What’s Going On In NYC This Week (Dec 13 – 21)

What’s Going On In NYC This Week (Dec 13 – 21)

David Broza, Israeli dance company, Yiddish festival and Chanukah events — A guide to some of the Jewish-y shows, music and comedy coming up in New York City!

Broza, center, and members of his Trio Havana.
Broza, center, and members of his Trio Havana. Citywinery.com


The popular Israeli singer-songwriter is a musical boundary-buster of the first order. His 2015 CD “East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem,” which landed him in the pages of Vanity Fair (subhead: “He did more for the Middle East peace process in eight days than Secretary of State John Kerry has done in two years.”), was recorded in east Jerusalem with Israeli-Jewish, Israeli-Arab and Palestinian musicians. Broza’s back in New York for what has become a regular Chanukah-time gig. This time, he’s digging further into the Spanish music that has inspired him for years (he was raised partly in Spain and his flamenco strumming can be electrifying). In a gig that will move musically from Haifa to Havana, Broza’s new band features members of his Trio Havana (led by the Israeli flutist Itai Kriss) and other guests. — Thursday, Dec. 19, 8 p.m, Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center’s Lowenstein Auditorium, 1 E. 65th St., emanuelnyc.org. $40-$75.


Composer Jeremy Schonfeld told The Guardian in 2018 that he likened his rock opera, “Iron & Coal,” to “a cross between Bernstein’s ‘Mass’ and ‘The Wall,’” a reference to Pink Floyd’s 1979 rock classic. The work, which tells the story of his father, an Auschwitz survivor, considers the long shadow cast by the Holocaust. It’s a father-son tale set to a rock beat. Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein interviews Schonfeld, who will perform tunes from the show. — Tuesday, Dec. 17, 8 p.m., 92Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org. $32.


From Zvi Gotheiner’s “Maim.” heidi gutman

Artists of all stripes these days are responding to the climate crisis. Leading Israeli choreographer Zvi Gotheiner’s company, ZviDance, premieres a work here next week that takes on the issue of diminishing water resources around the globe. The subject of the work, “Maim,” Hebrew for water, is one that Gotheiner has been wrestling with for years, having grown up in a kibbutz on the slopes of Mount Gilboa, an area cursed by King David for its aridness. “Maim” features dramatic lighting by Mark London and the ensemble’s eight dancers striding and reaching for something that seems just out of reach. — Wednesday, Dec. 18-Saturday, Dec. 21, New York Live Arts, 219 W. 19th St., newyorklivearts.org. $25. Opening night gala, $100, zvidance.com/tickets.

Yiddish Festivals


The festival, billed as “the nation’s largest Yiddish culture festival,” kicks off with a Tantshoyz Yiddish Dance Party, followed by a Molly Picon celebration, a Mickey Katz tribute, Women’s Voices of the Golden Age, a screening of Edward Sloman’s “His People,” with a live score by Paul Shapiro, a concert remembering beloved singer Adrienne Cooper and much more. — Dec. 21-26, various locations including 14th Street Y and Town and Village Synagogue, yiddishnewyork.org. Check website for pre-festival events including walking tours, concerts and an arts exhibition, “Utopia: Visions and Traditions,” yiddishnewyork.com.


The Yiddishkayt Initiative and Theater for the New City team up for this inaugural event, which remembers Symphony Space’s Isaiah Sheffer and the Public Theater’s Joe Papp. Some of the highlights include a one-man play about the life of Itzik Manger, Frank London and Deep Singh’s Jewish-Indian music fusion, the short film thriller set on a kosher farm, “Shehita,” and Alicia Svigals and Donald Sosin playing live for the Weimar era film, “The Ancient Law.” Festival co-founder (with his wife, scholar Miriam Hoffman) and emcee Avi Hoffman performs throughout much of the event. — Dec. 21-29, most events take place at Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave., yiddishfest.org.



Matthew Lazar leads the two ensembles, separately and together, in a performance of Chanukah (and beyond) songs. Commissioned works along with works by David Burger, Gerald Cohen, Meir Finkelstein, Handel, Sholom Secunda, Robert Starer and more. — Sunday, Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m., Merkin Hall, 129 W. 67th St., kaufmanmusiccenter.org.


