NY SEPHARDIC JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL
From films about the making of the modern Middle East to Sephardic-flavored romantic comedies, the weeklong annual Sephardic Jewish Film Festival celebrates the rich
culture and history of the Sephardic diaspora. For its 20th anniversary, the festival features a different themed program each day. The untold stories of how Sephardic Jews from Algeria, Tunisia and Greece suffered during the Holocaust are shared during a full day of films, “Sephardim in the Shoah” (Sunday, April 2). “From Ethiopia to Israel” (Tuesday, April 4) explores the challenges of emigration. “An Evening of Empowering Sephardi Women” (Monday, April 3) highlights differences in gender relations and expectations between Ashkenazi and Sephardi communities, and “Love, Sephardi Style” (Tuesday, April 4) is an evening of short films that explore modern romance in Sephardi communities. — Thursday, March 30-Thursday, April 6, American Sephardi Federation at the Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8350, nysephardifilmfestival.org.
WOMEN IN FILM
Even without counting the disruptions of the Trump presidency, it’s been a tumultuous century or two, and the roles women played in shaping them often go under-examined. From the first Israeli poet, Rachel — whose face is about to adorn two new Israeli banknotes — to the determined and highly unlikely Jewish babushkas of Chernobyl, RACC’s (Russian American Cultural Center) 2017 daylong Art Film Festival spotlights the unsung heroines of modern times. Presented in collaboration with the Russian and Slavic studies program at Hunter College. — Sunday, March 26, 2-9 p.m., Ida K. Lang Recital Hall at Hunter College, 695 Park Ave., russianamericanculture.com.
WOMEN IN MUSIC
In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Iridium jazz club is hosting four weeks of fierce female performers. Among the headliners is award-winning Israeli/Canadian singer-songwriter and activist Yael Deckelbaum, whose song “Prayer of the Mothers” was the anthem of Israel’s “Women Wage Peace” movement. The movement, part of Israel’s 2016 March of Hope, protested the escalation of racial violence in the region. — Sunday-Monday, March 26-27, 8:30 p.m., Iridium, 1650 Broadway, (212) 582-2121, theiridium.com. $35/$45. (Eds. Note: this show has been cancelled)
One of 2016’s best-reviewed plays, J. T. Rogers’ “Oslo” moves to Broadway. A complex tale of political intrigue and back-door negotiations, this darkly funny play centers on the months of talks between Israel and Palestine that led to the historic 1993 Oslo Peace Accords. Directed by Tony-award winning Barlett Sher (“Fiddler On The Roof”). — Through June 18, Lincoln Center Theatre, 150 W. 65th St, (212) 375-3708. For the schedule and tickets visit lct.org
It 1941. Two young Jewish women — one Libyan, one Dutch — meet in a German concentration camp, and develop a romantic relationship laden with cultural and sexual tensions. After being caught stealing water, they are locked together in a shack and tasked with deciding which one of them shall be executed. This theatrical adaptation of a prize-winning novel by Yossi Sucary sheds lights the lost story of the Holocaust of Libyan Jews. – March 23-April 9, La MaMa Theatre, 66 East 4th St., (646) 430-5374, lamama.org. $25/$20 seniors & students.
THROUGH THE DARKNESS
Sensing that first-hand Holocaust memories are slipping away, playwright Alan C. Breindel creates a theatrical vehicle whereby a group of fictional survivors tell their stories simply and directly, answering questions posed by a narrator/interviewer. Leslie Kincaid Burby directs. — Through April 1, The MainStage at The Workshop Theater, 312 W. 36th St., 4th floor. 866-811-4111, workshoptheater.org.
The Broadway hit that became an even more famous Barbra Streisand movie is now returning to its Broadway roots. The widowed, brassy matchmaker Dolly Levi travels to Yonkers to find a match for the miserly “well-known unmarried half-a-millionaire” Horace Vandergelder. She convinces his niece, his niece’s intended and Horace’s two clerks to travel with them to New York City to find the match, and … (we won’t spoil the ending for you). Played on film by the legendary Barbra Streisand, this Broadway revival features the no-less-legendary Bette Midler as Dolly. Directed by four-time Tony Award-winner Jerry Zaks. – 225 W. 44th St., (212) 239-6200, hellodollyonbroadway.com. $59-$189.
GOD OF VENGEANCE
Back by popular demand, New Yiddish Rep restages its hit revival of Sholem Asch’s “Got fun nekome,” or “God of Vengeance.” Considered one of the most psychologically revealing plays of the first half of the 20th century, it tells the story of a brothel owner’s attempt to marry off his daughter so she may lead a dignified religious life, only to have her drawn back into a life of sin with another woman. – Through Sunday, March 26, Theatre at St. Clement’s, 423 W. 46th St., newyiddishrep.org. $36-$65.
