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Lag B’Omer

A Day for Joy, in Ladino: For the 33rd day of the omer, the 50-day period between the second day of Passover and Shavuot, the Ladino Players present an evening of Sephardic song and dance from Sevilla to Salonika — and folk tales, including several about that dear wise fool Djoha, the trickster. English introductions precede the Ladino sketches and performances, which integrate Judeo-Spanish culture from the 16th century and on. Congregation Shearith Israel–The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, 2 W. 70th St.; May 20, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (212-873-0300, ext. 217)

Mix and Match: “An Evening of Elegance and Grace” brings together unattached 20-somethings for an after-work session featuring an open bar, music by Barock, a hot and cold buffet and a dessert station. The Orthodox Union presents the evening as part of its spring lineup of singles events. HSBC Bank, 2 W. 40th St., executive dining area; May 21, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $36, $20 advance. (212-613-8300)

Lectures and Discussions

‘Verdict on Vichy’: Michael Curtis, distinguished professor emeritus of political science, discusses his new book at the launching for “Verdict on Vichy: Power and Prejudice in the Vichy France Regime” (Arcade, 2003). Bernard Lewis, professor of history emeritus at Princeton University, provides an introduction. Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., May 22, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.; free, reservations required. (917-606-8200)


Song of a Semite: The second annual “Tribute to Emma Lazarus — Generation to Generation: Circle of Liberty” includes a reading of the work of the poet and writer best known for “The New Colossus” — first published in 1883 and permanently engraved on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Work by other Jewish women — Hannah Senesh, Anne Frank, Zelda Mishkovsky, Ada Aharoni — is also read in a program sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council that includes original music by Celelia Margules. Emma Lazarus Terrace, Battery Park, Upper Promenade (by Castle Clinton); May 27, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.; free. (212-360-1336)


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 stockbroker whom he knew before the war. Kirk Theatre, 410 W. 42nd St.; 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)


Arriba, Arriba: Blending Latin percussion with Jewish rhythms, Cuban musician Roberto Rodriquez — part of Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos — has been a man on the scene since the 1970s, when he played at Havana Synagogue, and more recently has shared the stage with downtown Radical Jewish Culture musicians including klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer. Tonic, 107 Norfolk St.; May 23, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.; $12. (212-358-7501)

Center Stage: “The Second Annual Showcase of Jewish American Music” — part of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York’s Jewish Heritage-NY2003 programming — features performances by members of Soulfarm, Michael Elias, Jake Ehrenreich’s Jake! A Cappella and pianist-storyteller Robin Spielberg. The Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th St.; May 22, 7 p.m.; $15, reservations suggested. (917-606-8200)


Downtown Extravaganza: The East Village is a breeding ground for creativity, and each year the Theater for the New City and a coalition of civic, cultural and businesses present a free three-day festival that includes a street fair, children’s activities and more than 100 participating artists, representing theater, music, comedy, dance, poetry and film and celebrating the diverse cultural heritages of downtown New York’s inhabitants. Among those in the eighth annual Lower East Side Festival lineup are Mira, Jerry and Friends; husband-wife comedy team Epstein and Hassan — who share intimate details about their black-Jewish marriage; the Tamar Rogoff Performance Project, and the Folksbiene Yiddish Theater. Street fair East 10th St. between First and Second Avenues; May 24 (rain date May 25), 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; festival Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave., May 23, 6 p.m.-1 a.m., May 24, 5 p.m.-midnight, May 25, 5 p.m.-midnight; free. (212-254-1109 or


‘Southern Comfort’: In conjunction with Yeshiva University Museum’s “A Portion of the People: Three Hundred Years of Southern Jewish Life,” exhibit curator Dale Rosengarten of the Jewish Heritage Collection at the College of Charleston Libraries leads a gallery tour that wends its way through the paintings, photographs, family stories and artifacts that together paint a vivid portrait of Southern Jewish life. Yeshiva University Museum, Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St.; Rosengarten tour May 18, 2 p.m.-3 p.m. and 4 p.m.-5 p.m.; exhibit Tue.-Thu. and Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; $5, $4 students and seniors, free members and children under 5. (212-294-8330)


