The Top 3
OUT OF ISRAEL
Along with Mediterranean fare, jazz and security firms, contemporary dance has become one of Israel’s major cultural exports. The 92Y’s Out of Israel festival, now in its eighth season, celebrates Israel’s 70th anniversary with a look at the “palatable intensity and adventurous physicality of these vigorous [Israeli] voices,” says The Times. Guest curated by Israeli-American choreographer Dana Katz, leader of Danaka Dance Collective, the two-day program includes a work by acclaimed Israeli choreographers Itzik Galili and Roi Assaf, performed by Israeli-American dancer Troy Ogilvie; a short solo by dance artist Roni Chadash; a new composition by the Danaka Collective and films by Joseph Bach and Shamel Pitts. — Friday, Jan. 12, 12 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 13, 8 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave, 92y.org. $10 in advance / $20 at the door.
DOUBLE KLEZ BRUNCH
Since the klezmer revival of the 1970s, the traditional Jewish wedding music has been fused to free jazz, heavy metal, R&B (and almost any other genre you can think of), thereby gaining new life. But Metropolitan Klezmer, which will hit the 25-year mark in 2019, and Isle of Klezbos, which marks 20 years in ’18, keep the Eastern European roots music pretty pure. The two ensembles bring their rollicking neo-trad sound, with forays into downtown, classical and world music, to the City Winery’s Sunday klezmer brunch. It’s an Old-World groove brought to Soho. — Sunday, Jan. 14, doors 10 a.m., concert 11 a.m., City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555, citywinery.com. $10.
URI GURVICH RESIDENCE
Israeli-born, New York-based alto saxophonist and composer Uri Gurvich – “an adventurous voice in the post-Coltrane fashion,” says JazzTrail — will be performing with a rotating cast of guest musicians for a five-day residency at The Stone. (The club will close its East Village location for good in March and take up residence at The New School Glass Box Theater.) “Kinship,” Gurvich’s latest album (with the wonderful Cuban drummer Franciso Mela), draws from his multicultural heritage as the son of Argentinian immigrants in Israel, as well from his quartet’s cosmopolitan (and multinational) makeup. — Tuesday-Sunday, Jan. 9-14, The Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, thestonenyc.com.
LIOR SUCHARD – MASTER MENTALIST
Following in the footsteps of another great Israeli mind-boggler, Uri Geller, Israeli mentalist Lior Suchard has earned acclaim for his mind-reading, thought-influencing and telekinesis performances. Seeing is believing. — Saturday, Jan. 13, 8-10 p.m., The Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St., thetownhall.org. Call (718) 997-9848 or visit teevtix.com for tickets.
DESCRIBE THE NIGHT
In 1920, Jewish-Russian writer Isaac Babel wanders the Russian countryside with the Red Cavalry. Seventy years later, a mysterious KGB agent spies on a woman in Dresden and falls in love. In 2010, an aircraft carrying most of the Polish government has a suspicious accident and crashes in the Russian city of Smolensk. Inspired by his love of Babel’s work, playwright and Pulitzer Prize-finalist Rajiv Joseph tells a three-act, three-hour historical thriller that follows the interconnected stories of seven Russian men and women over nine decades. — Atlantic Theater Co., 336 W. 20th St., (866) 811-4111, atlantictheater.org.
NEW YORK JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL Now in its 27th annual run, the NYJFF showcases documentaries, features and short films from around the world that explore the diverse Jewish experience. Featuring 36 new films, the festival will take place on Jan. 10-23 at the Film Society Of Lincoln Center – Walter Reade Theater, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza. For a detailed schedule and for tickets visit filmlinc.org/festivals/new-york-jewish-film-festival/. Highlights include:
After discovering as an adult that she has siblings she’s never met, documentarian Su Goldfish burrows through her parents’ pasts to uncover the truths in what she previously thought to be fanciful bedtime tales by her father. — Wednesday, Jan. 10, 12:30 p.m. and Monday, Jan 15, 6:15 p.m.
Ofir Raul Graizer’s moving debut tracks the complicated and intense relationship between a gay German baker, Thomas (Tim Kalkhof), and Anat (Sarah Adler), the Israeli widow of the man whom they both loved. — Thursday, Jan. 18, 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 20, 9:30 p.m.
In this dark comic thriller by writer-director Tzahi Grad, a progressive-minded Israeli actor Naftali (played by Grad) hires a Palestinian handyman Fahed (Ala Fakka), to do some work in his home. When a young girl is assaulted nearby, Naftali steps up as the lone voice in Fahed’s defense, but is really defending his own political prejudices. — Tuesday, Jan. 16, 8:45 p.m. and Wed, Jan. 17, 6 p.m.
Using a hybrid of documentary and highly accomplished dramatizations, “The Invisibles,” Claus Raefle’s chilling documentary, tells the story of four of the 1,700 Jewish survivors who hid in plain sight in Berlin throughout the war, as the city declared itself “cleansed” of Jews. — Thursday, Jan. 18, 3:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 21, 1:30 p.m.
Building on the work he set forth in “Rabin, the Last Day” and “Shalom Rabin, “ Amos Gitai’s “West of the Jordan River” returns to the West Bank to better understand the efforts of the citizens, both Israelis and Palestinians, to overcome the consequences of a 50-year occupation. Interspersing footage of his interviews with Yitzhak Rabin from the 1990s with the contemporary interviews of everyday citizens, Gitai emphasizes the lasting side effects of Rabin’s assassination on the country. — Tuesday, January 23, 12:30 and 6 p.m.
Sam Hoffman, the creative force behind the book series, web series and Off-Broadway hit “Old Jews Telling Jokes,” makes his film debut with “Humor Me.” Jemaine Clement stars as Nate, a once-acclaimed New York playwright struggling to finish his new play when his wife (Maria Dizzia) leaves him and takes their son. The broken and broke Nate begrudgingly moves in with his widowed father Bob (Elliott Gould) at a New Jersey retirement golf community. — In wide release beginning Jan. 12.
