NYC Jewish-y Events, August 2 – 12


Editors Picks: 

In a profile in these pages in March, street artist Sara Erenthal said this about a discarded window pane that caught her eye and that she drew on: “[It] must have been sitting there awhile and no one cared about it. And then it became art. … It just gave it new life.” The artistic process is called “upcycling,” and it’s the focal point (and the name) of Erenthal’s new solo show. Most of the works are created from “thrifted” paintings, upon which Erenthal, who left the Orthodox fold to find herself as an artist, paints her signature motif: a graphic silhouette of a woman’s form with wide eyes and red lips. — Through Aug. 18, The Storefront Project, 70 Orchard St.,

A century ago, the nascent Moscow Yiddish Art Theater performed the only play ever written by Shloyme Mikhoels, its star actor, future director and head of the wartime Jewish Antifascist Committee. The play was assumed lost, but Vassili Schedrin of Queen’s University in Canada discovered a Russian version of it, and Dov Ber Kerler translated it back into Yiddish. This upgraded version gets a dramatic reading (in Yiddish) starring Allen Rickman and Yelena Shmulenson, Shane Baker and Boris Sandler. Schedrin, currently working on a Mikhoels biography, will introduce the play and take questions afterward. — Monday, Aug. 12, 7 p.m., YIVO Institute, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 246-6080,


In August 1940, the S.S. Quanza left Lisbon carrying several hundred Jewish refugees bound for freedom in the U.S. (They were carrying visas from diplomat Sousa Mendes.) But the passengers became trapped on the ship because no country would take them in. Laura Seltzer-Duny’s new 35-minute documentary tells the gripping true story of how Eleanor Roosevelt stepped in, arguing that the passengers were not the “undesirables” the State Department labeled them, but rather “future patriotic Americans.” The film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Blanche Wiesen Cook, Eleanor Roosevelt’s biographer; Michael Dobbs, author of “The Unwanted” (2019); and a passenger who was on the ship. — Sunday, Aug. 11, 2 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (800) 838-3006,



They say opposites attract — they haven’t met Tom and Wendy. Forced together by a computer error, freewheeling Tom and uptight Wendy do their best to ruin each other’s vacations, but the bright lights of Vegas may still work their magic. This new musical comedy stars Broadway and comedy icon Rita Rudner, Kelly Holden Bashar, Brian Lohmann and Robert Yacko. — Through Sunday, Aug. 25, 59E59 Theaters, 59 E. 59th St., (646) 892-7999,

Set in the industrial east side of Los Angeles, in what was once a heavily Jewish area, three Holocaust survivors meet on a factory floor amid talk of deportations, poor wages and fading memories. Written and directed by Steve Greenstein (“Voices From the Holy and Not So Holy”). — Extended Through August, Sundays at 7:30 p.m., Actors’ Temple Theatre, 339 W. 47th St.,

Presented with music and song, this one-woman show tells the true story of Hannah Senesh, one of many Jews who escaped from Axis-allied Hungary in 1939 to the safety of British Mandate Palestine. There she joined Haganah and then volunteered for a daring Special Operations mission to parachute back into Europe to save Jews from Nazi hands. — Through Aug. 18, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202,


“Fiddler on the Roof” (A Fidler Afn Kakh) in Yiddish continues its Off-Broadway run. Directed by the acclaimed Joel Grey, a rich Yiddish translation by the late Shraga Friedman adds new depth to the iconic musical. With English and Russian supertitles. — Stage 42, 422 W. 42nd St., (212) 239-6200,



The tenor saxophonist is one of the original Israeli expats to migrate to New York, and has helped popularize the Israeli/Middle Eastern-jazz fusion that has become a staple on the city’s jazz scene. The brawny-toned saxophonist’s new recording, “Soul Station: A Tribute to Hank Mobley,” pays homage to one of jazz’s greatest but under-sung tenor players. Degibri is joined in his quartet by Tom Oren on piano, Tamir Shmerling on bass and Eviatar Slivnik on drums. — Tuesday, Aug. 6, 7:30-10 p.m., Smalls Jazz Club, 183 W. 10th St., (646) 476-4346,


A true force in the revival of klezmer and one of his generation’s premier mandolinists and clarinetists, Statman plays his trademark blend of American roots music, prayerful chasidic music, klezmer and avant-garde jazz. A disciple of the great klezmer clarinetist Dave Tarras, Statman has reordered pioneering explorations of both chasidic music and bluegrass, drawing from chasidic melodies, folk tunes and free jazz. — Wednesday, Aug. 7, 8 p.m., Barbès, 376 Ninth St., Brooklyn, (347) 422- 0248,



Palestinian director Sameh Zoabi’s “Tel Aviv on Fire” turns the Mideast conflict into a satire about the perils of producing a soap opera. — Opens Friday, Aug. 2 at the Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th St.,, and Landmark 57 West, 657 W. 57th St.,

A rabbi’s son from a Galician shtetl in the 1860s leaves home to become a Shakespearean actor and is disowned by his father. A complex portrait of the tension between tradition and modernity, with a live score by klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals and silent-film-score composer and pianist Donald Sosin. — Tuesday, Aug. 6, 7 p.m., Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444,


This first in-depth documentary about the making of “Fiddler on the Roof” chronicles the backstory, life and themes of this iconic story.  — Monday, Aug. 12, 7 p.m., Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444,



A cache of jeweled rings, brooches and coins, hidden in a wall of a house in Colmar, France, tells the story of a Jewish family and community, which were scapegoated and put to death when the plague struck the region, in 1348-49. Now on loan from the Musée de Cluny, Paris, the treasure will be displayed alongside works from The Met Cloisters, underscoring the prominence of the Jewish minority community in the tumultuous 14th century, and the perils it faced. — Through Jan. 12, 2020, The Met Cloisters, Fort Tryon Park, (212) 923-3700,



The most comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the history of Auschwitz to date, this groundbreaking presentation brings together more than 700 original objects and 400 photographs from over 20 institutions and museums around the world to explore the history of Auschwitz and its role in the Holocaust. — Through Jan. 3, 2020, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202,

This show celebrates the singer-songwriter’s powerful legacy through mixed-media works, including a video projection showcasing Cohen’s own drawings and a multimedia gallery where visitors can hear Cohen’s songs covered by other musicians. —Through Sept. 8, The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., (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.