IF I FORGET
In the final months before 9/11, liberal (to say the least; he’s publishing a book about forgetting the Holocaust) Jewish studies Professor Michael Fischer has reunited with his two sisters to celebrate their father’s 75th birthday. Each deeply invested in their own version of family history, destructive secrets and long-held resentments bubble to the surface — with biting humor and razor-sharp insight — in this powerful tale of a family, and culture, at odds with itself. — Through April 30, The Laura Pels Theatre, 111 W. 46th St., (212) 719-1300, roundabouttheatre.org. $79.
LAVENDER SONGS: A QUEER WEIMAR BERLIN CABARET
In a bold reminder that our times bear a striking resemblance to Weimar Germany, restaurant-theater hybrid Pangea used Inauguration Day to debut “Lavender Songs,” an award-winning, risqué and gender-bending show starring Jeremy Lawrence — or, more aptly, his cabaret alter ego “Tante Fritzy” — and incorporating music by queer composers from the Berlin underground during Nazi Germany. — Through April 8, 7 p.m., Pangea, 178 Second Ave. (bet. 11th & 12th), (212) 995-0900, pangeanyc.com. $20, plus $20 food/beverage minimum.
NOT THAT JEWISH
Written by and starring the Emmy Award-winning and Golden Globe nominated writer, actress and comedian Monica Piper, this has been lauded as a hilarious and heartfelt autobiographical tale of a Jew-“ish” woman’s life. — Through April 30, New World Stages, 340 W. 50th St., (212) 239-6200, notthatjewish.com. From $49.
Renown Israeli-American cellist Inbal Segev opens Roulette’s Third-annual String Theory Festival. Segev will perform “Rest These Hands,” a solo for by cello Grammy-nominated composer Anna Clyne’s. Segev’s playing has been described as “characterized by a strong and warm tone … delivered with impressive fluency and style,” by The Strad and “first class,” “richly inspired” and “very moving indeed,” by Gramophone. — Wednesday, March 29, 8 p.m., Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn, (917) 267-0363, roulette.org. $25/$15 seniors and students.
GILAD HEKSELMAN ZUPEROCTAVE
Israeli-born jazz guitarist Gilad Hekselman has drawn praise for his smooth sound and formidable technique. With his quartet, ZuperOctave, he explores a bass-less, semi-electronic version of his compositions. — Friday-Saturday, March 24-25, 9 and 10:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com. $20 cover, drink included.
ISLE OF KLEZBOS
Hailed by New York Music Daily as “one of New York’s most exciting groups, in any style,” this acclaimed, all-female klezmer powerhouse “tests the elasticity of the genre” (The New Yorker) with both irreverence and respect. Tune into their neo-traditional dance rollicks, mystical melodies, Second Avenue Yiddish swing, re-grooved standards and genre-defying originals. — Sunday, March 26, 10 a.m. doors, 11 a.m. concert, City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555, citywinery.com/newyork/tickets. $10.
THE EHUD ASHERIE TRIO
With a “sprightly dancing style on the keyboard” (Jazz Notes), New York-based, Israeli-born jazz pianist Ehud Asherie plays a straightforward, classy jazz repertoire which All About Jazz magazine described as “a wonder and more than a joy to hear.” With drummer Aaron Kimmel and bassist Neal Miner. — Tuesday, March 28, 7:30-
10 p.m., Smalls Jazz Club, 183 W. 10th St., (646) 476-4346, smallslive.com.
POYLN: FAREWELL TO THE HOMELAND
Flutist Adrianne Greenbaum and an ensemble of leading klezmorim — singer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Alpert, bassist Brian Glassman, violinist Jake Shulman-Ment and tsimbl player Pete Rushefsky — will perform songs from Jewish Poland. — Sunday, March 26, 3 p.m., Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge St., (212) 219-0302, eldridgestreet.org. $25/$15 students and seniors.
With nine albums, including a DVD/CD and two platinum and five gold records, the singer-songwriter is considered among the most successful rock artists in Israel today. He was selected by Time Out Tel Aviv to be on its list of the “200 Coolest People,” and was named to OUT Magazine’s list of the 100 most important gay icons in the world. — Wednesday, March 29, 8 p.m., Symphony Space — Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, 2537 Broadway at 95th St., (818) 483-8818, symphonyspace.org. $45-$85.
