NYC Jewish-y Events, September 20-29
search

NYC Jewish-y Events, September 20-29

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

Editors Picks: 

YIDDISH TANGO FROM WARSAW
As the tango craze swept through Europe in the ’30s, Warsaw became the Eastern European capital of its most eclectic permutation: Yiddish tango. Polish-Israeli singer Olga Avigail Mieleszczuk, one of Europe’s leading performers of Jewish music, presents a multilingual repertoire featuring new arrangements fusing the Argentinean sound with prewar, klezmer-inflicted tango. Featuring the Tango Attack band and a guest performance by klezmer clarinetist Michael Winograd. — Wednesday, Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m., Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444, jccmanhattan.org.

KINGFISHERS CATCH FIRE
Robin Glendinning’s play tells the true story of the unlikely friendship between Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, a Vatican priest who helped Jews escape the Nazis in Rome, and Herbert Kappler, head of the Gestapo there. During World War II, the two men were bitter adversaries; Monsignor O’Flaherty was using the cover of Vatican neutrality to shelter and arrange for the escape of thousands of Allied servicemen and Jewish civilians; Kappler was hunting him down, going so far as to place a bounty on his head. The arc of their story during and after the war is full of unlikely twists and turns. A morality play if there ever was one. — Through Oct. 20, Irish Repertory Theatre, 132 W. 22nd St., (212) 727.2737, irishrep.org.

JAZZ SINGERJoshua William Gelb and Nehemiah Luckett’s new musical, “jazz singer,” interrogates the themes of the first feature-length “sound film,” the Al Jolson vehicle “The Jazz Singer.” Set on the Lower East Side, the 1927 film tells the story of a jazz crooner forced to choose between his immigrant Jewish heritage and his aspirations to become a Broadway star. Jolson, of course, performed the role in blackface, and given the sudden re-emergence of the blackface phenomenon (remember Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey?), Gelb and Luckett use the musical to explore cultural appropriation, assimilation and racism in its many shades. — Tuesday, Sept. 24-Saturday, Oct. 12, Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand St., (212) 598-0400, abronsartscenter.org.

Theater

THE TALMUD

In a cultural mash-up that’s hard to fathom, the genre-bending performance “The Talmud” draws upon Chinese martial arts cinema and juxtaposes it with chosen chapters of the Talmud. Taking place in a reimagined Talmudic academy, rabbis debate tractate “Gittin,” about divorce laws; interspersed in the scholarly dialogue are choreographed Kung-Fu-inspired movement sequences featuring a four-person cast and a musician playing a Chinese lute. Oh, and hip-hop dance scenes. — Through Sept. 28, Target Margin Theater, 232 52nd St., Brooklyn, (718) 398-3095, targetmargin.org/talmud/.

BAB(OO)SHKA
Anna Lublina’s interdisciplinary performance begins with her grandmother telling humorous anecdotes about Jewish oppression — onstage and in Russian. The tales are then translated into gibberish, klezmer music and a puppet show, reflecting on the realities of Jewish life in the Soviet Union. — Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 26-28 and Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 3-5, 7:30 p.m., Theater at the 14th St Y, 344 E. 14th St., (212) 780-0800, 14streety.org.

TO LIFE!
The Rosen family comes together in a hospital room and subsequently falls apart as family secrets are revealed, in what playwright Eve Lederman calls a “death-defying traumedy.” — Through Sunday, Oct. 6., Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave., (212) 254-1109, theaterforthenewcity.net.

LUDWIG AND BERTIE
The 40-year love/hate relationship between philosopher Bertrand Russell and his student Ludwig Wittgenstein is dramatized in this world premiere, a play of ideas and personal stories. —Opens Friday, Sept. 27, through Oct. 13. Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave., (212) 254-1109, theaterforthenewcity.net.

