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Getting Ready for The High Holy Days

Let the Song Be Your Guide: Cantor Janet Leuchter of Congregation Beth Elohim, a Reform synagogue, leads a class titled “What Am I Doing in This Service: Music and Spirit During the Days of Awe.” Participants explore how music and words can serve as a guide on the spiritual path of celebration and repentance. Congregation Beth Elohim, 274 Garfield Place, Park Slope, Brooklyn; Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m.; free. (718-768-3814 or

Faith Struggle: Rabbi Herbert Weiner, author of “9 1/2 Mystics: The Kabbala Today,” speaks on “Where is God: Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook and Henry Slominsky: The Struggle for Faith, the Struggle with faith — Rosh Hashana Insights from Two Spiritual Masters.” Weiner, the founding director of the Jerusalem School of the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, discusses having faith despite tragedy and evil from the perspectives of Kook, the first chief rabbi of Israel, and Slominsky, the former dean and professor of philosophy and midrash at the HUC-JIR. Kaufman Cultural Center, 129 W. 67th St.; Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m.; free. (212-971-1021 or

Behind the Rituals: Lauren Thomas, Jack Nahmod and James Moché, faculty members of the 92nd Street Y’s Derekh Torah program, lead “Preparing for the Fall Jewish Holidays.” Participants explore High Holy Day ceremonies of tashlich, where one “casts away” one’s sins into a body of water, and kapparot, in which one swings a fowl around one’s head three times before saying a specific prayer, symbolically transferring one’s sins to the fowl. The ritual objects of the holiday of Sukkot, the lulav, etrog and sukkah, a palm-branch, citron and booth, are also examined. Participants also learn songs for Simchat Torah. 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave.; Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (212-415-5500 or

Lectures and Discussions

Fry’s Legacy: Sheila Isenberg, a professor of English at Marist College, discusses “A Hero of Our Own: The Story of Varian Fry,” her book about the Harvard-educated editor, journalist and teacher who helped save thousands of Jewish refugees from the Nazis in Vichy France under the cover of a humanitarian relief center. Among those saved by Fry were artists Marc Chagall and Max Ernst and writer Hannah Arendt. Fry, who was reprimanded by the United States government for his actions, is the only American honored at Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust memorial. Senior Council Center, 241 W. 72nd St.; Sept. 21, 1 p.m.-2 p.m.; $3. (212-273-5304)


From the Streets: Argentine duo Klezmer en Buenos Aires perform as part of the 2003-2004 season of Music of the Americas, “De lost Campos al Salón,” a series of concerts and video lectures exploring genres that began “in the streets” and were later transformed by conservatory-trained musicians, such as tango, jazz and klezmer. The first of the two concerts is for families. Americas Society, 680 Park Ave.; family concert Sept. 21, 3 p.m., Sept. 22, 7:30 p.m.; family concert $5, second concert $15, $10 students and seniors. (212-277-8359 or

Cantorial Concert: “A Night of Prayer & Song” features Cantors Moshe Stern, Yaakov Motzen, Benzion Miller and Moshe Schulhoff, accompanied by Cantor Danny Gildar, in a pre-holiday concert sponsored by Cantors World, a new organization founded to promote cantorial music. Proceeds benefit victims of terror in Israel. Merkin Concert Hall, 129 W. 67th St; Sept. 17, $36-$150. (866-3CANTOR or


All Almagor: The Jewish Community Center in Manhattan hosts “A Behind-the-Scenes Evening with Actress Gila Almagor and Director Hanon Snir” in anticipation of two plays being performed by The National Theater of Israel, Habimah, and headlined by Israeli actress Gila Almagor. “Kaddish L’Naomi,” a drama, performed in Hebrew with English subtitles, is based on American poet Allen Ginsberg’s “Kaddish.” “Summer of Aviyah,” a one-woman show, is based on Almagor’s autobiographical book and film of the same name. Jewish Community Center in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave.; Sept. 16, 8 p.m. $10, free members of Symphony Space or JCC. Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway; “Kaddish” Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m., “Summer of Aviyah” Sept. 20-Sept. 21, 3 p.m.; $25-$50, $150 opening night performance and reception. (212-864-5400 or


One Night in October: Marking the 60th anniversary of the rescue of Danish Jews during World War II, “Denmark, October 1943” tells the story of how the Danish people saved most of their Jewish population by ferrying them to Sweden in the middle of the night with the cooperation of local fisherman, housewives and children, thereby saving them from the Gestapo’s October 1 and October 2 round-up. The exhibition comprises 36 panels with text, images and photographs. Therkel Stræde, a professor at the University of Southern Denmark at Odense, discusses “October 1943: Why Denmark Stood Up for Its Jews: Altruism, Pragmatism, Anti-Semitism?” followed by a reception. Scandinavia House, 58 Park Ave.; exhibition Sept. 19-Oct. 15, Tue.-Sat. noon-6 p.m., lecture Sept. 22, 6:30 p.m.; exhibition $3, $2 students and seniors, free members, lecture free, please see Web site for related lectures. (212-879-9779 or

San Fran Fest: New Bridges to Jewish Community, an organization dedicated to reaching out to San Francisco Bay Area Jews, presents the fourth “To Life! A Jewish Cultural Street Festival!” celebrating the cultural aspects of Judaism. The festival features crafts for children and adults, kosher and vegetarian cuisine, cooking demonstrations, more than 100 artisans displaying their works, live music by RebbeSoul, Klezkids! and others, storytelling and folk dancing. Participants learn about Jewish groups in the Bay Area at the “Tents of Community.” California Avenue at El Camino Real, Palo Alto; Sept. 21, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. (650-623-0880 or

Personal Legacy: Lev Raphael, the child of Holocaust survivors and the author of the Lambda Literary Award-winning story collection “Dancing on Tisha B’Av” among others, discusses how the legacy of his parents’ war years has shaped his life, career and Jewish identity. The discussion is followed by Raphael signing copies of his latest book, “The German Money.” Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles; Sept. 21, 2 p.m.; $5 members, $8 nonmembers, students free. (323-655-8587 or

Are You Ready?: Rabbi Alan Lew, spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Sholom, a Conservative synagogue, and director of Makor Or, a center for Jewish meditation, joins Sylvia Boorstein, a teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, to discuss his forthcoming book, “This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared: The Days of Awe as a Journey of Transformation” (Little Brown & Co.). Osher Marin Jewish Community Center, 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael; Sept. 22, 7:30 p.m.; $20, $15 members. (415-444-8000 or [email protected])


Inside the Town: An interactive, multi-sensory exhibit brings viewers inside Marc Chagall’s world of fantasy and delight, where people, cows, donkeys and fish defy gravity and logic. Visitors of all ages view reproductions of the artist’s works and create their own, using his whim and whimsy as inspiration. The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, 1440 Spring St. N.W., Atlanta; Sept. 15-Dec. 28, Mon.-Thu. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Sun. 1 p.m.-5 p.m.; $6, $4 students and seniors, free children under 6. (404-870-7684 or


Bookish: Elliot Lefkovitz, professor of Holocaust studies at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, discusses Bernard Lewis’s “What Went Wrong: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East.” Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, 618 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago; Sept. 17, 5:30 p.m.; $10. (312-322-1769 or


A Generation Removed: Melvin Jules Bukiet, a second-generation Holocaust survivor and professor at Sarah Lawrence College, discusses his book, “Nothing Makes You Free: Writings by Descendants of Jewish Holocaust Survivors” (W.W. Norton), followed by a reception. Clark University, Traina Center for the Arts, Razzo Hall, 950 Main St., Worcester; Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m.; free. (508-793-8897 or


Mandy in Morristown: The Community Theatre inaugurates its ninth season with a gala-opening concert by Tony Award-winning actor and singer Mandy Patinkin. Accompanied by pianist Paul Ford, Patinkin sings songs by Rodgers and Hart, Stephen Sondheim, Harry Chapin and Irving Berlin, among others. The Community Theatre, 100 South St., Morristown; Sept. 20, 8 p.m.; $62-$75, discounts available. (973-538-8008 or

Engendered Warfare: Nechama Tec, a Holocaust survivor and professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut at Stamford, speaks on her new book, “Resilience and Courage: Women, Men, and the Holocaust” (Yale University), discussing the different ways in which men and women experienced Nazi terror. Refreshments are served. Drew University, Center for Holocaust/Genocide Study, University Center, Madison Ave., room 107, Madison; Sept. 22, 7 p.m.; free. (973-408-3600 or


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