NYC Jewish-y Events Of The Week, September 8-17


The Top Three


Israel isn’t known for its heavy metal scene — with the exception of Orphaned Land, Israel’s pioneers of “Oriental Metal.” Sounding like Umm Kulthum, Eyal Golan and Metallica rolled into one, this group, formed in 1991, with roots in death/doom metal, fuses grinding electric guitars lines and gravelly solos with Jewish piyutim (liturgical poems) and traditional Arabic maqams (modes); the result is a brand of authentic-sounding Middle Eastern heavy metal that’s popular in Egypt and Jordan as well as in Israel. The group will be joined onstage by the Swedish industrial metal band Pain. — Monday, Sept. 11, 7 p.m., Gramercy Theatre, 127 E. 23rd St.,

The relationship between Israel and diaspora Jewry has always had its ups and downs, but with Israel recently reneging on its promise to enhance access to the Western Wall for all streams of Judaism, along with its legislative moves to grant its ultra-Orthodox Chief Rabbinate a monopoly on conversions, the relationship hit “a new and dangerous low,” according to this paper’s editor, Gary Rosenblatt. Yair Lapid, Israel’s former finance minister and chairman of the Yesh Atid Party, will discuss the matter with Rosenblatt and Park Avenue Synagogue’s Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove. Co-presented by Park Avenue Synagogue, The Jewish Week and Mercaz. — Sunday, Sept. 17, 6:30 p.m., Park Avenue Synagogue, 50 E. 87th St., (212) 369-2600, nyjw.test.


A year after the release of his quietly moody ECM debut, “Into the Silence,” rising-star Israeli jazz trumpeter Avishai Cohen returns to tour to the U.S. with “Cross My Palm with Silver,” a new, piercing album “with the same emotional impact, but on a global stage” (All About Jazz). Written over six months just after his father died, “Into the Silence” maintained a hushed, contemplative feel. Referencing more global topics such as the plight of refugees and Israel’s years-long Palestinian conflict, “Cross My Palm” continues in the same vein. “The trumpeter has a tone that’s both burly and stark, suggesting opacity and allure,” said The Times, “creating music that never rises quickly, instead seeping out like ink spreading on fabric.” With Yonathan Avishai on piano, Barak Mori on bass and Nasheet Waits on drums. — Wednesday, Sept. 20, 10 p.m., (Le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St., (212) 505 3474,



Emmy-winning comic Judy Gold (“25 Questions for a Jewish Mother”) performs a selection of skits from her one-woman shows. On tap: screaming at the kids in public places, pretending to listen while texting, road rage and other unpleasant habits. “Judy Gold captures the audience from the moment she opens her mouth,” says The Times. — Saturday, Sept. 9, 7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show, Rough Trade NYC, 64 N. Ninth St., Brooklyn, (718) 388-4111,

In “Rhinoceros,” Eugene Ionesco’s 1959 absurdist dark comedy about the rise of Fascism and Nazism in France during the interwar years, a citizen of a small town watches his friends turn into rhinoceroses one by one, until he alone stands unchanged. Nearly 60 years since its original premiere, New Yiddish Rep debuts a Yiddish version of the play, which reads as ominously timely is today’s post-Charlottesville America. Directed by Moshe Yassur and translated into Yiddish by Eli Rosen. Yiddish with English subtitles. — Thursday, Sept. 14-Oct. 8, Castillo Theatre, 543 W. 42nd St., (212) 941-1234,


A play about a Muslim and Jewish couple discussing identity over dinner turns to investment banking in “Junk.” Written by Ayad Akhtar, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Disgraced,” the play stars Steven Pasquale as Robert Merkin, a financial kingpin of the ’80s who attempts to take over an iconic American manufacturing company, changing all the rules in the process. A financial civil war follows, pitting magnates against workers, lawyers against journalists and ultimately, everyone against themselves. — Previews begin Sept. 14 (opening is Oct. 12), Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center, 150 W. 65th St.,


Isaac Mizrahi has been a leader in the fashion industry for almost 30 years, but his fame comes from his uniquely successful crossover into pop culture. Besides designing clothing for the luxury and mass markets, as well as costumes for the Metropolitan Opera, American Ballet Theater and more, Mizrahi was both subject and co-creator of “Unzipped,” an award-winning documentary following the making of his fall 1994 ready-to-wear collection. He also serves as a weekly judge on “Project Runway,” has written two books and is currently working on his memoir, due out in 2018. Hear him sing cabaret — he does that too. — Friday, Sept. 8, 6 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. concert, City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555,


Ethiopian pop/funk, for those not hip to it, is a world music revelation. Fusing the familiar sounds of American rock, soul, blues and jazz with the utterly foreign pentatonic scales and melismatic vocal delivery of Ethiopian music, the genre has an otherworldly sound married to a powerful, guttural groove. Anbessa Orchestra, a seven-piece group of Israeli-born, New York-based musicians, riffs off Ethiopian hits from the ’60s and ’70s, the so-called “Golden Age” of Ethiopian pop, spicing up the mix with Middle Eastern and Israeli influences. — Friday, Sept. 8, 10 p.m., Barbès, 376 Ninth St., Brooklyn, (347) 422-0248, $10.


