YIDDISH NEW YORK
’Tis the season to be Yiddish-y. Now in its third year, the annual festival of Yiddish New York — one of the nation’s largest celebrations of Yiddish music, culture and language — is returning to its Lower East Side digs with a six-day cornucopia of daily workshops, lectures, classes, exhibits and high-caliber shows centered on Yiddish and Eastern European culture. Highlights include the New York debut of the California klezmer supergroup Veretski Pass (Sunday, Dec. 24, 7:30 p.m.); the popular klez groups Goyfriend, Tsibele and the Overnight Kugel (Monday, Dec. 25, 7:30 p.m.); a Yiddish swing party featuring Paul Shapiro’s Ribs & Brisket Revue, Pete Sokolow’s Yiddish-American Jass Band, The Shvesters of Swing (Tuesday, Dec. 26, 8 p.m.); and more. Visit yiddishnewyork.com for a detailed schedule and locations. — Saturday-Thursday, Dec. 23- 28, Lower East Side.
PHISH AFTER-PARTY WITH MATISYAHU
In 2005, just months after the release of his first album “Live at Stubbs,” a young Matisyahu — not yet the Jewish rock-reggae icon he is today — found himself onstage with Trey Anastasio, the frontman of the legendary jam band Phish. For the duration of two songs, the rapper, a longtime die-hard Phan, co-lead the Phishes in a sequence of improvisational beat boxing. It not only made Matisyahu’s career but also left a lasting impression, one which he revisits semi-regularly in Phish After-Party tribute concerts. — Thursday, Dec. 28, doors 10:30 p.m., concert 11:30 p.m., Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Place, (212) 777-6800, concerts1.livenation.com.
Two Palestinian women share an apartment in the liberal heart of Tel Aviv. Layla (Mouna Hawa) is a Muslim criminal lawyer by day and a chain-smoking party girl and sex fiend at night. Salma (Sana Jammalieh), her lesbian roommate, left her conservative Christian home and is now floating from job to job. In moves Nour (Shaden Kanboura), an observant, hijab-wearing Muslim, who is studying at the local university – and is denounced for it by her fiancé. Filmmaker Maysaloun Hamoud’s piercing comedy examines the clash between Palestinian women’s modern lifestyles and their traditional communities. Decreed “haram,” or forbidden, by Palestinian clerics for its risqué scenes, the film earned Hamoud the first fatwa to be issued in Palestine since 1948. — Opens Friday, Jan. 5, Sunshine Landmark, 143 E. Houston St, (212) 260-7289, landmarktheatres.com.
Bad-girl Jewish actress and comedian Sandra Bernhard presents her new one-woman show about the political roller-coaster of the past year. “Sandy is here to make it all right,” she promises. — Tuesday-Sunday, Dec. 26-31, Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St., (212) 539-8778, publictheater.org.
MERRY CHANUKAH WITH JUDY GOLD
Emmy Award-winning actress and comedian Judy Gold discusses being Jewish on Christmas. She also talks about her Jewish relatives, kids, partners, sex life and lack thereof. Most famous for her one woman play “25 Questions for a Jewish Mother,” Gold has been described as “an underappreciated gem of the New York comedy scene” by the New York Times. — Friday-Saturday, Dec. 22-23, 10 p.m., Carolines on Broadway, 1626 Broadway, (212) 757-4100, carolines.com.
JEWISH CHRISTMAS COMEDY
From his stint on the Solomon Schechter basketball team to his tour of duty in the IDF, nothing escapes comedian Joel Chasnoff’s sharp — yet 100 percent clean (read: unblue) — Jewish wit. Joined by fellow comics Jessica Kirson, Phil Hanley and more, Chasnoff throws Jesus a very Jewish birthday party. — Sunday, Dec. 24, 6 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show, City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555, citywinery.com/newyork/tickets.
