November-December Programs Announced for the Museum of Jewish Heritage
The November-December public programming schedule at the Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust has been announced. Highlights this season include several programs presented in conjunction with the wildly popular exhibition Project Mah Jongg. On November 7, authors Jennifer 8. Lee, formerly of the New York Times, Professor Donald I. Siegel, and Andrew Coe will discuss Jews and Chinese Food, which will be followed by a walking tour of Chinatown organized by the Museum of Chinese in America.
The Epic Theatre Ensemble returns to the Museum on November 17 with a staged reading of a play about the controversial relationship between Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger, entitled Hannah and Martin, starring David Strathairn and Melissa Friedman. Other theatrical offerings include Yisrael Campbell's acclaimed one-man show Circumcise Me on December 8. In conjunction with the exhibition Fire in My Heart: The Story of Hannah Senesh, director Hugo Perez and a bevy of talented poets will offer a screening and poetry reading inspired by the film Neither Memory nor Magic: Miklós Radnóti about the life of the Hungarian poet on November 14.
Young families will celebrate Hanukkah at the Museum with Gerard Edery and Peninnah Schram on December 5 as they tell stories and sing songs in The Minstrel and the Storyteller, while families of all ages are welcome on December 12 for Eleanor Reissa and Friends Celebrate a Yiddish Hanukkah. The season concludes with Mah Jongg Mania, a day of festivities, films, crafts, and games on December 26.
Other upcoming programs in November and December:
· Beyond the Racial Laws: Fascist Anti-Semitism Revisited - The Primo Levi Center and Italian Cultural Institute, together with the Museum, present new documents and perspectives on this topic (November 3)
· Homebound Through the World: The Lifetime Journey of Frederic Morton - Author Frederic Morton and director Andrea Eckert will screen and discuss this U.S. premiere film about Morton's life (November 10)
· When the Danube Ran Red - Author Zsuzsanna Ozsváth will discuss her childhood in Hungary (November 14)
· The Future Mah Jongg Players of Majestic Isles - This original comedy created for the Museum is back by popular demand (December 15)
Detailed descriptions of all the programs listed above are included with this release.
The Museum's three-floor Core Exhibition educates people of all ages and backgrounds about the rich tapestry of Jewish life over the past century-before, during, and after the Holocaust. Special exhibitions include The Morgenthaus: A Legacy of Service, extended through September 5, 2011 and Project Mah Jongg, on view through January 2, 2011. Fire in My Heart: The Story of Hannah Senesh opens October 13. It is also home to the award-winning Keeping History Center, an award winning interactive visitor experience, and Andy Goldsworthy's memorial Garden of Stones. The Museum offers visitors a vibrant public program schedule in its Edmond J. Safra Hall and receives general operating support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
Wednesday, November 3, 6:30 P.M.
The Primo Levi Center and the Italian Cultural Institute Present
Beyond the Racial Laws: Fascist Anti-Semitism Revisited
Moderated by Alessandro Cassin, Primo Levi Center: with Michele Sarfatti, Center for Contemporary Jewish Documentation, Milan (CDEC); Annalisa Capristo, Center for American Studies, Rome; and Guri Schwarz and Ilaria Pavan, University of Pisa
In a continuation of our Jews in Italy series, the panel discusses new documents and perspectives on the complex relationship between Italians and Jews under Fascism, including the contradictory circumstances that allowed a high percentage of Jews to survive. This new assessment is crucial to the understanding of the specifics of Fascist anti-Semitism and the unique characteristics of the Shoah in Italy.
Alessandro Cassin is an Italian journalist based in New York. He covers culture and the arts for L'Espresso, Diario, and The Brooklyn Rail. He is the editor of the online column Printed Matter for Centro Primo Levi.
Michele Sarfatti is the author of several books and historical articles on Italian Fascist anti-Semitism. In 2002, Sarfatti became director of the Center for Contemporary Jewish Documentation in Milan. He is on the editorial board of La Rassegna mensile di Israel and was a member of the Government Commission of Inquiry into the Confiscation of Jewish Property in Italy, 1938-1945.
Annalisa Capristo is currently a librarian at the Center for American Studies in Rome. Capristo is the author of L'espulsione degli ebrei dalle accademie Italiane (The Expulsion of Jews from the Italian Academies) 2002.