Following the discovery of her grandparents’ confiscated pre-World War II estate and her own Jewish heritage, documentarian Ann Michel uncovers her family’s long-buried trauma in their ancestral homeland — German Silesia, now a part of Poland. A New York premiere, with filmmakers Ann Michel and Phil Wilde and Cornell architecture Professor Aleksandr Mergold. Reception to follow. — Monday, Jan. 8, 6:30 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
Israeli-born jazz guitarist Gilad Hekselman, who has drawn praise for his “warm and clean guitar tone, clear articulation and crazily extended improvisational ideas” (The Times), teams up with Israeli-American pianist Shai Maestro. — Friday, Jan. 5, 8:30 and 10 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319. Visit corneliastreetcafe.com for details.
YOTAM SILBERSTEIN QUARTET
Since his 2005 move to New York, guitarist and Tel Aviv native Yotam Silberstein has released three albums and collaborated with the likes of bassist Avishai Cohen, James Moody and Roy Hargrove. About Jazz summed up Silberstein’s 2009 release, “Next Page,” as an “unadorned hollow-body guitar work [that] freely invites comparison to releases from the heyday of Blue Note Records.” With Sam Yahel on piano, Matt Penman on bass and Ofri Nehemya on drums. — Friday, Jan. 12, 8:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com.
Led by Israeli frontman and singer Ravid Kahalani, the explosive music of Yemen Blues transplants traditional Yemenite prayers and melodies into the world of funk, soul, blues and jazz. — Tuesday, Jan. 9-Wednesday, Jan. 17, on select dates and times, Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St., (212) 539-8778, publictheater.org.
GAYA FELDHEIM SCHORR SEPTET
A relative newcomer to the city, the Tel Aviv native is a jazz vocalist and composer whose style encompasses classical, jazz, indie rock and Israeli folk. Her current project uses a theme from Benjamin Britten’s choral work “A Ceremony of Carols” and surrounds it with jazz standards, Israeli folk and singer-songwriter passages. — Sunday, Jan. 7, 9:0 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319,corneliastreetcafe.com.
SOUL TO SOUL
Explore the parallel experience of two minority groups’ paths to find America’s promise of freedom, with songs in Yiddish and English, culminating in songs from the civil rights era. This concert features Lisa Fishman (“The Golden Bride”), Cantor Magda Fishman (Temple Beth El in Stamford, Conn.), Elmore James (Broadway’s “Beauty and the Beast”), and Tony Perry (“Five Guys Named Moe”). Conceived with musical direction by Zalmen Mlotek, the Folksbiene’s artistic director. — Monday, Jan. 15, 2 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.org.
FRIDAY NIGHT JAM
Hosted by Relix editor-in-chief Mike Greenhaus and Because Jewish’s Rabbi Dan Ain, the Friday Night Jam is a new speaking series focused on the intersection of music, spirituality and culture. In this installment, Sudanese-American musician Sinkane will discuss the global, interfaith roots of his signature blend of indie rock, world music, funk and Krautrock. The talk will be preceded by a Friday ritual and followed by a DJ set with Sinkane. — Friday, Jan. 5, 7 p.m., Rockwood Music Hall – Stage 3, 196 Allen St., (212) 477-4155, rockwoodmusichall.com.
As a Mossad agent, Avner Avraham discovered original documents, objects, passports, etc., in Mossad files that led him to chronicle the inside story of the historic 1960 capture of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. Along with Eli Rosenbaum — the longest-serving prosecutor of Nazi criminals and human rights violators — and NYU’s Thane Rosenbaum, Avraham will discuss Israel’s dramatic capture and trial of Eichmann, and the role the U.S. government played in the case. — Sunday, Jan. 7, 7 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave.,92y.org.
THE POWER OF BUREAUCRATS
From his desk in Berlin, Adolf Eichmann organized the mass deportation and genocide of Jews across Europe during World War II. David Luban, one of America’s leading legal ethicists, discusses and draws contemporary lessons from the ways in which Eichmann’s power grew out of the bureaucratic authority established by the Third Reich to enable him to become one of history’s most infamous war criminals. — Wednesday, Jan. 10, 7 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, , mjhnyc.org.
SCHMALTZ: JEWISH FOOD PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURES
Best-selling author Michael Wex discusses his book “Rhapsody in Schmaltz” and reflects on why the serious study of Jewish food has been a blind spot in the study of Eastern European Jewry. He’ll be joined by Liz Alpern and Jeffrey Yoskowitz of The Gefilteria and co-authors of “The Gefilte Manifesto” cookbook, who will present a live cooking demonstration while discussing their work in contemporary Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine. A light reception featuring Jewish food favorites will follow. — Tuesday, Jan. 9, 7 p.m., YIVO Institute, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 246-6080, yivo.org.
THE JEWISH REVIEW OF BOOKS
The Jewish Review of Books’ third annual conference features a panel with leading scholars, politicians and intellectuals about important issues of the day, as well as the enduring themes of Jewish life and thought. With Professor Deborah Lipstadt, former Israeli Air Force Gen. Amos Yadlin, commentator Jeffrey Rosen and more. — Sunday, Jan. 14, 9:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, jewishreviewofbooks.com/annual-conference/.
GLASS MOUNTAINS AND SABRA TRACES
Israeli photographer Oded Balilty (the first and only Israeli photographer to receive the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news) presents two aesthetically bold and thoroughly Israeli photo series in his New York solo debut.— Through March 1, Laurie M. Tisch Gallery, JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444, jccmanhattan.org.
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, 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, The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., (212) 423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org.
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