The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
On January 16, we honored Dr. King’s legacy, by presenting an interfaith discussion that focused on the relationship between spiritual practice and social change. Leaders from Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, and Muslim communities discussed the lessons of justice and equality that inspire their own activism. (This year, we will pay homage to this champion of civil rights with Breach of Peace: Portraits of the 1962 Freedom Riders on January 14.)
Third Annual New York's Best Emerging Jewish Artists
After two years of “funny and subversive” sold-out shows, this event, hosted by comedienne Catie Lazarus, showcased a new line-up of the best local Jewish talent on July 9. Up-and-coming artists took the stage for a dynamic evening of downtown’s best comedy and music and wrapped up with the Museum's first ever fashion show by Brooklyn designer Levi Okunov.
Irène Némirovsky: A Daughter’s Discovery
On September 24, Denise Epstein, daughter of Irène Némirovsky was interviewed by Suite Française translator Sandra Smith. Fifty years after her mother’s death, Denise discovered and transcribed the first two parts of the remarkable, unfinished five-part novel. She spoke openly, and emotionally, about her mother’s life and work. A podcast of this incredible program can be found here.
Soulfarm and Moshav Band
On October 29, these two popular bands came to Edmond J. Safra Hall as part of Daniel Pearl World Music Days. They brought with them unique blends of rock, reggae, folk, funk, and soul... and quite possibly the most spirited audience the staff here has ever seen. From conga lines to impromptu stage dives (heartily discouraged... ambulance sirens is one thing that doesn't blend well with rock and reggae), everyone had a great time.
Rosenblatt Forum Jews Living in Islamic Lands
On November 16, a sold-out audience sat enraptured as panel discussed two dynamic cultures who call the same region home. Dr. Robert Satloff, Director of the Washington Institute, presented an informative and fascinating lecture on the history of Jews in the Middle East; Authors André Aciman and Lucette Lagnado spoke of their families' exile from their beloved Egypt; and religions scholar Reza Aslan shed light on the shared history of Judaism and Islam.
Honorable Mentions (we just couldn't let you forget about these)
Shalom Auslander discussed his incredible memoir about his struggle with his strict religious upbringing. He was both insightful and hilarious--and he signed my book!
This performance of Steve Reich's masterwork was performed after the Annual Gathering of Remembrance by the Israeli Contemporary String Quartet. Visually and musically compelling, the piece introduced a new language to express the horrors of the Holocaust.
This documentary is about Monika Hertwig, who struggles with the crimes of her father, Nazi leader Amon Goeth. Feeling a need to come to terms with this legacy of evil, Ms. Hertwig reaches out to Holocaust survivor Helen Jonas, who lived enslaved under Goeth's roof for nearly two years. The film itself is incredibly moving, but seeing the two women on stage together, speaking so openly about such an emotional experience and journey was a truly unique experience.