Guri Schwarz has been a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Bologna, fellow of the Luigi Einaudi Foundation (Turin), and research fellow at the Department of History of the University of Pisa. His research interests concentrate on the history of the Jews in contemporary Italy, the politics of
memory in post-World War II Europe, and the transition from fascism to democracy. He is author of several articles and books about the subject. He has recently published a critical edition of the diaries of the Jewish partisan Emanuele Artom, Diari di un partigiano ebreo (1940-1944).
Ilaria Pavan obtained her doctoral degree from the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa where she currently teaches. Dr. Pavan has been a Visiting Scholar at the Institute of European Studies, University of California, Berkeley, and a fellow at the Yad Vashem International Institute for Holocaust Research in Jerusalem. Between 2000 and 2001 Dr. Pavan was a researcher for the Government Commission for Reconstruction of the Events Characterizing the Acquisition of Jewish Assets by Public and Private Bodies. She has published many articles and essays on the persecution of the Jews of Italy and the postwar construction of historiography and memory.
Presented with the CDEC, Milan, and the Primo Levi Center in cooperation with Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò, and NYU Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies.
Sunday, November 7
Jews and Chinese Food
1 P.M. Panel Discussion
Jennifer 8. Lee, author The Fortune Cookie Chronicles; Prof. Donald I. Siegel, author, From Lokshen to LoMein: The Jewish Love Affair with Chinese Food; Andrew Coe, author, Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States
That Jews have an affinity for Chinese food is no secret. Our panel discusses why going out "to eat Chinese" continues to be a ritual for many Jewish families, and as Lee explores in her book, why chow mein is the chosen food of the chosen people on Christmas, and how the cuisine became deemed by many as "safe treyf." Following the discussion, join us for a walking tour of Chinatown organized by the Museum of Chinese in America.
Jennifer 8. Lee was a reporter at the New York Times for nine years where she covered tech nol ogy, Wash ing ton, crime, poverty, and cul ture. She spent the last two of those years reporting on City Room, the Times' New York City metro blog. In promoting The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, a New York Times bestseller, she survived an interview with Stephen Colbert and made dumplings on Martha Stewart and the Today Show.
Donald I. Siegel, a Meredith Professor in Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences, is a nationally renowned scientist, whose research encompasses contaminant hydrology, paleohydrogeology, and wetland hydrology. Siegel is also an award-winning teacher and mentor, and a talented amateur cook.
Andrew Coe has written for Saveur, Gastronomica, and the New York Times. He is a co-author of Foie Gras: A Passion, and has contributed to the Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink.
Join us in the gallery for mah jongg pick-up games starting at 12 P.M.
$10, $7 students/seniors, $5 for members
There is a separate fee for the walking tour
2:30 P.M. Walking Tour of Chinatown
Bus transportation to Chinatown provided. Pre-registration for the walking tour is required; space is limited to 50. To register, call the box office at 646.437.4202 or visit www.mjhnyc.org.
$15, $12 students/seniors, $10 Museum and MOCA members
Co-sponsored by the Museum of Chinese in America
Wednesday, November 10, 6:30 P.M.
Homebound Throughout the World: The Lifetime Journey of Frederic Morton (Austria, 2010, DVD, 58 min.)
Post-screening discussion with Frederic Morton and director Andrea Eckert
This U.S. film premiere follows author Frederic Morton (The Rothschilds) on a journey of discovery to his neighborhood in Vienna where he remembers his family and their difficult decision to leave their home for the United States.
Morton, born Fritz Mandelbaum, emigrated in 1940. Austrian actress and director Andrea Eckert accompaniEd Morton to Thelemanngasse in Vienna, where his father owned an iron-ware shop until the "Anschluss." Morton, a great storyteller, recalls his childhood memories of his grandfather, his parents, and their exile.
Frederic Morton is the author of 12 books, two of which, The Rothschilds and A Nervous Splendor, have been National Book Award finalists. The Rothschilds was made into a Tony Award-winning musical with Hal Linden and ran on Broadway for two years. A new musical adaptation of his novel A Nervous Splendor was performed in Budapest and in Tokyo in May 2008. Morton's work has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories 1965 as well as in The Best American Essays 2003.
