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The Jewish Theological Seminary marks the inauguration of its first endowed chair in Yiddish literature with an inaugural address by the Sol and Evelyn Henkind Professor of Yiddish Literature, David Roskies, “In Praise of Yiddish Parody”; remarks by author Cynthia Ozick, and a performance by Yiddish chanteuse Adrienne Cooper and pianist Zalmen Mlotek of the Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre.

Roskies, who has been a member of the JTS faculty since 1975, is the co-founder and editor of Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History and the author, most recently, of “The Jewish Search for a Usable Past.” The long list of awards and honors he has received begins with the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize and includes a Guggenheim Fellowship and a silver medal from the University of Rome for his contributions to Yiddish scholarship.

Jewish Theological Seminary, 3080 Broadway; April 9, 7:30 p.m.; free, reservations required. (212-678-8802)


The third People’s Poetry Gathering — which bills itself as a “Woodstock of Words” — has organized three days of events celebrating the word that take place in 23 venues scattered throughout downtown Manhattan. This year’s festival, presented by City Lore, Poets House and the Bowery Poetry Club, spotlights ballads and epics, with readings by famous poets and open mics, screenings, musical performances, as well as children’s activities and poetry that’s strictly for adults — be it the erotic reading or the toast to drinking ballads.

Festival highlights include an Alan Lomax tribute concert at Cooper Union with Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Jean Ritchie, the New Lost City Ramblers and other guests. Alan Lomax, with his father, John Avery Lomax, traveled throughout America, collecting field recordings of folk songs, which he then preserved and popularized, in part by establishing in 1928 the Library of Congress’s Archive of Folksong.

Other highlights include a Sunday afternoon lineup at CB’s 313 Gallery that features “Exiled in the World — 3,000 Years of Jewish Poetry,” a “Hip-Hop Seder” led by Josh Dolgin and a Yiddish poetry session led by Itzik Gottesman of the Yiddish Forward with readings by a selection of contemporary Yiddish poets.

April 11-April 13, please call or visit Web site for listings, prices range from free-$70. (212-529-1955 or

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