Metropolita New York

FORWARD, JUNE 16, 2006

Exhibit

Great Works: Max Liebermann: From Realism to Impressionism is an exhibition that offers insight into the career and work of the Berlin artist who was once considered a leading figure in the city’s cultural life. Liebermann (1847-1935), a prolific artist born to a wealthy German Jewish family, had a career that evolved through a variety of stylistic and thematic phases. The exhibit focuses on the ways in which his artwork reflected political and social change in Berlin from the late 1880s until 1933, when the Nazis came into power. The exhibition was organized by Los Angeles’s Skirball Cultural Center. The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave.; through July 30;, Sun.-Wed. 11 a.m.-5:45 p.m.; Thu. 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; $10, $7.50 for seniors and students, free for children under 12 and for members. (212-423-3200 or www.thejewishmuseum.org)

Film

‘Winter in Baghdad’: Javier Corcuera’s film “Winter in Baghdad” (2005, in Arabic with English subtitles) documents several months that the director spent in Baghdad in 2004. During this time, Corcuera was acquainted with a few Iraqi families and became particularly close to a group of teenage boys who were able to defy forbidding circumstances and get themselves to school, hold down part-time jobs and spend time with their friends. The film, which won best documentary at the 2005 Los Angeles Film Festival, offers a portrait of everyday life in Baghdad. The screening is presented in its New York premiere by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theater, W. 65th St. (between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave.); June 18, 1 p.m.; June 20, 8:45 p.m.; June 21, 3:30 p.m.; $10, $7 for students, $6 for members, $5 for seniors and children. (212-496-3809 or www.filmlinc.com)

Lectures and Discussions

Salon: The trend of young Jews feeling spiritually connected to Jewish music, food and humor — but not necessarily to Jewish teachings — is the topic of next week’s Ideas Café, a weekly salon presented by the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning. The event, titled “Is Jewish Culture Enough To Sustain the Jewish People?” will be held on the rooftop of Temple Emanu-El and moderated by Rabbi Leon Morris, director of the Skirball Center. Cheese, wine and coffee will be served. Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning, 1 E. 65th St.; June 20, 7 p.m.; $10, $5 for Skirball Center students. (212-507-9580 or www.ideascafe.org)

Slapstick: Gary Shteyngart, author of the acclaimed “The Russian Debutante’s Handbook” (Riverhead Hardcover, 2002), discusses and reads from his recently published work, “Absurdistan” (Random House). The slapstick novel follows the adventures of the Russian heir Misha Vainburg, an obese 30-year-old who loves whiskey and women. Misha, who has lived in the United States for 12 years and fancies himself an “American impounded in a Russian body,” returns to St. Petersburg for his mafioso father’s funeral. When Misha is denied re-entry into the United States, he tries to secure a phony Belgian passport from the country of Absurdistan while making a desperate plea to the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Brooklyn Public Library, Central Library, Room 214, Grand Army Plaza; June 24, 2 p.m.; free. (718-230-2100)

Music

Choral Sounds: Nashir! The Rottenberg Chorale, a New York-based vocal ensemble, performs its 30th annual concert at Merkin Concert Hall. The program includes works by Israeli composer Yehezkel Braun and pieces by composers from the Renaissance period to contemporary times. Benjamin Gruder conducts. Merkin Concert Hall, 129 W. 67th St.; June 18, 8 p.m.; $23, $19, seniors and students $16. (212-501-3330)

Performances

New Works: Iraq, sex, illegal wiretaps, Iran, wealth distribution, gun control and imperialism are among topics explored in “Security,” a performance of nine newly commissioned plays presented by the DrillingCompaNY. The works were created by such up-and-coming playwrights as Brian Dykstra (“Clean Alternatives”), P. Seth Bauer (“Early in the Mourning”), C. Denby Swanson (“Atomic Farmgirl”), Sheri Graubert and Paul Siefken. 78th Street Theatre Lab, 236 W. 78th St. (between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave.); through June 25; Wed.-Sat. 7:30 p.m.; Sun. 3 p.m.; $18. (212-868-4444 or www.drillingcompany.org)

‘I, Sarah’: The life of “The Divine Sarah” Bernhardt is portrayed in “I, Sarah,” a one-woman show performed by Mindy Nirenstein. Born in Paris, the daughter of a Dutch Jewish courtesan, Bernhardt (1844-1923) began her stage career in burlesque and comic theater. She was soon hailed a serious dramatic actress who was in high demand in Europe and New York. Considered the greatest actress of her time, Bernhardt was also a pioneer in silent films. Her famous, extravagant social life and high-profile love affairs added to her public intrigue. “I, Sarah” was written by Robert W. Cabell and directed by Joe Zingo. Where Eagles Dare Theatre, 347 W. 36th St. (between Eighth and Ninth Aves.); June 22-24, 8 p.m.; $25, $20 for seniors, $18 for students. (212-868-4444 or www.smarttix.com)

