Dan Ain, 92YTribeca’s new Rabbi-in-Residence, is thinking about the High Holidays. Specifically, his thoughts have turned to the new technological world we live, with astonishing access to information:
Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, was recently quoted in The Wall Street Journal, commenting on a society where “...everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time.” He predicts that every young person one day will be entitled automatically to change his or her name on reaching adulthood in order to disown youthful hijinks stored on their friends’ social media sites. Has technology really taken us to the point that we all need to change our names because of some careless photo posted years ago? Have we become that unforgiving?
If the web means the “end of forgetting” as outlined by a recent New York Times Magazine cover story, then we truly have all begun to see our lives through a technological lens.
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur provide us with the opportunity to get back to using our own eyes, our own senses, so that we can reconnect with the person we want to be, as opposed to what our technology needs us to be. Maybe then we can remember how to forgive each other and forgive ourselves, without having to resort to changing our names.
Yes, it can only mean that it’s Purim time again and The Shushan Channel is coming back to 92YTribeca on Feb 27. This year’s skewering of Purim and pop-culture is headlined by Lizz Winstead (co-creator of The Daily Show and creator of Shoot the Messenger) and features a cast from Broadway, VH-1 and Comedy Central, plus all-new hilarity from the writers behind The Daily Show, The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien and 30 Rock. Featuring a special appearance by 30 Rock’s Scott Adsit, a video presentation by Joel McHale and a surprise message from a star of The Tonight Show.
On Wed, Feb 17, we invite to enjoy a free screening of The Quiet One, with a 16mm film print from the collection of the New York Public Library. Made in cooperation with the Wiltwyck School for Boys, at Esopus, NY, this docu-drama is an account of a 10-year-old emotionally disturbed boy who is unwanted, misunderstood, and inwardly tortured.
And Sat, Feb 20 brings Nomadic Wax Presents African Underground, a full night of African Hip-Hop, film, conversation and live music featuring Meta and the Cornerstones. First, a screening of Fangafrika: The Voice of the Voiceless: A stylized look at the festival in Ouaga, in Burkina Faso, where Africa’s best and brightest rappers gather using hip hop to tackle the serious issues facing Africans everywhere.
At 8:30pm there will be panel discussion: Marketing African Media in the New Millennium: About the Intersection of Technology, Digital Media and its Impact on the African Continent.
And finally, Meta and the Cornerstones take the mainstage, featuring members from across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, and fusing Afropop, reggae, hip-hop, and serious soul with a mixture of French, English, Wolof, and Fulani vocals. It’s a night of thought and celebration not to be missed. Purchase tickets here.
What are your dinner plans this Friday? Oh, you’re not sure? Well...you might consider Tu B’Shevat Shabbat Dinner at 92YTribeca with leaders of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) to celebrate Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish New Year for Trees. With a menu carefully designed by Executive Chef Russell Moss and Food and Beverage Director Alexander (Sasha) Chack, we’ll partake in a special fruit seder, a tasting of new and exotic fruits unique to Tu B’Shevat. Afterwards, we’ll dine on a delicious farm-fresh dinner prepared with the best of nature’s bounty. After dinner, Morissa Falk, a Leadership Cabinet member of JNFuture, will talk about some of the ways we can become more environmentally conscious during the winter months. Purchase your tickets here.
Coming up, we also have Joshua Nelson: Shabbat Dinner + Kosher Gospel Performance on Feb 5, and the Jewmongous’ Passover Extravaganza! on Apr 3.
Video: The Yeshiva University Acappella group, The Maccabeats, singing For the Longest Time
This weekend we are celebrating the beginning of Chanukah, including performances with award-winning acapella groups, including performances by Six13, the YU Maccabeats (seen in video above), Ramaz Chamber Chorus and Solomon Schechter of Essex and Union Choir, as well as a special appearance by European beatbox sensation Michael Krappel. Unless you have a second home somewhere in Austria, AcapaJewza may very well be your only chance to ever experience Michael “fii” Krappel live, who performs original, vocal-only, electronic dance music, performed with nothing more than a microphone and a loop station.
