Special Events Videos

Culture Passport: Sukkot + The Jewish Traditions of Calabria, Italy

In Calabria, Italy's southernmost region, nearly 50 percent of the population was once Jewish. Hundreds of Crypto-Jewish families were desperate to cling to a remnant of their Jewish traditions, and in order to stay safe from the Inquisition, they needed to hide in plain sight. Virtually walk with Rabbi Barbara Aiello during Sukkot, known by local Catholics as la festa delle capanne. We’ll find ourselves under the sukkah where the etrog grows and explore the Kabbalistic meaning of the lulav, the traditional Jewish bouquet of branches. Together we investigate the Calabrian mountain towns and see the remarkable things our Jewish ancestors did to keep their traditions alive

Culture Passport: Yom Kippur + The Secret Jews of Majorca Island

The Spanish Island of Majorca is known for its beach resorts, limestone mountains, and being home to tennis celebrity Rafael Nadal. But Majorca holds a secret, never discussed in most travel guides. During the Inquisition, the Crypto-Jews or Chuetas publicly professed Catholicism while privately adhering to Judaism. In fact, in the year 1677 they were caught celebrating Yom Kippur in an orchard outside the city walls. Though they were condemned by the authorities, centuries later, the descendants of 15 endogamous families still quietly preserve the light of the Jewish flame. Join guide Dani Rotstein on a special virtual tour of Majorca’s history and its lessons for all Jews today.

Great Big Community Book Club: The Forest of Vanishing Stars

After you've read The Forest of Vanishing Stars, join a thoughtful virtual conversation with author Kristin Harmel about how her latest novel came to be, and take a deeper dive into its themes and secrets.

Thank You For Coming Out (at the J): Kristen Arnett, With Teeth

In the closing event of this series in celebration of Pride, we hear from bestselling author Kristin Arnett. Blending the warmth and wit of her breakout hit, Mostly Dead Things, with a candid take on queer family dynamics, Kristen Arnett’s With Teeth is a thought-provoking portrait of the delicate fabric of family—and the many ways it can be torn apart.

Thank You For Coming Out (at the J): Emery Lee, Meet Cute Diary

In the third installment of this series in celebration of Pride, we meet Emery Lee, a kidlit author, artist, and YouTuber hailing from a mixed-race background. Meet Cute Diary is a swoon-worthy, heartfelt rom-com by Emery Lee that tells the story of how a transgender teen’s first love challenges his ideas about perfect relationships.

Medicare for All: A Citizen’s Guide

In their new book, Medicare for All: A Citizen’s Guide, health care and public policy experts Abdul El-Sayed, M.D., Ph.D., and Micah Johnson, M.D., go beyond partisan talking points to take a serious look at the policy and politics of Medicare for All. They’re joined in conversation by Sherry Glied, Ph.D., dean of New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and former assistant secretary at the United States Department of Health and Human Services under the Obama administration.

Panel Discussion on Heartbeat Opera's Breathing Free: A Visual Album

A virtual panel and Q+A with the creators of Heartbeat Opera's Breathing Free.
(If you joined us for the film, but missed the panel or had to leave early, you can get caught up here.)

In 2018, Heartbeat Opera collaborated with 100 incarcerated singers from six prison choirs to create a contemporary American Fidelio told through the lens of Black Lives Matter. In 2020—the year of George Floyd’s murder, a pandemic that ravaged our prison population, and the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth—they curated a song cycle, brought to life in vivid music videos, mingling excerpts from Fidelio with Negro spirituals and songs by Black composers and lyricists, which together manifest a dream of justice, equity...and breathing free.

ANU Museum's Operation Moses

From 1984 to 1991, Doron Bacher, the house photographer at ANU Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv, photographed and documented the aliyah of Ethiopian Jewry, known as Operation Moses. This resulted in over 10,000 images that enriched the museum's archives. In 2014, the museum, along with Bacher and film director Orly Malessa, created an original exhibition examining what had transpired in the community and the lives of those in the photographs after making aliyah to Israel.

In this exclusive event, an ANU tour guide takes us virtually through the exhibition which includes videos and personal stories which lay out complex realities faced by Jews of Color in Israel today.

Thank You For Coming Out (at the J): Dr. François Clemmons, Officer Clemmons

This event contains mature language.

