jewish

There will be opportunities in the Capital Region to hear a dialogue between an Orthodox Israeli settler and a Palestinian activist as they tell their personal stories and of their efforts to build a better future.

Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger and Shadi Abu Awwad of Roots come with no ready peace plans in hand, but only with the conviction that human understanding and trust will be the prerequisites for lasting justice, freedom and peace on that tiny sliver of land that they both call home.

Rabbi Hanan and Shadi Abu Awwad will speak in several locations in the Capital Region tonight through Wednesday.

Howard Pollack is the John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Music at the University of Houston. He will be speaking next Wednesday, October 30th at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York about as part of the college's Jacob Perlow Series. Pollack's subject is “American Musical Theater and the Legacy of Jewish Emigration: From Show Boat to Fiddler on the Roof.”

Jewish American composers, many of them children of Russian-Jewish immigrants, in collaboration with Jewish lyricists and librettists, played an extraordinary role in the creation of the classic Broadway and Hollywood musicals of the twentieth century, as well as American opera of the same period - composers that include Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Richard Rodgers, Marc Blitzstein, and Harold Arlen.

Pollack will focus on how the legacy of Jewish immigration impinged itself dramatically on American musicals and operas by looking at the ways in which themes of migration, departure, arrival, assimilation, and utopia inform this repertoire.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents "What The Jews Believe" at The Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, Massachusetts through October 20. The play is presented in association with The American National Theatre

Dave and his family still live in the old home built by his father in rural Central Texas, and they are still the only Jewish family in town. His son Nathan feels isolated attempting to understand the family’s beliefs, while his wife Rachel faces an even greater crisis of faith. Meanwhile, Dave struggles to maintain a sense of normalcy for his searching family.

Written and directed by Mark Harelik, "What the Jews Believe" is a poignant story about the loss of faith and the journey to find it.

The Berkshire Jewish Festival of Books in Great Barrington, MA begins later this week; running from Thursday, July 18 through Sunday, July 21.

This four day event will be full of lectures, teachings, and readings by local, national, and international authors in diverse genres from adult fiction to children’s literature to cookbooks.

This celebration of Jewish literature will take place at Hevreh of Southern Berkshire in Great Barrington. Avi Dresner is co-chair of: The Berkshires’ Jewish Festival of Books.

Daniel Okrent was the first public editor of The New York Times, editor-at-large of Time, Inc., and managing editor of Life magazine. He worked in book publishing as an editor at Knopf and Viking, and was editor-in-chief of general books at Harcourt Brace. He was also a featured commentator on two Ken Burns series, and his books include Last Call, The Guarded Gate, and Great Fortune, which was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in history.

His new book, "The Guarded Gate," tells the story of the scientists who argued that certain nationalities were inherently inferior, providing the intellectual justification for the harshest immigration law in American history. Brandished by the upper class Bostonians and New Yorkers, many of them progressives, who led the anti-immigration movement, the eugenic arguments helped keep hundreds of thousands of Jews, Italians, and other unwanted groups out of the US for more than 40 years.

Nathan Englander once again tackles the complexities of contemporary Jewish life in his new novel, "kaddish.com."

When an atheist's Orthodox father dies, he is called upon by his mother and sisters to perform the prayer for the dead - every day for 11 months. Reluctant, he hires someone from the title website to recite the Kaddish for him.

The Berkshires’ Jewish Festival of Books -- held at Hevreh of Southern Berkshire -- and The Berkshire Jewish Film Festival of Knesset Israel are collaborating on an Egg Cream Eggstravaganza on Saturday, February 16 at 7 p.m. at Hevreh of Southern Berkshire in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

The evening will begin with a screening of the short film “Egg Cream” by Nora Claire Miller, Peter Miller and Amy Linton. Following the film, author Barry Joseph will give the audience a taste via video of his book “Seltzertopia: The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary Drink.” Then, audience members will be invited to share their own egg cream reminiscences and enjoy real siphon bottle seltzer, milk, and Fox’s U-Bet egg creams.

We were joined by Berkshire Jewish Film Festival Executive Director, Judy Seaman; Co-Chair of the Berkshires’ Jewish Festival of Books Avi Dresner; and “Egg Cream” co-director Peter Miller.

The Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA is a nonprofit organization working to tell the whole Jewish story by rescuing, translating, and disseminating Yiddish books and presenting innovative educational programs that broaden understanding of modern Jewish identity.

Lisa Newman, Director of Communications at the Yiddish Book Center joins us this morning – as she has for the past few years – to present a great selection of Hanukkah books for the season. 