Andrea Eckert is a respected stage and film actress, singer, and documentary filmmaker from Austria. Her favorite stage work includes the title roles in Judith, Maria Stuart, and Elektra, and the role of Maria Callas in Master Class. She also frequently appears on television. Her films include documentaries about Lucia Westerguard, Turhan Bey, and Leopold and Josefine Hawelka.
Co-sponsored by the Austrian Cultural Forum
$10, $7 students/seniors, $5 Museum members and Friends of the ACF
HUNGARY AND THE HOLOCAUST
Sunday, November 14, 1 P.M.
When the Danube Ran Red (Syracuse University Press, 2010)
Author Zsuzsanna Ozsváth, University of Texas, Dallas, interviewed by Museum archivist Bonnie Gurewitsch
Opening with the ominous scene of one young schoolgirl whispering an urgent account of Nazi horror to another over birthday cake, Ozsváth's extraordinary and chilling tells the story of her childhood in Hungary.
The setting of the book is the summer of 1944 in Budapest during the time of the German occupation. At this point the Jews of Budapest were confined to ghetto houses but not transported to Auschwitz in boxcars, unlike the Hungarian Jews who lived in the countryside. In the fall of that year, however, things take a turn for the worse. Rounded up, forced to go on death marches, and shot on the banks of the Danube by the thousands, the Jews of Budapest are threatened with immediate destruction. Ozsváth and her family survive because of their nanny's courage and humanity.
Zsuzsanna Ozsváth is Professor of Literature and the History of Ideas in the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas. In addition, she is the Director of the School's Holocaust Studies Program. Her essays and translations have appeared in such journals as Poetry, Judaism, The Partisan Review, German Studies Review, Literary Review, Research Studies, Hartford Studies in Literature, The Webster Review, The Hungarian Quarterly, and The Canadian American Review of Hungarian Studies.
Bonnie Gurewitsch is an archivist and curator at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. She has been a Holocaust educator and oral historian for more than 30 years. She is the author of several books on the Holocaust and has curated many of the Museum's temporary exhibitions, including Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges and the award-winning Daring to Resist: Jewish Defiance in the Holocaust.
Free with suggested donation
Sunday, November 14, 2 P.M.
Neither Memory nor Magic: Miklós Radnóti
(USA, 2007, DigiBeta, 57 min., Hungarian with English Subtitles)
Post-screening discussion and poetry reading with director Hugo Perez; poets Howard Altmann, Nick Flynn, and Gary Glazner; and other special guests
Renowned Hungarian poet Miklós Radnóti was sent to a forced labor camp and killed by Hungarian Fascists in 1944. This eloquent documentary, narrated by Academy Award-nominated actress Patricia Clarkson, presents the story of Radnóti's life and beautiful poetry, including his final works found in a small notebook when his body was discovered.
Through the use of evocative Super8 footage, readings of Radnoti's poems that recount his experiences in a forced labor camp and on a death march, and interviews with some of those who knew him best and who got to know him in his last days, the film reveals the story of a writer who continued to write poetry even as he faced almost certain death.
Hugo Perez is a filmmaker and writer whose work often focuses on his Cuban heritage. In 2008, he was the recipient of the prestigious Rockefeller Foundation/Tribeca Film Institute Emerging Artist Fellowship in support of his feature screenplay Immaculate Conception. Perez' short film Betty La Flaca was the winner of the 2006 HBO/NYILFF Short Film Award and was broadcast on the HBO networks through Fall 2008. Perez' previous short film, Julieta y Ramon, was broadcast as part of the 2005 Showtime Latino Filmmaker Showcase, and was recently re-broadcast on the PBS series Reel New York. He produced and directed The Writer, a half hour series of video portraits of contemporary writers and poets that aired regionally on PBS stations. Perez has studied writing with Gabriel Garcia Marquez, collaborated with Pulitzer prize-winning novelist William Kennedy, and served as a guest artist for acclaimed theater director and artist Robert Wilson. His writing has been featured in the New York Times Magazine and on Salon.com, and his films have screened at venues such as MoMA and the Smithsonian.
Howard Altmann's work has appeared in assorted journals including most recently the New England Review, Ploughshares, and Poetry.
