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Lectures and Discussions

One in a Hundred: The “Great Jewish Books” series — in which prominent writers discuss the books on the National Yiddish Book Center’s list of One Hundred Greatest Books — takes on Franz Kafka’s “The Castle.” John Shea reads and the book center’s director, Aaron Lansky, leads the discussion with André Aciman and Isaiah Sheffer. Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, Peter Jay Sharp Theatre; Feb. 5, 7 p.m.; $20, $16 members, $17 students and seniors, reservations suggested. (212-864-5400 or

Women’s Works: Hasia Diner, the Steinberg professor of American Jewish History at New York University and author of “A History of Jewish Women in America from Colonial Times to the Present,” leads a four-hour seminary-study session that traces the path of women’s contributions to American history. Rebecca Gratz, Henrietta Szold, Emma Lazarus, Rose Schneiderman, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Betty Friedan and the parts they played are included in the discussion. This is an Everett Institute program. The 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave.; Feb. 9, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; $30, $50 for two institute events. (212-415-5500 or

A Life in Focus: In “From the Jewish Catalogue to a Book of Life: A Conversation with Rabbi Michael Strassfeld,” Forward president Samuel Norich lends an ear as his friend, the author of “A Book of Life: Embracing Judaism as a Spiritual Practice,” uses his own life’s path — from Somerville, Mass., to the rabbinate on the Upper West Side — to trace recent American Jewish history. The conversation, co-sponsored by the Forward, explores how what was once considered counterculture Judaism has been incorporated into the mainstream. The JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave.; Feb. 10, 7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $15, $10 members. (646-505-4444 or

Ladino Today: Aharon Cohen, general director of the National Authority for Ladino in Israel, presents the “National Authority for Ladino Report from Israel.” Ladino is the traditional language of Sephardic Jews. Please call Sephardic House for information. The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, 2 W. 70th St.; Feb. 4, 7 p.m.; free. (212-294-6170)

Bookish: Calvin Trillin reads from “Tepper Isn’t Going Out.” Barnes & Noble Upper West Side, 2289 Broadway; Feb. 5, 5:30 p.m.; free. (212-362-8835)


Understanding Judaism: The Drisha Institute begins its new semester of text-based classes for women, including Hebrew, Bible, Talmud, other rabbinics, Jewish law and philosophy. Some classes, such as “King David: The Early Years,” are open to men. Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, 131 W. 86th St., ninth floor; semester Feb. 2-May 16, please call for specific course details, prices and times vary. (212-595-0307 or

Swing ’Em Round: Anshe Chesed and B’nai Jeshurun present an evening of square dancing. So grab a partner and swing ’em round. Of course, there’s do-si-do-ing to be done as well. Anshe Chesed, 251 W. 100th St.; Feb. 9, 7:15 p.m.; $20, $15 members, includes refreshments. (212-678-7881, 212-865-0600 or


‘Tuesdays With Morrie’: Based on the book by Mitch Albom, “Tuesdays With Morrie” tells the story of the weekly visits between a retired Brandeis University professor battling Lou Gehrig’s disease and his former student cum sports columnist. Minetta Lane Theatre, 18 Minetta Lane; through Feb. 9, please call for times, $45-$65. (Box office 212-420-8000, 212-307-4100 or, outside the tristate area, 800-755-4000)


Carlebach Style: Neshama Carlebach, singer-songwriter Seth Glass and Makor’s David Gedzelman make music together, conjoining the sounds of the past with those of the present. Carlebach Project, Makor-Steinhardt Center, 35 W. 67th St.; Feb. 5, 8 p.m.; $12. (212-601-1000 or

Speaking Out: Americans — and American Jews — can be found on both sides of the line when it comes to Israeli policy — the Green Line, that is. The Ad Hoc Artists Committee to End the Israeli West-Bank Occupation doesn’t beat around the bush on the matter, presenting a benefit concert featuring a list of participating artists, musicians and poets so long one wonders how they’ll all fit. The proceeds from the benefit — and silent art auction — will be shared by an Israeli organization, Gush Shalom; an Israeli-Palestinian group, Taayush, and the Palestinian organization, the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights. The lineup includes Meredith Monk, Grace Paley, Elliot Sharp, Marc Ribot, Raz Mesinai, Marty Erlich, Corey Glover, Ammiel Alcalay, Alan Licht, Judith Malina, Kinan Azmeh, Raz Mesinai, Roy Nathanson, Steven Bernstein, Zafer Tawil, Nathalie Hendel and Giula Lolli (DJ Mutamassik). The Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard St.; Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m.-midnight; $25. (212-219-3006 or


Threads of Another Time: The Lower East Side Tenement Museum introduces “Piecing It Together: Immigrants in the Garment Industry,” a tour that takes visitors back in time via a tenement refurbished to resemble its 1897 past as the living quarters and garment shop of newborn Max Levine’s Polish immigrant parents. Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 90 Orchard St.; ongoing, Tue.-Fri., every 40 minutes from 1:20 p.m.-4 p.m.; $9, $7 students and seniors, free members. (212-431-0233 or

L.A. Jewish Symphony plus 1: Singer-songwriter Sam Glaser, whose albums include “The Bridge” and “The Songs We Sing,” joins the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony — including 20 adults and 300 children — for a benefit concert to aid area social services programs under the auspices of the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony and the Jewish Federation Valley Alliance. Alex Theater, 216 North Brand Boulevard, Glendale; Feb. 9, 7 p.m.; (818-243-ALEX 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; through 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


Beyond the Pale: What started as a documentary project for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee became something of a mission for Sharon Falkner, whose photographs appear in “Holocaust Survivors in the Former Soviet Union.” The Center for Holocaust/Genocide Study at Drew presents two complementary talks by Drew faculty: Allan Nadler, director of the Jewish Studies Program, discusses “Prelude to Catastrophe: The Pogroms as Precursors to the Final Tragedy of Russian Jewry,” and Russian professor Carol Ueland provides an overview of the massacre at Babi Yar, followed by a bilingual recitation of Yevgeny Yevtusheko’s poem on the topic. Drew University, Brothers College, Korn Gallery, Madison; exhibit through Feb. 28, Wed. 2 p.m.-4 p.m., Thu. 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m. and Sun. 1 p.m.-3 p.m.; Nadler, Feb. 6, 7 p.m., and Ueland Feb. 12, 7 p.m.; reservations requested. (973-408-3600)

Sex Tips for Spouses: In “Relationship Dialogue & Improv,” Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Susan Shapiro Barash and Elizabeth Wurtzel bring their varied expertise and anecdotes to a panel discussion that encourages audience participation. The topic? Tricks to maintaining a satisfying relationship. Boteach — aka “the sex rabbi” — is the author of “Kosher Adultery”; Shapiro Barash teaches at Marymount Manhattan College and is the author of “A Passion for More: Wives Reveal the Affairs that Make or Break Their Marriages,” and Wurtzel — best-known for “Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America” — is the author of the more recent “More, Now, Again.” JCC on the Palisades, 411 East Clinton Ave., Tenafly; Feb. 8, 8 p.m.; $15, $12 members. (201-569-7900, ext. 596)


‘The Last Seder’: In Jennifer Maisel’s “The Last Seder,” which won the 2001 Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, four adult sisters come together in their childhood home for the last time for a Seder with their senile father. Childhood memories and current lives weave in and out in this comedy of errors. District of Columbia Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th St., N.W.; through Feb. 9, please call for times and ticket prices. (202-777-3229 or

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