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Getting Ready for the High Holy Days

On Penitence: Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky prepares participants for the Yamim Nora’im, the “awesome days” of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, a time of potential inner growth and spiritual change. Participants examine the insights of Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook, the first chief rabbi of British Mandate Palestine, in his book, “Orot HaTeshuva,” or “Lights of Penitence.” Congregation Ansche Chesed, 251 W. 100th St.; Sept. 3-Sept. 24, Wednesdays 8 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; free. (212-865-0600 or

Shofar Blowout: Tsivos Hashem, a Lubavitch organization, leads a program about the history and meaning of the shofar — the ram’s horn blown to mark the new year — and provides instruction on how to cut, clean and polish it. JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave.; Sept. 4, 7 p.m.; $28, $20 members, registration required. (646-505-5708 or

‘Call of the Times’: In “The Call of the Times,” Rabbi Naftali Portnoy, co-director of the Jewish Heritage Center, leads participants through an exploration of the meaning behind the tumultuous and often tragic events of our generation and their place in the ongoing chain of Jewish history. Jewish Heritage Center of Queens and Long Island, Queens Center 68-29 Main St., Flushing; Sept. 8, 8 p.m.; Long Island Center, 16 New South Road, Hicksville; Sept. 9, 7:30 p.m.; free. (718-575-3100)

Lectures and Discussions

Behind the Scenes: Henry Kissinger, who served as secretary of state under former president Nixon, speaks on “Diplomatic Crisis” and his new book, “Crisis: The Anatomy of Two Major Foreign Policy Crises, Based on the Record of Henry Kissinger’s Hitherto Secret Telephone Conversations” (Simon & Schuster). 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave.; Sept. 3, 8 p.m., $50, $35 members. (212-415-5500 or

Artists Pay Tribute: Artists Leon Golub, Forward cartoonist Art Spiegelman, Nicola Tyson and others respond to and discuss the work and influence of Max Beckmann, the German-born Expressionist painter. The evening, presented in conjunction with the Museum of Modern Art’s Beckmann retrospective, is moderated by curator Robert Storr and curatorial assistant Roxana Marcoci. The New York Public Library, Donnell Library Center, auditorium, 20 W. 53rd St.; $10, $8 members, $5 students. (212-708-9400 or

Russian Soldiers: Olga Litvak, a history and Jewish studies professor at Princeton University, discusses “Martyrs for the Empire: Russia’s First Jewish Soldiers.” Litvak is completing a book titled “Military Conscription and the Making of Russian-Jewish Memory.” YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St.; Sept. 9, 7:30 p.m.; free. (212-246-6080 or

Bookish: Rabbi Joseph Telushkin reads from his new book, “Ten Commandments of Character: Essential Advice for Living an Honorable, Ethical, Honest Life” (Random House). Barnes & Noble, Upper West Side, 2289 Broadway; Sept. 8, 7:30 p.m.; free. (212-362-8835) Tova Mirvis, Ellen Miller and Ben Schrank discuss their contributions to “Lost Tribe: Jewish Fiction from the Edge” (Perennial), a new collection of fiction by Jewish writers edited by Paul Zakrzewski. Barnes & Noble Chelsea, 675 Sixth Ave.; Sept. 8, 7 p.m.; free. (212-727-1227)


Polish Guitar:Modo Polonico: Guitar Music of Aleksander Tansman — An Afternoon of Rare Jewish Music” is part of the Eldridge Street Project’s “Lost & Found Music” series. A prolific composer, conductor and pianist, Tansman was born in 1897 in Lodz, Poland. He composed more mazurkas, polonaises and obereks than almost any other composer after Chopin. The Eldridge Street Project, 12 Eldridge St.; Sept. 7, 2 p.m.; $12, $8 students and seniors. (212-219-0888 or


Last Chance: The Penguin Repertory Co. presents Allan Knee’s “Syncopation,” a romantic comedy about a pair of mismatched immigrants on New York’s Lower East Side. The year is 1911, and a young Italian seamstress and a middle-aged Jewish meatpacker come together to practice ballroom dancing as they dream of reinventing their lives. Penguin Repertory Company, Bobbi Lewis Barn Theatre, 7 Crickettown Road, Stony Point; through Sept. 7, Thu.-Fri. 8:30 p.m., Sat. 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., Sun. 2:30 p.m., reservations required. (845-786-2873 or


‘Taking Sides’: István Szabó’s “Taking Sides” (2001) tells the real-life story of Wilhelm Furtwängler, the world-renowned conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic during the Third Reich. After Adolf Hitler took power in Germany in 1933, Furtwängler stayed and helped secure a safe haven for Jewish musicians while accepting plum positions from his patrons. The film raises the issue of the conductor’s possible complicity. Lincoln Plaza Cinemas, 1886 Broadway; opens Sept. 5, please call for times; $10, $6.50 children and seniors. (212-757-2280 or

What Went Wrong at Jenin: Gil Mezuman’s “Jenin Diary — The Inside Story” (2002, Hebrew with English subtitles) tells the story of the April 2002 Israeli anti-terrorist mission at the Jenin refugee camp on which 13 soldiers died. The director, a member of the reserve unit sent to Jenin, was based outside the camp during the fighting. The film tracks his shell-shocked companions as they tried to cope with the events. Makor, 35 W. 67th St.; Sept. 8-Sept. 9, 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., $9. (212-601-1000 or


