Cranberry sauce is left untouched on the Thanksgiving table. A mullah proposes a temporary marriage to a Jewess on a flight. A Southern woman who looks like she comes from generations of country club members is actually the daughter of an Iranian Jew.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Moriah Films has a new documentary tracing Israel’s history through the inhabitants of its highest political office. In two parts, the film examines Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir, Yitzchak Rabin and Menachem Begin, and how their lives intertwined with the fate of a nation. Based on the memoir by Yehuda Avner, who served a number of prime ministers as a top aide.—Opens Fri., Oct. 18. Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th St., (212) 255-2243.
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This unconventional Holocaust film was the cause of great controversy when it first opened in Poland. The contemporary drama follows two brothers who seek to uncover the role their village played in the war and decimation of the Jewish community — and the truth is more painful than they anticipated.—Tues., Oct. 15, 7:30 p.m. $11/$9 members. JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., (646) 505-5708, jccmanhattan.org.
Approaching his 62nd birthday, my husband announced he wanted to be a stand-up comedian. I do laugh at his jokes, but a stand-up? I don’t know…..I took him to see “Old Jews Telling Jokes,” playing off-Broadway, on his birthday for a taste of the classics.
The Jewish Studies Center at Baruch College hosted an ambitious and absorbing program, “Jewish Arts and Identity in the Contemporary World” on May 7th. Three panels – on theater, music and the visual arts - were the core of the conference complemented by a performance by Audrey Flack and the Art History Band.
Little did the theater director David Herskovitz know, when he caught The Jewish Museum’s 2008 exhibit on Marc Chagall and the Russian Jewish Theater, that he would end up spending the next stage of his career staging forgotten Yiddish works. Herskovitz’s theater company, Target Margin, is discovering that rescuing Yiddish plays from oblivion can transform audiences’ expectations.
Hannah Arendt was deadly serious when she coined the term “the banality of evil” to refer to the matter-of-factness with which the Nazis committed genocide. But in the hands of playwright Ken Kaissar, the contemplation of the mass murder of the Jews becomes a springboard for outrageous satire. His play, “A Modest Suggestion,” opens next week in Midtown, and it features Jeff Auer, Bob Greenberg, Ethan Hova, Russell Jordan, Jonathan Marballi and Robert W. Smith.