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Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Welcome to New York City, Rebecca Rubin

imageRebecca Rubin, a young Jewish Russian immigrant girl living on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1914, is the latest addition to the lineup of historical character dolls from American Girl. Commenting on the doll’s immaculate appearance, Jewlicious poked fun at the attempted historical accuracy, writing: “apparently the tenements in 1914 had meticulous hairdressers and Jews that were easily distinguishable from their goy brethren by the Ethnic Shawl.” The dolls come with a series of books that tell their story, and apparently the dream of young people in New York City in 1914 was no different then the dream still carried by many today, as Rebecca dreams of becoming an actress.

The goal of the company, wrote the New York Times, is “that no one be offended and that Jewish and non-Jewish little girls alike will want to play tenement house with their new toy, which costs $95 — plus more for accessories like a sideboard with a challah resting on it.” So it should be noted that not only was executive director of the Anti-Defamation League Abe Foxman not offended, but seemed pleased: “It’s sensitive,” he said. It seems American Girl has succeeded in their effort not to offend, even though some people can’t resist having a little fun with the news. Twitter user thedcc thought some current realities might also serve a purpose in Rebecca’s story, adding that: “it would be better if the granddaughter of the AmericanGirl doll moves to the LES & pays too much for a small room.” We’d like to hear the Tenement Museum’s take on all this.

What do you think Rebecca would have thought about 92YTribeca’s New Media Shabbat Dinner? Would she approve of the menu? Maybe we should consider adding Rebecca’s imagined house and synagogue to one of our Lower East Side tours. Perhaps on The Crossing Delancey Synagogue Tour someone will bring Rebecca along.




Posted in Jewish Life Jewish Programs All topics of 92nd Street Y All topics for Tribeca at 3:44pm | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



Friday, May 22, 2009
Young Friends of the Elie Wiesel Foundation

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On April 16 at 92YTribeca, the “Young Friends” of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity held their first event, a benefit cocktail party where Mr. Wiesel presented and honored Natalie Portman with an award for her work and support on behalf of the Foundation, which was established soon after he was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize for Peace. The Foundation’s mission, rooted in the memory of the Holocaust, is to combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through international dialogue and youth-focused programs that promote acceptance, understanding and equality.

A true inspiration for us all, Elie Wiesel is a dear friend of the 92nd Street Y and he was treated to a special tribute here last fall for his 80th birthday.




Posted in Jewish Programs All topics for Tribeca at 3:11pm | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



Monday, May 18, 2009
From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books

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Last September, Heeb magazine raved about Arie Kaplan’s From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books, a 2008 National Jewish Book Award Finalist and 2009 Sophie Brody Honor Book. They called it “essential for any comic book nerd, but is also a good read for anyone who is interested in the Jewish role in the creation of American popular culture.” Arie definitely has comic chops. In addition to being a MAD Magazine writer, his credits include the comic book miniseries Speed Racer: Chronicles of the Racer, the DC title Cartoon Network Action Pack, the Bongo Comics anthology Simpsons Winter Wingding and the Papercutz series Tales From the Crypt. Heeb followed up with an interview, excerpted below:

Which Jewish comic book legends did you interview for your book? A number of them—Stan Lee, Art Spiegelman, Joe Kubert, Will Eisner, Al Jaffee, Chris Claremont (who many don’t realize is Jewish), Trina Robbins, Drew Friedman—I tried to cover different ages and genres.

Was it intimidating talking to some of these people? Not really, mainly because I’d already done some work writing for tv and film, and I’d learned not to be intimidated by big names.  Once, when I was driving with my father, I got a call from Stan Lee, when it was done, and I told him who it was, he looked like a deer caught in the headlight, saying ‘But you were so nonchalant with him.’ I told him: ‘Dad, he’s a person, he wants to be treated like one.’ But I will say when I started writing for Mad, and I went to the Christmas party in this distinguished old social club, the Society of Illustrators, and there’s Mort Drucker and Al Jaffee, that was intimidating. Those guys had such an influence on me—this wasn’t like interviewing NSYNC for Bop Magazine—which I did. These guys mattered to me.

Lots more media coverage of the book can be found here, here and here. But if you’re looking for Arie Kaplan, you can find him here (as in 92YTribeca here) this Friday for Shabbat dinner where he’ll be talking about the book, latest trends within the comic book industry and giving away great comic book swag.