Fresh off a gig at Birdland, where they brought a klez Chanukah to the jazz mecca, 12th Night Klezmer, singer-actress Daniella Rabbani, “Fiddler on the Roof” in Yiddish star Michael Einav and MusicTalks host and cellist Elad Kabilio bring some holiday musical cheer to the OnStage at Kingsborough series. — Sunday, Dec. 15, 3 p.m., Kingsborough Community College, 2001 Oriental Blvd., onstageatkinsbrough.org. $34-$39.


Yale Strom can saw on that fiddle — fast and wild and swooping — with the best of them. He and his rollicking group of klezmorim play a pre-Chanukah concert up in the Heights next week. Bring your dancing shoes. — Wednesday, Dec. 18, 6:45 p.m., Beth Am, The People’s Temple, 110 Cabrini Blvd., bethamwahi.org. $18.


Newly opened:


When the Folksbiene revived Avrom Goldfaden’s operetta “The Sorceress” for the first time in 80 years in 2017, the Yiddish theater’s associate artistic director, Motl Didner, told us that the fairy tale-like play from the early 1880s goes into “some dark places.” It had Goldfaden reaching back to Romanian folklore and has the plot-propelling disappearance of a young girl. The inaugural presentation of the Folksbiene’s Global Restoration Initiative. — Through Dec. 29, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Pl., nytf.org.


Ran Xia’s new play explores the personal and professional relationship between Jewish poet and novelist Else Lasker-Schuler, who fled the Nazis and lived the rest of her life in Jerusalem, and the German Expressionist Franz Marc, a founding member of the influential Der Blaue Reiter circle of painters. The play chronicles Lasker-Schuler’s search for one of Marc’s lost paintings. At least one of them was found in the infamous looted art collection of Cornelius Gurlitt in 2012. — Through Dec. 15, The Tank, 312 W. 36th St., thetanknyc.org.


Riven by internal strife, ecological disaster and interference from foreign powers, can society survive? Set nearly two millennia ago but still resonant today, acclaimed Israeli playwright Dani Horowitz’s interrelated plays “Last Tree in Jerusalem” (world premiere translation) and “A Page of Talmud” tell the seminal Talmudic stories “Kamtza and Bar Kamtza” and “The Oven of Achnai.” These timely Jewish stories examine the cost of humiliation and explore the notion of resistance. A production of 24/6: A Jewish Theater Company. — Through Dec. 15, TheaterLab, 357 W. 36th St., 3rd floor, twentyfoursix.weebly.com.


With a grandfather who was a chazzan, perhaps it was inevitable that Maury Yeston was destined to be a musician. The Tony-winning composer-lyricist’s career led from Jersey City to Yale to Broadway. This new work, subtitled “The Musical World of Maury Yeston,” features a cast of singers and Yeston’s tunes from “Nine: The Musical,” “Grand Hotel,” “Titanic: A New Musical” and more. — Through Dec. 29, York Theatre Company at St. Peter’s, 619 Lexington Ave. (54th Street), (212) 935-5820, yorktheatre.org.


Perhaps being born “in flight” while your family is fleeing pogroms in Ukraine could leave a child with a novelistic turn of mind. Clarice Lispector and her family ended up in Brazil, where she became a modernist novelist and short story writer whose style, in a nod to Joyce and Faulkner, is in the stream-of-consciousness realm. Though her work didn’t touch specifically on Jewish themes, elements of her style have been attributed to the Jewish mysticism she learned from her father. Now, the New Stage Theatre Company is staging her woman’s inner monologue of a novel, “Near to the Wild Heart.” — Dec. 13-14, 19-21 (and Jan. 16-18), New Stage Performance Space, 36 W. 106th St., newstagetheatre.org.


Tony Kushner’s 1985 cautionary tale about the possible rise of authoritarianism in America centers on a group of progressive friends in Weimar Germany as they worry about Hitler’s rise to power. But a Jewish American character (in the original production, at least) interrupts to comment on what she sees as the cruelties of the Reagan administration. Takes its inspiration from Brecht’s anti-Nazi play, “The Private Life of the Master Race.” — Through Dec. 16, Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St. (Astor Place), publictheater.org.


In a musical based on the best-selling novel by Alan Lightman, the young Albert Einstein is inspired by a mysterious muse to explore his radical new concepts in physics. — Through Dec. 14, 59E59, 59 E. 59th St., 59E59.org.


