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High Holy Days

CyberServices: The High Holy Day services of Temple Emanu-El of the City of New York, a Reform congregation, are to be broadcast on the radio (WQXR-FM or 96.3 FM) as well as the Internet ( for those who cannot attend services in person. Rosh Hashana Sept. 26, 5:30 p.m., Yom Kippur, Oct. 5, Kol Nidre 7:30 p.m., Oct. 6, 9:45 a.m., Yizkor, 4 p.m; services in person are open to members only. (212-744-1400 or

Cultural Service: Vocalist Joanne Borts leads cultural Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur observances. Traditional holiday refreshments are served following the Rosh Hashana program. The Yom Kippur program includes the yizkor memorial service. The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring, 45 E. 33rd St.; Rosh Hashana Sept. 27, 10:30 a.m., Yom Kippur Oct. 6, 10:30 a.m.; $40 members, $45 nonmembers, $10 students, free children under 12, $75 both programs members, $85 both programs nonmembers. (212-889-6800, ext. 270)

Shul For All: The Shul of New York, a synagogue that welcomes all religions and which aims for the attainment of spirituality, holds High Holy Day services in New York’s oldest, still-standing synagogue. Musical director Adam Feder and Rabbi Burt Aaron Siegel lead services, which include singing and dancing. Angel Orensanz Foundation, 197 Norfolk St.; Rosh Hashana Sept. 26, 7 p.m., Sept. 7, 9 a.m., Yom Kippur Oct. 5, 7 p.m., Oct. 6, 10 a.m.-sundown; donations welcome but not required. (212-570-9047 or

Sabbath Retreat: Elat Chayyim, a Jewish spiritual retreat center in the Catskills, holds a “Shabbat Shuvah Weekend Retreat” in preparation for Yom Kippur. Participants delve into the teachings of Yom Kippur, sharing in silent meditation, chanting and learning Torah. Rabbi Miles Krassen, a professor at the Academy for Jewish Religion and Temple University, leads a class on “Sealing the Book of Life: Completing the Teshuvah Process” in which participants learn kabbalistic and chasidic teachings about preparing for the new year, accompanied by specific meditations and melodies. Rabbi Joanna Katz and Rabbi Jeff Roth, co-founders of Elat Chayyim, lead “Heart of Forgiveness” meditation practices. Elat Chayyim, 99 Mill Hook Rd., Accord; Oct. 3-Oct. 5; $100-$500 room and board, programs by donation, please call for additional information. (800-398-2630 or


Black-Jewish Literature: Larry Rubin, a senior scholar at the Wilstein Institute of Jewish Policy Studies in Massachusetts, explores how black and Jewish writers use each other’s history, culture and tradition to shape their fiction. Novels by Richard Wright, Bernard Malamud, Saul Bellow, John A. Williams, Philip Roth and Bebe Moore Campbell are examined, as well as poems and short stories by other writers. 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave.; Tuesdays Sept. 30-Nov. 18, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; $135 for series. (212-415-5500 or

Lectures and Discussions

Shaping Democracy; Fania Oz-Salzberger, senior lecturer at Haifa University, is a keynote speaker for the Center of Jewish History’s fifth event in its “Jews & Justice” series, “How Judaism Shaped Western Democracy.” New York Times critic Edward Rothstein moderates a discussion between Rabbi David Ellenson, president of Hebrew Union College-Institute of Religion, and Michael Walzer, professor of social science at Princeton University’s Institute for Advanced Study. Panelists focus on how Jewish ideas, texts and thinkers were crucial to the development of modern European political thought. Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St.; Oct. 1, 6:30 p.m.; $10, reservations required. (917-606-8200 or

Bookish: Joshua Hammer, Jerusalem bureau chief for Newsweek, discusses his recent book, “A Season in Bethlehem: Unholy War in a Sacred Place” (Free Press), in which Hammer described his experience in Israel during the 39-day standoff at the Church of Nativity in April 2002. Hammer got to know all the players: Christians, Muslims, priests, civil leaders, Fatah commanders, the families of suicide bombers, Israeli soldiers and peace activists. Makor, 35 W. 67th St.; Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m.; $12 in advance, $15 at door. (212-601-1000 or


Behind the Scenes: Unseen America, a project of Bread and Roses, the not-for-profit cultural organization of 1199, the health-care workers’ union, gives cameras to working-class people, who are underrepresented in the media, and asks them to document their lives. The most recent installment, “Side by Side,” features photographs of Chinese garment workers in Chinatown from UNITE Local 23-25 and Jewish retirees on the Lower East Side from Project Ezra, a grassroots organization that assists Jewish elders in need on the Lower East Side. Gallery 1199, Martin Luther King Jr. Center, 310 W. 43rd St.; through Sept. 30, Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; free. (212-603-1186 or

‘Diaspora Homelands’: Frédéric Brenner is being fêted throughout the city in conjunction with a new two-volume book of his photographs chronicling Jewish communities around the world. In addition to Brenner’s photographs, “Diaspora: Homelands in Exile” (HarperCollins) features writings by Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg and others. A slide-discussion of Brenner’s work at the New York Public Library features the artist himself, André Aciman and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett. “The Jewish Journey: Frédéric Brenner’s Photographic Odyssey,” an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, presents more than 140 photographs. A more modest exhibit of 15 photographs at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan is accompanied by a series that begins with a meet-the-artist reception. New York Public Library, Celeste Bartos Forum, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street; Sept. 30, 6:30 p.m.; $10 (212-930-0855 or Brooklyn Museum of Art, 200 Eastern Parkway; Oct. 3-Jan. 11, Wed.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; $6, $3 students and seniors, free children. (718-638-5000 or Jewish Community Center in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave.; opening Oct. 9, 7 p.m., exhibit through Dec. 31, Sun. 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Mon.-Thu. 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m., Fri. 5:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat. 1 p.m.-10 p.m.; $10 lecture, free members, please see Web site for other programs. (646-505-4444 or


‘Jazz Time’: Tzadik Records recording artists Steven Bernstein, Roberto Juan Rodriguez and Paul Shapiro perform in “Jewish Music in Jazz Time.” Bernstein plays music from his 1999 album “Diaspora Soul,” featuring traditional Jewish melodies and Afro-Cuban percussion, as well as a fresh take on klezmer classics. Rodriguez plays from his January 2002 album, “El Danzon de Moises,” featuring clarinet virtuoso David Krakauer and blending Cuban and Jewish music traditions. Shapiro plays from his June 2003 album, “Midnight Minyan,” featuring loungy, old-school jazz renditions of Jewish classics. A jam session with all three bands closes the show. Museum of Jewish Heritage–A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, 36 Battery Place, Battery Park City; Oct. 1, 7 p.m.; $15, $12 members and seniors, $10 students, $12-$18 at door. (212-945-0039 or


Soul Music: Multi-instrumentalist RebbeSoul fuses rock with Middle Eastern rhythms while performing on vocals, balalaika, mandolin, guitars, bass, keyboards and percussion at an East Bay concert with a simultaneous broadcast on Also in the lineup is Moroccan-Israeli Rabbi Isaac Soncino chanting Havdalah and DJ Yehudit. Imusicast, 5427 Telegraph Ave., Oakland; Oct. 4, 7 doors open 7:30 p.m., concert 8 p.m.; $15 in advance, $18 at door, students are 2 for 1. (510-601-1024 or


Yiddish Legacy: Musicologist Marion Jacobson lectures on “The Yiddish Chorus Legacy, From the Old Country to the New.” Jacobson discusses late-19th-century choruses in Russia and Poland and their transformation by immigrant Jews in major American cities in the century that followed. Jewish immigrants to America often sang about harsh conditions in sweatshops, hoping to pass on their culture to the next generation through songs. Jacobson presents recordings of these songs for the audience. Florida International University Biscayne Bay Campus, North Miami Wolfe University Center, Room 244A, 3000 N.E. 151st St., North Miami Beach; Oct. 2, 7:30 p.m.; free. (305-774-9244 or


Shul Structure: Lee Shai Weissbach, professor of history at the University of Louisville, discusses “Synagogue Architecture and American Jewish Life.” Various movements have adapted synagogue buildings to reflect shifts in the Jewish community, from eliminating the women’s gallery to returning to traditional, intimate sanctuaries. Weissbach focuses on synagogues as a way to explore the changing patterns of American Jewish life. Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, 618 South Michigan Ave., Chicago; Oct. 2, 5:30 p.m.; free, reservations required. (312-322-1769, [email protected] or


Temple Talk: Max Ticktin, a professor in Hebrew, Yiddish and Hebrew literature at George Washington University, leads a four-part, lunch-and-learn Bible study group in memory of Nathan A. Pelcovits, titled “Exile, Return, and Rebuilding the Temple.” Participants should bring a Bible and a dairy or pareve lunch. No previous background required. The Hillel International Center, 800 8th St., N.W.; Oct. 2, 9, 16 and 23, lunch 12:15 p.m., study 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.; $25. (301-770-4787 or


World Premiere: Debra Gonsher Vinik’s “Moving Heaven and Earth” documents the Abayudaya, a small group of Ugandans. The community began in 1919, when Semei Lulaklenzi Kakungulu, a military commander, circumcised himself and his sons and adopted all observances of Judaism. In February 2002 four American rabbis and a rabbinical student traveled to Uganda to officially convert the members of Abayudaya, who had been practicing Judaism in isolation as well as had survived the brutality of Ugandan president Idi Amin in the 1970s. The documentary — making its television debut — follows these members through the conversion process and renews the debate over “who is a Jew?” The Hallmark Channel, Oct. 5, please check local listings. (

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