“Bethlehem,” the critically acclaimed 2013 film, has both Israelis and Palestinians on its production team, imbuing it with a sense of nuance. The tense drama focuses on an Israeli Shin Bet agent and his teen Palestinian enforcer, and personalizes the conflict by questioning the notion of family, and trust behind enemy lines.
—Check local listings.
SEPHARDIC FILM FESTIVAL
The American Sephardi Federation opens its 17th annual Sephardic Film Festival this week; it is based at the Center for Jewish History. This year’s lineup includes the animated film adaptation of the well-known graphic novel “The Rabbi’s Cat,” the musical documentary “Enrico Macias: A Life in Song” and the heartwarming feature “My Best Holiday.” Many film screenings to include receptions or discussions with filmmakers.
—March 13-20. (212) 868-4444, sephardicfilmfest.org. Check website for venues.
MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
Many of Paddy Chayefsky’s plays seamlessly walked the line between the specifically Jewish and the universally human, and this revival of “Middle of the Night,” is no exception. While the couple having an affair in the drama is mixed (he’s Jewish; she’s not) and faced with the problems that presented greaer difficulties in the 1950s, the craving for human connection and apprehension over what the future holds speak to all audiences.
—The Clurman Theater on Theater Row; 410 W. 42nd St., (212) 239-6200, telecharge.com. Through March 29. (See story in this week's issue.)
REELABILITIES FILM FEST
The weeklong ReelAbilities Film Festival (presented by the JCC in Manhattan for the New York circuit) features work highlighting those living with disabilities. This year’s lineup includes “Do You Believe in Love,” which tells the story of a paralyzed Israeli matchmaker who works with disabled singles. Festival runs March 6-11.
—Check website for full listings and venues. newyork.reelabilities.org.
In “Particle Fever,” physicists Mark Levinson and David Kaplan working on the Large Hadron Collider search not only for the “God Particle,” but also for the meaning of life.
—March 5-18, Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St., (212) 727-8110, filmforum.org.
The new documentary “Jerusalem” seeks to reveal life in Israel by focusing on three local teenage girls from different religions, each giving a tour of their home city from a unique perspective. The film plays in IMAX in limited release.
—Cradle of Aviation Museum-National Geographic Theater, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City, (516) 572-4111, jerusalemthemovie.com.
THE MONUMENTS MEN
George Clooney’s newest directorial work features an impressive all-star cast (from Bill Murray to Cate Blanchett), telling the story of a squad of WWII Allies attempting to reclaim cultural artifacts stolen by the Nazis (many of them from Jewish art collectors).
—Check local listings.
“Omar,” the second-ever Academy Award-nominated film by a Palestinian filmmaker (in the Best Foreign Language Film category), is an intense thriller about the conflict with a healthy dose of forbidden love.
—Check local listings.
HANDLE WITH CARE
This romantic comedy written by Jason Odell Williams was inspired by (and stars) his Israeli wife, Charlotte Cohn. The play explores cultural gaps and miscommunication, and how perhaps destiny is stronger than any obstacle.
—Westside Theatre, 407 W. 43rd St., (212) 239-6200, handlewithcaretheplay.com. Through Sun., March 9.
BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL
“Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” traces the iconic singer/songwriter’s life and career, from her hits like “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” to her relationship with Gerry Goffin, her songwriting partner and husband. Jessie Mueller and Jake Epstein star.
—The Stephen Sondheim, 124 W. 43rd St., (212) 719-1300, beautifulonbroadway.com. Open run.
THE MEGILE OF ITZIK MANGER
The Folksbiene’s Purim Spiel, “The Megile of Itzik Manger,” is back by popular demand. So named for the poet whose work inspired the text, the Yiddish-language production features not only comedy and music, but also juggling, puppets and more.
—At The Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Ave., (212) 213-2120, nationalyiddishtheatre.org. Through March 16.
DUDU TASSA PLAYS THE AL-KUWAITIS
Israeli rock star Dudu Tassa performs in New York this week, celebrating his Iraqi heritage by playing the music of the Al-Kuwaiti brothers (his grandfather and great uncle), famous musicians in the 1930s.
—Wed., March 12, 7 to 9 p.m., $35/$30 students and seniors. Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place. (646) 437-4202. Mjhnyc.org. (See story in this week's issue.)
MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES
THE JEWISH MUSEUM
“Art Spiegelman’s Co-Mix: A Retrospective,” a new exhibit on the cartoonist’s work, from his New Yorker illustrations, to his work with dance company Pilobolus, to his most famous work, “Maus.” Through March 23, 2014.
—The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., (212) 423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org.
MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE
“Against the Odds: American Jews & the Rescue of Europe’s Refugees, 1933-1941” presents both individual stories and a portrait of the collective experience of American Jews trying to help relatives, friends or even just strangers thousands of miles away, linked by the shared bond of religion. In particular, the exhibit explores how American immigration laws limited the power of those trying to assist, and how Jews overcame tremendous obstacles to help those in need.
—Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Pl. (646) 437-4202. $7-$12.
LIGHT AND SHADOWS: THE STORY OF IRANIAN JEWS
Yeshiva University’s new show, created and organized by Beit Hatfustot–The Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv, documents the complex history of one of the world’s oldest Jewish communities. It includes more than 100 artifacts, illuminated manuscripts, Judaica, paintings and photographs.
—Yeshiva University Museum at the Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St. (212) 294-8330. yumuseum.org. $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and students. Through April 27, 2014.
DISCOVERY AND RECOVERY: PRESERVING IRAQI HERITAGE
The Museum of Jewish Heritage celebrates the history of the Iraqi Jewish community with a new exhibit, “Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Heritage.” The show features rare religious and cultural artifacts, and tells the dramatic story of the rescue of some of these items from a flooded basement in the intelligence headquarters of Saddam Hussein’s regime.
—The Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, Edmond J. Safra Plaza, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, mjhnyc.org. Through May 18.
THE ESSENCE OF ABSTRACTION
Paris-born painter Charles Goldstein was gripped by his early memories of the Holocaust, he communicates the trauma through his work. His art in recent years, including the pieces at his new show, “The Essence of Abstraction,” are often in honor of those who became “ashes and dust.”
—Agora Gallery, 530 W. 25th St., (212) 226-4151, agora-gallery.com. Through March 25.
UNCLEAN LIPS: JEWS, OBSCENITY AND AMERICAN CULTURE
Author Josh Lambert discusses his new book on Jewish activism for free speech in America — and he may use any words he likes. In conversation with Flavorwire literary editor Jason Diamond.
—Wed., Mar. 5, 7 p.m., $15/$12 members. The Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, Edmond J. Safra Plaza, 36 Battery Place, (646) 437-4202, 92y.org.
MAKING IT NEW: CONTEMPORARY NOVELISTS AND THE JEWISH LITERARY TRADITION
Novelists Jonathan Rosen and Tova Mirvis discuss how they relate to the Jewish literature (prose and poetry) that preceded them, and how they deal with biblical, rabbinic and Yiddish sources. They’ll also read from their works. Josh Lambert, the academic director of the Yiddish Book Center, moderates.
—Sun., March 9, 3 p.m., $20/$15 students and seniors, Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge St., (212) 219-0888, eldridgestreet.org.
Israeli-born, New York-based choreographer Netta Yerushalmy presents new work at the Harkness Dance Festival at the 92nd Street Y.
—March 7 and 8 at 8 p.m., Mar. 9 at 3 p.m., tickets from $25. Buttenwieser Hall, 92Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., (212) 415-5500, nettay.com.
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