A VERY JEWISH CHRISTMAS
A group of leading Jewish comedians — including Jared Freid (MTV, NFL Network, “The Today Show”), Canadian comic Ophira Eisenberg (Comedy Central, The Oxygen Network, VH-1), Brad Trackman (CBS, MTV, NBC, Comedy Central) — gather for Gotham’s annual “kosher” Christmas comedy set. — Sunday, Dec. 24, 7 and 9 p.m., Gotham Comedy Club, 208 W. 23rd St., (212) 367-9000, gothamcomedyclub.com.
THE BAND’S VISIT
In the hit Israeli film, the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra travels to Israel from Egypt for a concert, ending up in the wrong place and bonding with local Israelis in the process. David Yazbek’s musical of the same name and based on the film won the 2017 Obie for Best Musical. Now on Broadway after a sold-out Off-Broadway run. —Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St., telecharge.com, thebandsvisitmusical.com.
A GERMAN LIFE
Brunhilde Pomsel, now 105, describes herself as an “apolitical girl” and a “figure on the margins,” but she got closer to one of the worst criminals in world history than anyone else left alive. Pomsel served as Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels’ stenographer, and her unusual biography and personal journey into the past leads to thorny moral questions. — Opens Friday, Dec. 22, Cinema Village, 22 E. 12th St., (212) 924-3363, cinemavillage.com.
SANTA KLEZ WITH METROPOLITAN KLEZMER
Cornelia Street Café’s annual Merry Klezmer show features the acclaimed Metropolitan Klezmer. Known for its sweeping arrangements and versatile ensemble playing, the quintet blends downtown, classical and world music into a danceable neo-traditional Yiddish repertoire. New York Music Daily called them “Exhilarating … high-voltage … deliciously shape-shifting … with a love for resurrecting obscure treasures from across the decades.” — Monday, Dec. 25, 3 and 5 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com. $10 cover plus $10 minimum.
Moshav, the noted band fronted by Yehuda Solomon and Duvid Swirsky, rocks Christmas with its high-energy blend of traditional Jewish music with rock, folk, soul and world rhythms. The group has been hailed as “one of the more unique and underrated rock bands that exists today” (New Noise Magazine). — Sunday, Dec. 24, doors 7 p.m., concert 8 p.m., Highline Ballroom, 431 W. 16th St., highlineballroom.com. $15-$35.
DAVID BROZA’S “NOT EXACTLY CHRISTMAS EVE” CONCERT
The iconic Israeli singer-songwriter returns to 92Y for his 23rd annual Christmas Eve concert. Broza’s folksy music represents a cultural fusion of the four different countries in which he was raised and now lives: Israel, Spain, England and the U.S. — Sunday, Dec. 24, 8 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org. (See story on page 3.)
PAUL SHAPIRO’S RIBS AND BRISKET REVUE
A New York-based saxophonist and composer with serious new-jazz and R&B credentials, Paul Shapiro plays a hard-blowing, finger-snapping, klezmer-inflected jazz and wailing big city blues. — Sunday, Dec. 31, 9:15 and 11:15 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com. $20, drinks included.
Reflecting upon personal experiences, historical and contemporary events and the universal human condition, HOME(less) features the mixed-media works of seventy international artists exploring the meaning of home, and the loss of it. — Through June 29, 2018, Hebrew Union College Museum, 1 W. Fourth St., (212) 824-2218, huc.edu/homeless.
This Jewish Museum exhibit features early drawings by famous Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani, who died in 1920. The drawings, which were acquired directly from the artist by Dr. Paul Alexandre — his close friend and first patron — illuminate how Modigliani’s heritage as an Italian Sephardic Jew is pivotal to understanding his artistic output. Many of these works are being shown for the first time in the U.S. — Through Feb. 4, 2018, The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., (212) 423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org.
Playing out more like a spy novel than a museum show, this multimedia exhibit features recently declassified materials charting the tracking, capture, extradition and trial of Adolf Eichmann. — Through Dec. 22, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.org.
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