NYC Jewish-y Events, February 7-17


Editor’s Picks:

How will “Fiddler” in Yiddish, the unexpected runaway hit that both delighted and choked up audiences at Museum of Jewish History, fare in a larger, Off-Broadway theater? Will the intimacy be lost? Directed by the acclaimed Joel Grey, a rich Yiddish translation by the late Shraga Friedman adds new depth to the iconic musical. Writing in The Jewish Week in July, theater critic Ted Merwin said the play never seemed so Jewish. As for setting the dances on a bigger stage, choreographer Staś Kmieć tells us that it will allow him to stretch out some of the numbers. The cast remains largely the same. With English and Russian supertitles. — Opens Monday, Feb. 11, Stage 42, 422 W. 42nd St., (212) 239-6200,

NYU Steinhardt presents a new revival of “Rags,” the 1986 Tony-nominated musical exploring the Jewish immigrant experience on the Lower East Side. The original play follows Rebecca, a naïve Russian Jew who immigrates to America along with her young son in search of her husband, who arrived before them. After much angst, she’s finally reunited with him, only to find herself at odds with his assimilation and rejection of their Jewish heritage. The show’s theme suggests the current national debate around immigration. — Through Monday, Feb. 11, NYU’s Frederick Loewe Theatre, 35 W. Fourth St., (212) 998-4941,


When Shane Baker, one of the creators of “Tevye Served Raw,” spoke to The Jewish Week last summer as the show opened its monthlong run, he said that Sholem Aleichem “tried to catch Yiddish with both hands like sand from a beach. His stories capture the changes from the shtetl to the modern world.” Now the show is back, revealing “the Tevye tales they left out of ‘Fiddler.’” It consists of adaptations of the Tevye stories and three of Aleichem’s newly adapted stories. And Baker is back,  too, along with Yelena Shmulenson and Allen Lewis Rickman. — Through Wednesday, Feb. 13, Playroom Theatre, 151 W. 46th St.,  (800) 838-3006,


Eve Wolf’s “Maestro” brings to life the story of legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini and his unbending 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.


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 recently took home 10 Tonys. The producers announced this week that the show will close April 9. — Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St.,,


Ladino was the mother tongue of Jews in the Ottoman Empire for 500 years, as well as the language of Sephardim worldwide in the early 20th century. Today, Ladino is only spoken by a small fraction of Sephardim, but interest in it is resurging. The Second Annual International Ladino Day features a diverse group of authors and musicians. — Sunday, 2 p.m., Feb. 10, Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301,

Alongside a two-floor exhibit of original art and photography, curated by Max Gottfried, Jewish performers discuss the role of Jews in shaping rock, from “The Yiddish British Invasion” to Woodstock and Jewish influence in punk. Special guests include Arlen Shumer, Andy Shernoff (The Dictators), John Holstrom (artist, PUNK and High Times), Vivek Tiwary (“The Fifth Beatle,” Broadway producer) and more. — Sunday, Feb. 10, noon-5 p.m., Brooklyn Jewish Art Gallery@CKI, 603 St. Johns Place, Brooklyn,



Nominated for six Oscars, Spike Lee’s “BlackKklansman,” set in the early ’70s, tells the story of Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department, who infiltrates the Klan with the help of a more seasoned colleague, Jewish cop Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver). Screening followed by Q&A with Spike Lee. — Tuesday, Feb. 12, 7 p.m., Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444,


This popular web-comedy about six young, Jewish, single Orthodox New Yorkers has developed something of a cult following. For the initiated: Jacobs and Ben deal with whatever happened at that wedding, Z has a new friend, Noa meets a smooth-talking guy and Sarah’s new job makes her consider her life choices. — Sunday, Feb. 17, 6 p.m., Marlene Meyerson JCC, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444,

Benefit screening of a documentary about the struggle of the remaining community of Ethiopian Jews to immigrate to Israel. Ryan Porush’s film tracks the story of two young Ethiopian men, only one of whom makes it to Israel with his family; the other remains trapped in Gondar. All proceeds will go directly to support the last remaining community of Ethiopian Jews. — Tuesday, Feb. 26, 7 p.m. (with a VIP reception for donors and a discussion with Porush following the film), Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave. Tickets: $75 VIP, $15;


Eléonore Biezunski, a Parisian singer/violinist now living in NYC, is the co-founder of Ephemeral Birds, Yerushe, Lyubtshe, Shpilkes, Shtetl Stompers and Klezmographers. For this program she will she will sing mostly unaccompanied samples of the East European Yiddish love songs and ballads collected by Yiddish music scholar Ruth Rubin. Part of the NY Klezmer Series, the concert will be preceded by an instrumental music workshop and followed by a jam session. — Thursday, Feb. 14, 6:30-8 p.m. workshop, 8:30 p.m. concert, 9:45-11:45 p.m. jam session, Town & Village Synagogue, Social Hall, 334 E. 14th St.,



Andrea Miller, inventive choreographer and artistic director of the Israeli dance troupe Gallim, presents the world premiere of “To Create a World.” The movement language in the ambitious piece takes audiences from a pre-human past to a post-human future. — Tuesday, Feb. 12-Sunday, Feb. 17, The Joyce Theatre, 175 Eighth Ave., (212) 242-0800,


The provocative French intellectual BHL looks at the state of world politics today, in conversation with historian and author Simon Schama. — Wednesday, Feb. 13, 7 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave.,

Ben Hecht, whom Pauline Kael called “the greatest American screenwriter,” also emerged during WWII as an outspoken crusader for the imperiled Jews of Europe. He later became a fierce propagandist for pre-1948 Palestine’s Jewish terrorist underground. Adina Hoffman speaks with film critic and novelist Phillip Lopate about her new biography of Hecht. Book sales and signing follow the program. — Tuesday, Feb. 12, 6:30 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (800) 838-3006,

When a Holocaust revisionist sued her for libel, Deborah Lipstadt seized the chance to stand up to anti-Semites—and won. Her experience became the basis of the film “Denial,” starring Rachel Weisz. Now the professor is back with a new book, “Antisemitism: Here and Now.” Lipstadt joins in conversation with The New York Times’ Bari Weiss. A book signing follows the event. — Monday, Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave.,

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