From the Bowery to Broadway: An exhibit of how Yiddish theater of the early 1900s influenced Broadway and even Hollywood. It’s a story of how an immigrant group from Eastern Europe became part of the melting pot that is America, leaving a legacy along the way. The exhibit is through July at the Museum f the City of New York, Fifth Avenue at 103rd St. Free with admission. Look for the the golden statuette “Goldy”, the Yiddish theater version of the Oscar.
- Backstory: In 1900, at a time when the city’s total Jewish population was just one half a million, New York City’s Yiddish theaters sold one million tickets. By the mid-1920s, the city’s 14 Yiddish theater houses on the Lower East Side served some 300,000 families. Broadway stars including funny girl Fanny Bryce went to Broadway from the Yiddish theater tradition.
Sunday, April 10
Matzah Factory at the Jewish Children’s Museum – This hands-on workshop guides kids to cut, thresh, and grind wheat into flour, and race against the clock, to make their own matzah to take home. Choose from one of three sessions, 1pm, 1:45pm, 2:30pm. Also on Sunday April 17. At the Jewish Children’s Museum, 792 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn. Free with admission.
Matzapalooza: Re-Imagining Passover Seder at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – This is a family-friendly day of interactive workshops including designing a family Haggadah, cooking demonstrations, sing-alongs of Passover songs, and a special Kosher marketplace for artisanal food and other Passover items. Matzapalooza is noon 1pm to 3pm at the Museum of Jewish Heritage is at 36 Battery Place. Fee is $8 per person and includes museum admission. Get tickets here
Monday, April 11
Who are the Litvaks? – Learn about this important but little-understood tribe of East European Jews from the part of northeastern Europe that today includes Lithuania, Belarus, Latvia, parts of northeast Poland, eastern Ukraine and westernmost Russia. Known for their unique dialect of Yiddish and (Ashkenazic) Hebrew, as well as for their alleged stubbornness, love of learning, lack of patience with the presumably unsubstantial, and at times humorlessness and eccentric streak, the Litvak ethos lurks in many of today’s Jewish people internationally. This is a FREE lecture by internationally known Yiddish scholar Prof. Dovid Katz, at the Mid-Manhattan Library, across Fifth Avenue from the Main Branch with the lions out front. The program starts at 6:30, but get there by 6:15 to get a seat. Event website.
Tuesday, April 12
Anti-Semitism 1919-1939 at the New York Historical Society – This timely new exhibit, opening today, examines the rise of a culture of hatred in Germany and Europe. At a time of continuing anti-Semitic propaganda and attacks against Jewish communities in Europe and elsewhere – plus anti-immigrant rhetoric by some candidates in the current US presidential election primary – this powerful exhibition traces and examines the gradual and deliberate indoctrination of German citizens into active hatred of of a people Jews through the ubiquitous words and images seen daily, which ended with the murder of more than six million Jews and others in the Holocaust. The exhibit is on view April 12 through July 31. The New York Historical Society is at Central Park West and 76th St.
Still to come:
Sunday, April 17
Matzo Madness! at the Museum at Eldridge Street – Passover puppets, holiday bingo and more, including the chance to make edible plagues and embark on a Passover scaenger hunt. This event is designed for ages 4-11, and cost is $20 per family. 11am to 1pm at The Museum at Eldrige Street, 12 Eldridge Street.Matzah Factory at the Jewish Children’s Museum – Repeat of event on Sunday, April 10. See above.
Friday, April 22, 2016
Shabat Shabbang Jr. at the JCC Manhattan – Join the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan for a special Shabbat Seder for families. Share a seasonally inspired dairy meal, and program offerings that spark creativity and exploration. Reservations are recmmended. $72 for adults, $36 for 20s + 30s, $50 for children under 13, free for children under 2. At 6:30pm at JCC Manhattan 334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street.
Saturday, April 23, 2016
Creative Family Passover Seder at 92Y – This is a modern, communal family Seder led by Rebecca Schoffer, director of Jewish Family engagement. Reservations are recommended. From: $75, free for children under 1. At 5pm at the 92Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street. Get tickets here
Monday, April 25, 2016
Colorful Tapestries for Passover Workshop at the Jewish Museum – This hands-on workshop for children is inspired by the museum’s current Isaac Mizrahi exhibition, participants use a wide array of fabric to create a tapestry collage suited for the Passover holiday. Suitable for ages 3 & up, free with museum admission. Be be sure to visit the Mizrahi fashion exhibit – even young children will appreciate a dress made out of shredded Coca Cola cans. The workshop is 1pm to 4pm at The Jewish Museum, 1109 5th Avenue at 92nd Street.