NYC Jewish-y Events, September 29 – October 8


The Top Three


This is your chance to feel the Gadot effect in person. After shattering box-office glass ceilings worldwide with her portrayal of Wonder Woman, Israeli-born beauty-queen-turned-movie-star Gal Gadot is on her way to the top of Hollywood’s A-list. (She’ll even host “SNL” on Oct. 7.) Indian-born Meher Tatna, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (the organization best known for producing the Golden Globes), will sit down with Gadot to discuss her path of challenging limitations, following one’s passions and inspiring others. — Sunday, Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave.,


Downtown legend John Zorn, the forward-thinking saxophonist, composer, improvisational maestro and avid promoter of experimental music — is, above all, maniacally prolific. In 2015, during the 61 days between March and May, Zorn wrote 300 new compositions, which he collected in a book of music called “The Bagatelles” (a bagatelle is a short instrumental composition). In what has since become an annual tradition, 20 different ensembles will perform 100 compositions from the book, in a two-day marathon concert. These groups include core members of Zorn’s inner circle as well as “uninitiated” young players from the worlds of rock, jazz and classical music. — Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6-7, 7:30 p.m., NYU Skirball Center, 566 LaGuardia Pl., (212) 992-8484,


Israel has made a name for itself as a nation of innovative and resourceful thinkers, leading in out-of-the-box solutions for everything from water preservation to high-tech. But when it comes to the 60-year-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict, creative thinking seems to have hit a wall, for Israelis and Palestinians alike. Is there really no solution except for the two-state solution? And if the road to two states is blocked, is there really no other way forward but occupation or war? Featuring candid interviews with major Israeli and Palestinian leaders, government officials and thinkers, the documentary “Surviving Peace” re-examines the core issues driving the conflict and proceeds to challenge conventional wisdom about both its underlying causes and possible solutions. — Opens Friday, Oct. 6, Cinema Village, 22 E. 12th St., (212) 924-3363,



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 it’s coming to Broadway after a sold-out Off-Broadway run. — Previews begin Saturday, Oct. 7 (opening Nov. 9), Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St.,,

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,



Hailed by New York Music Daily as “one of New York’s most exciting groups, in any style,” this acclaimed, all-female klezmer powerhouse “tests the elasticity of the genre” (The New Yorker) with both irreverence and respect. Tune into their neo-traditional dance rollicks, mystical melodies, Second Avenue Yiddish swing, re-grooved standards and genre-defying originals. — Sunday, Oct. 1, 10 a.m. doors, 11 a.m. concert, City Winery, 155 Varick St., (212) 608-0555, $10.

Scholar Diana Matut, soprano Re’ut Ben-Ze’ev pianist and Zalmen Mlotek explore the legacy of composer Henech Kon, best known for his score for “The Dybbuk,” as well as Yiddish songs such as “Shpil zhe mir a lidele.” — Tuesday, Oct. 3, 7 p.m., YIVO Institute, 15 W. 16th St., (917) 606-8290,


 Following a 10-year career as an arranger, the Israeli-American bassist marks his debut album, “Roads Diverge,” due out next spring. — Wednesday, Oct. 4, 8 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, $20, drinks included.


Since relocating to NYC in 2007, the Israeli-American pianist Nitzan Gavrieli has performed and recorded with top acts like Mark Murphy, Charlie Persip and Bob Moses. He’ll perform a set of originals with bassist Peter Slavov and drummer Francisco Mela. — Wednesday, Oct. 4, 9:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, $20, drinks included.


Considered “a band of world class soloists” (Time Out NY), the ICP — comprised of winds, harp and piano — celebrates its 10th anniversary with an arrangement of Stravinsky’s “Soldier’s Tale” Suite, in which the three musicians narrate the story. The program also includes works by Mozart, Schumann and Yinam Leef. — Saturday, Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m., Kaufman Music Center-Merkin Concert Hall, 129 W. 67th St., (212) 501-3330,

A lawyer turned singer and pianist whose specialty is bracing bebop, Glaser provides “an unusually humorous and lighthearted approach to jazz singing” (AllMusic). He’ll be performing jazz standards and originals with Nate Brown on bass and Peter Traunmueller on drums. — Sunday, Oct. 8, 7:30, p.m., Jules Bistro, 65 St. Marks Pl., (212) 447- 5560,

Hosted by Israeli-American bassist-composer Or Bareket, Cornelia’s monthly jazz series features the Kadawa trio — Tal Yahalom on guitar, Almog Sharvit on bass and Ben Silashi on drums — which performs quirky, cross-media compositions drawing from jazz, rock, cinema and literature. Also, a trio consisting of Alon Albagli on guitar, Pablo Menares on bass and Daniel Dor on drums makes its debut gig running through a set of standards. — Sunday, Oct. 8, 8 p.m. Kadawa, 9:30 p.m. the Dor, Albagli and Menares Trio, Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, $20, drinks included.



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,

In a film Variety called “truly enthralling and instructive,” documentarian Bernard-Henri Lévy sought to understand the psychology and culture of those embroiled with ISIS in the Middle East. Accompanied by a team of cameramen, Lévy traveled over 650 miles of the frontline separating Iraqi Kurdistan from Islamic State troops. The Kurdish fighters he encounters in Mosul and the Sinjar Mountains relay harrowing stories that give a human dimension to the conflict. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Lévy. — Monday, Oct. 2, 7-9 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202,


Throughout the 20th century, spies of every nationality converged on NYC — many of whom were Jewish. Lucie Levine, founder of the tour company Archive on Parade, will introduce participants to multiple members of the city’s top-secret sphere and explore New York through their eyes. — Friday, Sept. 29, 12 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave.,


The Remote Theater Project brings theater artists who are isolated, either geographically or politically, to New York City for extended residencies. For the inaugural project, the focus is Palestine. Amir Nizar Zuabi, a leading Palestinian theatre director and playwright, will discuss his work. — Thursday, Oct. 5, 5-6:30 p.m., Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, 255 Sullivan St. (at Washington Square South),



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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