List:

  • “What You Did Not Tell: A Russian Past and the Journey Home” by Mark Mazower
  • “The Book Smugglers: Partisans, Poets, and the Race to Save Jewish Treasures from the Nazis” by David Fishman
  • “Miriam’s Kitchen” by Elizabeth Ehlrich
  • “The New Jewish Table” by Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray
  • “On the Landing” by Yenta Mash, translated by Ellen Cassedy
  • “Isaac Bashevis Singer and the Lower East Side” - photographs by Bruce Davidson
  • “A Living Lens: Photographs of Jewish Life from the Pages of the Forward” by Alana Newhouse and Pete Hamill
  • “The Borscht Belt: revisiting the remains of America’s Jewish Vacationland” by Marisa Scheinfeld and Stefan Kanfer
  • “A Rich Brew How Cafés Created Modern Jewish Culture” by Shacher Pinsker

Kids:

  • “Meet the Latkes” by Alan Silberberg
  • “The Parakeet Named Dreidel” by Isaac Bashevis Singer

The Great Jewish Books Book Club

Yidstock 2018

Jul 10, 2018

Now in its seventh year, Yidstock: The Festival of New Yiddish Music celebrates the best of Klezmer and new Yiddish music with a wide-ranging lineup of concerts that demonstrate the diversity and breadth of the genre, along with workshops, talks, and other programs.

Yidstock takes place, rain or shine, at The Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts July 12-15. Yidstock Artistic Director Seth Rogovoy, author of The Essential Klezmer: A Music Lover's Guide to Jewish Roots and Soul Music is here to tell us more along with Lisa Newman – Director of Communications at the Yiddish Book Center.

Rachel Kadish’s new novel The Weight of Ink is set in London. It is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect – one an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; the other an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history.

After her mother is shot at a checkpoint, fifteen-year-old Sarah meets a mysterious man with an ambiguous accent, a suspiciously bare apartment, and a lockbox full of weapons. He's part of the secret resistance against the Third Reich, and he needs Sarah to hide in plain sight at a school for the daughters of top Nazi brass, posing as one of them.

If she can befriend the daughter of a key scientist and get invited to her house, she might be able to steal the blueprints to a bomb that could destroy the cities of Western Europe. Nothing could prepare Sarah for her cutthroat schoolmates, and soon she finds herself in a battle for survival unlike any she'd ever imagined. But anyone who underestimates this innocent-seeming girl does so at their peril. She may look sweet, but she's the Nazis' worst nightmare.

Matt Killeen's new novel is "Orphan Monster Spy."

James Carroll is a National Book Award winner and distinguished scholar in residence at Suffolk University and a columnist for The Boston Globe. He is the author of ten novels and seven works of fiction.

"The Cloister" is his novel about the timeless love story of Peter Abelard and Héloïse, and its impact on a modern priest and a Holocaust survivor seeking sanctuary in Manhattan.

The 13th Annual Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Springfield Jewish Community Center, runs March 15 – 27 with 25 film screenings at 18 community venues across Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties in Massachusetts.

Year after year, PVJFF presents critically acclaimed films that not only entertain, but also provide opportunities for reflection, discussion, and a deeper understanding of our complex, diverse world.

We are joined by Festival Director Deb Krivoy and by director of communications for the Yiddish Book Center, Lisa Newman. The Yiddish Book Center is one of the Pioneer Valley Film Festival’s venues.

"Paris Time" At TheRep

Feb 2, 2018

Capital Reparatory Theatre is currently presenting, "Paris Time," a drama that looks behind the headlines at anti-semitism in today’s France. The world premiere production by Steven Peterson is directed by Gordon Greenberg and runs through February 18.

When Deborah, the wife of a successful American executive based in Paris, becomes an activist defending a young Jewish Frenchwoman, Charles gets caught in the corporate hot seat. Company policy demands him to withdraw from the political limelight or lose his career, but if he won’t get involved, he may lose his marriage.

Jenny Ashman plays Reina in the show and Wally Dunn plays Martin and is making his Capital Rep debut in "Paris Time."

Alexandra Silber is an actress and singer who starred most recently as Tzeitel in the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof. She earlier played Hodel in the same show in London’s West End. She has now written – After Anatevka: A Novel Inspired by Fiddler on the Roof - that imagines what happens to the characters of the musical after the curtain falls.

Alexandra Silber picks up where Fiddler left off. Second-eldest daughter Hodel takes center stage as she attempts to join her Socialist-leaning fiancé Perchik to the outer reaches of a Siberian work camp. But before Hodel and Perchik can finally be together, they both face extraordinary hurdles and adversaries—both personal and political—attempting to keep them apart at all costs.

Silber will be talking about and signing her book on Wednesday at 6PM at Oblong Books and Music in Rhinebeck. 

