What’s Going On In NYC This Week — June 8-17


The top three events, as curated by our arts and culture editors. 


The ultimate homage to changing neighborhood demographics, the Museum at Eldridge Street presents its signature cross-cultural block party, a hearty stew of Jewish, Chinese and Puerto Rican food and performance. Headliners include Belarusian-born clarinetist Zisl Slepovitch and his band Litvakus; EastRiver Ensemble, which fuses Chinese and world music, lion dance, stagecraft and acrobats; Cantor Eric Freeman with sacred Jewish chants; and the Chinatown Senior Center Orchestra with traditional Chinese music. Also expect demonstrations by Hebrew and Chinese scribes, Puerto Rican mask-makers and other folk artists; classes in braiding challah bread, rolling dumplings or crafting empanadas. — Sunday, June 17, 12-4 p.m., outside the Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge St., (212) 219-0302, eldridgestreet.org.


“Take silence and try to be silent. / Take words and try to speak. / Beyond language, Language is a wound / from which the world flows and flows.” That’s the tactile, sensual verse of Amir Or, one of Israel’s major poets, in a poem called “Language Says.” “Wings,” his 13th book of poetry, has been hailed as an “astonishing mixture of philosophy, lyric verse, and longing for the hieratic … vividly beautiful and dense with image and insight,” says Fiona Sampson, author of “In Search of Mary Shelley.” In a rare visit to New York, Or, 62, will celebrate the publication in a joint reading with American poets Lynn Levin, Richard Jackson, Philip Brady and Joyce Ashuntantang. — Thursday, June 14, 6 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com.


New York celebrates its Yiddish heritage with some top-flight and sublime musicians. Performers include avant-klez trumpeter Frank London and His Klezmer Brass All-Stars; mystically minded mandolinist and clarinetist Andy Statman; neo-punk/klezmer band Golem; Cantor Magda Fishman, with sacred Jewish chants; Jewish world-music band Pharaoh’s Daughter, led by Basya Schechter; the German-based klezmer band The Painted Bird, founded and led by singer/songwriter/actor Daniel Kahn; Yiddish singer Eleanor Reissa; and Folksbiene artistic director Zalmen Mlotek. — Wednesday, June 13, 7 p.m., SummerStage in Central Park (near E.72nd St.), mjhnyc.org/events/yiddish-under-the-stars/.



A well-known writer for British TV and radio and arguably the best-known Jewish Orthodox stand-up comic in the UK, Ashley Blaker returns to NYC for a five-week, Off-Broadway run of his one-man show “Strictly Unorthodox.” Call it black humor. — Through June 28, Jerry Orbach Theatre, 1627 Broadway, (212) 921-7862, ticketmaster.com.


Set in Seville, Mozart’s opera, “Don Giovanni,” shows the unsatisfying ends that await a sordid life of scheming and serial seduction. Starring baritone David Serero in the title role, the libretto was written by the Italian Sephardi Lorenzo da Ponte. — On select dates through June 14, Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.



Celebrating 70 years of Israeli cinema, the JCC’s annual Israel Film Center Festival — now in its sixth year — showcases recent films, documentaries, television series and shorts coming out of Israel. Below are a few noteworthy picks. — Through Tuesday, June 12, Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444, jccmanhattan.org/film/israel-film-center-festival.


Hungarian immigrant Ephraim Kishon, director of “Sallah Shabati,” was one of the great writers who defined the Israeli experience. But through his 50-year career of award-winning writing, Kishon could never write his own biography. At 70, he enlists a journalist to help his own story unfold. Followed by a Q&A with documentary participant and Kishon’s son, Amir Kishon. — Sunday, June 10, 4:30 p.m.


In this family comedy, two con men decide to steal a rare eagle’s egg being transferred from the Safari Zoo back to nature, to win a big cooking competition. A wild chase across the country ensues. — Sunday, June 10, 2 – 4 p.m.


A meticulous historian leading a search to find a mass grave in Austria discovers that his mother carries a false identity. What he finds leads to personal soul-searching. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Amichai Greenberg. — Monday, June 11, 6 – 8 p.m.


Thomas, a young German baker, is having an affair with Oren, a married Israeli man. When Oren dies in a car crash in Israel, Thomas travels to Jerusalem seeking answers about Oren’s life and death. Under a new identity, Thomas begins to work for Anat, his love’s widow, which fuels the plot. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Ofir Raul Graizer. — Monday, June 11, 8:15 – 10:15 p.m.


In director Asaf Saban’s feature debut, an Israeli couple’s marriage is put to the test as they construct their dream country home in the Galilee. Starring Udi Razzin and Noa Koler. — Tuesday, June 12, 7 p.m.



Written by Eliran Malka and Daniel Paran, this hit Israeli TV show (slang for “yeshiva drop-out”) offers a whimsical and cutting glimpse into the lives of the new and cool brand of charedi youth emerging in Israel. Lincoln Square Synagogue screens three episodes at a time. Hebrew with English subtitles. — Sunday, June 17, 3-5 p.m., Lincoln Square Synagogue, 180 Amsterdam Ave., (212) 874-6100, lss.org/event/shababnikim.



Alison Chernick’s documentary looks beyond the fame of world-class violinist Itzhak Perlman to follow the story of a young polio survivor growing up in Israel and struggling to be taken seriously as a music student while schools and society saw only his disability. — Saturday, June 9, 8 p.m., Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, (212) 864-5400, symphonyspace.org.



Born in Jerusalem and raised in Buenos Aires and Tel Aviv, jazz bassist Or Bareket’s music is informed by Mediterranean, South American and North African sounds. This concert has Bareket presenting a new batch of compositions, with guitarist Camila Meza, pianist Eden Ladin and drummer Kush Abadey. — Thursday, June 14, 8 and 9:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com.



Vilna, before World War II, was a famed capital of Jewish religious and secular culture in Eastern Europe. Professors David Fishman and Justin Cammy discuss the heritage of prewar Vilna, the efforts to save its original Jewish manuscripts and books and the attempt of poet Avrom Sutzkever to eternalize the legacy of the Vilna ghetto. — Sunday, June 10, 12:30-4:30 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.org.


Seth Meyers, host of NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” talks about the hit late-night show and making political comedy in America today. — Monday, June 11, 8 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org.



Curated by Emily Lambert and designed by The Studio Art program at Stern College for Women, this exhibit features a selection of works by this year’s graduating studio art majors. — Through Aug. 8, Yeshiva University Museum at the Center for Jewish History, (212) 294-8330/8805, yumuseum.org. RSVP to RSVP@yum.cjh.org.


This exhibition features more than 30 paintings of Chaim Soutine depicting hanging fowl, beef carcasses and rayfish. Considered one of the 20th century’s great still-life painters, Soutine created visceral, expressionist paintings of tortured animal carcasses, establishing a parallel between the animal and human, beauty and pain.  The New Yorker hailed the exhibition as “potent … timely … elegantly curated.” — Through Sept. 16, Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., (212) 423-3200, thejm.org.

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