Nick Flynn won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir. His work has been translated into ten languages. He is also the author of two book of poetry, Some Ether, which won the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award, and Blind Huber. He has been awarded fellowships from The Guggenheim Foundation, The Library of Congress, The Amy Lowell Trust, and The Fine Arts Work Center. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, the Paris Review, National Public Radio's This American Life, and The New York Times Book Review. He worked as an artistic collaborator on the documentary film Darwin's Nightmare, which won an Academy Award for best feature documentary in 2006.
Gary Glazner is the founder and Executive Director of the Alzheimer's Poetry Project (APP). NBC's Today show and NPR's Weekend Edition have featured segments on the APP. His work has been published by Harper Collins, W.W. Norton, and Salon.com. Glazner is the Managing Director of Bowery Arts and Science, the non-profit wing of the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City. His poetry performances have been featured on CNN, NPR, and underwater on the Bay Area Rapid Transit System. He is the author of Ears on Fire: Snapshot Essays in a World of Poets and How to Make a Living as a Poet.
A tour of Fire in My Heart: The Story of Hannah Senesh will be offered at 12 p.m. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Call 646.437.4202.
Co-sponsored by Poets House.
$10, $7 students/seniors, $5 for members
Wednesday, November 17, 7 P.M.
Hannah and Martin
Written by Kate Fodor and directed by Ron Russell
Featuring Melissa Friedman and David Strathairn
The controversial relationship between Jewish political theorist Hannah Arendt and her mentor and lover, Martin Heidegger, the renowned philosopher who used his fame and brilliance to help further the goals of the Nazi party, is dramatized in a staged reading of this acclaimed play.
As a university student in the 1920s, Hannah had an affair with Heidegger, her married professor. When the Nazis came to power, Hannah was interned, arrested, and had to flee Germany. Heidegger stayed in Germany, joined the Nazi party, and gave speeches praising Hitler's philosophy. When the war ended Heidegger was banned from teaching, but Arendt, by then a respected professor, helped rescue his career. Based on letters between Arendt and Heidegger, the play focuses on a fictionalized confrontation between them after the war. Broadway World.com calls this "the kind of play that will have audience members talking amongst themselves."
Kate Fodor was named one of "Eight to Watch" in the theater world by The New York Times. She has received a Joseph Jefferson Citation, an After Dark Award, the Kennedy Center's Roger L. Stevens Award, and a finalist position for the international Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Hannah and Martin has had productions in cities around the U.S., including a sold-out run and remount at Chicago's TimeLine Theatre and a sold-out Off-Broadway run featuring David Strathairn. Her newest play, 100 Saints You Should Know, has had readings at Playwrights Horizons in New York and at Hartford Stage. Kate is currently writing a screenplay about women in the Civil War and a play about women in Victorian England.
Melissa Friedman is the co-founder of Epic Theater and is their Executive Director of Education. Before co-founding Epic, Melissa worked as a Lead Teaching Artist with many NYC theatres including Roundabout Theatre Company, Brooklyn Academy Of Music's Shakespeare Teaches program, and Theatre for a New Audience. As Epic's Education Director, she co-developed Epic's Citizen Artist curriculum. As an actor, she has appeared in many Off-Broadway productions including Much Ado About Nothing, as well as many Epic productions including Time and the Conways, Habitat, Einstein's Gift, A Hard Heart with Kathleen Chalfant, and A More Perfect Union. Her numerous regional Theater Productions include playing a witch to Victor Garber's Macbeth and Lady Mortimer in Henry IV with John Goodman. On behalf of Epic, Melissa received the 2009 Coming Up Taller Award from First Lady Michelle Obama at a White House ceremony.
David Straithairn has earned consistent critical appreciation for his work. His films include L.A. Confidential, Silkwood, Eight Men Out,The Bourne Ultimatum, We Are Marshall, and Good Night and Good Luck. He recently won the Emmy Award for best supporting actor in a mini-series for his role in Temple Grandin. Upcoming films include The Whistleblower with Rachel Weisz and Vanessa Redgrave and Julie Taymor's much anticipated film version of The Tempest with Helen Mirren.
