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Lectures and Discussions

For the Record: In honor of Israel Independence Day, Makor presents “Journalists Under Fire: Challenges in Covering Israel and the Conflict.” For this panel discussion, members of the press — Jewish Week editor Gary Rosenblatt, Washington Post staff writer Bart Gellman and the New York Times columnist Clyde Haberman — discuss the difficulties inherent in covering Israel for American publications. Vanity Fair contributing editor David Margolick moderates the discussion, which is presented in part by the New Israel Fund. Makor-Steinhardt Center, 35 W. 67th St.; May 7, 7:30 p.m.; $15, $12. (212-601-1000 or

Bookish: For the Eldridge Street Project’s “Reports From Abroad” afternoon reading, contemporary writers discuss their own and their characters’ experiences with Eastern and Western Europe. In the lineup are Dara Horn (“In the Image”), Paul Greenberg (“Leaving Katya”), Jennifer Gould (“Vodka, Tears and Lenin’s Angel”) and Mary Mackler Leder (“My Life in Stalinist Russia”). The Eldridge Street Synagogue, 12 Eldridge St.; May 4, 3 p.m.; $6, $4 students and seniors. (212-978-8800 or


Antisemitism Today: The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research brings more than 30 internationally recognized scholars, authors and journalists from 11 countries together for “Old Demons, New Debates: Anti-Semitism in the West,” a four-day conference. Martin Peretz, Leon Wieseltier and Leon Botstein are the moderators. Participants include Paul Berman, Simon Schama, Abraham Foxman, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Dave Harris, Jane Kramer, Alain Finkielkraut and Azar Afisi. Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St.; May 11-May 14, please call or visit Web site for complete listings; $10 day session, $20 night session, $100 all sessions. (212-294-8301, or


A Forward Favorite: Based on Nobel Prize-winning Yiddish writer I.B. Singer’s novel “Meshugah,” serialized in the Yiddish Forward during the 1950s, Emily Mann’s eponymous new play explores the ins and outs of a love triangle that takes place in New York City immediately following World War II. The triangle’s three points are all refugees: a Yiddish newspaper columnist, his young and beautiful mistress whose own Holocaust secrets come to light and an aging stock broker whom he knew before the war. Kirk Theatre, 410 W. 42nd St.; previews May 7-May 4, opens May 14, through May 31, Tue.-Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sun. 7 p.m.; $35, $20 students. (212-279-4200)

Forging Identities: Israel-born choreographer Yasmeen Godder’s “Hall” makes its United States premiere at the Kitchen. Godder, who won a 2002 Bessie Award for choreography, dances as one of five characters who find themselves in a limbo of sorts, searching to form bonds and live out fantasies in a world they’ve taken over. With a score that includes a live performance by Dikla, the dancers’ physical twists and turns mirror those happening in the “Halls” in which they must redefine themselves and their lives. The Kitchen, 512 W. 19th St.; May 7-May 10, 8 p.m.; $25, $20 advance. (212-255-5793, ext. 11 or


Yiddish Extrapolations: The eight members of Metropolitan Klezmer — founded in 1994 by drummer Eve Sicular — play a double bill with downtown performance artists the Bat Sisters, whose neo-vaudeville act aims to leave audiences in stitches. St. Peter’s Church, 346 W. 20th St.; May 9, 8 p.m.; $15, $10 children and seniors. (212-929-2390 or

Radio Days at the Library: The Brooklyn Public Library and the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring have come together to organize a Brooklyn Yiddish Culture Festival, with special programming throughout the month of June. The fest kicks off May 4 with a concert and music lecture with Hot Pstromi bandleader, filmmaker and author Yale Strom who discusses his new book, “The Book of Klezmer,” before playing with his band. For the second part of the Sunday festivities, Folksbiene Yiddish Theater executive director Zalmen Mlotek discusses the music of the Yiddish theater — and plays piano. The Brooklyn Public Library also celebrates Jewish Heritage Month, kicking off with a discussion about the glory days of Yiddish radio (1925-1955) supplemented by radio clips with Henry Sapoznik, creator of the “Yiddish Radio Project.” Brooklyn Public Library, Grand Army Plaza and Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn; Yiddish festival May 4, 1:30 p.m.-4 p.m.; free; Sapoznik, May 11, 2 p.m.; free. (718-780-7712)

Mother’s Day

At the Waterfront: As part of its “Music at the Harbor” series, the Museum of Jewish Heritage presents “Honor Thy Mother,” a two-part program featuring a mother-daughter discusion between Erica Jong and Molly Jong-Fast and a performance by the all-women klezmer band Mikveh. Museum of Jewish Heritage–A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, 18 First Place, Battery Park City; May 11, 2:30 p.m.; $15, $12 students, seniors and members, reservations recommended. (212-945-0039 or


Multifaith Meditation: Looking to get out of the city for a contemplative, spiritual weekend and to learn more about other faiths? Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Islamic teachers come together for a three-day interfaith retreat designed to examine the commonalities and applications of the world’s major religions. “The Way of Meditation of Contemplation,” sponsored by the Open Center and the Spiritual Paths Foundation, takes place at the Garrison Institute, a former monastery overlooking the Hudson River. Representing Judaism is Rabbi Miles Krassen, director of the Aleph Gates of Eden, a Jewish mysticism distance-learning program. Garrison Institute, Garrison, N.Y.; May 9-May 11; $290-$320 includes lodging, seminars and all meals, $280 without lodging, reservations required. (845-424-4800)

Mother’s Day: For Mother’s Day, the University of Judaism presents a cabaret called “Mama, a Rainbow,” featuring works by Jewish composers. Sung by two young singers, Merideth Kaye Clark and Kevin Earley, the lineup includes songs by Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein. University of Judaism, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air; May 11, 2 p.m.; $30, includes coffee and dessert. (310-440-1546)


World Beats, One Band: The instrumentalists in the Israeli band Esta perform a fusion of sounds and styles from around the globe with instruments to match. They wowed the White House when they played for the presidential salute to Israel for the Jewish state’s 50th anniversary. Any given set is likely to include bagpipes, nigunim, zorna, bouzouki, shofar or kazoo. Leo Yassenoff Jewish Community Center, 1125 College Ave., Columbus; May 7, 8 p.m.; $10. (614-231-2731, ext. 258)


Soviet Stages: With an original score by Frank London of the Klezmatics, Elise Thoron’s new play brings viewers back to the peak period of Soviet Yiddish theater, focusing on the works of painter Marc Chagall and actor Solomon Mikhoels, who brought them to life on stage. The Prince Theater, 1412 Chestnut St. (at Broad), Philadelphia; through May 18, Tue.-Sun., please call for times, $18-$45. (212-569-9700 or

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