Picturing Zion in South America: Born in Israel to Yemenite parents, photographer Zion Ozeri has created a reputation for himself as a photojournalist, artist and chronicler of the Jewish experience around the globe with his images, which have appeared in The New York Times, The Jerusalem Report, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York. In “Southern Exposure: Photographs of South American Jewish Life by Zion Ozeri,” recent black-and-white photographs by Ozeri capture day-to-day life in South America, including modern-day Jewish gauchos in Moisesville, Argentina, and young yeshiva boys beneath a picture of the Lubavitcher rebbe in a school in Montevideo, Uruguay. In “The Muralist” (2002), the subject is dwarfed by his creation, which covers the building that towers above him in Valparaiso, Chile. The photographer, who now lives in New York, joins guests for an opening reception and talk on May 18, “Behind the Lens: Photographing Jewish Communities.” Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, 618 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago; opening reception May 18, 2 p.m. (reservations required); exhibit through Dec. 28, Sun.-Wed. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thu. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fri. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; $5, $3 children, students and seniors, free Fridays. (312-322-1747 or


Community in Focus: Former Jerusalem Post editor David Makovsky, senior fellow of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, discusses the “road map” to Arab-Israeli peace and the impact on Israel and the United States of the war on Iraq as part of the UJA Federation of Bergen County & North Hudson’s annual meeting — — the 26th — which also addresses the community’s recent past and future. A kosher dessert reception follows UJA Federation elections. The late Russ Berrie is also honored with a tribute that includes a short video. Jewish Community Center on the Palisades, 411 East Clinton Ave., Tenafly; May 21, 7:30 p.m.; free. (201-488-6800, ext. 333)


Iberia Before the Inquisition: “Remembering Sepharad: Jewish Culture in Medieval Spain” brings to life the world of Spain’s Jews, whose culture flourished in Sepharad, Hebrew for Spain, before the Inquisition in 1492. Presenting manuscripts and artifacts, for many of which this exhibit marks the first departure from Spain, “Remembering Sepharad” explores intellectual and cultural life in the world that gave birth to Maimonides. The exhibition is organized by the Spanish State Corporation for Overseas Cultural Action and is sponsored by the B’nai B’rith Klutznick Museum, the Embassy of Spain and the Washington National Cathedral. Washington National Cathedral, Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues, N.W.; through June 8, Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. 1 p.m.-4 p.m.; free. (202-537-2189 or

Saved by Turkey: Victoria Barrett’s “Desperate Hours” documents the role Turkish diplomats played in rescuing thousands of Jews during World War II. Turkey welcomed German academics and professionals fleeing Nazi Germany, just as it welcomed Jews after their 12th-century expulsion from Spain. Michael Berenbaum, director of the Center for the Study of the Holocaust and Ethics at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, is the film’s executive producer as well as a writer. Library of Congress, James Madison Building, West Dining Room, sixth floor, 101 Independence, S.E.; May 20, noon; free. (202-707-5676)

Press releases should be mailed to the Forward, 45 E. 33rd St., New York, NY, 10016, faxed to 212-447-6406 or e-mailed to [email protected]. They should be received two and a half weeks before the event date. Due to the volume of submissions, not all events will be included.

In This Week’s Yiddish Forward

• Hariton Berman writes on the late Joseph Liberberg, early 20th-century leader of the Institute for Jewish Proletarian Culture in Kiev.

• Dov Shtulbach reports from Israel on the fate of Yasser Arafat.

• Itzik Gottesman reports on the hardship being faced by New Yorkers.

• Yoel Matveev writes on the 300-year history of St. Petersburg.

• Sholem Berger reviews the new film “Divan” by Pearl Gluck.

• Rukhl Schaechter looks at the latest medical and family news.

In This Week’s Russian Forward

• Ester Minovich reports on a gathering in City Hall dedicated to the common heritage of Russian Americans.

• A. Mikhailovich writes on New York State’s decision to raise rent in rent-controlled apartments.

• Dov Kontorer reports on a neo-Nazi Web site created by ethnic Russians who immigrated to Israel along with Russian Jews.

• Edward Dox reports on Ukraine’s celebration of Israel’s 55th anniversary.

• Edward Amchislavsky interviews Yuri Raskin, executive director of the Russian Jewish Congress.

• Moisey Love profiles Iche Goldberg, editor in chief of the American Yiddish magazine “Yiddishe Culture.”

This Saturday on ‘The Forverts Hour’ May 17 at 9:00 p.m. on WMCA New York, AM 570

• Singer Ema Shaver — Itzik Gottesman

• The Town of Bialystok — Chaim Beider

• I.B. Singer: A Day of Pleasure — Dovid Rogow

• Israel Culture Mosaic — Leah Shlanger

Edited by Boris Sandler

Hosted by Adrienne Cooper

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