NYC Jewish-y Events, July 26 – Aug. 4

NYC Jewish-y Events, July 26 – Aug. 4

Your weekly guide to educational, cultural and quirky events in New York City, with a Jewish bent.

Dueling guitars: Peter Bernstein and Gilad Hekselman at The Jazz Gallery.
Dueling guitars: Peter Bernstein and Gilad Hekselman at The Jazz Gallery.

Editors Picks: 

Two generations of jazz guitarists, with two different approaches to the instrument, will duke it out next week in a rare guitar duo. Peter Bernstein, 52, has played and recorded with some of the bluesiest saxophonists around, including Lou Donaldson and David “Fathead” Newman. He’s a scorcher of a soloist. Hekselman, 36, who claimed the top spot in the Rising Star-Guitar Category in the 2017 DownBeat Critics Poll, has a more lyrical, modernist bent. Expect sparks to fly. — Saturday, Aug. 3, 7:30 and 9 p.m., The Jazz Gallery, 1160 Broadway, 5th Fl., (212) 242-1063,

When tenor saxophonist Eli Degibri landed a prized gig in 2002 with the great drummer Al Foster, it was a career-making moment for the Israeli horn player. Degibri was one of the original Israeli jazz-playing expats to migrate to New York, and he helped popularize the Israeli/Middle Eastern-jazz fusion that has become a staple on the city’s club scene. The brawny-toned saxophonist’s new recording, “Soul Station: A Tribute to Hank Mobley,” pays homage to one of jazz’s great, most soulful but under-sung tenor players. Degibri is joined in his quartet by Tom Oren on piano, Tamir Shmerling on bass and Eviatar Slivnik on drums. — Tuesday, Aug. 6, 7:30-10 p.m., Smalls Jazz Club, 183 W. 10th St., (646) 476-4346,


Palestinian director Sameh Zoabi’s third feature, “Tel Aviv on Fire,” turns the Mideast conflict into a satire about the perils of producing a soap opera. It follows Salam, a Palestinian TV production assistant who crosses the border into Israel each day, turning his interactions with the military into material that fuels his aspiring TV writing career. Salam (Kais Nashef) hits gold when he encounters a uniquely talented Israeli soldier (Yaniv Biton). “The film smartly undercuts clichés while bringing together Jews and Arabs in their common love for tear-jerking televised fluff (as well as for the perfect hummus),” the Hollywood Reporter put it.  — Opens Friday, Aug. 2, Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th St., (212) 255-2243,



“Two’s a Crowd” stars Rita Rudner.
photo via

They say opposites attract — they haven’t met Tom and Wendy. Forced together by a computer error, freewheeling Tom and uptight Wendy do their best to ruin each other’s vacations, but the bright lights of Vegas may still work their magic. This new musical comedy stars Broadway and comedy icon Rita Rudner (“Born to Be Mild,” “Married Without Children”), Kelly Holden Bashar (“Fargo” on FX), Brian Lohmann (Off-Broadway’s “Lifegame”) and Robert Yacko (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”). — Through Sunday, Aug. 25, 59E59 Theaters, 59 E. 59th St., (646) 892-7999,

Set in the industrial east side of Los Angeles, in what was once a heavily Jewish area, three Holocaust survivors meet on a factory floor amid talk of deportations, poor wages and fading memories. Written and directed by Steve Greenstein (“Voices From the Holy and Not So Holy”). — Through July (Thursdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 7:30 p.m.), Actors’ Temple Theatre, 339 W. 47th St.,

Presented with music and song, this one-woman show tells the true story of Hannah Senesh, one of many Jews who escaped from Axis-allied Hungary in 1939 to the safety of British Mandate Palestine. There she joined Haganah and then volunteered for a daring Special Operations mission to parachute back into Europe to save Jews from Nazi hands. — Through Aug. 18, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202,

Leon Kobrin’s 1912 play is a tragicomic snapshot of tenement life on the Lower East Side.” It follows Katie Tsimbel, an unmarried 28-year-old, who has gotten herself “in trouble.” Enter her family’s recent-immigrant boarder — a Jewish ex-soldier in the czar’s army — who may have to marry her or risk a breach of promise charge. This reading will be in English, in a newly commissioned translation by director and translator Allen Rickman; it features his wife, Yelena Schmuleson. Part of YIVO’s “Treasures from the Archives” series. — Wednesday, July 31, 7 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301,

Comedy legend Rita Rudner hosts an evening of comedy and music featuring the cast of her new romantic musical comedy, “Two’s a Crowd” (see listing above). Performers include the show’s composer Jason Feddy, Brian Lohmann as depressed torch singer Johnny Lonely and “The Velours,” an improvised lounge act featuring Lohmann and Kelly Holden-Bashar, singer-songwriter Molly Bergman and award-winning cabaret crooner Robert Yacko. Expect songs from their show to creep into the madcap shenanigans. — Sunday, July 28, 9:30 p.m., Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St., (212) 539-8778,

Set in the industrial east side of Los Angeles, in what was once a heavily Jewish area, three Holocaust survivors meet on a factory floor amid talk of deportations, poor wages and fading memories. Written and directed by Steve Greenstein (“Voices From the Holy and Not So Holy”). — Extended Through Aug., Sundays at 7:30 p.m., Actors’ Temple Theatre, 339 W. 47th St.,



Guitarist and vocalist Jeremiah Lockwood of The Sway Machinery and vocalist Jewlia Eisenberg, founder of the Balkan funk-punk band Charming Hostess, team up for their duo project, Book of J. Drawing from American psalmody, Yiddish folklore and Jewish liturgy, they mine the intersection of religion and radical politics. — Saturdays in July, 6 p.m., Barbès, 376 Ninth St., Brooklyn, (347) 422-0248,



According to the Wall Street Journal, Israeli director Guy Nattiv would only make this film — about a real-life neo-Nazi in Indiana who renounces his hatred — after he received a blessing from his Holocaust survivor grandfather. It’s the true story of Bryon Widner, who co-founded a white supremacist group. Starring Jamie Bell. — Opens Friday, July 26 at Village East Cinema, 181-189 Second Ave.,


This documentary chronicles the life of Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a Holocaust survivor who became America’s most famous sex therapist. It traces the astonishing path of the now 90-year-old diminutive powerhouse —from child Holocaust survivor to Israeli sniper, American immigrant and single mother to licensed sex therapist, to unlikely media sensation. — On various dates through Thursday, Aug. 1, Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444,


The Colmar Treasure, a cache of jeweled rings, brooches, and coins, hidden in a wall of a house in Colmar, France, tells the story of a Jewish family and community, which were scapegoated and put to death when the plague struck the region, in 1348-49. Now on loan from the Musée de Cluny, Paris, the treasure will be displayed alongside select works from The Met Cloisters and little-known Judaica from collections in the U.S. and France, underscoring the prominence of the Jewish minority community in the tumultuous 14th century, and the perils it faced. — Through Jan. 12, 2020, The Met Cloisters, Fort Tryon Park, (212) 923-3700,

To publish events, submit them to two weeks or more in advance. We cannot guarantee inclusion due to space limitations. Since scheduling changes may occur, we recommend contacting the venue before heading out to an event.

read more: