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Lectures and Discussions

Networks of Old: National Jewish Book Award-winner Seth Schwartz (“Imperialism and Jewish Society: 200 BCE-640 CE”) discusses “Charity, Friendship and Social Relations Among the Ancient Jews” in the inaugural Gerson D. Cohen Memorial lecture, endowed by Stephen Axinn, who founded the Gerson D. Cohen Chair in Rabbinic Culture in tribute to his mentor. Cohen served as chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary from 1972 to 1986. The lecture is followed by a reception. Jewish Theological Seminary, 3080 Broadway (at 122nd St.), March 6, 7 p.m.; free, registration required. (212-678-8802)

But Is It Kosher? As if the juggling act of multiple medications that many must master isn’t complicated enough, observant Jews have another obstacle to confront: Is it kosher? To help the public better understand the issues that arise when one tries to fill both one’s prescription and the laws of kashrut, the Orthodox Union Kashrut Department presents “The Kashrut of Medications.” Rabbinic authorities discusses “Cough Medicines, Vitamins and Other Over-the-Counter Pharmaceuticals,” “Medication for the Ill and the Seriously Ill” and “Contemporary Issues in Year-round Prescription Medications.” Rabbi Dovid Cohen helps explain the even trickier “Special Guidelines for Medicine on Pesach.” Agudath Israel Bais Binyomin, 2915 Avenue L, Brooklyn; March 9, 8 p.m.; free. (212-613-8212)

The Apple of the American Eye? Jehuda Reinharz, president of Brandeis University and author or editor of more than a dozen Jewish-themed books, discusses “Israel in the Eyes of Americans: A Contemporary Assessment,” the UJA-Federation of New York’s Sanford Solender Lecture.” UJA-Federation of New York, 130 E. 59th St.; March 10, reception 4 p.m., lecture 4:45 p.m.; reservations required; free. (212-836-1661 or

The American Way: In “Antisemitism in America,” Jerome Chanes takes a look at how antisemitism in the United States proves far less volatile and vicious than in many other parts of the Western world. The JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave. (at 76th St.); March 3 and March 10, 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m.; $40, $30 members. (646-505-5708)


Family Disconnect: As part of the “You Are Not Alone” series, the Riverdale YM-YWHA and the Riverdale Jewish Women’s Forum present “Jewish View of Family Relationships: Harmony and Abuse,” which looks to the Torah to shine light on the difficulties faced by those with troubled family relationships. Lisa Licht-Hirsch, head of the Y’s “You are Not Alone” program, leads the discussion. Riverdale YM-YWHA, 5625 Arlington Ave., the Bronx, March 3, 7:30 p.m.; free, reservations welcome. (718-548-8200, ext. 200 or

Passover Prep: Learn about the early incarnations of the Haggada and the historical contexts of its many adjustments since ancient times in “The History of the Haggadah.” The step-by-step Seder guide has a far longer history than even the most Manischewitz-stained Haggada. Congregation Ansche Chesed, 251 W. 100th St.; March 4-April 1, 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m.; $75. (212-865-0600)


Give Peace a Laugh: Jewish comedian Scott Blakeman — joined by Arab-American comedian Dean Obeidallah — is laughing it up again with another round of “Standup for Peace,” an evening of one-liners and more from comedians who elicit laughs in a benefit to help fill the coffers of Seeds of Peace, an international organization that brings together Israeli and Palestinian teenagers at a Maine summer camp to further understanding. In the lineup are Greg Rogell, Maysoon Zayid, Darcy Casteleiro, Nasry Malak and Omar Koury. Gotham Comedy Club, 34 W. 22nd St.; March 4, 8:30 p.m.; $10, plus two-drink minimum. (212-367-9000)

Scarsdale Stories: The theater group Storahtelling — founded in 1998 by Amichai Lau-Lavie, an Israeli-born storyteller, mythologist and teacher of Judaic literature — brings liturgy to life in an evening meant to entertain while involving audience members in Jewish ritual. Westchester Reform Temple, 255 Mamaroneck Road, Scarsdale; March 7, 7:45 p.m.; free. (914-723-7727)


Babs, Brice and Bette: Five women of the stage who had a certain something-something are paid homage by another woman of the stage, Liz Keever, in her one-woman show “Chutzpah: Jewish Women on Stage.” On the receiving line of attention at this tribute are Molly Picon, Fanny Brice, Sophie Tucker, Barbra Streisand and Bette Midler. This is the only chance you’ll get to see the show before its summer run. The Triad Cabaret Theater, 158 W. 72nd St., 2nd floor; March 6, 7 p.m., $18, plus 2-drink minimum, reservations requested. (212-787-7921)

Man on the Scene: After about a half-century on the music scene, pianist-vocalist-lyricist David Fishberg — a Grammy Award nominee — hits the tiles and sings offbeat melodies with Bob Dorough in “Who’s on First.” Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St.; March 6 and March 8, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; $30. (212-239-6200 or


The Life of an Op-Artist: That quintessential New York Jewish cartoonist Jules Feiffer is the subject of an exhibit at the New-York Historical Society, “Julz Rulz: Inside the Mind of Jules Feiffer.” Feiffer has delighted his readers with his wit and perceptiveness in the pages of the Village Voice and the New Yorker. The New York Times has bent its rule banning cartoons for his work, which appears in the Gray Lady as “Op-Art.” A complementary exhibit, “Feiffer’s Family Tree,” displays cartoons by which Feiffer has been influenced, including political cartoonist Thomas Nast. Meet the artist March 5 when he presents a slide-lecture about himself, his work and his influences. New-York Historical Society, 2 W. 77th St.; exhibit through May 18, Tue.-Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; $6, $4 students and seniors; Feiffer, March 5, 6:30 p.m., free with museum admission. (212-873-3400 or

(Another) Show of Contrasts: Right now it’s difficult in New York to discuss art without mentioning the blockbuster Museum of Modern Art exhibit “Matisse Picasso.” Yet few seem to know that there’s another New York City art exhibit that pairs Pablo Picasso with another of his contemporaries. “A Relationship of Contrasts: Prints by Beckmann & Picasso” presents works by both Expressionists whose work was deemed “degenerate” by the Nazi regime. The show focuses on the time they both spent in Paris during the 1930s. Although the two never met, Picasso once said that Max Beckmann was the only German Expressionist he respected. Jan Kreuger Gallery, 41 E. 57th St.; through March 22, Tue.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; free. (212-755-7288)


Looking to Russia, With Love: “From the Former Soviet Union with Love: A Cultural Festival of New York’s Soviet Jewish Communities” explores artistic and cultural highlights of Soviet Jewry, with a panel discussion with leading cultural figures, a film documenting the immigrant experience and musical performances that bring into relief both traditional and modern styles. Workshops allow attendees to learn traditional drumming and dances. And, because you really can’t understand a culture without tasting its foods, the Makor Café offers up a special menu. Makor-Steinhardt Center, 35 W. 67th St.; March 9, workshops 1 p.m., panel 3 p.m., film 5 p.m. and music 7 p.m.; $25 pass for all events. (212-601-1000 or


Westchester Flicks: Annette Insdorf, author of “Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust,” helps kick off the Jewish Film Festival of Westchester with a screening of “Monsieur Batignole,” the wry and optimistic tale of children from two Jewish families trying to escape from the Nazi regime during the German occupation of France (France, 2001, 100 minutes). Regal Cinemas, New Roc City, New Rochelle, Exit 16 on I-95; March 9, 3 p.m., $10, $5 students. (914-738-6008)


Tenement Days: Big Onion Walking Tours leads the way through the “Jewish Lower East Side,” with stops at the Eldridge Street Synagogue, the old Jewish Daily Forward building and the founding sites of B’nai B’rith and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. Meet in front of the Olympic Restaurant, Southeast corner of Essex and Delancey; March 9, 1 p.m.; $12, $10 students and seniors. (212-439-1090 or


Tevye’s Papa: Rutgers University professor emeritus Curt Leviant kicks off the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies’ celebration of the 154 anniversary of Sholom Aleichem (ne Sholom Ravinovbitch). Leviant — a respected translator and prolific writer, perhaps best known for his “Diary of an Adulterous Woman” — provides background on the Yiddish writer who fathered Tevye on Sunday. On Monday, the silent 1925 Yiddish film “Jidische Glickn” (“Jewish Luck,” with English subtitles) is screened, followed by a lecture on “Songs of the Shtetl” by Wesleyan ethnomusicologist Mark Slobin. University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Ave., Harry Jack Gray Center, Wilde Auditorium; lecture March 2, 10:30 a.m.; “Jewish Luck” March 3, 1:30 p.m., Slobin lecture March 3, 7:30 p.m.; free. (860-768-4963)


Remember the Sabbath Day: For the seventh year in a row, the National Jewish Outreach Program reaches out to the unaffiliated masses, inviting Jews of all stripes in the United States and Canada to come together to eat, drink, relax and celebrate Judaism. Call 888-SHABBAT to find a location near you, or visit

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