In the second installment of this series in celebration of Pride, we hear from Dr. François Clemmons, who made history as the first African American actor to have a recurring role on a children's program, Mister Rogers Neighborhood. In his memoir, Officer Clemmons, he details his incredible life story beginning with his early years, through his studies as a music major at Oberlin College where Clemmons began to investigate and embrace his homosexuality, to a chance encounter with Fred Rogers that changed the course of both men’s lives—leading to a deep, spiritual friendship and mentorship spanning nearly 40 years.

Culture Passport: Mexico—How Dance Is a Cultural Bridge

For nearly 50 years, Festival Aviv in Mexico City has brought together members of the Mexican Jewish community through dance. Participants of the dance festival and the CDI (Centro Deportivo Israelita—The Jewish Sports Center) join us to discuss the uniqueness of Mexican Jewish culture and the importance of dance as an integrator of all Mexican Jewish sectors.

Thank You For Coming Out (at the J): John Paul Brammer, ¡Hola Papi!

In celebration of Pride, the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, in collaboration with Dubbs Weinblatt and their podcast, Thank You For Coming Out, is presenting a conversation series that amplifies voices from a wide spectrum of the LGBTQIA+ community. The universal themes will surprise, enlighten, and inspire you.

In the first installment of this series, we hear from popular LGBTQ advice columnist John Paul Brammer, who has written a hilarious, heartwarming memoir-in-essays, ¡Hola Papi!


Culture Passport: Israel—Tour the Treasures of the National Library of Israel

Travel virtually through history and into The National Library of Israel (NLI), a vibrant cultural institution dedicated to collecting and presenting the treasures of Israel, the Jewish people worldwide, and the Middle East. Raquel Ukeles, Ph.D., head of collections at NLI, and Adina Kanefield, CEO of NLI USA, take us on a tour through the library's main collections and share the history of this gem in Jerusalem.

Authors in Quarantine: Community Book Talks with Julie Barer | Paula McLain
(When the Stars Go Dark)

Literary agent Julie Barer talks with Paula McLain about her most recent work, When the Stars Go Dark, an atmospheric novel of intertwined destinies and heart-wrenching suspense. Paula McLain is the New York Times–bestselling author of the novels Love and Ruin, Circling the Sun, The Paris Wife, and A Ticket to Ride; the memoir Like Family: Growing Up in Other People's Houses; and two collections of poetry.

Culture Passport: Morocco—Exploring Moroccan Multiculturalism

In this new series, Culture Passport, The Lambert Center for Arts + Ideas takes you around the world to virtually explore exciting institutions, engage with artists, and experience unique cultures from an array of countries—all from the comfort of your own home. In this event we visit Morocco. Exploring an Arab-Islamic State affirming its Hebraic roots, we see some of the elements that have taken place within the past two decades that reflect a history of coexistence that goes back over 2000 years.

Jake Cohen: Jew-ish—Cooking and Conversation with Stephanie Butnick of Tablet's Unorthodox Podcast

Jew-ish, the new cookbook by popular chef and modern mensch Jake Cohen, puts a fresh spin on classic favorites. Cook along with Jake as he makes an exciting new dessert for your seder, while Unorthodox’s Stephanie Butnick talks with Cohen about the inspiration behind the book.

Culture Passport: Poland

In this new series, Culture Passport, The Lambert Center for Arts + Ideas takes you around the world to virtually explore exciting institutions, engage with artists, and experience unique cultures from an array of countries—all from the comfort of your own home. Our first stop: POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews with Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett.

Authors in Quarantine: Community Book Talks with Julie Barer Lauren Fox
(Send for Me)

Literary agent Julie Barer talks with Lauren Fox about her latest book, Send for Me, an epic and intimate exploration of mothers and daughters, duty and obligation, hope and forgiveness. Lauren Fox is the author of the novels Days of Awe, Still Life with Husband, and Friends Like Us. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Marie Claire, Parenting, Psychology Today, The Rumpus, and Salon.

Authors in Quarantine: Community Book Talks with Julie Barer 
Rumaan Alam (Leave the World Behind)

Literary agent Julie Barer talks with Rumaan Alam about his latest book, 

Leave the World Behind, an instant New York Times bestseller that explores how our closest bonds are reshaped—and unexpected new ones are forged—in moments of crisis. Rumaan Alam is also the author of the novels Rich and Pretty and That Kind of Mother, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, Bookforum, and The New Republic.

