What’s Going On In NYC This Week (Nov 8-17)


It’s all I.B. Singer all the time for three days next week as the local outpost of Singer’s Warsaw Festival of Jewish Culture returns for its second year. The Singer smorgasbord includes a cantorial show featuring Yaakov Lemmer and Frank London performing Gershon Sirota and Mordechai Gebirtig. There’s a production of Itzik Manger’s play “Humesh Lider” by the Jewish Theater in Warsaw, as well as screenings of “Yentl” and “Enemies, a Love Story,” films adapted from Singer’s stories. There’ll be Singer Storytime readings at libraries around town. The festival concludes with a production of “A Wall,” a play based on the story of Holocaust hero Irena Sendler. — Nov. 17-19, various locations, shalom.org.pl.


The sun-drenched photographs of Andy Sweet, shot in the late 1970s, captured Miami Beach at a poignant moment. The Jewish retirees who flocked there (many from the Northeast) were still living vibrant lives. But that world — a kind of Eden on the Atlantic — would soon be gone. It was a time lovingly documented in the film “The Last Resort,” whose directors Dennis Scholl and Kareem Tabsch join Brett Sokol, who edited Sweet’s photographs for the book “Shtetl in the Sun,” for a discussion. — Thursday, Nov. 14, 6:30 p.m., Emanu-El Streicker Center, 10 E. 66th St., emanuelstreickernyc.org. $36 includes copy of the book.

Talk about lighting out for the territory, as a hemmed-in Huck Finn did at the close of Twain’s iconic novel. Emissaries for the Chabad Lubavitch movement have fanned out everywhere from Memphis to Malta, spreading the come-one, come-all word of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe. But Big Sky country has been something of a final frontier for the movement. It wasn’t until 2017 that a shliach landed in Sioux Falls, S.D. That kind of journey, from the confines of Crown Heights to the open spaces of Bozeman, Mont., is chronicled in a film about Rabbi Chaim Bruk and family. As he attempts to put up mezuzahs all over the state, he faces neo-Nazis’ threats and skepticism from other Jews. Part of the DOC NYC festival. — Sunday, Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m., Cineopolis Chelsea, 260 W. 23rd St., docnyc.net.



Just opened:

Tony Kushner’s 1985 cautionary tale about the possible rise of authoritarianism in America centers on a group of progressive friends in Weimar Germany as they worry about Hitler’s rise to power. But a Jewish American character (in the original production, at least) interrupts to comment on what she sees as the cruelties of the Reagan administration. Takes its inspiration from Brecht’s anti-Nazi play, “The Private Life of the Master Race.” — Through Dec. 16, Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St. (Astor Place), publictheater.org.

In a musical based on the best-selling novel by Alan Lightman, the young Albert Einstein is inspired by a mysterious muse to explore his radical new concepts in physics. — Through Dec. 14, 59E59, 59 E. 59th St., 59E59.org.

Harvey Fierstein (“Torch Song Trilogy”) writes and stars in a new theater piece based on the words and life of Bella Abzug, the larger-than-life congresswoman, human rights lawyer and feminist leader (at shul as well as in the world). A Manhattan Theatre Club production. — Through Dec. 1, New York City Center, 131 W. 55th St., manhattantheatreclub.com.

London storyteller-musician Daniel Cainer is back with his one-man show about English Jews. He told us in 2015 that British Jews are “constantly looking over our shoulders, no matter how cosmopolitan our environment may be.” — Last chance: Through Nov. 9, Soho Playhouse, 15 Vandam St. (Sixth Avenue and Varick Street), sohoplayhouse.com.


Henry Naylor’s exploration of Jewish identity, set against the 1936 Summer Olympics, features two Jewish athletes, the fencer Helene Meyer and the high jumper Gretel Bergmann. Through Nov. 24, Soho Playhouse, 15 Vandam St. (Sixth Avenue and Varick Street), sohoplayhouse.com.

This new documentary about iconic Israeli leader Golda Meir, the first and only woman elected prime minister, sheds light on a hugely complicated political leader — at once grandmotherly and tough as nails. One of the film’s directors, Shani Rozanes, is expected at the screening. Part of DOC NYC festival. — Sunday, Nov. 10, 2:05 p.m., SVA Theatre, 333 W. 23rd St., docnyc.net.

The New York premiere of Dror Moreh’s (“The Gatekeepers”) new documentary about the Oslo peace process. In the film, six top American diplomats testify to the personal relationships that developed between Yitzchak Rabin, Bill Clinton and Yasir Arafat. Part of the DOC NYC festival. — Saturday, Nov. 9, 8:15 p.m., Cinépolis Chelsea, 260 W. 23rd St., docnyc.net.

Jewish filmmaker Adam Zucker delves deep into New York’s Muslim-American neighborhoods in the hopes that his documentary spurs interfaith discussion, action and empathy. Part of DOC NYC festival. — Sunday, Nov. 10, 11:40 a.m., SVA Theatre, 333 W. 23rd St., and Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2:50 p.m., IFC Center, Sixth Avenue at West Third Street, docnyc.net.

A 100-meter stretch of Tel Aviv’s shoreline, dedicated to a closed Orthodox community, is separated by a mere fence from the gay beach and the other areas that allow mixed swimming and dogs. When the rabbi considers closing it, his female congregants rebel. The world premiere is part of the DOC NYC festival. — Wednesday, Nov. 13, 5:05 p.m., IFC Center, Sixth Avenue at West Third Street, docnyc.net.

A lot of children have imaginary friends. But a slapstick Adolf Hitler? That’s the set-up of Taika Waititi’s dark comedy. Jojo’s in the Hitler Youth, but a secret undoes him: His single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic. — In wide release.

