Jewish Renegades in the Arts

The University at Albany's Center for Jewish Studies presents “Jewish Renegades in the Arts,” a series of events over the 2010-11 academic year that explores both iconic and lesser-known Jewish artistic figures and phenomena as they challenge conventional wisdom, Jewish tradition, and societal norms. Featuring a wide-range of renowned scholars, writers, and artists from the Capital District and beyond, "Jewish Renegades in the Arts" is certain to provoke, educate, and entertain.

All events are free and open to the public.

The Modicut Puppet Theater
7:30PM: Thursday, October 7, 2010 @ William K. Sanford Town Library

Historian Eddy Portnoy surveys the fascinating story of the Modicut Theatre: the first Yiddish language puppet theater in America, which delivered sharp satire with a distinctly left-wing political outlook.View Details…

Abayudaya: the Music of the Jews of Uganda
7PM: Thursday, October 14, 2010 @ WAMC Linda Norris Auditorium

After adopting Judaism a century ago, Uganda’s Abayudaya began creating a musical tradition marrying the rhythms and harmonies of Africa with Jewish celebration and traditional Hebrew prayer. Musician Mike Cohen, who has spent time among the Abayudaya in the village of Putti, will take the audience on a musical tour of this singular African community of people who live Jewish lives, have survived persecution, and assert, “We have been saved by our music.” View Details…

The Jazz Singer (1927)
7PM: Thursday, November 4, 2010 @ Spectrum 8 Theatres

The Jazz Singer is arguably the iconic story of the Jewish renegade, caught between his traditions and success in the secular world. The Jazz Singer features a mesmerizing performance by Al Jolson that dazzled its original audience, helped usher in a talking-pictures revolution, and still resonates today. Film historian Audrey Kuperferberg will introduce the film and lead a post-film discussion.View Details...

Scarface (1932)
7PM, Thursday, December 9, 2010 @ Spectrum 8 Theatres

During the 1930s and 40s, several Jewish actors earned stardom playing tough guys, challenging the stereotype of the unathletic, unassertive Jew. Film historian Rob Edelman will introduce and moderate a discussion following a screening of Scarface, starring Jewish tough guy Paul Muni.View Details…

Beyond the Pale by Elana Dykewomon
7:30PM: Thursday, February 3, 2011 @ The Golub Center: United Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York

This novel follows a young girl who immigrates to New York after a pogrom that kills her parents and scatters her family. She and her cousin go to work in the garment industry and eventually bear witness to the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. Prof. Martha Rozett leads a discussion of lesbian activist Elana Dykewomon’s novel.View Details…

Philip Roth Then & Now: Goodbye, Columbus and The Humbling
12PM: Monday, March 14, 2011 @ William K. Sanford Town Library
Writers Ed Schwarzschild and Elisa Albert discuss the greatest living American Jewish fiction writer, Phillip Roth, through the lens of his first and most recent works, with a focus on his half-century-long themes of rebellion against societal norms. View Details…

Idol Worship in the Yiddish Press and Other Stories
2PM: Sunday, April 10, 2011 @ Albany Institute of History and Art

Ben Katchor, the graphic novelist whose acclaimed works include The Jew Of New York and Julius Knipl: Real Estate Photographer, discusses the symbolic and accidental references embedded within works created by the Yiddish printing press. View Details…

This series was made possible by:
Legacy Heritage Fund

Association for Jewish StudiesThe University at Albany Foundation

Barry Trachtenberg, Interim Director
University at Albany Center of Jewish Studies