Posted in Jewish Programs Talks All topics for Tribeca at 6:44pm | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



Thursday, May 07, 2009
Jewverine: Man of Steel Menorah

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This picture of Matt Selman, who has written for Seinfeld and The Simpsons, dressed as “Jewverine” for Halloween has been making the rounds on the Internet since he published it last fall on Time magazine’s Nerd World blog. On the Wolverine parody, he writes:

Dudes loved the costume. No explanation necessary. “JEWVERINE!!!” “Menorah claws!!!” Triumph. Full joke Halloween costume.
...
Girls, not as much.
“Hey, it’s Super Jew!”
“No – it’s Jewverine!”
“Who?”
“Jewish Wolverine!!!”
“Who?”
“Forget it. Happy Halloween.”

Jews and comic book characters are something we’ve covered before with “The Jewish Origins of Superman” and now we’re super-excited that Arie Kaplan, comedian and MAD Magazine writer, is coming to 92YTribeca for Shabbat Dinner on May 22. His new book, From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books, is a 2008 National Jewish Book Award Finalist and 2009 Sophie Brody Honor Book. After dinner, he’ll be talking about the book, the latest trends within the comic book industry and his creation of the comic book miniseries Speed Racer: Chronicles of the Racer. Great comic book swag and delicious desserts included! 




Posted in Jewish Programs All topics for Tribeca at 2:58pm | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Hayley Siegel: Blogging About Topics That Make You Smarter

image92Y Tribeca’s very own Hayley Siegel is blogging for Jewcy! Hayley is the rabbinic intern at 92YTribeca, where she runs all of the Jewish Life programming, including Shabbat dinners, holidays and Jewish learning. In her first post at Jewcy, Passover Lessons from the Women of the Exodus Generation, Hayley writes:

If we look into the first book of Exodus, we will see that the Jewish women of this generation were a miraculous bunch powered by an endless supply of chutzpah and bravery. Yocheved, Moses’ mother, and Miriam, Moses’ older sister, were the founding members of this group. Both Yocheved and Miriam refused to submit to Pharaoh’s decree calling for all Hebrew slaves to throw their newborn baby sons into the Nile. Yocheved, helped by Miriam’s watchful eye, defies Pharaoh and his genocidal proclamations by successfully guiding Moses to safety. During this make or break moment, the women “network” with a most unlikely connection, the daughter of Pharaoh and princess of Egypt, called Batya by our rabbis. As it reads in our Torah, Pharaoh’s daughter becomes Moses’ adoptive mother during his early childhood. Without Yocheved, Miriam, and Batya’s efforts, it is doubtful that Moses, the eventual redeemer of the Jewish people, would have survived.Another renegade faction of the Exodus generation was Shiprah and Puah, the midwives who appear in the early parts of Exodus. These daring women enabled other Hebrew women to save their babies and protected the Hebrew women from Pharaoh’s retribution. We witness the women’s crafty manipulation of Pharaoh during their conversation with an irate Pharaoh, who is baffled by the high survival rates of the Jewish babies. The midwives put their lives on the line by taking the blame for the new births in the Hebrew community, “And the midwives said to Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are skilled as midwives; when the midwife has not yet come to them, they have already given birth” (EX 1:19). Interestingly, the rabbis of our Jewish tradition speculate that Shiprah and Puah were really Yocheved and Miriam.

See? The whole post is a lesson in being learned about women in the Exodus generation. You’ll be smarter when you finish reading it. 

Speaking of Jewish women, this April 23 the 92nd Street Y will be hosting Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, Jen Taylor Friedman, Dr. Tamar Kamionkowski and Dr. Judith Plaskow for a talk entitled Jewish Women, God and the Next Generation, where they ask what does God mean to Jewish women today? How does our contemporary moment—gendered and generational—affect our understanding of and connection to, the Divine?




Posted in Jewish Programs All topics for Tribeca at 2:51pm | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



Good for the Jews is Good for Yous

Video: Rob Tannenbaum of Good for the Jews on The Today Show this morning

“This is not your father’s Judaism: Jews with an edge and proud of it.” —Baltimore Jewish Times.

“A hilarious musical act. Don’t miss them.” —National Public Radio.