Director Ron Russell is co-founder and Executive Director of Company Development for Epic Theatre. After acting as Founding Artistic Director of the nationally acclaimed Summer Theatre Enrichment Program at El Centro de Servicios in Lorain, Ohio, from 1992-1995, Ron founded UBI Rep Theatre in San Diego, then came to New York City as Education Director at Theatre for a New Audience. He has also directed extensively regionally and in NYC including 12 Off-Broadway productions (six for Epic, including Hannah and Martin, Einstein's Gift, and George Bernard Shaw's Widowers' Houses in a new adaptation he co-wrote with Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr.). His teaching experience includes more than 50 educational locations, reaching more than 10,000 young people, and his work as an educator in NYC has been recognized by citations from the Municipal Arts Society and Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg.
All proceeds from this event benefit Epic Theatre Ensemble's 10th Anniversary Season and the Museum's educational programs.
All tickets $10
Sunday, December 5
Family Hanukkah Celebration
1:30-4:30 P.M. Craft Activities
Free with concert ticket.
2:30 P.M. The Minstrel and the Storyteller: Gerard Edery and Peninnah Schram
Celebrate Hanukkah with whimsical tales and songs starring kings, queens, sages, and tricksters. This holiday concert, which Hadassah magazine calls "enchanting," will capture the imagination of the entire family. For ages 3 and up.
Gerard and Peninnah have been performing this program together for 12 years to enthusiastic audiences at Jewish festivals, synagogues, JCCs, storytelling festivals, and concert series throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Gerard Edery's record label, Sefarad Records, produces concerts and recordings that synthesize the eclectic traditional folk styles of disparate, far flung, and often interrelated cultures from the Judeo-Arab, Judeo-Spanish, Middle Eastern, Northern European, and Eastern European musical worlds. Edery sings in 15 languages and speaks four fluently. In 2008 he released Sefarad's 13th recording - Two Faiths, One Voice with Maria Krupoves.
Peninnah Schram has been crucial in creating a network of Jewish storytellers throughout North America over the past two decades. Ms. Schram founded the Jewish Storytelling Center in 1984 and brought it to the 92nd Street Y two years later. Ms. Schram is a storyteller, teacher, recording artist, and author. She is also Professor of Speech and Drama at Yeshiva University's Stern College and Azrieli Graduate School. Ms. Schram was instrumental in bringing storytelling to the national Jewish scene through the Storytelling Network, which she established in cooperation with the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education. Ms. Schram's most recent book is The Hungry Clothes and Other Jewish Folktales. She is also the editor of Chosen Tales: Stories Told by Jewish Storytellers and author of Jewish Stories One Generation Tells Another, Tales of Elijah the Prophet, and Stories Within Stories: From the Jewish Oral Tradition. She has produced plays for adults and children, narrated two radio series, and recorded several audio and video cassettes. Ms. Schram is a recipient of the Covenant Award for Outstanding Jewish Educators, The Circle of Excellence Award, and the 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Storytelling Network.
This program is made possible through a generous gift from the Margaret Neubart Foundation Trust.
$5, free for members
Wednesday, December 8, 7 P.M.
Written and performed by Yisrael Campbell; directed by Sam Gold
Post-show discussion with the artist
Lauded by The New York Times, The New Yorker, and others, Circumcise Me is the story of Orthodox-convert Yisrael Campbell, who began life as Roman Catholic Christopher Campbell. His journey from misspent, alcoholic youth to his conversion to Judaism - not once but three times - is poignant, provocative, and powerfully witty.
Yisrael Campbell lives in Jerusalem. The journey that led him to The Holy Land began a long time ago in a place far, far away. He was born Christopher Campbell, and raised as a Catholic in Philadelphia where he attended Catholic school. His aunt was a nun and his mother was in the convent for a while. As a teenager, his recovery from substance abuse led him to seek another spiritual path, ultimately leading him to Judaism.
Along the way, Chris studied theater in New York City at Circle in the Square Theater Company and began performing standup comedy. He studied with Nikos Psacharopoulos (Williamstown Theater Festival) and Terese Hayden and Jacqueline Brookes (Actors Studio). Chris performed a series of one man shows including Bed Set, Einstein Was Right, and It's Not In Heaven while undergoing his conversions (three in all) to Judaism: first from Catholic to reform, then from reform to conservative and finally from conservative to orthodox. Chris changed his name to Yisrael and moved to Israel. Most recently, a documentary film has captured Yisrael's unique story and chronicles his life in the soon-to-be released film Circumcise Me.