Yidstock 2017

Jul 11, 2017

Now in its sixth year, Yidstock: The Festival of New Yiddish Music celebrates the best of Klezmer and new Yiddish music with a wide-ranging lineup of concerts that demonstrate the diversity and breadth of the genre, along with workshops, talks, and other programs.

Yidstock Artistic Director Seth Rogovoy, author of The Essential Klezmer: A Music Lover's Guide to Jewish Roots and Soul Music is here to tell us more along with Lisa Newman – Director of Communications at the Yiddish Book Center.

http://ajwnews.com


  Ne’imah Jewish Community Chorus will perform their 25th Anniversary Concert this Sunday June 11 at 7 p.m. at The Massry Center for the Arts at the College of Saint Rose.

 

This year’s concert is entitled Sterling Sounds and the special guest will be Cantor Meir Finkelstein. Born in Israel, the son of the late Cantor Zvi Finkelstein, Meir showed outstanding musical abilities, and at an early age began accompanying his father and older brother at services. In 1982 Meir became Cantor of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, California, which he served for 18 years.

 

He has composed over 150 settings for the liturgy and has written music for film, television, and concerts. He also produces and arranges music for recordings and live performance. He is currently the cantor at Congregation Beth Yeshurun in Houston, TX.

Dr. Reza Mansoor
Gabe Simerson / WNPR

On Saturday, May 20, at 7 p.m. at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation will present an inter-faith event featuring Imam and cardiologist Dr. Reza Mansoor. 

The presentation shares a title with Dr. Mansoor’s memoir - Stigmatized, From 9/11 to Trump and Beyond -- An American Muslim Journey. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Reza Mansoor is board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology and practices as a Cardiologist at Hartford Hospital. He is a past president of the Islamic Center of Connecticut and Islamic Council of New England. He is actively involved in the inter-faith community and provides ongoing didactic presentations on Islam.

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Dr. Mansoor watched with dismay as attitudes and stereotypes about Islam and about Muslims living in the United States hardened. In an effort to build understanding, Dr. Mansoor wrote his memoir Stigmatized: From 9/11 to Trump and Beyond – An American Muslim Journey.

The Jewish Federation Connecting with Community series presents The Butcher's Daughter: Echoes of the Shoah with author and published poet, Florence Grende on Monday April 24th.

Grende offers a gripping, at times haunting, family history by the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. The Butchers Daughter is an account of the devastation of war and the marks left on the succeeding generation. 

Ruth Gilligan At NYSWI

Apr 13, 2017

Ruth Gilligan is an Irish novelist and journalist. With her literary fiction debut, Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan, she tells the story of Jewish immigrants in Ireland. The narrative gradually weaves together three main characters whose stories are set in 1901, 1958, and 2013 to reveal the unknown history of Ireland’s Jewish community. The three stories revolve around Lithuanian Jewish immigrants who accidentally arrive in Ireland, mistaking “Cork” for “New York;” a teenager who is sent to an asylum in 1950s Ireland because he hasn’t spoken since his bar mitzvah; and a contemporary Irish woman who has emigrated to London and must decide whether or not to convert to Judaism to marry her Jewish boyfriend. 

Gilligan will read from and discuss her novel at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 13 (tonight) in the Huxley Theatre, New York State Museum, Cultural Education Center in downtown Albany. Free and open to the public, the events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and cosponsored by the Friends of the New York State Library.

Jack Mayer is a pediatrician and a writer. He was last here to talk about his book - Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project. His new novel is: Before the Court of Heaven - based on a true story of Weimar Germany and the rise of the Third Reich.

Three themes impel the book: understanding the rise of Nazism, unfathomable forgiveness, and the complexity of redemption. It is a portrait of Germany between world wars, from revolution and unrest following World War I to the rise of the Nazis, World War II and the Holocaust.


  Off-Broadway at The Laura Pels Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company is currently presenting Steven Levenson’s If I Forget. The play is the latest in Roundabout’s ongoing devotion to producing new plays by young playwrights with bold creative voices. Levenson is the acclaimed writer of Dear Evan Hansen and Roundabout’s The Language of Trees.

 

The show is directed by Daniel Sullivan and co-stars Kate Walsh. Walsh is best known for her television role as Dr. Addison Montgomery first on the Shonda Rhimes helmed hits, Grey’s Anatomy and then its spin-off, Private Practice.Walsh began her acting career in Chicago where she studied at the renowned Piven Theatre Workshop. She went on to star in multiple theater productions at the Shakespeare Repertory. She’s worked primarily in film in television in recent years and joins us now to discuss If I Forget and what about it made her want to get back on stage.

If I Forget runs through April 30th. 13 Reasons Why premiers on Netflix on March 31st.