SWAN LAKE – THE ROCK OPERA

Veteran Israeli theater director Tsedi Sarfati turns Tchaikovsky’s score to the legendary “Swan Lake” ballet into a rock opera. In Sarfati’s retooled version, Crown Prince Siegfried (Ziggy), a royal playboy, puts money, love and titles on the line in a scandalous and sexually liberated search for the ideal bride. Choreographed by Israeli actor/dancer Amit Zamir. — Saturday, Sept. 21 and Wednesday, Sept. 25, 8 p.m., Chelsea Music Hall, 407 W. 15th St., swanlakerockopera.com.

NUSAKH VILNE MEMORIAL
Commemorate the Jewish community of Vilna with readings and performances by Rivka Augenfeld, Michael Fox, Ellen Perecman, Ruth Baran-Gerold and Mikhl Baran, as well as a presentation on YIVO’s new Slovin Online Museum. — Sunday, Sept. 22, 1 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (917) 606-8290,  yivo.org/NusakhVilne2019.

YIDDISH FIDDLER

“Fiddler on the Roof” (A Fidler Afn Kakh) in Yiddish continues its Off-Broadway run. Directed by the acclaimed Joel Grey, a rich Yiddish translation by the late Shraga Friedman adds new depth to the iconic musical. With English and Russian supertitles. — Stage 42, 422 W. 42nd St., (212) 239-6200, broadway.com.

Film

FIDDLER: A MIRACLE OF MIRACLES

“Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” is the first in-depth documentary to track the musical’s origin story and reasons for its long-lasting success, revealing why the story of Tevye the milkman is reborn again and again as a global cultural touchstone. Featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sheldon Harnick, Hal Prince, Austin Pendleton, Joanna Merlin, Danny Burstein, Itzhak Perlman, Charles Isherwood, Harvey Fierstein and more. — Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th St., quadcinema.com. Extended through Sept. 26.

TEL AVIV ON FIRE

Palestinian director Sameh Zoabi’s “Tel Aviv on Fire” turns the Mideast conflict into a satire about the perils of producing a soap opera. — Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th St., quadcinema.com. Extended through Sept. 26.

WHERE’S MY ROY COHN?

Roy Cohn personified the dark arts of American politics, turning empty vessels into dangerous demagogues, from Joseph McCarthy to his final project, Donald Trump. This thriller-like exposé connects the dots, revealing how a deeply troubled master manipulator shaped our current reality. — Opens Friday, Sept. 20,  Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St., filmforum.org.

SYNONYMS

 

Israeli director Nadav Lapid’s third feature follows the adventures of peripatetic Yoav (Tom Mercier), a disillusioned Israeli who has absconded to Paris following his military training. Having disavowed Hebrew, he devotes himself to learning the intricacies of the French language, falls into an emotional and intellectual triangle with a wealthy bohemian couple (Quentin Dolmaire and Louise Chevillotte), and frequently finds himself objectified, both politically and sexually. A powerful expression of the impossibility of escaping one’s roots. The Sept. 29 screening will be followed by a Q&A with Lapid. Part of the New York Film Festival. — Sunday, Sept. 29, 2:45 p.m. and Tuesday, Oct. 1, 8:30 p.m., Film at Lincoln Center, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza #4, (212) 875-5610, filmlinc.org.

Music

JEFF BUCKLEY AND GARY LUCAS
Eclectic guitarist Gary Lucas, who has scored “The Golem” and played live at screenings of the iconic Jewish horror film, performs “Jeff Buckley and Gary Lucas: The Lost Songs.” The performance marks 25 years since their collaboration on the recording “Grace.” — Friday, Sept. 20, 7 p.m., The Cutting Room, 44 E. 32nd St., thecuttingroomnyc.com.

ODED HALAHMY AND THE MUSIC OF BABYLON
Israeli-American cellist Elad Kabilio and MusicTalks offer a musical tribute to the work and spirit of artist Oded Halahmy. Halahmy, a noted New York- and Jaffa-based sculptor with roots in Iraq and Israel, draws from the rich history of Jewish heritage in Babylonia. The concert celebrates the launch of a catalogue of his exhibit “Hey, Wow!” at the Yeshiva University Museum. — Wednesday, Sept. 25, 7 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.

