In a cultural mash-up that’s hard to fathom, the genre-bending performance “The Talmud” draws upon Chinese martial arts cinema and juxtaposes it with chosen chapters of the Talmud. “I was watching a Kung-Fu movie and thought ‘this Kung-Fu movie reminds me of the Talmud,’” director Jesse Freedman explained, somewhat cryptically, in the show’s advanced billing. The resulting play takes place in a reimagined Talmudic academy, where rabbis debate tractate “Gittin,” about divorce laws. Interspersed in the scholarly dialogue are choreographed kung-fu-inspired movement sequences featuring a four-person cast and a musician playing a Chinese lute. Oh, and hip-hop dance scenes. Through Sept. 28, Target Margin Theater, 232 52nd St., Brooklyn, (718) 398-3095, targetmargin.org/talmud/.
YIDDISH SONGS FROM LATIN AMERICA
When you think about South American music, “Yiddish” is not the first word that comes to mind. But it turns out that there’s a rich cross-pollination between local and immigrant musical cultures. In a program combining a lecture with musical excerpts, São Paulo-based singer Nicole Borger — founder of Brazil’s Kleztival, South America’s largest Jewish music festival — spotlights Yiddish songs from Argentina and Brazil, from the early Ashkenazi immigrants to contemporary musicians. — Monday, Sept. 16, 6 p.m., Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd Street, Program Room, 476 Fifth Ave., (212) 340-0863, nypl.org.
SWAN LAKE – THE ROCK OPERA
Veteran Israeli theater director Tsedi Sarfati is known for his penchant for translating and adapting all-American staples — “Hair,” “A Chorus Line” – into perfectly Sabra-sounding hit Israeli musicals. Now he turns Tchaikovsky’s score to the legendary ballet “Swan Lake” ballet into a rock opera. In Sarfati’s retooled version, Crown Prince Siegfried (Ziggy), a royal playboy, puts money, love and titles on the line in a scandalous and sexually liberated search for the ideal bride. Choreographed by Israeli actor/dancer Amit Zamir. — Saturdays, Sept. 7, 14, 21 and Wednesday, Sept. 25, 7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show, Chelsea Music Hall, 407 W. 15th St., swanlakerockopera.com.
SELECTED SHORTS: ETGAR KERET AND JOYCE CAROL OATES
Selected Shorts has been a staple of the city’s cultural scene for more than 30 years. Next up is the work of two heavyweights: Israel’s Etgar Keret, a gifted short story specialist with a penchant for absurdist tales, and Joyce Carol Oates, who won the prestigious Jerusalem Prize earlier in the year. Liev Schreiber, Dianna Agron (“Glee”) and Becky Ann Baker (“Girls”) will read from Keret’s new collection, “Fly Already” (“Come on, fly already!” a boy says to a troubled guy on the roof of a four-story building in the title story). And from Oates, a master of the short story often compared to Chekhov. — Wednesday, Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m., Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, (212) 864-5400, symphonyspace.org.
NUSAKH VILNE MEMORIAL
Commemorate the Jewish community of Vilna with readings and performances by Rivka Augenfeld, Michael Fox, Ellen Perecman, Ruth Baran-Gerold and Mikhl Baran, as well as a presentation on YIVO’s new Slovin Online Museum. — Sunday, Sept. 22, 1 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (917) 606-8290, yivo.org/NusakhVilne2019.
“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, broadway.com.
FIDDLER: A MIRACLE OF MIRACLES
“Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” is the first in-depth documentary to track the musical’s origin story and reasons for its long-lasting success, revealing why the story of Tevye the milkman is reborn again and again as a global cultural touchstone. Featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sheldon Harnick, Hal Prince, Austin Pendleton, Joanna Merlin, Danny Burstein, Itzhak Perlman, Charles Isherwood, Harvey Fierstein and more. — Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th St., quadcinema.com. Extended through Sept. 19.
HEADING HOME: THE TALE OF TEAM ISRAEL
Israel is not a native to baseball. Its 2017 Team leaned on several Jewish-American big leaguers, like former Met Ike Davis, Josh Zeid and Ryan Lavarnway. Most had a tenuous relationship to Judaism, and none had ever set foot in Israel. Tracking the underdog journey of Israel’s national baseball team, competing for the first time in the World Baseball Classic, “Heading Home” documents their odyssey traveling from the U.S. to Tel Aviv to Seoul, as they discover the pride of representing Israel on the world stage. — Opening Friday, Sept. 6, The Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th St., (212) 255-2243, quadcinema.com.
TEL AVIV ON FIRE
Palestinian director Sameh Zoabi’s “Tel Aviv on Fire” turns the Mideast conflict into a satire about the perils of producing a soap opera. — Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th St., quadcinema.com. Extended throug Sept. 19.
Hans Breuer, a Jewish shepherd in Austria, often leaves his flock and his land to help refugees entering Europe. He volunteers his car, his home and his family to feed, comfort and shelter the newcomers, always singing Yiddish lullabies. The film follows Hans and a small community of volunteers — some Jewish, others not — who find in their shared history as Jews and Europeans a common obligation to provide for those most in need. Screening followed by a Q & A with director Ronit Kertsner. — Monday, Sept. 16, 7-9 p.m., Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia University, 1140 Amsterdam Ave., iijs.columbia.edu.
