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Lectures and Discussions

Don’t Hold Your Breath: For some, the concept of the messiah is an unshakable belief, for others it is a wistful dream. In his lecture “Maimonides on Messianism,” Professor Alfred Ivry discusses the attitude of the medieval sage toward the descendant of King David who doesn’t mind keeping us all waiting. Synagogue for the Arts, 49 White St.; March 3, 7 p.m.; contributions welcome; (212-966-7141)

Bully Girls: Are girls becoming more aggressive these days? That is the question being asked by Rachel Simmons, author of “Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls.” Simmons, a researcher of female bullying and the psychology of girls, lectures on dealing with the aggression of girls. A book signing follows. Sid Jacobson JCC, 300 Forest Drive, East Hills; March 4, 7:30 p.m.; $8, $5 members. (516-484-1545 or


Braided Beauty: The Synagogue for the Arts shows you how to knead and braid your Shabbat bread in a challah-making workshop taught by Esty Scheiners. Scheiners teaches the art of the one-braid, the multi-braid and the round challah, as well as other Shabbat goodies. Synagogue for the Arts, 49 White St., Feb. 25, 7 p.m., $15. (212-966-7141)


Out-of-Work Epiphany: Theater for the New City premieres Michael Gurin’s new play, “Destinations,” a drama that tells the story of an out-of-work husband and father who receives a visitor who forces him to confront his abandoned Jewish faith. The show features original songs by Avi Kunstler. Theatre for the New City, 155 First Ave.; Wed.-Thu. 8 p.m., Sat. 8:30 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m., through March 2, $10. (212-254-1109 or


Friedman in Concert: For those who learned their aleph-bet from “The Aleph Bet Song,” going to a Debbie Friedman concert is a walk down memory lane. Friedman, the internationally renowned composer, singer and guitarist, famous for original and traditional Jewish songs, performs at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue as part of the “Live at Stephen Wise” series. Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, 30 W. 68th St.; March 1, 7:30 p.m.; $180 patron seating, $50 general, $25 balcony. (212-877-4050 ext. 225)

A Little Night Music: The Jeanne Rimsky Theater presents “An Evening of Bernstein and Sondheim, featuring songs from some of Leonard Bernstein’s and Stephen Sondheim’s masterpieces, including “West Side Story,” “Follies” and “A Little Night Music.” The internationally renowned, Cuban-born violinist, Ilmar Gavilan, performs Bernstein’s “Serenade.” The Jeanne Rimsky Theater, 45 Crossways Park Drive, Woodbury; March 8, 8 p.m.; $30, $35. (516-767-6444 or [email protected])


Remembering Yung Vilne: The Yung Vilne, or Young Vilna, movement was at the forefront of Yiddish literature in the 1930s. YIVO hosts a discussion about the movement including panelists Justin Cammy of Smith College, Allan Nadler of Drew University and the noted translator and Forward newspaper vice chairman, Barnett Zumoff, as well as a screening of “The Quarrel,” the 1991 film based on Chaim Grade’s short story, “My Quarrel with Hersh Rasseyner.” Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St.; March 2, 1 p.m.; $10, $5 students and seniors. (917-606-8200)


Shalom Y’All: Pop Quiz: Prior to the Civil War, which state had the largest Jewish population? If you answered any place other than South Carolina, you would be wrong. The South has a long Jewish history, and Yeshiva University Museum presents an exhibition of more than 200 ritual, decorative and domestic objects, paintings and photographs in “A Portion of the People: Three Hundred Years of Southern Jewish Life.” Yeshiva University Museum, 15 W. 16th St.; through July 20, Tue., Wed., Thu., Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; $6, $4 seniors and students, children free. (212-294-8330)

Comic Vision: An exhibition looking at the work and personality of the great cartoonist, dramatist, satirist and cultural commentator Jules Feiffer is on display at the New York Historical Society. “Julz Rulz: Inside the Mind of Jules Feiffer” looks at the broad, half-century career that is still going strong, combining his comics and his words. New York Historical Society, W. 77th St. and Central Park West; through May 18, Tue.-Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; $6, $4 seniors and students (212-873-3400 or

A Life in Scholarship: The life of theologian, scholar and teacher Leo Baeck in many ways reflects of the life of 20th century German Jews. Religious but modern, as comfortable in shul as he was debating fellow scholars, Baeck was an outspoken advocate of Progressive Judaism. Even when he was interned in the Theresienstadt concentration camp, he taught his fellow inmates. The Center for Jewish History displays a retrospective on his life, drawn from materials of the Leo Baeck Institute. Center for Jewish History, Katherine and Clifford H. Goldsmith Gallery, 15 W. 16th St.; through the end of April, Sun., Tue., Wed. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thu. 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; free. (212-744-6400)