IN SEARCH OF ISRAELI CUISINE
More than 70 cultures comprise the Israeli people, each with its own culinary traditions; this diversity emerges in the film chronicle of chef Michael Solomonov’s visits with restaurant chefs, home cooks, winegrowers, cheese makers, street vendors and more. — Opens Friday, March 24, Angelika Film Center, 8 W. Houston St., (212) 995-2570, angelikafilmcenter.com.
Disillusioned by Israeli policies regarding the Palestinians, noted Israeli writer and intellectual Amos Elon moved to Italy with his family. On his deathbed, he asks his daughter Danae to never return to Israel. But in 2011, pregnant and living in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, she breaks her promise and relocates her family to Jerusalem. The documentary she shot over the following three years chronicles her family’s move and the inherent struggle faced by those who are both liberal-minded and deeply loyal to Israel. — Lincoln Plaza Cinema, 1886 Broadway, (212) 757-0359, lincolnplazacinema.com.
In a story that begins with murder and ends with reconciliation, one man persuades the people of Kielce, Poland, to confront the truth about the darkest moment from their past: Kielce was the site of Europe’s last pogrom. — Sunday, March 26, 2 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.org.
AND A DAY
A comedy about a couple in mourning. When the mourning period over their son ends, a return to routine seems to be in order for Vicky, while her husband, Eyal, opts for a total abdication of routine — stealing his dead son’s bag of medical marijuana and proceeding to get high with his stoner neighbor. Winner of the Best Feature awards in the 2016 Jerusalem Film Festival. – Tuesday, March 28, 7:30 p.m., JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444. jccmanhattan.org. $12/$9 members.
INTERMARRIAGE, THE OCCUPATION & THE NEXT GENERATION
The high rate of intermarriage, Israeli policy in the West Bank and disengagement among millennials present existential questions for American Jews. Professor Steven M. Cohen discusses how Jewish communal leaders can effectively address these issues — provided they depart from prevailing assumptions about community, culture and politics. — Sunday, March 26, 10 a.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org. $36.
LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARD
Dan Shapiro, former U.S. ambassador to Israel, and Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove of Park Avenue Synagogue discuss the history and future of American Zionism and Israeli-American relationships. Moderated by Lisa Hostein, executive editor of Hadassah Magazine. Co-sponsored by The Jewish Week and Hadassah. — Tuesday, March 28, 7 p.m., Park Avenue Synagogue, 50 E. 87th St., (212) 369-2600, pasyn.org
PERSON PLACE THING: JONATHAN GREENBLATT
Randy Cohen, former Times ethics columnist, interviews ADL’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, who, in short order after taking over from the legendary Abe Foxman is charting his own course at the venerable defense agency. — Wednesday, March 29, 7:30-9 p.m., JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444. jccmanhattan.org. $18/$12 members.
JEWS IN SPORTS
From the Book of Judge’s Samson to the NBA’s Omri Casspi, Semitic strongmen have always had an air of the improbable about them. Legendary sportswriter (and regular Jewish Week contributor) Gerald Eskenazi, who spent decades at The Times and authored more than a dozen books along the way, explores the role of Jews in sports. With sportscaster Kenny Albert, WNBC-TV sports anchor Bruce Beck and former Mets first baseman Art Shamsky. —Thursday, March 30, 7 p.m., Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center, One E. 65th St., (212) 507-9580, emanuelstreickernyc.org. Free.
LOST SYNAGOGUES OF EUROPE
The Museum at Eldridge Street presents an exhibition of vintage postcards of Central and Eastern European synagogues from Prague-based collector Frantisek Bányai. The postcards depict a range of Jewish architecture, culture and community that were all but destroyed during WWII. — Through June 8, Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge St., (212) 219-0302, eldridgestreet.org.
The lowly staple gets the high-brow treatment with a month-long museum show at The City Reliquary. The chronicler-queen of the knish, Laura Silver, author of 2014’s “Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food” (Brandeis), curates the exhibition, whose aptly stuffed title is “Heroes of the Knish: Making a Living and Making a Life.” It features a history of the potato pie, from the Old Country to the sidewalk carts of the Lower East Side to the pricey delis of Midtown, and documents the lives of the men and women who made the crusty-chewy delicacy. — Through May 7, City Reliquary Museum, 370 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, cityreliquary.org. $5.
Our ancestors used clothing and textiles to beautify their synagogues, their tables and themselves on Shabbat and holidays as well as important lifecycle events. Many of these were preserved, with highlights including a sumptuous 18th-century lectern cover that belonged to a former chief rabbi of Izmir, a 19th-century dress and a 1950 custom-made lace wedding gown. — Through April 29, Yeshiva University Museum, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8330, firstname.lastname@example.org. For hours and admission rates: yumuseum.org/visit.
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