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Lectures and Discussions

Notes from the Russian Empire: Tamar Kaplan of the University of Pennsylvania presents the “Professor Bernard Choseed Memorial Lecture” on “Rabbis and Reform in Late Imperial Russia.” YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, Center for Jewish History; Jan. 7, 7 p.m.; free. (917-606-8200 or

It Happened in Brooklyn: Did you know that Brooklyn’s population has, since the 1830s, been at least one-quarter Jewish? Ilana Abramovich — co-editor of “Jews of Brooklyn” (Brandeis University/University Press of New England, 2002) — joins the Jewish Historical Society of New York for its monthly meeting, sharing historical tales of Jewish Brooklyn. Central Synagogue Community House, 123 E. 55th St.; Jan. 12, 2 p.m.; $5. (212-415-5544)


City of Light: Sarah Brockus’s “Same Difference: NYC Faith Stories in Words, Music & Dance” features original music by Nenad Bach, Barry Danielian, Matt Fried, Jill Jaffe, Jerome Korman, Ned Rorem and Basya Schechter. Based on interviews with Jewish, Christian and Muslim New Yorkers, the performance ties together both sad and funny stories of religious life in the Big Apple. Following the performance is an interfaith discussion presented by the performance’s sponsors: the New York Annual Conference/United Methodist Council on Relief, the Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, the Alan B. Slifka Foundation, American Sufi Muslim Association, Muslims Against Terrorism, the Dialogue Project and Theatre Outrageous. The West End Theatre, 263 W. 86th St.; Jan. 7-Jan. 9, Jan. 11-Jan. 16 and Jan. 18, 8 p.m.; Jan. 19, 3 p.m.; $15 suggested, reservations required. (212-539-6506)

Golden Laughs: Actress-comedian Judy Gold brings her blend of comedy and drama to Westchester. The Bendheim Performing Arts Center, 999 Wilmot Road, Scarsdale; Jan. 11, 7:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.; $32, includes refreshments. (914-472-3300, ext. 403)

Afterword: Scott Blumenthal’s one-man show “Lion’s Den” makes its New York premiere. The play —developed by Newshpiels, a new program dedicated to developing new Jewish plays — follows one man’s life through the memories and discoveries brought to life after his death by his shiva-sitting friend. The Mazer Theater of the Educational Alliance, 197 East Broadway; Jan. 9-Jan. 19, Thu.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m.; reservations recommended. (212-352-3101 or

In Their Own Voices: The Acting Company’s “Stud’s Terkel’s ‘American Dreams: Lost and Found’” lifts the Pulitzer Prize-winning oral historian’s collection of interviews from the page, staging a performance that captures the many diverse voices of Americans and their dreams. Queens Theatre in the Park, Flushing Meadows, Corona Park; Jan. 11, 2 p.m. and Jan. 12, 3 p.m.; $28, $25 seniors, $23 members, $18 ages 18 and under. (718-760-0064)


Divahn: From Austin, Texas, comes Divahn, an all-female quartet featuring Hebrew, Persian, Ladino and English songs played on the tabla, cello, rabel and banjo. The band blends the sounds of the Middle East with those of Appalachia as well as Israel, Spain and Turkey. East Midwood Jewish Center, 1625 Ocean Avenue, Brooklyn; Jan. 11, 7:30 p.m.; $30 at door, $10 students under 21, free children under 10. (718-338-3800)

Meet Paul Celan — Survivor, Poet: The Eastern European-born poet Paul Celan (1920-1970) survived the Holocaust, about which he often reflected in his writings, and took his own life by jumping into the Seine. He is perhaps best known for his poem “Todesfugue” (“Death Fugue”). The Nine Circles Chamber Theatre presents the world premiere of “The Art of the Fugitive: The Paradoxical Life of Paul Celan,” a musical theater work conceived by Jonathan Levi and Gil Morgenstern that weaves together Celan’s own words with compositions by Bach — “The Art of the Fugue” — as well as by Bruce Saylor and Messiaen. The 92nd Street Y, Kaufmann Concert Hall, 1395 Lexington Ave.; Jan. 13, 8 p.m.; $40, reservations recommended. (212-415-5500 or


‘Good-bye Columbus’: As part of its “Jewish Humor in America” film series, the American Jewish Historical Society screens “Good-bye Columbus” (1969), based on Larry Peerce’s sendup of Philip Roth’s eponymous short story. Leonard Quart, professor emeritus of cinema studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and of the College of Staten Island, gives a post-screening talk. Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St.; Jan. 13, 7 p.m.; $7, $3.50 students and seniors. (917-606-8200)

Tu B’Shvat

Natural Talents: Why not get ready for the annual day of tribute to the trees (which this year falls on Jan. 18) — and nature in general — by joining artist Tobi Kahn for an acrylic-on-canvas painting workshop focused on forms inspired by our arboreal allies. Visitors are encouraged to visit “Microcosmos,” an exhibit of Kahn’s works on view at the museum through Jan. 26. Yeshiva University Museum, Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St.; Jan. 12, 2 p.m.-4 p.m.; $3 materials fee, plus museum admission, $6 adults, $4 students and seniors. (212-294-8330)


For the Little Ones: Storytelling, music and theater all come together in the Children’s Museum of Los Angeles’s Reader’s Theater Project, which brings to life children’s stories about friendship. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Boulevard, Los Angeles; Jan. 12, 2 p.m.-3 p.m.; free. (310-440-4500 or


Difficult Decisions: In William Gibson’s “Golda’s Balcony,” directed by Daniel Gidron and presented by Shakespeare & Company, Annette Miller plays Golda Meir, bringing to life the internal struggle that the Israeli prime minister must have faced as the Jewish state came under attack by Egypt and Syria in 1973. Tremont Theatre, 276 Tremont Ave., Boston; Jan. 3-Feb. 22, Tue.-Sat. 8 p.m., Wed. 2 p.m., Sat. and Sun. 3 p.m.; $30-$38, reservations recommended. (866-637-3353 or

From Faraway Shores: “The Stories We Hold: In Search of Ourselves” is a multipart exhibit that explores the immigrant experience. At the core of the exhibit is a monotype installation by Debra Olin called “What did you wear? What did you Bring? What did you leave behind? (Vos hostu getrogn? Vos hostu gebrakh? Vos hostu ibergelozn?).” In this piece, Olin grapples with the Old World left behind by her grandparents, who tended toward silence when it came to discussing their pre-America lives. Complementing the installation is a collection of photographs of Boston Jewish life from the American Jewish Historical Society, an assortment of memorabilia from community members and a selection of images from student artists. Starr Gallery, Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center, 333 Nahanton St., Newton; reception Jan. 9, 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; exhi bition Jan. 5-March 10, Mon. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Tue. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Thu. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; free. (617-558-6484, ext. 485)


Media Matters: Boston Phoenix op-ed columnist Jeff Jacoby shares his views on “Why the Media Gets the Middle East Wrong” in a lecture presented by the Jewish Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas. Eisenhower Community Center, 1001 Highway 7, Hopkins; Jan. 12, 7 p.m., $20. (312-343-3390 or


Leonard Nimoy: As part of Congregation Emanu El’s “Understanding Ourselves: The Jewish American Experience” series, Leonard Nimoy discusses his experiences as an American Jew. The actor, best known for his “Star Trek” role of Spock, has received much attention recently — both positive and negative — for his new photography book, “Shekhina.” Congregation Emanu El, 1500 Sunset Boulevard, Houston; Jan. 9, 7:30 p.m., free. (713-529-5711)

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