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Friday 7/3 - Thursday 7/9

JULY

By Cara Jepsen

3 FRIDAY The Romanian Folk Art Museum of Evanston closed its doors in 1995. Since then curators Rodica Perciali and her husband have been trying to find a site to replace the small house that had served as their gallery. But in March a fire damaged their home, where half of the museum's collection was stored. To offset the loss Perciali is selling off some pieces, including dolls, rugs, pottery, and Transylvanian dowry chests. The sale, which started Thursday, July 2, runs today from 4 to 7 and tomorrow from 10 to 7 at 2526 Ridgeway in Evanston. It's free to browse. Call 847-491-4902.

Legend has it the 500 Jews who settled in Kaifeng, China, in the tenth century came from Turkey, where they had encountered the same anti-Semitism that made their ancestors flee so many other countries. In Kaifeng, then the capital of China, they met with unusual tolerance and were even given Chinese surnames by the emperor, who encouraged them to preserve their customs. According to scholar Xu Xin in his book Legends of the Chinese Jews of Kaifeng, the greatest threat to their culture was assimilation. Tonight Xu, president of the China Judaic Studies Association, will discuss Judaism Through Chinese Eyes at 7 at Ezra-Habonim, Niles Township Jewish Congregation, 4500 Dempster in Skokie. It's free. Call 847-675-4141 for more.

4 SATURDAY This month accidents caused by fireworks will send thousands to emergency rooms. But grim statistics won't stop most bang freaks from setting off their amateur displays. This year avoid losing a digit or just plain getting freaked-out by all the noise: a 45-minute drive (or train trip) north from the city will put you in stately Lake Forest for the town's annual July Fourth Concert-on-the-Green at Deer Path Elementary School, 95 W. Deerpath. The tasteful evening begins at 4:15 with a set by the Greg Wyser-Pratte Trio; at 5:45 singer Warren Beck takes over, and at 8 the Lake Forest Symphony will play a patriotic selection. The professionals will provide the pyrotechnics at 9:30. It's $8 for a spot on the lawn ($4 for children), $15 for a reserved table seat ($8 for children), or $10 for a reserved chair seat ($5 for children). Better yet, do like some of the savvier locals and camp out on the front lawn, outside the fence, for free. Call 847-295-2135.

5 SUNDAY The Hindu goddess Durga is said to combat the demons who threaten the stability of the cosmos. To humans, she can be either benign or destructive, granting riches during times of prosperity or heaping misfortune upon the land during disasters. Like most goddesses, she tends to be more generous when plied with incense, flowers, and other gifts. Her story will be told tonight in an intricate four-part dance drama called Durga, starring Bollywood actress and devotional dance diva Hema Malini and her 16-person troupe from Bombay. The narrative will be provided in both Hindi and English. It starts at 7 at the Skyline Stage at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand. Tickets are $35 to $100; call 312-559-1212.

6 MONDAY "She eats weird. She embarrasses me in public with her strangeness--she's not beautiful enough for what you deserve or need....Sure she has a high opinion of you, but she's crazy," writes singer Kenny Loggins in his recent book, The Unimaginable Life: Lessons Learned on the Path of Love. The passage, from his journal, is about his second wife and coauthor of the book, Julia Loggins, who he met when she became his therapist in 1984. Their New Agey book, the publication of which coincides with the release of Loggins's new CD, is an account of the couple's fabulous relationship that's supposed to help the rest of us fix our own love affairs; it's also about his initial fear of intimacy, which he obviously managed to overcome. Loggins, who is clean-shaven these days, will share his good luck tonight at 7 at Transitions Bookplace, 1000 W. North. It's free. Call 312-951-7323.

7 TUESDAY Bloated record companies were releasing double albums left and right back in the 1970s. A few selections from some of the more enduring ones--Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti, the Stones' Exile on Main Street, and Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life--will provide the curriculum for a guitar class called Great Double Albums of the 70s. Instructor Jimmy Tomasello, who threatens to throw Saturday Night Fever into the mix, says students must be somewhat proficient on the guitar in order to enroll. The first session is tonight from 6:30 to 7:50; the class will meet every Tuesday for eight weeks at the Old Town School of Folk Music, 909 W. Armitage. Tuition is $105. Call 773-525-7793 to sign up.

8 WEDNESDAY While Congress debates whether to lift our country's 38-year-old blockade on food and medicine to Cuba, the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization/Pastors for Peace is putting together its eighth Friendshipment Caravan. Buses from the caravan will hit 14 U.S. cities (and many in other countries) in an effort to collect books, funds, and medical supplies for children and the elderly--the two groups hit hardest by the policy. One will stop in Chicago today to raise money; the group plans to deliver the goods to Cuban churches and other nongovernmental agencies on July 23. Tonight's fund-raiser will include music, dancing, food, and a raffle. It's at Bethany United Methodist Church, 1607 W. Winnemac. It's free to attend; call 773-271-4817 to find out more.

9 THURSDAY The logic of global markets leads to more pressure on workers, not less, says the Chicago Tribune's Richard C. Longworth. The emphasis on profits and maximum return means it's the worker who loses. In a recent Tribune editorial he defined laptop-toting downsized middle managers-cum-temporary consultants as essentially "unemployed workers, with no more stability nor guarantees in life than a Mexican plumber." Longworth, author of the new book Global Squeeze, will discuss The Global Economy--Poverty and Homelessness at an event sponsored by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. It's from 10 to noon at Grace Place, 637 S. Dearborn. It's free, but you must reserve a seat. Call 312-435-4548.

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