Anna Deavere Smith’s tour de force one-woman show from 1992 exploring the violence in Crown Heights a year earlier (she played 19 different roles from the black and Jewish communities) gets a revival. This time it stars Michael Benjamin Washington; directed by Saheem Ali. — Through Dec. 15, Pershing Square Signature Theater, 480 W. 42nd St., signaturetheatre.org.

Long runs:

“Fiddler on the Roof” (A Fidler Afn Dakh) in Yiddish. Directed by Joel Grey. Stage 42, 422 W. 42nd St., broadway.com. Closing Jan. 5.



Adam Sandler is a wired jewelry dealer-gambler in Josh and Benny Safdie’s latest film, a fast-paced crime thriller set in the Diamond District and featuring former NBA star Kevin Garnett and WFAN sports talk show guru Mike Francesa. In an effort to score big, Sandler, as Howie Ratner, sporting a goatee, stylish wire-rim glasses and a diamond-stud earring, makes a bet that puts everything — his family included — on the line. — Opens Dec. 13. In wide release.


Nadav Lapid’s edgy, autobiographical work about an Israeli who flees his homeland for Paris in an attempt to scrub his identity. A picture of alienation, he walks the streets practicing his French vocabulary. — Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th St., quadcinema.com.


A lot of children have imaginary friends. But a slapstick Adolf Hitler? That’s the set-up of Taika Waititi’s dark comedy. Jojo’s in the Hitler Youth, but a secret undoes him: His single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic. — In wide release.



Yiddish songstress Eleonore Weill and violinist Jake Shulman-Ment join jazz and folk musicians for a lunchtime mashup concert of holiday tunes and standards in Midtown. — Thursday, Dec. 19, 12:30 p.m., Grace Building lobby, 1114 Sixth Ave., artsbrookfield.com.



In this “Jewish Sketch Comedy Show,” the members of the tribe come in for a serious skewering. According to advance billing, “We are all funny and probably related.” The comics/sketch players include Aliza Small, Eitan Rosenberg, Gabe Nathans and many others. — Sunday, Dec. 15, 7 p.m., The Striker Stage, 123 E. 24th St., thepit-nyc.com.



Rabbi Avi Weiss, who coined the term “open Orthodoxy” to suggest a movement to the theological left of Modern Orthodoxy, discusses his new book with Rabbi Joseph Telushkin. Hot-button issues of gender, conversion and LGBT inclusion are likely to come up. — Wedndesday, Dec. 18, 7 p.m., Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., jccmanhattan.org.


Newly opened:


The sculptor, who grew up in Miami, creates fantastical and highly sexualized wooden pieces that probe notions of “the feminine” in pop culture. This show marks the first survey of her work in the U.S. — Through March 1, The Jewish Museum, Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, thejewishmuseum.org.


Halpert (1900-1970), a Jewish immigrant, is considered the first significant female gallerist in the country. She championed American art at a time when the European avant-garde was in ascendance, and her Downtown Gallery in Greenwich Village promoted the work of modernists like Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O’Keefe and Ben Shahn. — Through Feb. 9, The Jewish Museum, Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, thejewishmuseum.org.

Long runs:

“Russ & Daughters, An Appetizing Story.” A history of the iconic smoked fish shop. Through Jan. 31, Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., http://www.ajhs.org/RussandDaughtersExhibition.

“Auschwitz. Not Long Ago. Not Far Away.” The large-scale show explores the history of the death camp and its role in the Holocaust. Through Jan. 3, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, mjhnyc.org.

“The Colmar Treasure: A Medieval Jewish Legacy.” Discovered in 1863, a cache of jeweled rings, brooches and coins hidden in the 14th century by a Jewish family fearing for its life is on view. Through Jan. 12, Met Cloisters, 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon, metmuseum.org.

“Relative Relations.” Seventy artists explore human connections shaped by genetics, proximity, interests and shared destiny. Through June 30, 2020, Dr. Bernard Heller Museum at HUC-JIR, 1 W. Fourth St., huc.edu.

“Mark Twain and the Holy Land.” This show marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of the great humorist’s 1869 travelogue, “New Pilgrims’ Progress” (or “The Innocents Abroad”). Through Feb. 2, New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West (77th Street), nyhistory.org.

“J.D. Salinger.” Did the iconic writer’s own conflicted Jewish identity inspire the teenage angst behind “The Catcher in the Rye”? This show offers a rare glimpse into Salinger’s life and work. — Through Jan. 19, NYPL, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, nypl.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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