Director Sam Gold's recent credits include: Circle Mirror Transformation (Playwrights Horizons), The Black Eyed (New York Theater Workshop), Jollyship the Whizbang (Ars Nova), and The Secret Agenda of Trees (Cherry Lane), to name a few. Sam is a teaching artist and guest director at The Juilliard School where he directed Farragut North, War Story, I Am Montana, Edward II, Twelfth Night, and Suddenly Last Summer, among others. Sam has developed new plays at American Conservatory Theater, Clubbed Thumb, The Lark, Manhattan Class Company, Manhattan Theater Club, The Marin Theater, New York Theater Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, The Ojai Playwrights Conference, Primary Stages, The Sundance Theater Lab, The Vineyard Theater, and The Yale Repertory Theater. He is a recipient of a Princess Grace Award, a Theater Hall of Fame Fellowship, and is a Wooster Group Associate Artist, a Drama League Directing Fellow, and a New York Theater Workshop Usual Suspect.
$36, $26 members
Sunday, December 12, 2:30 P.M.
Eleanor Reissa and Friends Celebrate a Yiddish Hanukkah
Eleanor Reissa, Tony nominee and Folksbiene Theatre; Frank London, Klezmatics; Marty Confurius, bass; Rex Benincasa, drums; and Grant Sturiale, piano
Join us for a delightful afternoon of Yiddish and English music and humor with one of the world's most important interpreters of Yiddish song in her only NYC appearance this year.
Actress, singer, and director Eleanor Reissa most recently starred in the title role of Yentl to tremendous critical acclaim. She performed her one woman show, Hip Heymish and Hot to sold out audiences at the Houseman Theatre in New York City, and all over the country. She started directing and choreographing in 1989. Her first venture on Broadway earned her a Tony nomination for Best Director of a Musical for the show Those Were the Days. Off-Broadway directing work includes Cowgirls at the Minetta Lane Theatre and four plays at the Mint Theater, including J.M Barrie's Echoes of the War starring Tony-nominated actors Richard Easton and Frances Sternhagen, as well as plays by Galsworthy, Cecily Hamilton, and Rose Franken. In addition to acting, singing, and directing, Eleanor Reissa is a playwright and recording artist. Her latest CD is Songs in the Key of Yiddish.
Frank London, a trumpeter and composer, is a member of The Klezmatics, Hasidic New Wave, and has performed with John Zorn, LL Cool J, Mel Torme, Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy, LaMonte Young, They Might Be Giants, David Byrne, Jane Siberry, Ben Folds 5, Mark Ribot, Maurice El Medioni, and Gal Costa, and is featured on over 100 CDs. His own recordings include Invocations; Frank London's Klezmer Brass All Stars Di Shikere Kapelye and Brotherhood of Brass; Nigunim and The Zmiros Project (with Klezmatics vocalist Lorin Sklamberg); The Debt; The Shekhina Big Band; the soundtrack to The Shvitz; the soundtrack to Pearl Gluck's The Divan, and four releases with the Hasidic New Wave.
Double bass, electric bass, guitar, and cello player, Marty Confurius became involved with klezmer music during its 1970s revival when he played bass with Andy Statman and Zev Feldman on Jewish Klezmer Music, the seminal recording of the klezmer revival. He has performed with the late great klezmer clarinetist Dave Tarras and continued to appear with clarinetist/mandolinist Andy Statman through the 70s and 80s. Recently, he has been performing with Margo Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys and The Yiddish Radio Project Orchestra. He has performed all over the world including such local venues as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fischer Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Brooklyn Academy Of Music, Village Gate, and Symphony Space.
World music percussionist Rex Benincasa has been a freelance drummer in New York for over two decades. Along with hundreds of television/radio soundtracks and commercial recordings, he has performed with The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the New Music Consort, Flamenco Latino, Carlota Santana Spanish Dance, Andrea DelConte Danza Espana, Pilar Rioja, the Grammy Orchestra, Amanecer Flamenco Progressivo, The Pittsburgh Ballet, The Sacramento Ballet, and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Rex has recorded albums and movie soundtracks for Christine Lavin, Foday Musa Suso, Philip Glass, Conversion, Sesame Street, NFL Films, The Sons of Sepharad, and The Gerard Edery Ensemble.