The annual festival, now in its 13th year, shines a light on Israel’s marginalized communities. Some of this year’s selections include “Abe,” about a 12-year-old aspiring chef who seeks to unite his Israeli-Palestinian family through fusion cuisine; the documentary “Comrade Dov,” about a leading member of Israel’s Communist Party; and the first two episodes of Israeli TV’s gritty detective series “Asylum City, about the mean streets of Tel Aviv. — Nov. 14-21 at various venues, https://www.otherisrael.org/. (See story here.)

When a Jewish newspaper appears unexpectedly at the front door of one Robert Klein (Alain Delon), this taut psychological drama set in occupied Paris takes off. There is (not to give too much away) another Robert Klein, which leads to an exploration of Jewish identity in a fraught time. Directed (in 1976) by the blacklisted Joseph Losey. — Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St., filmforum.org.

The Israeli world music star is appearing sans his Jewish-Arab fusion group, the Idan Raichel Project, for an evening of solo piano. Expect both acoustic and electric piano tunes from his new CD, “And If You Will Come to Me.” A presentation of City Winery/Metropolitan Entertainment. — Thursday, Nov. 14, 7:30 p.m., Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W. 64th St., citywinery.com. $50-$150.

This show marks the 25th anniversary of one of the pioneering groups of the klezmer revival. Expect music about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, a Yiddish-Soviet animation score and original tunes.— Nov. 14, 7 p.m., Museum at Eldridge St., 12 Eldridge St., eldridgestreet.org. $30.

The renowned klezmer violin player brings his fiddle band to the East Village. — Thursday, Nov. 14, 8:30 p.m., New York Klezmer Series, Town & Village Synagogue, 334 E. 14th St., http://nyklezmer.com, $15.

Soul-pop from the Ethiopian-Israeli singer-songwriter. AvevA (she caps the final “a”) sings about society, freedom and love in both English and Amharic. Complimentary Ethiopian wine will be served. — Sunday, Nov. 10, 5 p.m., Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., jccmanhattan.org/programs/aveva.

Artist Mark Podwal will discuss his just published illustrated book of Heinrich Heine’s “Hebrew Melodies,” the third cycle of poems in Heine’s late masterwork “Romancero,” which contain three of the best poems on Jewish themes ever written outside the Hebrew language. Heine appropriated the title from a set of poems about biblical figures and events by Lord Byron, one of his favorite poets. — Wednesday, Nov. 13, 6 p.m., German Consulate General (Otto-Carl-Kiep Auditorium), 871 United Nations Plaza, Germany.info. Free.

A conversation between Yossi Klein Halevi, whose book, “Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor,” reached out across the abyss; Yousef Bashir, author of “The Words of My Father,” a powerful new memoir about growing up in Gaza; and Rawan Odeh, a Palestinian American. Bashir and Odeh both responded to Yossi’s outreach. Presented by The Jewish Week in partnership with UJA-Federation and Park Avenue Synagogue. — Thursday, Nov. 7, 7 p.m., Park Avenue Synagogue, 50 E. 87th St., nyjw.test/event/response-to-my-neighbor. $25/$30.

Just opened:
The sculptor, who grew up in Miami, creates fantastical and highly sexualized wooden pieces that probe notions of “the feminine” in pop culture. This show marks the first survey of her work in the U.S. — Through March 1, The Jewish Museum, Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, thejewishmuseum.org.


Halpert (1900-1970), a Jewish immigrant, is considered the first significant female gallerist in the country. She championed American art at a time when the European avant-garde was in ascendance, and her Downtown Gallery in Greenwich Village promoted the work of modernists like Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O’Keefe and Ben Shahn. — Through Feb. 9, The Jewish Museum, Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, thejewishmuseum.org.

In his “New Pilgrims’ Progress” (or “The Innocents Abroad”), Mark Twain’s 1869 travelogue that took him to the Middle East, the great humorist wasn’t beyond kvetching. He griped about the size of the grapes and the smallness of Jerusalem. But there were moments of loveliness in the dispatches originally published in a San Francisco newspaper. This show marks the 150th anniversary of the travelogue’s publication. — Through Feb. 2, New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West (77th Street), nyhistory.org.

The reclusive Salinger grew up Orthodox and his conflicted Jewish identity (he found out after his bar mitzvah that his mother was actually Irish Catholic) may have inspired the teenage angst in his most memorable character, Holden Caulfield from “The Catcher in the Rye.” This show offers a rare glimpse into Salinger’s life and work through manuscripts, letters, photographs and personal effects drawn exclusively from his archive. — Through Jan. 19, NYPL, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, nypl.org.

Long runs:
Russ & Daughters, An Appetizing Story
A history of the iconic smoked fish shop. Through Jan. 31, Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., http://www.ajhs.org/RussandDaughtersExhibition.

Auschwitz. Not Long Ago. Not Far Away
The large-scale show explores the history of the death camp and its role in the Holocaust. Through Jan. 3, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, mjhnyc.org.

Relative Relations
Seventy artists explore human connections shaped by genetics, proximity, interests and shared destiny. Through June 30, Dr. Bernard Heller Museum at HUC-JIR, One W. Fourth St., huc.edu.

Sotheby’s is auctioning rare Judaica objects from the Arthur and Gitel Marx Collection. The approximately 300 lots in the auction — comprising Judaica books and manuscripts, paintings and metalwork from the 15th through 20th centuries and originating from Europe, the Middle East and North Africa — touch every aspect of Jewish life. — Opens Nov. 17, auction on Nov. 20, Sotheby’s, 1334 York Ave., sothebys.com.

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