Tours

Artsy: Head uptown and visit eight upscale Madison Avenue art galleries on a Contemporary Art Gallery Tour presented by the 92nd Street Y. The event is led by Rafael Risemberg, director of New York Gallery Tours. Meeting place: Adam Baumgold Gallery, 74 E. 79th St. (near Madison Ave.); June 23, 1 p.m.-3 p.m.; $30; registration requested. (212-415-5500)

‘Coney Island Beach Walk’: Take a stroll down the boardwalk and explore the history of Russian Jews and the Jewish pioneers of that spectacular Brooklyn neighborhood, Coney Island. Stops along the way include Sheepshead Bay’s PIPS Comedy Club, where Jerry Seinfeld, Andy Kaufman and Woody Allen got their starts, and the bay’s Holocaust Memorial Mall. Attendees will be enlightened on the history and inventor of the hotdog and the life of Harry Houdini. The walk is presented by the JCC in Manhattan. Meeting place: JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave. (at 76th St.); June 25, 1 p.m.; $15, $10 for members. (646-505-5708 or www.jccmanhattan.org)

CALIFORNIA

Recollections: Acclaimed poet Jack Marshall discusses his memoir, “From Baghdad to Brooklyn: Growing Up in a Jewish-Arabic Family in Midcentury America” (Coffee House Press, 2005). Marshall, who was born in 1936 to an Iraqi man and a Syrian woman, has detailed his childhood experiences in Brooklyn; the tension between his parents, whose marriage was arranged; his struggle to assimilate into American culture, and his estrangement from and reconciliation with his family. Judah L. Magnes Museum, 2911 Russell St., Berkeley; June 29, 6:30 p.m.; $8, $6 for members. (510-549-6950 or www.magnes.org)

ILLINOIS

Summer Solstice: What better way to spend the first day of summer than at the Grant Park Music Festival? The Grant Park Orchestra performs Musica Americana, a program featuring works by Artie Shaw, Balilari, Chavez, Ginastera, Revueltas and Guarnieri. The concert features clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera. Carlos Kalmar conducts. Now in its 72nd season, the festival has found a new home in Frank Gehry’s state-of-the-art Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Millennium Park, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, between Michigan and Columbus Aves. (at Washington St.), Chicago; June 21, 6:30 p.m.; free. (312-742-7638 or www.grantparkmusicfestival.com)

MASSACHUSETTS

‘Rembrandt’s Jews’: Steven Nadler discusses the truths and myths surrounding the great Dutch artist Rembrandt’s relationship with Jews and Judaism, and the safe environment that Jews fleeing other areas of Europe found in Amsterdam. Rembrandt (1606-1669), who often painted portraits of Jewish subjects and stories from the Hebrew Bible, was rumored to have had a personal connection to Jews and Judaism. Nadler, the author of “Rembrandt’s Jews” (University of Chicago Press, 2003), is a professor of philosophy and director of the George L. Mosse/Laurence A. Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The talk is presented by the National Yiddish Book Center as part of GoDutch!, a regionwide celebration of Dutch art and culture. National Yiddish Book Center, Hampshire College, 1021 West. St., Amherst; June 25, 2 p.m.; $7. (413-256-4900 or www.yiddishbookcenter.org)

American Experience: The traveling exhibit From Haven to Home: 350 Years of Jewish Life in America, makes its way to Newton Centre, where it will be presented at Hebrew College. The large-scale exhibit, which documents the Jewish American experience from 1654 to contemporary times, features reproductions of historical items owned by the Library of Congress. Highlights include a 1735 Hebrew grammar book that was required for every freshman at Harvard College, and a handwritten version of Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America.” The exhibit is sponsored by the American Jewish Historical Society. Hebrew College, 160 Herrick Rd., Newton Centre; through Oct.; Mon.-Thu. 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Fri. 9 a.m.-12 p.m.; June 18, July 16, Aug. 13, 12 p.m.-3 p.m.; free. (617-559-8880 or www.ajhsboston.org)

MICHIGAN

Noda B’Yehudah: Eighteenth-century scholar and halachic authority Rabbi Ezekiel Landau lived in Prague, where he worked to establish the city’s first Jewish school. Landau is the topic of a talk presented by Howard N. Lupovitch. The discussion, “Ezekiel, Landau and Kabbalah — Lessons for Our Time,” focuses on Landau’s experience with Kabbalah, how he may have regarded the contemporary Kabbalah Centre and on his displeasure with popularization of kabbalistic ideas. Lupovitch is an eighth-generation direct descendant of Landau and a professor of Jewish history at Colby College in Maine. Congregation B’nai Moshe, 6800 Drake Rd., West Bloomfield; June 26, 7:30 p.m.; $12 for advance tickets, $15 for tickets purchased at the door. (248-737-1931)

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