The ‘Intimate’ Frida: “Frida Kahlo’s Intimate Family Picture” focuses on the artist’s 1936 painting “My Grandparents, My Parents, and I.” Kahlo’s father was a German Jew and her mother was a Mexican Catholic. In a lecture preceding the exhibit, “New Perspectives on Frida Kahlo,” guest curator Gannit Ankori and Edward Sullivan, a professor of fine art at New York University, discuss Kahlo’s work. The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave.; exhibit Sept. 5-Jan. 4, Sun.-Wed. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; $10, $7.50 students and seniors, free children under 12 and members; lecture Sept. 4, 6:30 p.m.; $12, $10 students and seniors, $9 members. (212-423-3337 or


Open House: Congregation M’vakshe Derekh invites the public to an open house at the Reconstructionist synagogue. Rabbi Emanuel Goldsmith, a professor of Judaic studies and Hebrew and Yiddish literature at Queens College of the City University of New York, speaks on “Judaism for People With a Mind of Their Own.” Cantor Marina Shemesh sings, and refreshments are served. Congregation M’vakshe Derekh, 133 Popham Road, Scarsdale; Sept. 7, 7 p.m.; free. (914-725-3064 or

Musical Healing: The Los Angeles Jewish Festival, now in its 11th run, emphasizes tikkun olam, or healing the world, through community action. This year’s theme is world Jewry. The musical lineup includes RebbeSoul, Golem, Sgt. Schlepper’s Purim Shpieler Band and the Los Angeles Symphony, which performs excerpts from “Symphony Sephardi.” Other attractions include an Israel adventure game, unusual kosher foods, jewelry and Judaica. Pierce College, 6201 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills; Sept. 7, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. (818-464-3204 or [email protected])


Creation on Canvas: “Symbols of the Big Bang” is an exhibition of works by Russian émigrés Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid: mixed-media collages and drawings on graph paper, and large oil and tempera paintings. The artists seek to bridge the gap between the creation story in Genesis and the Big Bang theory. The exhibition originated at the Yeshiva University Museum. Mizel Arts Center, Singer Gallery, 350 South Dahlia St., Denver; reception Sept. 7, 3 p.m., exhibition Sept. 7-Nov. 2, Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. 1 p.m.-4 p.m.; $5. (303-316-6360 or


China’s Past : Chou Xun, author of “Chinese Perceptions of the ‘Jews’ and Judaism: A History of Youtai,” presents a slide lecture about the history of Jews in China. Zhou Xun is a fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, 618 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago; Sept. 8, 5:30 p.m.; free, reservations requested. (312-322-1769 or


New Year’s Cards: Forward columnist Jenna Weissman Joselit, author of “The Wonders of America: Reinventing Jewish Culture, 1880-1950,” presents a lecture on “Greeting the New Year: A Look at American Shana Tova Cards,” drawing from the National Yiddish Book Center’s Kramer Collection of Jewish New Year cards and exploring their relation to American Jewish life in the early 20th century. National Yiddish Book Center, Hampshire College, 1021 West St., Amherst; Sept. 7, 2 p.m.; $5. (414-256-4900 or


Family Fun: “Back to the Future”celebrates the 350th anniversary of Jews in America with an afternoon festival. Political scientist Ellen Cannon gives the keynote address on “Will Jews Have Political Power in the 21st Century.” Classes and tours focus on the “Jewish American Experience, Past, Present and Future.” Children of all ages enjoy costumes, storytelling, songs, arts & crafts and more. Hebrew Union College, 3101 Clifton Ave., Cincinnati; Sept. 7, 1 p.m.-5:30 p.m.; free. (513-985-1534 or


Biblical Art: The Oregon Jewish Museum displays more than 30 conté crayon, ink, gloss, water color and art paintings by Dutch artist Jacob Pander, who signed his name as Jaap Pander, in “Imagining the Bible: The Vision of Jaap Pander.” Pander’s biblical subjects included Noah, Jonah, Abraham, Jacob, Esau, Adam, Eve, Samson and Delilah. Some of these works were created in Holland during Germany’s occupation. The exhibit includes two portraits of Pander by his son, Oregon artist Henk Pander. Oregon Jewish Museum, 310 N.W. David St., Portland; reception Sept. 4, 5 p.m.-8 p.m., exhibition Sept. 4-Jan. 4, Tue.-Fri. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Sun. 1 p.m.-4 p.m.; $3, free members. (503-226-3600 or

In This Week’s Yiddish Forward

• World of Yiddish — worldwide reports on ceremonies commemorating the murder of the Soviet Yiddish writers on August 12, 1952.

• Mikhail Krutikov reviews Zvi Kanar’s new Yiddish collection of stories.

• Yiddish for students — materials on new scientific discoveries and Yiddish words for military terms.

• Genaddy Estraikh reports on his recent visit to Lithuania and what it is like to be a Jew there.

In This Week’s Russian Forward

• Rimma Charlamova interviews Mark Nussbaum, a hero in the war with Iraq, who was appointed NATO’s instructor for anti-missile weapons in Munich

• Joseph Lachman from Boston writes about Rachel Fish, a Harvard student who denounced the leaders of the university for accepting $25,000 from Sheikh Zayed from the United Arab Emirates.

• Profile of Anna Virublenskaya, a woman from St. Petersburg who became a star of the New Israeli Opera.

• Alexander Levenbuk, head of the “Shalom” Moscow Jewish Theatre, writes about the theater’s connections with Russian pop-diva Alla Pugacheva.

This Saturday on ‘The Forverts Hour’ August 30, 9:00 p.m. on WMCA New York, AM 570

• Sounds of “Klezcanada” — Itzik Gottesman

• I.B. Singer: The Young Philosopher — Dovid Rogov

• Blackout — Kobi Weitzner

Edited by Boris Sandler

Hosted by Adrienne Cooper

You can also hear our radio magazine on the Internet at

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