranchurch@ tampabay.rr.com.
• • •
Unity Church of Clearwater ushers in the new year with music, featuring a "Sermon in Song" with JD Martin and Jan Garrett at the 10:30 a.m. service Sunday at 2465 Nursery Road, Clearwater.
Martin is an ASCAP award-winning songwriter of five No. 1 and 10 Top Ten country and pop singles. His songs have been recorded by artists including Reba McEntire, B.J. Thomas and Peter Cetera.
Garrett, a jazz singer, master performance coach, wilderness vision quester and certified laughing instructor, has toured with John Denver and Steve Martin and also appeared on The Tonight Show.
Also Sunday, special guest Marcy Baruch will present "A Musical Vision for the New Year and Beyond" at 1 p.m. in Peace Chapel, a small house on the northwest corner of the church property.
Call (727) 531-0992 or visit unityofclearwater.org
• • •
The tonal dynamics of Peace Memorial's mighty four-manual Casavant pipe organ will be put on display by organist Tristan Rhodes, who will perform works by Bach, Brahms, Handel and Haydn as well as 20th century pieces at 3 p.m. Sunday at Peace Memorial Presbyterian Church, 110 S Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater.
Rhodes attended Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University, New Jersey's Westminster Choir College and received an artist diploma in conducting from the Akademie des Mozarteums in Salzburg, Austria, under Herbert von Karajan. His career includes positions as an instrumental and choral conductor, chamber musician, coach, composer and solo pianist and organist.
Admission is free, but an offering will be taken. No tickets are required. Seating is first-come, first-served.
A light reception will follow in the church's fellowship hall.
Call (727) 446-3001 or visit PeaceMemorial.org.
• • •
Inspiring lives, fairy tales and exciting adventures lie between the pages of books, waiting to be discovered. Share the magic and help foster a child's reading development by donating new and used books in good condition to First United Methodist Church of Clearwater's outreach program, "Books for Kids."
The outreach focuses on families financially unable to buy books for their children in preschool and elementary grades. As books become available, fairs will be scheduled at elementary schools, Boys and Girls Clubs of Pinellas and Head Start centers with the goal of distributing at least two books per child, which they may keep.
Last year, the outreach provided 2,000 books to area children.
To make a donation, bring books to the church at 411 Turner St., Clearwater, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 9 to 11 a.m. Sundays. Call the church office at (727) 446-5955.
• • •
The community is invited to attend "Lunch and Learn," a program about Judaism, with Cantor Colman Reaboi, at noon on the second Tuesday of every month at Congregation B'nai Emmunah, 3374 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs.
Bring a lunch; drinks will be provided.
For more information, call (727) 938-9000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• • •
"Infinite Possibilities — The Art of Changing Your Life," a seven-week class presented by the New Thought Center for Creative Living, begins at 7 p.m. Jan. 15 at Unity Church of Clearwater, 2465 Nursery Road.
Each weekly, two-hour class is based on the New York Times bestseller Infinite Possibilities by Mike Dooley and taught by certified trainer Gregg Sanderson.
The seven sessions cover many aspects of the metaphysical universe and include: how thoughts become things; beliefs; emotions; taking action; instincts, hunches, dreams and desires; faith and the magical universe; and the meaning of life.
Tuition is $197 and includes a workbook. The first session is free.
To get more information and to register, call (727) 475-8991 or email email@example.com.
Mail religion news to Tampa Bay Times, 1130 Cleveland St., Clearwater, FL 33755; fax to (727) 445-4119; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.