NYC Jewish-y Events, September 15-25


The Top Three


Among the first jazz musicians to migrate from Israel to New York — along with trailblazers bassist Omer Avital, clarinetist Anat Cohen and the two Avishai Cohens (bassist and trumpeter) — big-toned saxophonist Eli Degibri is counted among the pioneers of today’s popular Israeli/Middle Eastern jazz fusion. Degibri, who logged a number of formative years in the bands of famed pianist Herbie Hancock and drummer Al Foster, draws inspiration from the patriotic “Good Old Israel” hymns of the ’50s and ’60s, distinct for their lyricism and emotiveness. “Degibri is an exceptionally melodic improviser with a big, bold tenor tone,” said Jazz Times. His 2016 album — “Cliff Hangin’” — received five stars from DownBeat magazine, which called it  “a masterpiece.” With Tom Oren on piano, Tamir Shmerling on bass and Eviatar Slivnik on drums for this high-profile gig at a top jazz room. — Tuesday, Sept. 26, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St., (212) 576-2232,

Sim Shalom, the world’s first purely virtual synagogue, presents musical services fusing Jewish music and prayer with jazz. Rabbi Steven Blane, Sim Shalom’s founder and a seasoned cantor and jazz musician, will perform along with Jack Glotman on piano, Carol Sudhalter on sax and flute, Kevin Hailey on bass, Frank Levitano on drums and Evan Kremin on the shofar. — Thursday, Sept. 21, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., The Bitter End, 147 Bleecker St., (201) 338-0165,


Official music video for Jeremiah Lockwood’s “Revive the Dead” from the album “Kol Nidre”

The duo of Rabbi Dan Ain and Sway Machinery’s Jeremiah Lockwood returns to blues up Rosh HaShanah. Lockwood’s ethic fuses Piedmont blues with the music of his grandfather, the legendary Cantor Jacob Konigsberg. He chants traditional prayers like Kol Nidre and Avinu Malkeinu with an old-world wail — often accompanying himself on blues guitar. Joined by Japanese pianist and accordionist Shoko Nagai, Lockwood will accompany Rabbi Ain’s Rosh HaShanah morning services, followed by a traditional Torah reading and procession, plain-sense explanations of the holiday, a shofar blowing, meditations and more. A vegetarian/dairy lunch from Blue Ribbon and babysitters for the kids are included in the ticket price. — Thursday, Sept. 21, 9:30 a.m. doors/10 a.m. show, Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn, (718) 963-3369, $40-$90.


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. — Through Oct. 8, Castillo Theatre, 543 W. 42nd St., (212) 941-1234,


 Ayad Akhtar, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Disgraced,” presents a play which starts out with a Muslim and Jewish couple discussing identity over dinner and turns to investment banking in “Junk.” It stars Steven Pasquale as Robert Merkin, a financial kingpin of the ’80s (a la Michael Milken) 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.,


This Philip Wharam and Tim Marriott play follows the Holocaust’s “Angel of Death,” the notorious Dr. Josef Mengele, into his fictional retirement. The play takes place in 1979, on a beach in Brazil, where an elderly man is washed ashore after suffering a seizure during his morning swim. On the shore, he is confronted by a local woman who he assumes had saved him. Flattered and entranced by her, Mengele reveals his identity and proceeds to try to justify his horrific acts. Part of the Fringe Festival. — On select dates through Oct. 22, SoHo Playhouse, 15 Vandam St., (212) 691-1555,

“Lili Marlene” was the title of a World War II-era German song that became popular with both the Axis and the Allies. Set in pre-WWII Berlin, this similarly titled Off-Broadway musical (with book and music by Michael Antin) centers on the fictional character of Rosie Pen (Amy Londyn), a Jewish cabaret singer whose rendition of the song makes it famous. With Nazism on the rise, Rosie’s unlikely love affair with a young German count named Willi (Clint Hromsco) drives them both to seek ways out of the country. — Tuesdays through Dec., 7 p.m., St. Luke’s Theatre, 308 W. 46th St., (212) 239-6200,



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.

