The Arts

‘With Malice Toward None’

Exhibit at New-York Historical Society reveals rich relationship between Abraham Lincoln and the Jews.

03/16/2015 - 20:00
Culture Editor

On June 2, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln issued a parole pass to Charles Jonas, a Confederate prisoner of war, to return to Illinois to see his father on his deathbed. The soldier arrived in Quincy just in time to see his father, Abraham Jonas, still alive.

Lincoln’s letter to Secretary of War Stanton on behalf C.M. Levy, who applied for the position of quartermaster.

Nurturing Poetry In A Prose World

Nadav Lapid’s ‘The Kindergarten Teacher’ serves up some tough lessons about Israeli culture.

03/16/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Nadav Lapid’s first feature film, “Policeman,” was a startling, terse essay in futility, pitting a group of obsessive anti-terrorist cops against a no-less committed and equally out-of-control radical cell in a showdown that underlined the absurdity of empty, self-aggrandizing gestures. His new film, “The Kindergarten Teacher,” playing in this year’s New Directors/New Films series opening this week, would at first glance seem to be as utterly unlike that debut as could be possibly imagined.

Nira (Sarit Larry), who plays an Israeli kindergarten teacher. Courtesy of New Directors/New Films

KulturfestNYC Is Folksbiene’s ‘Gift To The City’

Yiddish theater marks 100th anniversary with international Jewish performing arts festival, set for June.

03/09/2015 - 20:00
Culture Editor

It’s like the Summer Olympics of Yiddish, without the competition.

In a week of back-to-back performances, Yiddish will be heard in multi-accented songs, shouts and whispers on stages throughout the city, when the National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene presents KulturfestNYC, an ambitious celebration of its 100th anniversary being billed as a major international Jewish performing arts festival.

The Folksbiene’s Bryna Wasserman, left, and Zalmen Mlotek, right, with lyricist Sheldon Harnick. Michael Priest

The Handwriting On The Wall

03/09/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Hindsight may be 20-20, but for the Jewish Berliners in Iddo Netanyahu’s Off-Broadway play, “A Happy End,” set just after the fateful 1932 elections that solidified the power of the Third Reich, the decision about whether or not to leave Germany is both irrevocable and monumental. As a Jewish physicist and his wife, Mark Erdmann (Curzon Dobell) and Leah (Carmit Levite), struggle with the prospect of giving up the life that they know in exchange for a safe haven abroad, they are forced to confront their Jewish identity in ways that they had never anticipated. The production, which is currently in previews, runs through March 29 at the Abingdon Theatre Company in Midtown.

Cast of “A Happy End,” with playwright Iddo Netanyahu, seated at left.  Nicole Rollo

Sephardic Culture, Through The Generations

Three diverse films at annual festival worthy of theatrical releases.

03/09/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

It is an absurd mistake to think there is such a thing as “Sephardic” culture. On the contrary, there are many Sephardic cultures, almost as distinct from one another as fingerprints, certainly as different as the similarly variegated Ashkenazi cultures.

Daniel Gad as Kabi in Nissim Dayan’s “The Dove Flyer.”  Courtesy of Sephardic Film Festival

Curb Your Expectations

Larry David’s ‘Fish in the Dark’ doesn’t move swimmingly along.

03/09/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

A swaggering, self-centered, utterly unsympathetic “hero.” An awkward social situation in which said character displays how greedy, grasping and manipulative he can be. A series of comic reversals in which the character receives his comeuppance and must decide whether or not to repair the relationships he has so heedlessly destroyed.

Rosie Perez and Larry David in “Fish in the Dark,” David’s play about death and dysfunctional family dynamics. Joan Marcus

Excerpt- From the Devil to the King

A special book excerpt
From the Devil to the King,
by A.J. Thurso

Theater With An Ecumenical Bent

‘The Church Of Why Not’ previewed.

03/04/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

When two Manhattan Methodist churches merged in 1937 to become The Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, few could have imagined the role that the Upper West Side building would ultimately play in the religious life of the city. Since 1991, it has shared its West 86th Street space with Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, along with Ethiopian Evangelicals, LGBT Christian Latinos, and other faith communities.

“Church of Why Not” focuses on the spiritual journey of a bar mitzvah boy played by Nathaniel Gotbaum. Joel Weber

Sexual Abuse, Shonda and Concealment in Orthodox Jewish Communities: Michael Lesher, McFarland & Company, 287 pps. $45.

03/02/2015 - 19:00
Staff Writer

The disgrace of sexual abusers (nearly entirely men) who identify themselves as Orthodox Jews is a well-known subject, covered extensively in recent decades in the Jewish and general media.

"Sexual Abuse, Shonda and Concealment in Orthodox Jewish Communities:" Michael Lesher, McFarland & Company, 287 pps. $45.

Russian-Jewish Identity, With Circus Staging

03/02/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

For Jews living in the Former Soviet Union, a rap on the door could spell disaster — the KGB might be about to burst in and drag them off to a terrible fate. Anna Zicer, founder and director of  the Lost and Found Project of Folksbiene RU, the Russian-language division of the National Yiddish Theatre-Folksbiene, believes the stress of living in fear and doubt is also familiar to Russian-Jewish immigrants, many of whom are still struggling to adjust to American society.

Scene from “Knock: A Journey to a Foreign Country.”  George Itzhak
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