NYC Jewish-y Events, January 25 – February 4


Editor’s Picks:

This two-night, four-film festival explores Jewish life and culture, much of it largely unknown, in Ghana, Madagascar, Nigeria and Uganda. Among the offerings: Gabrielle Zilkhas’ “Doing Jewish: A Story from Ghana” (Monday, Jan. 28, 7 p.m.), which follows the residents of a small community in Ghana as they learn they have been practicing Jewish customs in everything but name for centuries; and “Yearning to Belong” (Monday, Jan. 28, 8:30 p.m.), by David Viniks and Debra Gonshor Viniks, which documents the struggle of Uganda’s Abayudaya Jews to be recognized by the international Jewish community. Each evening will feature either a director or a participant from the films as a presenter as well as post-film Q&As. Part of the “Jewish Africa Conference — Past, Present, and Future.” — Jan. 28-29, Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (800) 838-3006,

Based on the life of S. Ansky, this staged reading of Chaim Potok’s play roams through various scenes in Ansky’s life to show us how, against a backdrop of war and revolution, his masterpiece “The Dybbuk” has evolved. Directed by David Bassuk and introduced by Rena Potok, the late writer’s daughter, the performance celebrates the publication of “The Collected Plays of Chaim Potok,” edited by Rena Potok. A book signing follows the program. — Feb. 3, 2 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (800) 838-3006,


As part of the N.Y. Philharmonic’s “Threads of Our City” series, which examines New York’s roots as a destination of immigrants, comes Julia Wolfe’s world premiere of “Fire in My Mouth.” Wolfe’s multimedia performance focuses on the garment industry at the turn of the last century — specifically the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which killed 146 garment workers, most of them young female immigrants. (It gave birth to the modern labor movement.) Wolfe’s music draws on oral histories, interviews and historical writings to reimagine the soundscapes of the garment factories. (The program includes Steven Stucky’s “August 4, 1964,” about the day the bodies of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were found. — Thursday-Saturday, Jan. 24-26, David Geffen Hall, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, (212) 875-5656,



Based on the “coat of many colors” story of Joseph from the Bible’s Book of Genesis, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical went on to become one of Broadway’s most famous musicals. The one and only Broadway revival opened 25 years ago; marking its anniversary, the original revival cast is reuniting. — Monday, Jan. 28, 7 and 9:30 p.m., 54 Below, 254 W. 54th St., (646) 476- 3551,

Eve Wolf’s “Maestro” brings to life the story of legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini and his brave opposition to fascism. His refusal to perform in Italy and Germany, and his trips to Palestine to conduct an orchestra made up of Jewish refugees, made headlines around the world. John Noble stars as the maestro. A presentation of Ensemble for the Romantic Century. — The Duke on 42nd Street, 229 W. 42nd St., Through Feb. 9.


Yiddish expresses dark humor and existential angst particularly well, which makes it a perfect vehicle for Samuel Beckett’s 1953 absurdist play “Waiting for Godot,” which was originally written in French. This is the New Yiddish Rep’s second production of the play (the first was mounted in 2013); it’s translated by Shane Baker and directed by the 14th Street Y’s Ronit Muszkatblit. — Through Jan. 27, Theater at the 14th Street Y, 344 E. 14th St., (646) 395-4310, $35.

This Night of Female Resistance features comedy, stories, songs and haikus from comedian Marina Franklin, screenwriters Elisa Zuritsky and Julie Rottenberg, comedic musician Jessica Delfino, haiku gal-turned-poet LA Markuson and host Amanda Duarte.  — Monday, Jan. 28, 7:30 p.m., 14th Street Y, 344 E. 14th St., (212) 780-0800,



The Israeli dance troupe L-E-V, co-founded and lead by choreographer Sharon Eyal, presents “Love Chapter 2,” a stark, provocative piece exploring life after love. A former Batsheva dancer, Eyal has been hailed by The Guardian as “one of the most startlingly inventive choreographers working today.” — Through Sunday, Jan. 27, The Joyce Theatre, 175 Eighth Ave., (212) 242-0800, 


Hailed as a ’70s Streisand look-alike and sound-alike, vocalist and recording artist Karine Hannah performs her take on iconic Babs classics like “People,” “Somewhere,” “Guilty” and more. She’ll be joined by special guest Tyce Green, an actor and recording artist. — Friday, Jan. 25, 9:30 p.m., 54 Below, 254 W. 54th St., (646) 476- 3551,



