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May 2017
Equipe de Tícun Brasil irá visitar São Luís e Codó, MA, Brasil nos dias 12 a 21 de maio/2017 para estudar as origens da Umbanda, explorando o Terecô, o Tambor da Mata, Tambor de Mina e as variações locais da Umbanda.
Nós vamos participar de vários rituais típicos e entrevistar seus representantes, bem como acadêmicos que pesquisam tais temas.



Latin American Cultural Symposium, November 2016


Read our article at Sounds and Colours

Also, interview at

November 11, 6.30PM at Brazilian Endowment for the Arts  (240 E 52nd St.)

Presented by Alex Minkin.  Lecture on Ciganos (Gypsy) ceremonies in Brazilian Umbanda religion is based on Ticún’s research in Brazil and includes original ritual videos. 



Professor Liza Renia Papi, guitarist Tony Romano, president of Brazilian Endowment for the Arts – Dr. Domício Coutinho, tap dancer Felipe Galganni, president of Ticún Brasil – Alex Minkin

Ticún presents: Marcos Campello and Okkyung Lee

August 6th, 2016 | 6.30PM at Brazilian Endowment for the Arts  (240 E 52nd St.)
A member of a leading Rio de Janeiro free-rock band Chinese Cookie Poets Marcos Campello (guitar) performs with one of the most creative free improvisers in New York Okkyung Lee (cello).


Candomblé in Cannes

May 25th, 2016 | 6.30PM at Brazilian Endowment for the Arts (240 E 52nd St.)

Afro-Brazilian spiritual symbolism in Keeper of Promises, Brazilian winner of Palme d’Or in Cannes (1962). Intro talk by Alex Minkin.

Umbanda in Counterculture

April 20th, 2016, 6.30 PM at Brazilian Endowment for the Arts  Details
Ticún present US Priemiere of Yorimatã (Brazil, 2014)

Intro talk by Alex Minkin and Francine Cohen.

During the decades of authoritarian military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from mid-sixties to mid-eighties many artists and intellectuals, including Luhli and Lucina, joined hippie communities to reinvent society, art and spirituality. This period also coincided with global wave of counterculture and spiritual renewal based on ancient religions. While Americans and Europeans drew inspiration for alternative lifestyles from India and Tibet, Brazilians had native mystical blend of Umbanda. Magic, music, dances and songs of Umbanda allowed its practitioners to escape from hypocrisy of the mainstream and provided tools for spiritual and artistic self-discovery and expression.


Francine Cohen of Avuá Cachaça opens Umbanda in Counterculture

Inheritance of a Story November 23, 2013, 6.30 PM at Brazilian Endowment for the Arts (240 E 52nd St.)

Three New York artists: Anya Roz, Tanya Levina and Yuliya Levit, juxtaposed with poetic prose of Clarice Lispector, mystical Brazilian writer of Jewish-Ukrainian descent.

I keep looking, looking. Trying to understand. Trying to give what I have gone through to someone else, and I don’t know who, but I don’t want to be alone with that experience. – Clarice Lispector November 24th, 2013

Clarice Lispector was born in the same part of Ukraine responsible for the birth of Hasidism and her work was shaped by the same experience of historical rupture and trauma that produced the great Jewish mystics. She became a national icon of Brazil whose face adorned postage stamps. Read more about her in this Tablet magazine article. This show was a multimedia exploration of the tales of strangers in the strange lands – recurrent narratives of Jewish diaspora. Clarice Lispector’s works were recited by renowned avant-garde poet Steve Dalachinsky:

The opening reception also featured a musical performance by an Israeli-American violinist, singer and composer Efrat Shapira. Clarice Lispector

 Ultimate Nomads: History and Music of Sephardic Diaspora

Ticun at Brazilian Endowment

May 7, 2013, 6.30 PM at Brazilian Endowment for the Arts (240 E 52nd St.) COJECO’s BluePrint Fellowship alumni joined Ticún Brasil for an evening of cultural exchange: young professionals from Russian-speaking Jewish and South American Jewish communities in New York got to know each other’s history, music, and food. We were joined by the special guest, Gerard Edery (“master of Sephardic song“, The New York Times).