“Like Sarah Silverman and Jon Stewart, this show is wickedly hilarious.” —Village Voice

These are just some of the many positive reviews of Good for the Jews, a hilarious rock duo from NYC who have been profiled on NPR and delighted sold-out audiences from Seattle to Leeds, England. They often perform with Todd Barry (a 92YTribeca fixture), Lisa Loeb, Dave Attell and many others. Mixing music and comedy in an irreverent and unorthodox way, they sing about bar mitzvahs, Passover, Jewish girls and relatives who live in Boca Raton.

JewishDC attended their show a couple of weeks ago and wrote:

“One thing you can definitely say about the boys was that they definitely didn’t shy away from their audience. The houselights were on and off repeatedly as they asked us questions, heckled those of us who were too un-amused or too Christian, and at one point, Tennenbaum climbed over a few rows of chairs in order to serenade an engaged woman with a song about why she wouldn’t go out with him.

Good for the Jews vow: “No songs about dreidels. And no Israeli folk-dancing.”

They will be performing next weekend at 92YTribeca for an unorthodox night of music and comedy. If we did staff picks (oh right, we do) we would definitely highlight this one. You can listen to their music and watch a video of the boys here at GoodForTheJews.net.

Upcoming 92YTribeca events that are also good for the Jews:

  • Comedy Shabbat with Performer Amy Schumer Apr 17
  • 3GNY Spring Shabbat Dinner Apr 24
  • Celebrate Shavuot: Party 2009 May 28




  • Posted in Music Comedy Jewish Programs All topics for Tribeca at 11:39am | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



    Thursday, April 02, 2009
    Ari Gold’s Bashert

    imageLilit Marcus of Jewcy.com attended last week’s 92YTribeca Shabbat Dinner with openly gay and Jewish R&B artist Ari Gold (pictured) and took the opportunity to interview him.

    My favorite song of yours is “Bashert” [see YouTube clip]. I feel like most of your music isn’t necessarily Jewish, but then you did this song which is steeped in Jewish culture. Can you talk a little bit about that?

    I understand why you might say that my music isn’t Jewish, but I think it really is. It may not be overt, and it’s certainly not klezmer, but I feel like my Jewishness is intrinsic to everything I do. There’s soul in my voice and in my music. Yes, it may have had to do with the fact that I grew up in the Bronx listening to R&B music, but it also has to do with the soulfulness of the Jewish experience. The song “Bashert” - I’m proud of that song, it’s a love song, and the subtext of the love song is that it’s about another man. I certainly think it’s different to use a Yiddish term to describe the love between two men. Even the concept of having a soulmate - I think that concept has been so heterosexualized.

    Oh, and my first girlfriend just asked me to perform this song at her lesbian wedding.

    Read the full Q&A.

    This weekend, you can catch two Jewish queer films at 92YTribeca, Hineni: Coming Out In A Jewish High School and Trembling Before G-d, in the Jewish Risk-takers: Films that Change the World series.

    Upcoming 92YTribeca Shabbat Dinners:

  • Comedy Shabbat with Performer Amy Schumer: Apr 17
  • 3GNY Spring Shabbat Dinner: Apr 24




  • Posted in Jewish Programs All topics for Tribeca at 5:04pm | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



    Friday, March 27, 2009
    Freedom Seder: 1969 to the Present

    Video info: “On April 4, 1969, the first anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, the third night of Passover, hundreds of people of varied racial and religious communities gathered in a Black church in the heart of Washington DC to celebrate the original Freedom Seder. For the first time, it intertwined the ancient story of liberation from Pharaoh with the story of Black America’s struggle for liberation, and the liberation of other peoples as well.”

    The Shalom Center is holding the 40th Anniversary Freedom Seder in DC this weekend. For New Yorkers, we suggest and invite you to celebrate Passover at the 92nd Street Y with the festive, meaningful and inclusive programs on April 7-9. We’re also hosting a Passover Cookdown class in Tribeca on April 2 if you’re looking for tips to put a new twist on old seder plate classics.




    Posted in Jewish Life Jewish Programs All topics of 92nd Street Y All topics for Tribeca at 6:35pm | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



    Monday, March 16, 2009
    TJC’s Purim Recap

    Check out the The Jewish Channel‘s Week in Review video above and pay extra attention around the 2:40 mark when they highlight last week’s Purim Spiel at 92YTribeca. Comedian Seth Herzog breaks it all down for you.