When Goebbels declared Berlin “Judenfrei” (free of Jews) in 1943, little did the German government know that roughly 7,000 Jews were still living in the capital, hiding in plain sight. Of that group, some 1,700 lived to see the defeat of the Third Reich. Combining documentary interviews with powerful dramatizations (by “The Tree of Life” cinematographer Jörg Widmer), this new film tells the stories of four of these survivors. — Through Thursday, Jan. 31, Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th St., (212) 255-2243,

Now in its 15th installment, the Kane Street Synagogue’s Brooklyn Israel Film Festival features three nights of new Israeli films. Highlights include “Siege,” a digitally re-mastered version of a 1969 Six-Day War drama starring the young Gila Almagor, who would become “the first lady of Israeli film” (Thursday, Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m.); “Echo,” a drama starring Yael Abecassis and Yoram Toledano, about a jealous man who secretly records his wife’s phone calls (Saturday, Jan. 26, 8 p.m.); “Operation Egg,” a family-friendly comedy about the theft of a rare ostrich egg on its way from a safari park in Ramat Gan to a nature preserve in the Golan (Sunday, Jan. 27, 5:30 p.m.), and more. — Thursday-Sunday, Jan. 24-27, Kane Street Synagogue, 236 Kane St., (718) 875-1550,


This highly personal documentary by former Skokie, Ill., resident Eli Adler explores his family’s experience during the Shoah, their transition to life in America and their journey to confront long-suppressed memories. The screening will be followed by a discussion with David Kaufman of Hebrew Union College. —  Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202,

An estimated 400,000 numbers were tattooed in Auschwitz and its sub-camps. “Numbered” documents the times and setting during which these tattoos were assigned, as well as the meaning they took on in the years following the war. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Hasia Diner, professor of American Jewish history at NYU. — Thursday, Jan. 31, 7 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202,


Our idea of the past is often shaped by a few iconic images — as with the so-called “Auschwitz Album,” the only photographic evidence we have of prisoner selections at the Nazi killing center. Paul Salmons, lead author of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance manual “How to Teach about the Holocaust,” explores how we can “read” photographs, to see what they reveal — and what they hide or distort. — Wednesday, Jan. 30, 7 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202,


This three-day cultural and scholarly conference brings together emerging North and Sub-Saharan African scholars and leaders to analyze the history and contemporary situation of Jewish Africa, which is home to some of the oldest, most diverse communities in the world. — Sunday, Jan. 27, 7 p.m. – Tuesday, Jan. 29, 4 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St.,

Marc Dollinger’s “Black Power Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance in the 1960s” charts the transformation of American Jewish political culture from the Cold War liberal consensus to the rise and influence of Black Power-inspired ethnic nationalism. Dollinger, Ilana Kaufman (director of “Jews of Color Field Building Initiative”) and Cheryl Greenberg (Trinity College) will discuss his work. — Jan. 31, 7 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301,

Eddy Portnoy, author of “Bad Rabbi,” academic adviser for the Max Weinreich Center and curator at YIVO, discusses the Yiddish press in New York and Warsaw and the often-strange stories about Jews that appear in it. — Sunday, Jan. 27, 2 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301,


Worried about fake news, biased news, clickbait, hoaxes and rumors parading as journalism? You should be, according to Jill Abramson. Abramson is the former — and first female — executive editor of The New York Times, a reporter and deputy bureau chief at The Wall Street Journal, co-author of the National Book Award finalist “Strange Justice” and columnist for The Guardian. — Tuesday, Jan. 29, 7 p.m., Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center, 1 E. 65th St., (212) 507-9580,


Spanning three floors at “The Yard – Columbus Circle,” this large-scale installation features a selection of recent paintings by Israeli-American artist Shony Rivany. Part of the “Art in Lobbies” program. — The Yard: Columbus Circle, 33 W. 60th St., (646) 688-5696,

Israeli-American photographer Noam Atia, who has a penchant for gender-fluid portraits, presents a delightfully quirky project: a series of photographs depicting Disney princesses, as portrayed by men, on the backdrop of archetypal New York-ish landscapes. — Opens Friday, Jan. 25, 6-8 p.m., Gallery MC, 545 W. 52nd St., 8th fl.,

Brooklyn yeshiva-educated Martha Rosler is considered one of the strongest and most resolute artistic voices of her generation. (She has said that her Jewish education inspired her politics.) She skillfully employs diverse materials to address pressing matters of her time, including war, gender roles, gentrification, inequality and labor. From her feminist photomontages of the 1960s and ’70s to her large-scale installations, Rosler’s work reflects her enduring and passionate vision. — Through March 3, 2019, The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave. (at 92nd Street), (212) 423-3200,

To publish events, submit them to 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.