Conductor and composer Grant Sturiale garnered an Outer Critic's Circle Award nomination for his score for the Off-Broadway musical Olympus on My Mind, and conducted its New York run and original cast album. His musical Kiki Baby, presented at the O'Neill Theatre Festival in 2006 is scheduled to premiere at the Long Wharf Theatre followed by a production at the Roundabout Theatre in New York. He has written music for ABC TV's One Life to Live, arranged and conducted music for All My Children and provided original music for the Children's Television Workshop program Big Bag. For eight seasons, Sturiale was principal conductor and composer for the annual Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. His music was also performed regularly in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony broadcast on NBC. He was Associate Conductor for the Broadway productions of Dream and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He conducted the Off-Broadway revivals of The Rothschilds and Juno, the national tours of Blood Brothers and The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, a North American tour of the musicAl Durante, and a European tour of Evita. An evening of his work as a composer was presented at Lincoln Center. He is a grant recipient from the National Endowment for the Arts and has won numerous ASCAP awards.
Co-sponsored by The National Yiddish Book Center
$18, $15 Museum and NYBC members
Wednesday, December 15, 7 P.M.
The Future Mah Jongg Players of Majestic Isles
Enjoy an evening of comedy and stories about mah jongg and the people who are crazy about it, featuring comedians Cory Kahaney and Eddie Sarfaty, and hosted by self-proclaimed "Oriental Yenta" Esther Goodhart. This original comedy, created for the Museum, is back by popular demand.
Cory Kahaney is best known from the first season of Last Comic Standing (NBC). She has been seen as the comedy coach on Nick at Nite, the Funniest Mom in America series, and her own standup special on Comedy Central Presents. Cory's most recent success was her critically acclaimed off-Broadway production, The J.A.P Show: The Princesses of Comedy. Kahaney performed at the Museum of Jewish Heritage last year in a collaborative comedic theater work called Pastrami on Rye...With Mayo, which was selected for the opening night gala of the 2009 Chutzpah! Festival.
Esther Goodhart is a comedian. She is a host of the syndicated program Asian America and is known as the Oriental Yenta. She teaches Hebrew at three temples, and she ran unsuccessfully for the Demarest (NJ) Town Council as a Republican.
Comedian and writer Eddie Sarfaty has appeared on The Today Show, Nightline, and on Comedy Central's Premium Blend. He is a regular at Caroline's and Gotham Comedy Club in New York and has performed at Montreal's Just for Laughs Comedy Festival, New York's Toyota Comedy Festival and at festivals in Columbus, Detroit, Miami, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. In addition he has been a featured performer for Atlantis Cruises, Aquafest Cruises, Romance Voyages, and RSVP Vacations. Recently Eddie's short story, "Second Guessing Grandma," received critical acclaim when it appeared in the bestselling anthology When I Knew by Regan Books, a division of Harper Collins. Since 2003 he has been on the faculty of The Theatre Lab in Washington, D.C., where he teaches workshops on comedy writing and performing. Eddie recently signed a book deal with Kensington Press and is also working on several projects as a writer/performer for Logo.
Join us in the gallery for mah jongg pick-up games starting at 5 P.M.
$15, $12 students/seniors, $10 members
Sunday, December 26
Mah Jongg Mania
Bring friends and family for a day of festivities before Project Mah Jongg closes, including mah jongg games, craft activities, film screenings of The Joy Luck Club and Mah-Jongg: The Tiles that Bind, exhibition tours, and more.
11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Mah-Jongg: The Tiles that Bind (1998, 32 min.). This film is a light-hearted yet deeply moving portrait of the Asian- and Jewish-American women who play this centuries-old game. It explores the shared experiences of The Players and their families, and chronicles the very social aspect of the game - food, camaraderie, gossip, and most importantly, the life-long bonds that form between its players.
11:45 a.m. and 3 p.m. The Joy Luck Club (1993, 139 min.). Based on the best-selling book by Amy Tan, this emotional film follows four Chinese women born in the United States who struggle to understand their Chinese-born mothers.
1 P.M.-3 P.M. Mah jongg games
Co-sponsored by the National Mah Jongg League
11 P.M. -1 P.M. and 2 P.M. -4 P.M. Craft activities
For kids ages 3 to 10.
For complete details and a schedule of the day's events, visit www.projectmahjongg.com.