“Forgotten Soldier” tells the story of the “Master of Bluffing,” Salomon (“Sally”) Noach, a Dutch citizen who risked his life in Vichy, France, to save hundreds from deportation to Auschwitz. The film follows Noach’s daughter, Lady Irene Hatter, as she goes in search of the truth behind her father’s story. This New York premiere is followed by a discussion with Lady Irene Hatter, her brother Jacques Hatter and survivor Herman Veder, who is featured in the film. — Tuesday, Sept. 17, 7 p.m., Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.org.
WHERE’S MY ROY COHN?
Roy Cohn personified the dark arts of American politics, turning empty vessels into dangerous demagogues, from Joseph McCarthy to his final project, Donald Trump. This thriller-like exposé connects the dots, revealing how a deeply troubled master manipulator shaped our current reality. — Tuesday, Sept. 17, 7 p.m., Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444, jccmanhattan.org.
EMMET COHEN TRIO
At 28, jazz pianist Emmet Cohen has been recognized as “an obvious heir apparent to the neo-traditional jazz mantle,” (The New York Times), a status cemented by his 2019 win of the prestigious American Pianists Association Cole Porter Fellowship. With trio members bassist Russell Hall and drummer Kyle Poole, as well as special guest and saxophone legend George Coleman. — Sunday, Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m., Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St., (212) 539-8778, publictheater.org.
THESE ARE THE BANAI’S
Since the late-’70s, members of the uniquely talented Banai family have dominated Israel’s pop charts. Gavri Banai, of Israel’s veteran comedic musical trio The Gashashim, (stealth detectives) and his son, actor and musician Uri Banai, will sing Israeli staples such as “The Tarnegolim,” “The Gashashim” and more, offering stories, nostalgic songs and a lot of laughter. — Tuesday, Sept. 17, 7 p.m., Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, (212) 864-5400, symphonyspace.org.
AMERICAN JEWS AND ISRAEL: CAN THE RELATIONSHIP BE SAVED?
Dr. Daniel Gordis, author and senior vice president and the Koret distinguished fellow at Shalem College in Jerusalem (and close observer of Israeli life) and Thomas Friedman, the three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American political commentator as well as author, discuss the deterioration of the relationship between American Jews and Israel, and if it can be saved. Moderated by author and journalist Abigail Pogrebin. A book sale and signing will follow the program. Presented by The Jewish Week, in partnership with UJA-Federation of New York and the Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center. — Monday, Sept. 16, 7 p.m., Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center, 10 E. 66th St. For seats, go to emanuelnyc.org/JW. . $36 online/$40 door/free for students with valid ID.
HOW TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM
Bari Weiss, who can infuriate liberals from her perch on The Times’ op-ed page (though she rapped the president on his Jews-are-disloyal-if-they-vote-Democratic charge), is out with a new zeitgeist-y book. In “How to Fight Anti-Semitism,” she reveals her own deeply personal relationship to the issue (she became a bat mitzvah at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the site of last October’s deadliest attack on Jews in American history), and discusses how social media and political polarization have reignited the problem. She’ll speak about her work with CNN’s Jake Tapper. — Sunday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m., 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 92y.org.
A discussion with Queens College sociologist Samuel Heilman follows the screening of two episodes of the Netflix series about a charedi family in Jerusalem. Heilman is an expert on Orthodox movements. — Wednesday, Sept. 18, 6:30 p.m., Baruch College, Rosalyn and Irwin Engelman Recital Hall, 55 Lexington Ave., (646) 312-1000.
NEW YORK-ISRAEL LGBTQ SYMPOSIUM
An inaugural panel discussion between LGBTQ leaders in New York and Israel. The symposium grapples with issues such as transgender equality and religious inclusion. Co-organized by the nonprofit A Wider Bridge and the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan’s “Out at the J” series. — Sunday, Sept. 22, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Marlene Meyerson JCC, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444, jccmanhattan.org.
From Streisand to Seinfeld, bashert to balaboosta, “The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia: From Abraham to Zabar’s and Everything in Between” is by the team of the popular podcast “Unorthodox” and covers Jewish culture, religion, history, habits and language. The talk will be followed by a book signing reception. — Wednesday, Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m., Marlene Meyerson JCC, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-4444, jccmanhattan.org.
KUGEL AND FRIJOLES
How do Latino Jews identify? Can they choose their identity or is it assigned to them? What is it like to be both Latino and Jewish in the United States? Laura Limonic, author of “Kugel And Frijoles: Latino Jews In The United States,” discusses this and other topics with The New Yorker’s Eric Lach. A reception and book signing will follow. — Tuesday, Sept. 17, 6:30 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., (212) 294-8301, cjh.org.
RUSS & DAUGHTERS, AN APPETIZING STORY
Russ & Daughters, the 109-year-old, family-owned appetizing shop on the Lower East Side (and an uptown outpost of late at The Jewish Museum), has already been immortalized in a documentary (“The Sturgeon Queens”) and a book (“Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House That Herring Built”). Now, the store can add a photo exhibit to its legacy. — Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., ajhs.org/opening-russ-daughters-appetizing-story.
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, mjhnyc.org.
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