The line-up for performances is as follows: Solomon Schechter Day School Junior Choir; Ramaz High School’s Chamber Choir; European beatbox sensation Michael “fii” Krappel; Yeshiva University’s Maccabeats and Six13.
New York City Opera‘s new General Manager and Artistic Director George Steel is opening his first season there with Hugo Weisgall’s final opera, Esther. Esther was a Jewish prophet and queen of the Persian Empire in the Hebrew Bible, and heroine of the Biblical Book of Esther which is named after her. In a podcast here, Charles Kondek, librettist of Esther, talks with New York City Opera about the origins and roots of the operatic piece.
For further deconstruction, on Sunday, Oct 25, New York City Opera and 92YTribeca will join together for an afternoon with spiritual leaders, scholars and creative and performing artists for an afternoon discussion, multimedia, and exploration of Hugo Weisgall’s Esther. Tickets can be purchased online here.
Talk: Toxic Friends: Gender expert Susan Shapiro Barash explores the intricacies of women’s friendships and shares insights on how women can extricate themselves from damaging friendships to create more fulfilling ones.
Film: Streetwise FREE. with a 16mm film print from the archive of the New York Public Library, and director Martin Bell and photographer Mary Ellen Mark in person for Q&A. Read more on the 92Y Blog.
Film: All the Way from Michigan Not Mars: Often raising more questions than answers, the film is a lyrical examination of Rosie Thomas’ quest for an expression of truth and her unique brand of performance. Thomas will appear in person for post-screening Q&A and to perform some songs.
High Holidays at 92YTribeca: Something To Talk About
Video: Amanda Soled sings a Bonnie Raitt classic with The Class Notes
Join the 92YTribeca community as we experience the High Holidays through friendly, spiritual services drawing from many streams of Judaism. Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar—two very special times for contemplation and renewal.
Our services this year will explore the three crucial components of the High Holiday experience: Tefillah (Prayer), Teshuvah (Repentance) and Tzedakah (Charity). By examining the High Holidays through these perspectives, we hope you’ll learn new insights into longstanding Jewish liturgy and traditions. In the midst of family, friends and new acquaintances, you’ll find countless moments for self-reflection, meditation and expression. Whether you attend Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur or both, we look forward to seeing you!
92YTribeca High Holiday services will be led by rabbinic intern Hayley Siegel and cantorial soloist Amanda Soled. Hayley is entering into her fourth year at the Academy for Jewish Religion, a pluralistic seminary located in Riverdale, New York. Check out Amanda in the video above as she sings the lead in the Bonnie Raitt hit “Something To Talk About” with The Class Notes, Cornell University’s original co-ed a cappella group.
Jester Journal was at Ronna & Beverly’s All Jew Revue: Shavuot Edition show at 92YTribeca. It was “a constant laugh riot from start to finish” and Jester Journal recalled that “Bev relates wanting to have some ‘upper middle age love’ with her contractor.” Who doesn’t relate to that, right? We’re all practically middle aged now anyways, if you consider we’ll move on after 70 years or so. So bring on the middle aged love!
A Frenchman, a German, and a Jew are Walking Through the Desert…
This week’s New York Magazinecover story is on Woody Allen’s latest movie, Whatever Works. The screenplay, they note, calls to mind “a brand of Jewish humor that has, in recent years, been all but scrubbed out—neurotic, depressive, abrasive, excluded.” With that, the magazine proceeded to celebrate this humor with a PDF displaying the evolution of a Jewish joke, and a piece on OldJewsTellingJokes.com:
The site, for which he filmed family members and friends telling 30-second-to-three-minute stories...A quarter of the site’s visitors are under 35. “For them, it’s comfort food,” says Hoffman. “It’s a visit with Uncle Steve, who isn’t around anymore. And it channels an element of the culture that isn’t religion but still makes them feel connected.” It’s also a window to a world where certain topics never went out of style: food, sex, aging, analysis, misdiagnosis, couples who hate each other, eating while dying, eating while shtupping, shtupping while dying.