All activities are free with purchase of Museum admission
Fire in My Heart: The Story of Hannah Senesh
On view through July 2011
Among Israel's most important heroes is Hannah Senesh, who died by firing squad in 1944 at age 23.
This first-ever major exhibition tells how this Budapest-born poet, diarist, and author of the hymn Eli, Eli discovered her love for the Land of Israel, how she volunteered for a mission to rescue downed Allied fliers and Jews from Nazi-occupied Hungary, and how she became an enduring symbol of
courage and determination.
This exhibition is made possible through major funding from Bruce Ratner and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. Additional support provided by the David Berg Foundation and The Laszlo N. Tauber Family Foundation, Inc.
We are grateful to the Senesh Family for making the exhibition possible by providing material from their collection.
Travel generously sponsored by EL AL Airlines.
Jewish Week is the media partner.
Project Mah Jongg
Through January 2, 2011
Since the 1920s, the game of mah jongg has ignited the popular imagination with its beautiful tiles, mythical origins, and communal spirit. Come learn the history and meaning of the beloved game that became a Jewish-American tradition.
This exhibition is made possible through the generosity of the National Mah Jongg League. Additional support provided by Sylvia Kay Hassenfeld and the 2wice Arts Foundation. Exhibit design by Abbott Miller, Pentagram.
New York Magazine is the media partner.
The Morgenthaus: A Legacy of Service
Extended through September 5, 2011
The Morgenthaus have embraced the promise of America since their arrival in 1866. Wanting to contribute to their country and their communities, they dedicated themselves to public service. The exhibition tells the story of three generations of this family, and explores the fascinating ways in which their service to others changed the course of world events, American politics, and Jewish history.
This exhibition is made possible through generous funding from The Isenberg Family Charitable Trust, Marina and Stephen E. Kaufman, Lois and Martin Whitman, Jack Rudin, and New York State Senator Eric T. Schneiderman. Media sponsorship is generously provided by Manhattan Media.
Keeping History Center
Now on View
Link history with the present using the latest technology in this award-winning installation. While enjoying breathtaking views of New York Harbor, explore Voices of Liberty, a digital soundscape composed of stories about arriving on American shores or seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time. Come add your story, too. Investigate the intersection of art, memory, and time with Timekeeper, a virtual exploration of Andy Goldsworthy's stunning memorial Garden of Stones.
The Center is designed by the award-winning firms C&G Design and Potion.
The Center, dedicated by Morton Pickman in memory of Morris and Fannie Pickman, is made possible by a generous grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; with additional support from New York State Senator Eric T. Schneiderman.
Garden of Stones
On permanent display
Andy Goldsworthy's only permanent installation in New York City, Garden of Stones is a contemplative space dedicated to the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust and honors those who survived. There is no charge to visit the garden, which is open during regular Museum hours.
Each of the 18 boulders in the Garden of Stones holds a growing dwarf oak evoking not only the adversity and struggle endured by those who experienced the Holocaust, but also the tenacity and fragility of life. Survivors and their families helped the artist plant the garden in September 2003. Nearly seven years later, the living memorial garden continues to inspire in new ways.
On permanent display
MacArthur Fellow and architectural artist James Carpenter's site-specific installation captures New York Harbor's ephemeral qualities of light and water and re-presents them inside a main passageway of the waterfront Museum, creating a shimmering and ever-changing reflection.
The external events of the harbor displayed within the Museum environment are seen as a "mirroring of reality," capturing the daily seasonal light and weather cycles. Andy Goldsworthy's Garden of Stones sits one level below the Carpenter installation, and like the garden, Reflection Passage relies upon changes in the natural world to complete the artistic process.
Reflection Passage is the Gift of The Gruss Lipper Foundation
To purchase tickets to public programs call (646) 437-4202, or visit our website at www.mjhnyc.org, or visit the Museum in Lower Manhattan.
Sunday through Tuesday, Thursday 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
Wednesday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (DST)
Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (EST)
The Museum is closed on Saturday and major Jewish holidays
The Museum will close at 5 P.M. on November 24 and will be closed on November 25.
General Museum admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $7 for students. Members and children 12 and younger are admitted free.
Museum admission is free on Wednesday evenings between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Note: Tickets to public programs do not include Museum admission. Public programs may require a separate fee.
The Museum receives general operating support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a founding member of the Museums of Lower Manhattan.