Looking for some Jewish entertainment while your neighbors are celebrating their holiday? Come enjoy the annual klezmer concert at the Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County in Freehold on Monday, Dec. 25 at 2 p.m. Performing will be the Hester Street Troupe, whorecently released their third recording, On Second Avenue, a celebration of songs from Yiddish vaudeville and the Lower East Side. Their first recording was Generation to Generation,whose songs are designed to connect listeners with Jewish traditions and experience. The second recording, Sounds of the Shtetl, incorporates the sounds of former Eastern European Jewish communities into the musical selections.
The group has played before audiences throughout the New York Metropolitan Area and Florida for more than 20 years.
Tickets are $20 for museum members and $25 for non-members. To purchase tickets go to jhmomc.org. For information call (732) 252-6990.
Congregation B’nai Tikvah in North Brunswick will host a Morning of Solidarity with the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) on Sunday, Dec. 7 at 9 a.m. featuring intelligence analyst, expert on Israel and Middle Easter affairs and geopolitics Avi Melamed. He is Founder and CEO of Inside the Middle East Intelligence Perspectives (ITME), an empowering intelligence analysis practice designed to transform others into knowledgeable, media literate critical thinkers.
Melamed is a former Israeli intelligence official and senior official on Arab affairs and has held high-risk government, senior advisory and counter-terrorist intelligence positions in Arab cities and communities throughout the region on behalf of Israeli government agencies. He has authored or co-authored several books on the Middle East.
A full catered breakfast will be served. Cost is $36 for synagogue members and $54 for non-members. Registration is required at fidf.org/events/morningofsolidarity. For more information, call the synagogue at (732) 297-0696 or bnaitikvah.org.
Even during difficult times there’s lots to laugh about Israeli life. Israeli-American comedian Joel Chasnoff will share the “joys and oys” of Jewish life and all things Israel when he appears Monday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center of Middlesex County in Edison. Chasnoff is a former IDF soldier and the author of several non-fiction books, the latest of which is Israel 201, which will be available for signing. Currently on a tour of North America, his show is described as a celebration of all things Israe., Chasnoff’s program will include such issues as how Jerusalem’s stray cat problem touched of a religious debate and a humorous take on his own moving to Israel and starting a new life.
Tickets are $18. Register online by Dec. 18 at jccmc.org or in-person or by calling the member services desk at (732) 494-3232. For more information contact Donna Oshri at doshrijccmc.org.
At a time when antisemitism is rising on college campuses Dr. Corrine E. Blackmer will discuss Academic Freedom, Open Discourse, Social Justice and the LGBTQ Community in Israel n Sunday, Jan.7 at 10:30 a.m. at Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick. She will talk about how the Boycott, Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement has become a central part of social justice advocacy on campus, particularly within gender and sexuality studies programs.
Blackmer is professor of English and Judaic studies at Southern Connecticut State University. She has authored numerous articles on Jewish Studies, Women’s
Modernism, LGBTQ/Queer studies, the Hebrew Bible, and American literature. She spent part of her youth in Israel and served as an assistant medic in the Israeli Defense Forces on the Sinai-Egyptian front during the Yom Kippur War. Her book, Queering Anti-Zionism: Academic Freedom, LGBTQ Intellectuals, and Israel/Palestine Campus Activism, critiques scholars whose anti-Israel bias pervades their activism as well as their academic work.
Cost is $15 for members, $18 for non-members and $10 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased online through Jan. 2 at https://ansheemethmemorialtemple.shulcloud.com/form/keepers-blackmer-2024. Cash-only tickets will also be available at the door.