Avishai Cohen Quartet

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). “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,

Chaired by Elliot Palevsky, this annual program commemorates the Jewish community of Vilna through poetry, music and lectures. Includes a talk on a unique aspect of Vilna’s influence and heritage. A special reception in honor of Chayele Palevsky’s 95th birthday will follow the presentations. — Sunday, Sept. 24, 1 p.m., YIVO Institute, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 246-6080,


Israeli-born, New York-based guitarist and bassist Yonatan Levi is a popular sideman as well as a founding member of the Israeli band Izabo, which represented Israel in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. His own music as leader is a Middle East-accented blend of soft-rock, jazz and Israeli folk. — Monday, Sept. 25, Rockwood Music Hall, 196 Allen St., (212) 477-4155,


Israeli-born pianist Eden Ladin — a veteran sidemen with the likes of Avishai Cohen, Ari Hoenig, Omer Avital and more — plays an original combo of jazz, funk and Hebraic fusion. Ladin will celebrate the release of his new album “Yaqum” (Hebrew or Universe) on the Contagious Music label. — Wednesday, Sept. 27, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Jazz Gallery, 1160 Broadway, 5th fl., (646) 494-3625,



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 hallmark, 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 Brazil (where Willer’s father, Alfred, built a post-war life as an architect) and is told through Alfred’s voice (narrated by Tim Piggot Smith). — Opening Friday, Sept. 15, Lincoln Plaza Cinema, 1886 Broadway, (212) 757-0359,


Nominated for five 2017 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, this Broadway-musical-turned film takes a poignant and sharply satirical look at the complexities of modern-day family life. Originally created under the specter of the AIDS crisis, the story revolves around a neurotic-but- charming gay man named Marvin, his wife, his gay lover, his soon-to- be-bar-mitzvahed son, their psychiatrist and the lesbians next door. Recorded live in 2017, Lincoln Center Theater’s production stars Christian Borle (“The Good Wife”), Stephanie J. Block, Andrew Rannells (“Girls”) and Brandon Uranowitz, all of whom received Tony nominations for their performances. — Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2 p.m., Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, (212) 864-5400,


Set in Victorian-era London, there’s a killer on the loose in the East End in this Scotland Yard thriller (The Hollywood Reporter calls it a “period horror film”). One of his victims is a Jewish scholar whose field of study is the clay monster of legend that protects the Jews of Prague from the anti-Semites (hence the name of the film). The great British actor Bill Nighy stars as Inspector Kildare (the role was originally given to Alan Rickman, who died last year). Directed by Juan Carlos Medina. — Village East Cinema, 181-189 Second Ave. (at 12th Street),


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.

From the 1940s until a recent lobbying effort by author Dan Plesch, the United Nations War Crimes Commission’s files were kept out of public view. What has now been uncovered are thousands of forgotten U.S. and Allied war crimes prosecutions against Hitler and other Axis war criminals based on a popular movement for justice that stretched from Poland to the Pacific. Plesch will discuss his findings and the foundation that has been set for 21st-century human rights. A book signing will follow. — Friday, Sept. 15, 12 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave.,


In her debut novel, “After Anatevka,” author Alexandra Silber offers a sequel to the plot of “Fiddler on the Roof.” Picking up where the drama left off, readers find Hodel at center stage, hoping to join her fiancé Perchik in the outer reaches of a Siberian work camp. A book signing follows. — Tuesday, Sept. 19, 12 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave.,

New York Times columnist David W. Dunlap once wrote that “on the map of the Jewish Diaspora, Harlem Is Atlantis. … A vibrant hub of industry, artistry and wealth is all but forgotten.” Jeffrey S. Gurock, professor of Jewish history at Yeshiva University, will use periodicals, memoirs, interviews and genealogical materials to trace Harlem’s Jewish history, the reasons for its Jewish demise and signs of its Jewish revival. — Sunday, Sept. 17, 2 p.m., Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge Street,

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.


In the hit Israeli film of the same name, the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra travels to Israel from Egypt for a concert, ending up in the wrong place and bonding with local Israelis. The musical based on the film is coming to Broadway after a sold-out run Off-Broadway. Cast members Katrina Lenk, Tony Shalhoub and Ari’el Stachel will speak about the production and perform some of the favorite songs from the show. Moderated by Vogue theater editor Adam Green. — Monday, Sept. 18, 7:30-9:30 p.m., JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444.



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 Y’s Weill Art Gallery, 92nd Street Y, 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.

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