Talk

NEW YORK-ISRAEL LGBTQ SYMPOSIUM
An inaugural panel discussion between LGBTQ leaders in New York and Israel. The symposium grapples with issues such as transgender equality and religious inclusion. Co-organized by the nonprofit A Wider Bridge and the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan’s “Out at the J” series. — Sunday, Sept. 22, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Marlene Meyerson JCC, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444, jccmanhattan.org.

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECHWRITER SARAH HURWITZ

Political speechwriter Sarah Hurwitz, who worked for President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton shares her journey rediscovering Judaism with journalist/author Abigail Pogrebin. The two will discuss Hurwitz’s new book, “Here All Along.” Co-presented with Romemu. — Thursday, Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m., Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., jccmanhattan.org. $20 members/$25 general.

GREAT JEWISH CITIES & THE PEOPLE WHO LIVED THERE
Micah Halpern, columnist, social and political commentator, presents a new talk series exploring the impact Jews have made in different cities around the world. Light supper, beer and wine will be served. — Thursday, Sept. 19, 8 p.m., Congregation Ohab Zedek, 118 W. 95th St., eventbrite.com. Members: $15 per month (2 lectures) or $40 for entire series (6 lectures/non-members: $25 per month (2 lectures) or $65 for entire series (6 lectures).

AMERICA, AUSCHWITZ, AND A VILLAGE CAUGHT IN BETWEEN
In his book “The Unwanted: America, Auschwitz, and a Village Caught in Between,” Michael Dobbs documents previously unpublished letters, diaries, interviews and visa records how members of the village of Kippenheim, Germany, struggled to find refuge and the obstacles that stood in their way, at a time when the American public was deeply isolationist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic. Dobbs and Sonja Geismar, a Holocaust survivor from Kippenheim, will be in conversation with NBC 4 New York journalist Adam Kuperstein to explore individual stories of escape and tragedy, conveying the human impact of Americans’ response to refugees. A book signing will follow. — Wednesday, Sept. 25, 7 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., (212) 415-5500, 92y.org. From $29.

A FIELD GUIDE TO THE JEWISH PEOPLE

Why do random Jewish holidays keep springing up unexpectedly? Why are yarmulkes round? Why did the Jews flee Egypt by running straight into a large body of water? Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist Dave Barry and his co-authors Adam Mansbach bestselling author of “Go The F**k to Sleep”) and early “SNL” writer/producer Alan Zweibel — discuss their new opus, “A Field Guide to the Jewish People: Who They Are, Where They Come From, What to Feed Them, What They Have Against Foreskins, How Come They Carry Each Other Around on Chairs, Why They Fled Egypt by Running Straight to a Large Body of Water, and Much, More. Maybe Too Much More.” — Tuesday, Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org.

NEW YORK-ISRAEL LGBTQ SYMPOSIUM
An inaugural panel discussion between LGBTQ leaders in New York and Israel. The symposium grapples with issues such as  transgender equality and religious inclusion. Co-organized by the nonprofit A Wider Bridge and the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan’s “Out at the J” series. — Sunday, Sept. 22, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Marlene Meyerson JCC, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444, jccmanhattan.org.

Exhibitions

RUSS & DAUGHTERS, AN APPETIZING STORY
Russ & Daughters, the 109-year-old, family-owned appetizing shop on the Lower East Side (and an uptown outpost of late at The Jewish Museum), has already been immortalized in a documentary (“The Sturgeon Queens”) and a book (“Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House That Herring Built”). Now, the store can add a photo exhibit to its legacy. — Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., ajhs.org/opening-russ-daughters-appetizing-story.

AUSCHWITZ
The most comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the history of Auschwitz to date, this groundbreaking presentation brings together more than 700 original objects and 400 photographs from over 20 institutions and museums around the world to explore the history of Auschwitz and its role in the Holocaust. — Through Jan. 3, 2020, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.org.

To publish events, submit them to jewishweekcalendar@gmail.com 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:
comments