Thirty By Thirty: Sculptor Ann Sperry has the first major retrospective of 30 years as an artist, “Thirty Pieces/Thirty Years: Sculpture by Ann Sperry.” The exhibit examines the relationship between Sperry’s feminism, approach to sculpture and Jewish heritage. Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum, Brookdale Center, One W. 4th St.; Feb. 20-June 26, Mon.-Thu. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Fri. 9 a.m.-3 p.m., selected Sundays 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; free. (212-824-2205 or

Living Inside the Grid: The French-Israeli artist, Absalon, worked feverishly at creating white, life-sized enclosures that resemble futuristic living spaces until his early death at age 29 in 1993. “Living Inside the Grid” captures these spaces in two video performances that reveal Absalon’s preoccupation with privacy, technology and functionality. Also in the show are works by Israeli mixed-media artist Uri Tzaig, Mark Lombardi and many others. New Museum of Contemporary Art, 583 Broadway; through June 15, Tue.-Sun. noon-6 p.m., Thu. noon-8 p.m.; $6, $3 students; seniors, members and children free. (212-219-1222 or


Czech Memorial: The Society for the History of Czechoslovak Jews invites one and all to its 58th annual service memorializing the 3,789 Czech Jews who were murdered on the night of Purim, 1944, in Birkenau by the Nazis. The service includes Yizkor and Kaddish for the victims; services are performed by Rabbi Norman Patz. Congregation Habonim, 44 W. 66th St.; March 2, 3 p.m.; free. (973-239-2333)

Merchants Beyond Venice: The Skirball Cultural Center is putting on a show of 40 color photographs by Joshua Eli Plaut titled, “Spice of Life: Markets and Jewish Merchants the World Over.” The exhibit portrays Jewish mercantile life today from every continent on earth. Plaut visited hundreds of markets from Israel and Greece to Central Asia and New Zealand. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Boulevard, Los Angeles; through April 27, Tue.-Sat. noon-5 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; $8, $6 seniors and students. (310-440-4500 or


Border Issues: Israeli filmmaker Michal Rovner speaks about her new film, “Border,” which was recently screened at the Museum of Modern Art and is based on her experiences on the Israeli-Lebanese border. University of Hartford, Wilde Auditorium, Harry Jack Gray Center, 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford; Feb. 24, 5 p.m.; free. (860-768-4392)


Jews of Uganda: The Jews of Uganda, known as the Abayudaya Jews, began practicing Judaism after rejecting the Christianity pushed on them by missionaries in 1919; last year half of the 600-member community was formally converted by a Conservative rabbinical court. Now an exhibition of color photographs of the Abayudaya by Richard Sobol is on display at the Tufts University Gallery. Sobol and Rabbi Jeffrey Summit lecture on the community. Tufts University Gallery, Aidekman Arts Center, 40 Talbot Ave., Medford; lecture: Feb. 27, 6 p.m.-7 p.m.; exhibit through March 23, Tue.-Sat. noon-8 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m.-5 p.m.; free. (617-627-3518 or


Docu-Theatre: The Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company presents a mixed video-documentary and live-theatre production, “And Then They Came For Me” by James Still. The docu-drama has live actors reacting to video footage of Holocaust survivors Eva Schloss of London and Ed Silverberg of New Jersey, as well as historical footage. Hillcrest Center Theater, 1978 Ford Parkway, St. Paul; Feb. 22-March 2, Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m.; JCC, 4330 S. Cedar Lake Rd., St. Louis Park; Feb. 26, 7:30 p.m.; $15, $18. (651-647-4315)


Fundamentalist Nation?: Cultural critic and intellectual historian Paul Boyer lectures on “End Times: Religious Fundamentalism in America.” Boyer examines the growth of fundamentalism and how fundamentalists’ interpretations of the Bible influence their political views on Israel, the Middle East, globalization, information technologies and America’s principles of tolerance. Kean University, University Center Little Theatre, 1000 Morris Ave.; Feb. 27, 8 p.m.; $6.50; (908-737-3340)

Burlesque babes, stripping chasids and much, much more are in store at the launch party for the third issue of Heeb — the alterna-Jewish rag subtitled the “New Jew Review.” The magazine and Goddess Productions are teaming up to produce “Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad,” an evening of music, comedy, spoken word and performances at Joe’s Pub, the posh downtown nightclub which has recently attracted an array of not-[quite]- ready-for-prime-time Jewish acts. Nine performers — plus DJ, of course — promise a wild vaudeville-style show which deconstructs and defies the traditional stereotypes of Jewish women. If you’re the type of gal who’d “rather have more schtuppa than chuppah” — as the press release suggests — come check out a performance that will likely be so bad it’s good.

Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Avenue; February 25, 9 p.m.; $15. (212-539-8770, Joe’s Pub; 212-239-6200, Telecharge)

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