    Related: Comedy and Jewish Life at 92YTribeca




    Posted in Comedy Jewish Programs All topics for Tribeca at 7:55pm | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



    Friday, March 06, 2009
    While Our Guitar Yently Weeps

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    The week of Purim festivities begin at 92YTribeca with our Purim Party ‘09. Perhaps you have seen the spoof video circulating? The New York Times stopped by 92YTribeca for a rehearsal performance of Purim Party ‘09 and spoke to the performers. “‘It’s our Mardi Gras,” actor David Schiller, said during a rehearsal on Thursday night. Seth Herzog, a comedian who plays the villain each year with sketchy panache, exclaimed, “This is the most Jewish thing I do. It’s my High Holy Day.”

    The Purim festivities at 92YTribeca culminate at weeks end with a Yentl sing-along, hosted by Raven Snook. Papa, can you hear me? No really, Papa, can you hear me?

    Entertainment Weekly’s PopWatch heard, and writing a post tagged “Things That Are Awesome”, were barely able to contain their excitement for a Yentl sing-along:

    “Maybe your mother didn’t sit you down,” they wrote, “in a chocolate-brown, wall-to-wall-carpeted Central Jersey living room and put the Yentl soundtrack LP on the record player until you had every song memorized...But it’s never too late to embrace Babs’ 1983 tour de force about a young Jewish woman who wants to be educated and therefore cross-dresses because societal sexism of the time forbid a woman from studying certain religious texts.

    So if you’re a cross-dresser, Talmud-lovin’ Jewess, or a fan of buttah, you should probably head over to 92YTribeca on March 13 for the first-ever Yentl singalong.”

    We may or may not be cross dressers, but either way, we agree with Entertainment Weekly’s assessment. We’ll see you there! And in support of Babs struggle for equality in religious training, this is the perfect occasion to bring out your Modern Orthodox Teffilin Barbie.




    Posted in Jewish Life Film Jewish Programs All topics for Tribeca at 10:25am | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



    Tuesday, March 03, 2009
    Meshugene Men at 92YTribeca

    Hot on the heels of the last video produced for 92YTribeca (you know the one, “There’s also The Bimonthly Ender, The Mid Bimonthly Ender, and The Mid Bimonthly Weekender Weekend Weekender!”), comes the video above, promoting Purim Party ‘09 with Wyatt Cenac and John Oliver Featuring The Shushan Channel at 92YTribeca. And following in the footsteps of it’s predecessor, The Shushan Channel’s Mad Men spoof Mushugene Men, is making the rounds across the internet, being featured in too many places to count, but we’re going to try! For example, The Huffington Post, Gothamist, LA Weekly / Hollywood Daily, VideoGum, HEEB, Jewssip, No Fact Zone (The Stephen Colbert fan site), and VideoSift. The video was directed by Mike Shapiro, written by Sheryl Zohn and Rob Kutner, features Amy Sedaris as Netty Draperberg, and was executive produced by Stephen Levinson, who also produced the Weekender parody and directed the wildly popular Jewno parody. Phew!

    The full cast and creative team is below:

    MESHUGENE MEN
    Directed by: Mitch Magee
    Written by: Sheryl Zohn & Rob Kutner
    Executive Producer: Stephen Levinson
    Co-Executive Producers: Sheryl Zohn & Rob Kutner
    Cinematography by: Todd Bieber
    Edited by: Todd Bieber

    CAST
    Dan Draperberg - Matthew Walton
    Peggy Olstein - Megan Neuringer
    Sol Romandel - Jeff Kreisler
    Pete Cohen - DC Pierson
    Roger Sterning - Eric Slovin
    Joan Holowitz - Ellie Kemper
    Pavel Kinstein - Shek Baker
    Christina - Andree Vermeulen
    Netty Draperberg - Amy Sedaris
    Client - Doug Nervik

    Art: Andrew Lin
    Theme song klezmerization: Jesse Novak
    Hair Stylist: Jackie Chan
    Makeup Artist - Emylou Rodriguez

    Production Assistants:
    Rebecca Gold
    Josh Hirshfeld
    Matthew Knauff
    Rachel Shelasky

    Special Thanks to:
    Vanessa Cohen
    Cliff Schoenberg
    Bart Coleman
    With apologies to Matthew Weiner




    Posted in Comedy Jewish Programs All topics for Tribeca at 4:16pm | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



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