Screening of the documentary on history of converted Jews in Brazil was introduced by Rabbi Mendy Weitman from São Paulo, spiritual leader of The Jewish Latin Center in New York and Alex Minkin, director of Ticún Brasil: On April 12, 2013 the Portuguese parliament passed legislation facilitating the naturalization of descendants of 16th-century Sephardic Jews who fled because of religious persecution. Jews in Portugal were forced to convert and were henceforth known as New Christians or Marrano. As the power and pressure of the Inquisition grew in Portugal, the newly discovered land of Brazil became a favorite destination for Jewish converts to Catholicism, far from the Inquisition. Ultimate Nomads

Jews helped build the sugar industry, roads, bridges, and a basic sewage system  and were a fundamental part of Brazil’s cultural melting pot. In 1636 in Recife on Brazil’s northeastern coast Sephardic Jews opened the first synagogue in the Americas.

With researchers, scholars and members of the Marrano community as guides, this visual journey through exotic Brazil–its sights, sounds and people give the viewer insight into a chapter of history that has been hidden for too long.

The BluePrint Fellowship Alumni Projects are part of the Center Without Walls project of COJECO, sponsored by the UJA-Federation of New York and Genesis Philanthropy Group. logo5  

Panorama of Brazilian Arts

October 19th, 2012 at Brazilian Endowment for the Arts in New York. Ticún Brasil cooperated with Lasar Segall Museum in São Paulo to present overview of Lasar Segall’s paintings. With live performance of guitar virtuoso João Kouyoumdjian, readings from João Cabral de Melo Neto, the greatest figure of the golden age of Brazilian poetry, and paintings by contemporary Brazilian artists Gustavo Braga, Alcinda Saphira, Rene Nascimento, Antonio Oliveira and Marcos Amaro.

João Kouyoumdjian performs at Panorama of Brazilian Art. Photo by Gustavo Braga

Lasar Segall (July 21, 1891 – August 2, 1957) was a Brazilian Jewish painter, engraver and sculptor born in Lithuania who created his own modernist style, which combined Cubism, Futurism, and melancholic Expressionism. Mario de Andrade (1893-1945), a famous Brazilian writer and art critic, wrote about the artist’s work: “L. Segall absorbs the world around him. The faces in his works exude a deep archaic beauty. Whether he painted a meditating Rabbi or an Indian woman, in his hands they became Humankind and the secret embodying it.”

Umbanda in Multimedia

Umbanda in Multimedia

Ticún Brasil’s event Umbanda in Multimedia supported religious freedom with Afro-Brazilian photo exhibit and live performances on September 26, 2012 at FB Gallery of Brazilian art in New York.

Orfeu Negro

Ticún Brasil’s exhibit called Orfeu Negro took place from May 10th to May 13th, 2012 at FB Gallery.

Photo by Alexander Rachkovskiy

The event aimed to promote volunteering in Brazil and raise funds to support after school and day care programs ran by União de Mulheres Pró-melhoramentos da Roupa Suja – Union of Women for the Improvement of Roupa Suja (UMPMRS). See media coverage of the event below: BRAZIL NYC: “The main challenge was not to fall into stereotypes about Rio de Janeiro. Too often, the city is shown as either a paradise in the hills, or a city of contrasts, or a very violent and depressing place. Works that we display at the exhibit this week are distinctive with poetic immediacy and honesty of an insider.” Article on Orfeu Negro artist Leo Lima was published at the largest website in Portuguese speaking world (UOL). “I want my photographs to be known as artistic and political. Art for the art sake could be reflective, but lacks the political power of transformation. I’m not neutral, I have my politics and my photography has this bias and critical questioning. These are records of many lives that exist but never shown’ – Leo Lima:

Photo by Elena Zavelev

HEEB Magazine: “Orfeu Negro Photography Exhibit reminded me of feelings I’ve had about the Jewish people in general: A little loud and uncomfortable, but very culturally interesting.”

Photo by Elena Zavelev

“A mostra está sendo realizada pela Ticún Brasil, uma organização judaica que fornece suporte a voluntários no Brasil, e ensina inglês, arte e fotografia à crianças em favelas e regiões de periferia”

Photo by FB Gallery

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