What’s Going On In NYC This Week

What’s Going On In NYC This Week

Your guide to Jewish-y events in New York city for December 29 - January 9, 2018

From Oded Bality’s “Glass Mountains” series at JCC Manhattan. Odedbality.com
From Oded Bality’s “Glass Mountains” series at JCC Manhattan. Odedbality.com


Phoenicia Glass Works, a glass manufacturer in the Negev, produces glass bottles from the desert sands. The factory pumps out a million bottles a day, but some 300,000 are defective and can’t be used. The rejects are cast aside in giant, glistening heaps in the desert, until they are re-melted and the process starts over. This circular, aesthetically beautiful process is the topic of one of two series in the New York solo debut of photographer Oded Balilty (the first and only Israeli photographer to receive the Pulitzer Prize, for breaking news). The other series, “Sabra Traces,” documents the Israeli cactus for which the native-born Israeli is named. — Wednesday, Jan. 3-March 1, 2018, Laurie M. Tisch Gallery, JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444, jccmanhattan.org.


Led by the “ridiculously charismatic” (National Geographic) Israeli frontman, singer Ravid Kahalani, the explosive music of Yemen Blues transplants traditional Yemenite prayers and melodies into the world of funk, soul, blues and jazz. The group’s  new album “Insaniya” (Humanity), a collaboration with noted musical producer Bill Laswell, features the intense vocals of Saharan singer Mariem Hassan, Israeli-Yemenite star Tziyon Golan and French rapper Oxmo Puccino, all of whom combine lyrics in Yemenite, French, English and Arabic. — Tuesday, Jan. 9-Wednesday, Jan. 17, on select dates and times, Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St., (212) 539-8778, publictheater.org.


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. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director. — Special preview on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 7 p.m., at JCC Manhattan (334 Amsterdam Ave.), jccmanhattan.org; in theaters here Jan. 12.

First-time filmmaker Sam Hoffman. Getty Images



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. — Through Sunday, Dec. 31, Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St., (212) 539-8778, publictheater.org.


This 1879 operetta by Boris Thomashevsky, the “father of Yiddish theater,” follows a fairy-tale-like story featuring an innocent young heroine, her wicked stepmother, dashing fiancé, an itinerant peddler and a local witch. Yiddish with English translation supertitles. Written by Avrom Goldfaden, directed by Motl Didner, music direction by Zalmen Mlotek. — Through Monday, Jan. 1, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery
Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.org.


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 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.


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.


The legendary drummer, a Springsteen E Street Band original and Jewish Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, flexes his jazz chops as he leads a top-notch hard bop quintet. With noted pianist David Kikoski (who leads the Grammy-winning Mingus Big Band), saxophonist Brandon Wright, trumpeter John Bailey and bassist Cameron Brown. — Wednesday-Thursday, Jan. 2-3, doors 6 p.m., concert 8 p.m., City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555, citywinery.com/newyork/tickets.


Itai Kriss, “one of the most exciting new flutist-composers” on the city’s jazz scene (Jazzwax), moves between straight-ahead jazz, Latin and Middle Eastern sounds. With Israeli and Cuban players, his ensemble Telavana plays a mix of timba, soul, North African and Israeli music that bridges the Middle East and the Caribbean. — Wednesday, Jan. 3, 10:30 p.m.-1 a.m., Smalls Jazz Club, 183 W. 10th St., (646) 476-4346, smallslive.com.


Yael Dray-Barel is a French-Israeli singer-songwriter influenced by rock and gypsy jazz, and her songs often incorporate the five languages she speaks. Argentinian guitarist Gabriel Hermida infuses his compositions with the essence of classical tango, flamenco and contemporary jazz. Together, they sail through everything from Brazilian jazz and tango to swing to gypsy jazz and beyond, imbuing it all with a cool retro sound. — Monday, Dec. 29, 11 p.m., Club Bonafide, 212 E. 52nd St., (646) 918-6189, clubbonafide.com.



Three Palestinian women share an apartment in the liberal heart of Tel Aviv — a sexually liberated Muslim lawyer, a Christian lesbian and an observant, hijab-wearing University student. Examining the clashes between Palestinian women’s modern lifestyles and their traditional communities, filmmaker Maysaloun Hamoud’s piercing comedy has been decreed as “haram,” or forbidden, by Palestinian clerics. The film’s risqué scenes 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.



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.



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

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.

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