We are all devastated by the ongoing reports of casualties from the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.  I would like to have a blog fundraiser for funds for Doctors without Borders, one of our regular charities, who is actively on the ground dealing with the crisis.

This unusually special event will be February 22, 7:30-9:00 pm.  It will be something completely different from what we normally do on the blog.

The idea came about by the chance occurrence of two events.  I saw the movie Tár (with Cate Blanchette) when it came out, and I was blown away by it (which rarely happens).  As many of you know, it is a powerful portrayal of a female conductor who abuses her power and suffers the consequences.  It is a riveting script, with fantastic acting, addressing massively important issues with twists and terrific nuance.

I wanted to know, among other things, how “good” it was and “true to life” and thought to ask someone who would be able to talk about it with authority .  Some of you know that among us on the blog, as it turns, out is one of the great conductors of the world, Gisele Ben-Dor.  So I asked her.

Gisele is a devoted and active blog member.  You can look her up on her website: Gisele Ben-Dor Conductor – A champion of Latin American music or, need I say it, Wikipedia: Gisele Ben-Dor – Wikipedia

Just to give some of the highlights from her site, over the course of a long career Gisele has led:  the New York Philharmonic, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Helsinki Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, New World Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Jerusalem Symphony and the Israel Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Seoul and Rotterdam Philharmonics, and many orchestras in France, Italy and Latin America.

OK, then.  She has some experience.  I asked her about Tár, the issues it deals with, the reality on the ground for conductors in power, and so on.   And she told me.  Wow.

I wondered at the time if it would be an interesting and compelling fundraiser to do a movie club event for the blog that would be unrelated to what we normally do here, namely a movie event on Tár with Gisele.  Those who participate would (if they wanted) watch the movie in advance, and then at the event would talk with Gisele about it.  She has generously agreed.  Whoa.

Wanna come?   I certainly do!  I will host the event; people can watch the film in advance (it is widely available); Gisele will talk about the sundry issues; she will then take live questions.   It will be fantastic even if you *don’t* have time to watch the film.

We want to use this event to raise serious funds for the earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria.  It is, as you know, a desperate situation.   We are asking for participants in the event for a $40 donation.  Those who cannot afford that much can donate what they can.  But we are hoping that some people, possibly a lot, use this as an opportunity to make a larger gift, as large as you can make it.

We will have a couple of incentives.  To the top three donors, I will send a signed pre-publication copy of my new book, due out March 31, Armageddon: What the Bible Really Says about the End.   And I will set up a 30-minute one-on-one Zoom conversation with THE top donor among donations over $1000.

If you can’t make the event but want to donate to the clause: PLEASE do so.  Just make a donation on the blog (go to the blog site, scroll to the bottom of the page, and choose which donation option you prefer), and then tell us you did so, and the amount, at [email protected].

Register here

This will be a fascinating event.  In order to register for it, just ➡  click this link.

And if you’d like to join one of Lance’s viewing parties, here’s that info:

Watch Tár with the Ehrman Movie Club: Wednesday 15 Feb 23  1:00 pm EST 

This is a time for a group of friends to enjoy watching the movie together on Zoom. You provide your own popcorn and libations, blog volunteer and Movie & Book club Host, Lance, will show the movie to everyone on Zoom. Afterwards there will be an unmoderated discussion for anyone who would like to talk about the movie they just saw. Movie run time is 2 hours and 38 minutes. After-movie discussions tend to last 45 minutes to an hour but you are free to log out at any time. Also, Lance usually logs in an hour before showtime so friends can have a friendly pre-show chat with one another prior to the event. (Or to accommodate those of us who are Time Zone challenged and always mistakenly log in an hour early anyway 🙂 )

Watch Tár with the Ehrman Movie Club: Wednesday 15 Feb 23  7:00 pm EST 

If you want, you can watch the movie twice in one day! To accommodate our friends all over the globe, we’re having two showtimes six hours apart on the same day. Like the first showing, those who want can stay logged in and talk about the movie for as long as their self-provided libations hold out! Movie run time is 2 hours and 38 minutes. After-movie discussions tend to last 45 minutes to an hour but you are free to log out at any time. And the Zoom will be open an hour before the start of the movie.