The personal and the political in Israeli photography and video.
Special To The Jewish Week
‘The land, of course, is a fundamental issue in Israel, as a homeland and a contested site,” wrote Helaine Posner, senior curator of contemporary art at SUNY Purchase’s Neuberger Museum, in an e-mail interview with The Jewish Week. The land, and more specifically settlers, the Arab-Israeli conflict, coexistence, history and memory are the central themes of the artwork in the Neuberger’s new exhibit, “The Compromised Land: Recent Photography and Video from Israel.”
Ongoing: New York Klezmer Series. Curated by Aaron Alexander, who is as adept with a calendar as he is with a drum kit, this is now the premier regular klezmer program in town. This fall’s events will include a birthday tribute to saxophonist-rabbi Greg Wall, a special program dedicated to the music of Moyshe Oysher and several dance parties. Bring your high-heeled sneakers and your bestest wig. Stephen Wise Synagogue (30 W. 68th St.)
John Zorn, the downtown Jewish music guru who will be feted this fall, may be 60, but Gary Graffman is turning 85, and the pianist is celebrating with the release of a 24-CD set that collects all the recordings he made for RCA and Columbia during his impressive career. Graffman was one member of the golden generation of classical pianists who were known colloquially as OYAPs, “outstanding young American pianists.” A group that emerged in the 1950s, its ranks included Leon Fleischer, Eugene Istomin and William Kappell, among others. Like many of their illustrious predecessors — Arthur Rubinstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Rudolf Serkin — this cohort were mostly Jewish.
Ongoing. Cinematters at the JCC in Manhattan. As noted above, the JCC is relaunching its already admirable film program with a new focus on movies with a strong social message. Among its fall screenings are advance previews of “Zaytoun,” “Aftermath” and “Inequality for All,” a profile of former cabinet member Robert Reich. As before, there will be a very strong Israeli presence as well, including a celebration of Shemi Zarhin’s films and a sneak preview of “The Zig Zag Kid,” from David Grossman’s novel. JCC in Manhattan (76th Street and Amsterdam Ave.).
The Israeli filmmaker Eran Riklis is sitting comfortably behind a cup of coffee and a capacious salad in an Upper West Side café. Although it is one of the hottest days of the year, he looks unusually cool and collected, a husky teddy bear of a man with an easy smile. His appearance fits with the warm humanism of his films, particularly his family-friendly latest, “Zaytoun.”
Austin Pendleton stars in British Jewish playwright Bernard Kops’s new play, “Playing Sinatra,” about a Jewish family in London that idolizes Ol’ Blue Eyes. It runs from Sept. 12-Oct. 6 at the Theatre for the New City, 155 First Ave. For tickets, $15, call (212) 254-1109 or visit www.theaterforthenewcity.net.
When a Yiddish production of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” ran on the Lower East Side a century ago, it was shamelessly promoted as “ibergezetst un farbessert” — translated from, and improved upon, the language of the Bard. Now, long after the decline of Yiddish as a living language outside the chasidic world, a Yiddish version of Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” will have its debut in New York. The New Yiddish Rep production, which opens just a month before the much-touted Broadway revival, begins previews on Sept. 20 in Hell’s Kitchen.
Ilit Azoulay’s photographic studies of objects from doomed buildings.
Special To The Jewish Week
It lit Azoulay, a photographer and montage-artist based in south Tel Aviv, will have her second exhibit with Chelsea’s Andrea Meislin Gallery. In “Room#8,” Azoulay presents invented environments based on her documentary photographic studies of buildings scheduled to be torn down. The title work, “Room#8,” a four-part photographic installation owned by the Centre Pompidou in Paris, will be hung on a diagonal wall dissecting the gallery.