Election Debrief with Jami Floyd + Guests

WNYC's Jami Floyd discusses the outcomes of the 2020 election with Arun Venugopal, a reporter who focuses on issues of race and immigration for WNYC; and Lee Hill, Executive Producer for The Takeaway.

Authors in Quarantine: Community Book Talks with Julie Barer
J. Courtney Sullivan (Friends and Strangers)

Literary agent Julie Barer talks with J. Courtney Sullivan about her latest book, Friends and Strangers—an insightful, hilarious, and compulsively readable novel about a complicated friendship between two women who are at two very different stages in life. J. Courtney Sullivan is the New York Times best-selling author of the novels Commencement, Maine, The Engagements, Saints for All Occasions, and Friends and Strangers.

Authors in Quarantine: Community Book Talks with Julie Barer Lysley Tenorio
(The Son of Good Fortune)

Literary agent Julie Barer talks with author Lysley Tenorio about his recent book and about how hard times affect creativity. The Son of Good Fortune is Tenorio’s debut novel. He is also the author of the story collection Monstress, named a book of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle. His stories have appeared in the Atlantic, Zoetrope: All-Story, and Ploughshares, and have been adapted for the stage by The American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and the Ma-Yi Theater in New York City.

Authors in Quarantine: Community Book Talks with Julie Barer: Lily King (Writers & Lovers) and Madeline Miller (Circe)

Literary agent Julie Barer talks with authors Madeline Miller (Circe) and Lily King (Writers & Lovers) about their most recent works and how hard times affect creativity. King is the award-winning author of the novels The Pleasing Hour, The English Teacher, Father of the Rain, and Euphoria, which was one of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2014. Miller's book The Song of Achilles was awarded the Orange Prize for Fiction and has been translated into 25 languages.

My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me: A Conversation with Jason Rosenthal

Ten days before she died, acclaimed author Amy Krouse Rosenthal had a piece published in The New York Times' Modern Love section that was a heartbreaking play on a personal ad encouraging her husband, Jason, to find happiness after she died. The column instantly went viral, reaching over five million people worldwide. Jason discusses love, loss, and resilience,and his new memoir, My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me, in conversation with Jeannie Blaustein, founding board chair, Reimagine.

Authors in Quarantine: Community Book Talks with Julie Barer: Anna Solomon (The Book of V)

Literary agent Julie Barer talks with author Anna Solomon about her most recent work and how hard times affect creativity. One of Entertainment Weekly's "Most Anticipated Quarantine Reads," Solomon's The Book of V. is a bold, kaleidoscopic novel intertwining the lives of three women across three centuries as their stories of sex, power, and desire finally converge in the present day.

Authors in Quarantine: Community Book Talks with Julie Barer: Ann Napolitano (Dear Edward)

Julie Barer talks with author Ann Napolitano about her most recent work and how hard times affect creativity. Napolitano's Dear Edward is at once a transcendent coming-of-age story, a multidimensional portrait of an unforgettable cast of characters, and a breathtaking illustration of all the ways a broken heart learns to love again.

Madeleine Albright in Conversation
Interviewed by Abigail Pogrebin

Roz Chast in Conversation
Interviewed by Rabbi David Ingber

Somebody Feed Phil: A Screening and Conversation with Phil Rosenthal and Judy Gold

Israel Story Live: "Mixtape," The Stories Behind Israel's Ultimate Playlist

Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life
With Dr. Jessica Zitter and JTS Chancellor Arnold Eisen

Where Did "We the People" Go?
With Thomas Friedman in conversation with CEO and author Dov Seidman

Think Bigger: A Conversation with Michael Sonnenfeldt + Andrew Ross Sorkin

Colson Whitehead in Conversation

Exploring the Science of Creativity, Meditation, and the Brain
with Sharon Isbin, Bob Roth, and Dr. Norman Rosenthal

My Jewish Year: A Book Launch Event
with Abigail Pogrebin + Rabbi Joy Levitt

Unorthodox Live
with Mark Oppenheimer, Stephanie Butnick, Liel Leibovitz, and Jonathan Goldstein

Russian Voices Literary Night: Boris Fishman, Irna Reyn, Lara Vapnyar, Olga Breydo and Sana Krasikov
in conversation with Liel Leibovitz

Decision 2016
with Peter Beinart and Bethany Mandel

Israel Story In Love

Movie Freaks in Conversation
with Owen Gleiberman and Lisa Schwartzbaum

The Closing of the Russian Mind
with Masha Gessen

To listen to other podcasts in this series, click here.