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Lectures and Discussions

One on One: Rabbi William Berkowitz, host of the Dialogue Forum Series, interviews Avi Hoffman about his career in television, stage and music. Hoffman has performed in several off-Broadway productions — including his one-man shows “Too Jewish?” and “Too Jewish Two!” — and in both Israeli and American television and film. He is also the former lead singer of the 10-piece Don Byron Klezmer Orchestra and the artistic director of the New Raft Theater Company in New York. Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St.; Aug. 13, 8 p.m.; free, reservations required. (917-606-8200 or [email protected])

Ideas Café: The Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-El kicks off its “Ideas Café” at Temple Adas Israel in Sag Harbor, Long Island’s oldest synagogue, with “Does God Have a Road Map to the Mideast?” Participants sit in small groups at candle-lit tables, enjoying snacks, coffee and wine, and sharing opinions about issues affecting Jewish life and society today. Skirball’s Rabbi Leon Morris introduces the topics, frames questions, gets the discussion going at each table and opens up the floor for the groups to share their ideas. Temple Adas Israel, Elizabeth Street and Atlantic Avenue, Sag Harbor; Aug. 14, Aug. 21, Aug. 28, 8 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; $10. (212-507-9580 or

Ramon’s Legacy: Ernest Hilsenrath, a NASA scientist and colleague of Ilan Ramon, the Israeli astronaut who died in the Columbia tragedy, discusses “Triumph and Tragedy: Ilan Ramon’s Legacy to Environmental Research.” A networking session for business professionals — complete with refreshments — follows the lecture. The Jewish Center, 131 W. 86th St.; Aug. 14, 7 p.m.-10 p.m.; $10. (212-724-2700)


Al Jolson: The International Al Jolson Society presents the seventh annual Long Island Jolson Festival, celebrating the life of the entertainer, who died 53 years ago. The festival includes performances by comedian Soupy Sales and by singers Tony Babino, accompanied by pianist Dave Gross, and Janet Cantor Gari, the daughter of one of Jolson’s friends, entertainer Eddie Cantor. The tribute features a memorabilia auction, a buffet lunch and a screening of the video “The Best of Jolson.” The Knights of Columbus, 2985 Kenneth Place, Oceanside; Aug. 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; $37.50, two for $70, includes meals and entertainment, $20, $37 for shows only. (516-678-3524 or


Night of the Murdered Poets: The Congress for Jewish Culture and the Forward hold a memorial for the 13 Soviet Yiddish writers who, on Stalin’s orders, were executed in the Lubyanka Prison in Moscow on Aug. 12, 1952, known as the “Night of the Murdered Poets.” The program celebrates Soviet Yiddish literature with poems, songs and memoirs read by poets, actors and scholars of Yiddish, including Sholem Berger, Thomas Bird, Yontev Derbaremdiker, Paul Glasser, Emanuel S. Goldsmith, Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, Pearl Lang, Moyshe Loyev, Charne Schaechter, Yelena Shmulenson, Joseph Weissman and Hy Wolfe. Congregation Habonim, 44 W. 66th St.; Aug. 12, 6 p.m.; free. (212-505-8040 or [email protected])

Shea Day: Shea Stadium hosts Jewish Heritage Day, featuring glatt kosher vendors, Jewish music and the game between the Mets and the Colorado Rockies. Shea Stadium, 123-01 Roosevelt Ave., Flushing; Aug. 17, 12:30 p.m.; $14-$48, (718-507-TIXX or [email protected])


Storytellers: The University of Judaism hosts an evening of tangos, Jewish folk music, anecdotes and stories. The DeLuca-Karmazyn-Sussman Trio perform Zeisl’s Piano Trio, written by a 15-year-old Jewish Vienna-born composer who immigrated to the United States and wrote film and chamber music and songs. The group also plays Shostakovich’s Piano Trio, featuring Jewish themes in its final movement. The performers — violinist Lisa DeLuca, cellist Dennis Karmazyn and pianist Beth Sussman — share anecdotes and stories about the music and composers. University of Judaism, 15600 Mulholland Dr., Bel Air, Aug. 13, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (310-440-1246)

‘Solidarity Song’: The Workmen’s Circle sponsors a potluck Sabbath dinner, followed by a film screening of “Solidarity Song,” the story of Hanns Eisler. The German songwriter-composer wrote songs during the 1920s and 1930s, until he fled his native Germany. His songs were known around the world and sung by the international brigades that fought Franco in Spain. In America, he won an Oscar for his score to “Hangmen Also Die”; after World War II, he returned to East Germany, becoming the country’s leading composer. Potluck attendees are asked to bring a dish for eight to 10 people. Workmen’s Circle, 1525 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles; Aug. 15, 6:30 p.m.; film $5, $3 members. (310-552-2007)


The Times They Are A-Changin’: Bob Dylan performs rarely heard and newly introduced cover songs as well as material from his 2001 Grammy Award-winning album, “Love and Theft,” at the new 10,000-seat Tom Ridge Pavilion. Dylan’s bandmates include Larry Campbell on pedal steel and other instruments, bassist Tony Garnier, drummer George Receli and guitarist Freddie Koella. New Mountain Laurel Center for the Performing Arts, Tom Ridge Pavilion, Bushkill Falls Road, Bushkill; Aug. 16, 8 p.m.; $45 reserved seating, $25 lawn seats. (570-643-4100 or


Bearing Witness: In the workshop-discussion “Interpreting Testimony,” participants examine oral histories of the Holocaust, testimonies from war crimes tribunals and other forms of Holocaust testimonies and explore their role in writing and interpreting the history and postwar cultural impact of the Holocaust. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place; Aug. 15, 2 p.m.-4 p.m.; free. (202-488-6162 or

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