Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New Year and New Programs

I’d like to introduce you to a new staff member, Gabriel Sanders, our Director of Public Programs. We have asked him to let us know which September and October programs he is looking forward to the most.

Today’s high may be a balmy 85, but don’t be fooled: summer’s inching toward its close. Sure, there may be a few more weeks of fun and sun, but once those straw hats and white shoes get put in storage, it’s going to be time to get serious.

Fall’s arrival has always been a somber time for Jews—a period of stock-taking and introspection. For New Yorkers — and Americans generally — this will be doubly true this September, as we mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Our programs for September and October look in both these directions—at the Jewish calendar and at our post 9/11 world.

We begin the season on September 7 with a discussion of Trauma’s Afterlife. Psychologists Elizabeth Goren and Rachel Yehuda, authorities of post-traumatic stress disorder, will assess the myriad ways in which the events of September 11, 2001, continue to inform our psychic lives, even as attack itself starts to fade into the past.

On October 2, the Sunday before Yom Kippur, we play host to Kol Nidre: Finding Meaning Through Music, an exploration of the holiday’s central prayer.

But our fall lineup is not only about somberness and introspection. The High Holidays are also about food, family, and fun.

On September 18, cookbook author Jayne Cohen will lead a discussion on the state of contemporary Jewish cuisine with a panel of top New York restaurateurs. The program, Beyond Borscht and Bourekas, will be followed by a light—and presumably cholent-free—reception.

The following Sunday, September 25, will feature a different sort of holiday feast: The storytelling duo Play Me a Story, will perform a Rosh Hashanah-flavored version of the children’s classic Stone Soup.

The season’s concluding offering, in connection with the Museum’s exhibition Emma Lazarus: Poet of Exiles, will be an October 30 walking tour of the poet’s New York haunts. Seems strange to think it in mid-August, but you’ll probably need a coat.

(image: Play Me a Story by Julie Platner)

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