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Lectures and Discussions

God Factor: Corey S. Powell, news editor at Discover magazine and author of “God in the Equation: How Einstein Became the Prophet of the New Religious Era,” shows how recent scientific research supports the “God factor,” a cosmological constant in Einstein’s relativity equations. Makor, 35 W. 67th St.; Aug. 12, noon-1 p.m.; $12. (212-601-1000 or


In the Street: “Yiddishfest,” the Workmen’s Circle summer concert series, joins a Madison Avenue street fair for an afternoon of music, food and fun. Performers include Howard Leshaw and the Golden Land Orchestra, Joanne Borts, Zalmen Mlotek, Golem and Yale Strom’s Hot P’stromi. Tables offer up info about the Jewish Book Center, the Center for Social & Economic Justice, Yiddish classes, klezmer workshops and children’s programs. Yiddishfest, Madison Avenue between 47th Street and 48th Street, street fair Madison Avenue, 42nd Street to 57th Street; Aug. 10, street fair noon-6 p.m.; free. (212-889-6800, ext. 270)


Outside: The Gerard Edery Ensemble performs Sephardic music from Spain and the Middle East in “Great Music in Damrosch: Songs of the Heart,” an evening of Spanish, Portuguese and Judeo-Spanish music presented by Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors Festival 2003. The band features Edery, who sings Ladino compositions and plays guitar; George Mgrdichian on the oud; Rex Benincasa on percussion, and Emmanuel Mann on bass. Also performing is fado singer Antonio Vieira and Fantcha, from Cape Verde, who sings mornas, Creole lyrics that tell the history of Africa and Portugal. Lincoln Center Plaza, Damrosch Park Bandshell, 62nd Street and Amsterdam Avenue; Aug. 7, 8 p.m., festival Aug. 2-Aug. 24; free. (212-875-5766 or

Double Bill: The Montreal-based band Streimel performs a mix of klezmer and gypsy music on a double bill with Israel’s Moshav Band, a modern folk-rock group. With Streimel’s Jason Rosenblatt on harmonica and Josh Dolgin, aka “So Called,” on accordion, Streimel’s sound is considered both Eastern European and blues. Makor, 35 W. 67th St.; Aug. 9, 9:30 p.m.; $12. (212-601-1000 or


Last Chance: Scotland-born artist David Roberts’s largest artwork, a 12- by 7-foot lithograph titled the “Destruction of Jerusalem by Romans Under the Command of Titus,” was painted between August 1847 and April 1849. The Yeshiva University Museum exhibits a lithograph based on the original painting by Dutch lithographer Louis Haghe, who managed to minimize the lithograph to 27.5 by 42 inches. The minimized lithograph, which depicts Roberts’s version of the events that took place in Jerusalem around 71 C.E., is on view between the 17th of Tammuz and the Ninth of Av on the Jewish calendar, the period of mourning leading up to the destructions of the First and Second Temples. Yeshiva University Museum, 15 W. 16th St., through Aug. 10; $6, $4 seniors and students. (212-294-8330 or


Land of Immigrants: For its “Immigrant New York” tour, Big Onion Walking Tours takes participants through the Jewish East Side, Chinatown, Little Italy and what used to be Little Germany, Little Ireland and Little Africa. Stops include the African burial ground, Mulberry Bend and sites associated with Pierre Toussaint, Padre Valera, Sun Yat-sen, Mother Cabrini and Abraham Cahan, the Yiddish Forward’s founding editor. Meet at the southeast corner of Broadway and Chambers St., City Hall Park; $12, $10 students and seniors. (212-439-1090 or

Tisha B’Av (The Ninth of Av)

Day of Mourning: Congregations B’nai Avraham and B’nai Jacob observe Tisha B’Av, the day of mourning for the destructions of the First and Second Temples, with a full-day program. The synagogues present morning and afternoon services, a reading of Lamentations, lectures moderated by Reb Simcha Weinstein and video presentations of “Embers,” about Jewish identity in the former Soviet Union; “Challenge,” about the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s call for every Jew to never rest, and “Relentless: The Struggle for Peace in Israel.” The fast, which ends at 8:45 p.m., is followed by refreshments. Congregation B’nai Avraham, 117 Remsen St., Brooklyn Heights; Aug. 7, morning services 7:45 a.m., reading of Lamentations 8:45 a.m., lectures 10 a.m.-2:15p.m., videos 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.; fast-breaking refreshments 8:45 p.m.; free. (718-596-4840)

For All Ages: Rabbi Dovid Schwartz of the Jewish Heritage Center moderates an interactive workshop for beginners about Jewish persecution through the ages, followed by a traditional reading of Lamentations. Jewish Heritage Center of Queens and Long Island, 68-29 Main St., Flushing; Aug. 6, workshop 8 p.m., reading 9 p.m.; free. (718-575-3100)

Shaping a World: The Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation screens “Shaping a World of Kindness,” a video that features Rabbi Yissocher Frand, Rabbi Mattisyahu Salomon, Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky and others as they explore the influence that acts of loving-kindness can have on the world. Young Israel of Fifth Avenue, 3 W. 16th St.; Aug. 7, 6 p.m.; $10, $7 students. (212-255-4826)


‘Under God’: Michael Newdow, the father and emergency-room doctor challenging the constitutionality of the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, discusses the path that led to the Supreme Court case Newdow v. United States of America and Elk Grove Unified School District at Friday-night services led by Rabbi Arnold Rachlis and Cantor Ruti Braier. University Synagogue, 4915 Alton Pkwy., Irvine; Aug. 8, 8 p.m.; free. (949-553-3535)


Tolerance Talk: James Carroll, author of “Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews — A History” and a Boston Globe op-ed columnist, leads a discussion about the relationship between religion and politics in the Middle East and around the world in the last lecture of the three-part “Brandeis in the Berkshires” series. The panelists — Yossi Klein Halevi, who writes for The New Republic and The Jerusalem Post; Jack Wertheimer, provost of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, and Khaleel Mohammed, an assistant professor of religion at San Diego State — focus on sources of conflict and resources for coexistence and tolerance within the major Western faith traditions. Shakespeare & Company, Founder’s Theatre, 70 Kemble St., Lenox; Aug. 11, 8 p.m.; $5. (413-637-1199)

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