At 23, jazz pianist Emmet Cohen’s playing is a mature melding of musicality, technique and concept. Downbeat observed that his “nimble touch, measured stride and warm harmonic vocabulary indicate he’s above any convoluted technical showmanship.” In his recent CD, “The Element,” Cohen “makes a brash and bold musical statement on his debut as leader… [he is] musically mature beyond his years,” according to All About Jazz magazine. — Sunday, Sept. 10, 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St., (212) 576-2232,


Rami Kleinstein, one of Israel’s most renowned pop stars, performs an intimate piano concert featuring a selection of original songs. Often compared to Elton John or Billy Joel, Kleinstein is a triple platinum and gold album award winner, whose songs are part of the bedrock of Israeli culture. — Tuesday, Sept. 12, 6 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. concert, City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555,


Since his 2005 move to New York, guitarist and Tel Aviv native Yotam Silberstein has released three albums and collaborated with the likes of bassist Avishai Cohen, James Moody and Roy Hargrove. About Jazz summed up Silberstein’s 2009 release, “Next Page,” as an “unadorned hollow-body guitar work [that] freely invites comparison to releases from the heyday of Blue Note Records.” — Thursday, Sept. 14, 8 and 9:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, $20, drinks included.

Clarinetist Michael Winograd and trumpeter Ben Holmes have performed with a veritable Who’s Who of the klezmer world. In this afternoon performance, they present a set of works-in-progress, composed firmly within the klezmer idiom but assertively confronting its boundaries. — Saturday, Sept. 16, 4 p.m., Barbès, 376 Ninth St., Brooklyn, (347) 422-0248, $10.



In his acclaimed one-man stage show, writer-actor Aaron Davidman plays 17 characters from far-flung subgroups within Israeli society. In the play’s adaptation to film, filmmaker Dylan Kussman follows the play seamlessly through three locations: a live theater audience, the open expanse of a vast desert and a small dressing room. —Tuesday-Sunday, Sept. 12-17, Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, (212) 864-5400,


In this 1988 Lower East Side gem, unmarried Upper West Sider Isabelle “Izzy” Grossman (Amy Irving) spends her time going from her tiny, solitary West Side apartment to that of her grandmother (Yiddish actress Reizel Bozyk in her only film) on the Lower East Side. While her grandmother plots to find her a romantic match, Izzy is courted by a married, worldly author, Anton (Jeroen Krabbe), yet can’t seem to shake the down-to-earth appeal of Sam (Peter Riegert), a pickle vendor. Director Joan Micklin Silver and co-stars Peter Riegert and Amy Irving will appear in person for a special screening. — Monday, Sept.18, 7 p.m., Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St., (212) 727-8110,


Award-winning filmmaker Marina Willer (“Cartas da mãe”) creates an impressionistic visual essay as she traces her father’s family journey as one of only 12 Jewish families to survive the Nazi occupation of Prague during World War II. With cinematography by Oscar-nominated César Charlone (“City of God”), the film travels from war-torn Eastern Europe to South America and is told through the voice of Willer’s father, Alfred (narrated by Tim Piggot Smith), who witnessed bureaucratic nightmares, suicides and more, but survived to build a post-war life as an architect in Brazil. — Opening Friday, Sept. 15, Lincoln Plaza Cinema, 1886 Broadway, (212) 757-0359,


Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein leads an interfaith discussion with Rabbi Ron Kronish, founding director of the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel, and a panel of leaders and experts on interreligious initiatives. They’ll discuss Israel, Palestine and whether peace is possible. Kronish will sign copies of his book, “The Other Peace Process.”— Monday, Sept. 11, 7 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave.,

Led by the journalist and author Tamar Morad, The Iraqi Jewish Voices Project tells the story of the last Jews of Iraq and their integration into Israel and throughout the world through dramatic current and historical photography, film and personal narrative. The project is affiliated with Sephardi Voices USA; the event is hosted by the American Sephardi Federation. — Monday, Sept. 11, 7:30-8:30 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W.16th St., (212) 294-8301,


The noted author will speak about her new novel, “Forest Dark,” about personal transformation. Interweaving the stories of two disparate individuals — a wealthy older lawyer and a well-known woman novelist — Krauss traces how unusual circumstances take the two on a transcendental search, leading them both to the same Israeli desert. Philip Roth said it is “a brilliant novel … I am full of admiration.” A collaboration between Congregation Beth Elohim and Community Bookstore. — Tuesday, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m., Congregation Beth Elohim, 274 Garfield Place, Brooklyn, (718) 768-3814,

Poets of Jewish, Arab and other nationalities gather to read the poems of Rumi, Omar Khayyam, Yehuda Amichai and more. — Friday, Sept. 15, 6 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, $20, drinks included.



Jointly conceived by artist Colin Davidson and the Oliver Sears Gallery, “Jerusalem” is comprised of 12 large-scale portraits of individuals — Jews, Muslims, Christians, a politician, a Benedictine monk, a doctor — who live or work in the ancient, mystical troubled city of Jerusalem. —  On display Sept. 11-Nov. 14 (open to the public on select dates) 92nd Street Y’s Weill Art Gallery, 1395 Lexington Ave.,

Ten years ago, the restoration of the Eldridge Street Synagogue was completed. After a 20-year, $20 million effort, the building was brought back from the verge of collapse to stand once again as a Jewish landmark. In celebration of that milestone, the Museum at Eldridge Street presents 45 large-scale photographs, dating from the 1970s to the present, of the synagogue in different stages of its transformation. — Opens Thursday, Sept. 14, 6 p.m., Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge Street, Through March 1, 2018.

Through her critically acclaimed poems, paintings and drawings, as well as a selection of costume and theater designs, photographs and ephemera, The Jewish Museum offers a timely reconsideration of poet/painter Florine Stettheimer, an icon of Jazz Age New York. — Through Sept. 24, The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., (212) 423-3200,

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