06 September 2007

National Yiddish Book Center events

Check out the interesting events for those interested in family history, Jewish history, literature and culture at the National Yiddish Book Center, on the Hampshire College campus (Amherst, Massachusetts).

If you're in the neighborhood, mark your calendar now!

Programs include photo archives, klezmer groups, films, book discussions, author talks and more.

Knowledge of Yiddish is not required, but space is limited. For information, fees, directions or reservations, click here.

Here are some of the highlights:

2 p.m. Sunday, September 16
Alana Newhouse – A Living Lens

The Jewish Daily Forward, or Forverts, opens its photographic archives to the public. Editor Alana Newhouse offers an illustrated journey through the Lower East Side’s pushcarts, Yiddish theater and labor rallies – along with some true surprises.

2 p.m. Sunday, September 23
Film - Great Cantors of the Golden Age

This 1990 documentary includes highlights from Yiddish filmmaker Joseph Seiden’s 1931 film The Voice of Israel, with performances by Adolph Katchko, Josef “Yossele” Rosenblatt, David Roitman, Joseph Shlisky and Mordecai Hershman. (55 min.; B&W and color).

2 p.m. Sunday, September 30
Concert - Isle of Klezbos

This soulful, fun-loving six-piece women’s ensemble plays imaginative versions of eclectic Eastern European-rooted Jewish folk music, Yiddish swing and tango, and an ever-expanding repertoire of vibrant originals. Reservations suggested.

2 p.m. Sunday, October 21
Author's Talk - Conversation with Isaac Goldemberg, led by Ilan Stavans

Peruvian-born Isaac Goldemberg is the author of several books including his internationally acclaimed novel The Fragmented Life of Don Jacobo Lerner, which was described in the New York Times Book Review as "a moving exploration of the human condition." He is Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Hostos Community College of the City University of New York, director of the Latin American Writers Institute and editor of Brújula/Compass (a bilingual journal devoted to Latin American literature). Stavans is the Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College. Reservations suggested.

2 p.m. Sunday, October 28
Concert - Art Bailey’s Orkestra Popilar

This all-star ensemble, led by accordionist and pianist Art Bailey, includes bassist Jim Guttmann, violinists Jeremy Brown and Jake Shulman-Ment and mandolinist Brandon Seabrook. Their music is inspired by Romanian-born cymbalist Joseph Moskowitz. Reservations suggested,

2 p.m. Sunday, November 11
Artist Talk - Sarah Horowitz and Claudia Cohen

Horowitz and Cohen discuss the creation of their new book project, Alpha Botanica. A rigorously trained printmaker and devoted drawer, Horowitz’s artistic books, etchings and drawings explore the nuances of organic form, poetry and memory. Cohen is a master bookbinder and artist who specializes in limited editions, fine bindings and decorated papers.

2 p.m. Sunday, November 25
Film - Tevye

Maurice Schwartz's adaptation of the classic Sholem Aleichem play centers on Khave, Tevye the Dairyman’s daughter, who falls in love with Fedye, the son of a Ukrainian peasant. Her courtship and marriage pit Tevye’s love for his daughter against his deep-seated faith and loyalty to tradition. The clash between tradition and modernity, parental authority and love, customs and enlightenment are foreshadowed by the antisemitism of the rural community.

2 p.m. Sunday, December 2
Concert - Doina Meets Taksim

Two bands, Klezamir and XOPO, come together to offer a unique perspective on klezmer music: its relationship to gypsy and other Eastern European folk music styles. Doina is a Yiddish word which refers to a long improvised solo; taksim is the word used in Balkan music for the same thing. Join musicians Joe Blumenthal, Jim Armenti, Amy Rose, Keith Levreault, Jason Moses, Becky Ashenden, Anna Patton, Maimon Miller, Chuck Corman and Barbara Blumenthal on this musical exploration. Reservations suggested.

7 p.m. Thursday, December 6
Discussion Series - The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon

This series will explore the Jewish Diaspora through the works of prominent contemporary writers. Discussion led by Rachel Rubenstein, Hampshire College

2 p.m. Sunday, December 23
Film - To Be or Not To Be (1942)

Jack Benny and Carole Lombard star as a husband-and-wife acting team who perform with a Warsaw company. After a dashing Polish pilot falls for Lombard, he then leaves for England where he meets a mysterious man who will soon return to Poland. Could he be a Nazi spy? In a wacky series of events, Benny, Lombard and the company assume clever disguises to outwit the Germans and foil their plot. (99 mins.)

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