When feminist writer Susan Faludi learned that her 76-year-old father ― long estranged and living in Hungary ― had undergone sex reassignment surgery, she was set on an investigation that would turn personal and urgent.

How was this new parent who identified as “a complete woman now” connected to the silent, explosive, and ultimately violent father she had known, the photographer who’d built his career on the alteration of images?

The Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA is a nonprofit organization working to tell the whole Jewish story by rescuing, translating, and disseminating Yiddish books and presenting innovative educational programs that broaden understanding of modern Jewish identity.

Lisa Newman, Director of Communications at the Yiddish Book Center joins us this morning for a great selection of Hanukkah books.

List:

Modern Jewish Cooking: Recipes and Customs for Today's Kitchen by Leah Koenig 

Stars in The Ring: Jewish Champions in the Golden Age of Boxing by Mike Silver 

The Parakeet Named Dreidel by Isaac Bashevis Singer

The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story by Lemony Snicket

Ben Shahn's New Deal Murals: Jewish Identity in the American Scene by Diana L. Linden

The Abandoned Book and Other Yiddish Stories: An Anthology of Pakn Treger Translations edited by Eitan Kensky

Have I Got A Story For You: More Than a Century of Fiction from the Forward edited by Ezra Glinter

Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking by Michael Solomonov

In Those Nightmarish Days: The Ghetto Reportage of Peretz Opoczynski and Josef Zelkowicz edited by Samuel D. Kassow and translated by David Suchoff

Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from An Unlikely Life on a Farm by Molly Yeh

Following on the heels of his New York Times bestselling Telegraph Avenue, Michael Chabon – who won the Pulitzer Prize for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay – delivers his latest, Moonglow, a novel of truth and lies, family legends, and existential adventure. 

Today the Borscht Belt is recalled through the nostalgic lens of summer swims, Saturday night dances, and comedy performances. But its current state, like that of many other formerly glorious regions, is nothing like its earlier status. Forgotten about and exhausted, much of its structural environment has been left to decay.

The new book, The Borscht Belt: Revisiting the Remains of America's Jewish Vacationland, presents Marisa Scheinfeld's photographs of abandoned sites where resorts, hotels, and bungalow colonies once boomed in the Catskill Mountain region of upstate New York.

The Borscht Belt presents a contemporary view of more than forty hotel and bungalow sites. From entire expanses of abandoned properties to small lots containing drained swimming pools, the remains of the Borscht Belt era now lie forgotten, overgrown, and vacant.

Scheinfeld has two book events in Albany this week -- one at the Colonie Library tonight sponsored by SUNY Albany Judaic Studies and another on Friday evening as part of a special presentation for the NYS History Conference at the NYS museum from 6:30 – 8:30 PM. 

Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. His latest novel, Here I Am, is set in present-day Washington, D.C., where a Jewish family goes through a domestic crisis, while at the same time, a geopolitical crisis unfolds on the other side of the world.

  What if an empire of Jewish warriors that really existed in the Middle Ages had never fallen—and was the only thing standing between Hitler and his conquest of Russia? 

Emily Barton’s new novel, The Book of Esther, is a saga of war, technology, mysticism, power, and faith. 

Yidstock 2016

Jul 12, 2016

Now in its 5th year, Yidstock celebrates the best of klezmer and new Yiddish music with a wide-ranging lineup of concerts that demonstrate the diversity and breadth of the genre, along with workshops, talks, and other programs.

Headlined by the legendary Klezmatics, this year’s lineup also includes the Klezmer Conservatory Band, the Eleanor Reissa Trio, the Yidstock All-stars, and Sklamberg & the Shepherds and many more.

Yidstock Artistic Director Seth Rogovoy, author of The Essential Klezmer: A Music Lover's Guide to Jewish Roots and Soul Music is here to tell us more along with Lisa Newman - Director of Communications at the Yiddish Book Center. 

We have probably all seen the movies, TV shows and books which tell the story about lawman Wyatt Earp. But, very few make mention of his wife. Married for nearly 50 years, Josephine Sarah Marcus Earp was beautiful, gusty and Jewish.

Thelma Adams has delved into the life and times of Mrs. Wyatt with her new novel, The Last Woman Standing. At once an epic account of an improbable romance and a retelling of an iconic American tale, The Last Woman Standing recalls the famed gunfight at the O.K. Corral through the eyes of Josephine.

For over two decades, she has penned celebrity features and criticism for high-profile publications. While covering film for the New York Post, Us Weekly, and Yahoo Movies, Thelma Adams became a regular at film festivals from Berlin to Dubai, Toronto to Tribeca. Her debut novel was Playdate and it is always a pleasure to welcome Thelma back to The Roundtable.

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