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Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston
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The JCC Performance and Lecture Series brings provacative topics together with distinguished performers, scholars, artists, writers and activists to explore Jewish culture and questions of identity in the 21st century.

Upcoming Programs

All events held at the Leventhal-Sidman JCC (333 Nahanton Street, Newton) unless otherwise noted.

From Conflict to Peace – Lessons of Diplomacy from other Nations

A Jonathan Samen Hot Buttons, Cool Conversations Discussion Series event

  • Date

    Tuesday, October 21 (7:30pm)

  • Location

    Leventhal-Sidman JCC

    333 Nahanton Street, Newton, MA 02459

  • Age Groups

    Adult|Senior

  • Cost

    Cost: $18 JCC members, students, seniors: $15

Description

A night of critical reflection with NPR’s On Point host Tom Ashbrook. Given the current political climate in Israel, can models of diplomacy from places like Northern Ireland and South Africa help light a way forward?  Can the legacies of nations once beleaguered by genocide, tribal warfare, apartheid and oppression point a path to a lasting peace and a future of shared progress and development?
 
Esteemed panelists impart their wisdom about what we can learn from memory, truth and reconciliation: 

Dr. Fran Buntman grew up in South Africa. She teaches in the areas of criminal justice, punishment, and law in the Sociology Department at George Washington University. She is also the director of the school’s interdisciplinary Law and Society minor. Her publications include Robben Island and Prisoner Resistance to Apartheid (2003) and "Therapeutic jurisprudence, apartheid's victims, and the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission" (2011). Her current research projects examine the relationships between forgiveness and reconciliation and between destruction and resistance.

Dr. Francis Costello is a native of the U.S. who has lived and worked in Belfast for the past 15 years. He is a business consultant who focuses on economic development and building partnerships. He served in the U.S. Government during the Clinton Administration and as Chief of Staff to Rep. Joseph Kennedy. Dr. Costello holds a doctorate in Irish Studies from Boston College. He is the author of three books of Irish interest, including The Irish Revolution and the Aftermath

Zen Master Bernie Glassman is a world-renowned pioneer in the American Zen Movement. He is a spiritual leader, published author, accomplished academic and successful businessman with a PhD in Applied Mathematics. He is the founder of the Zen Peacemakers and a founding board member of the Social Ventures Network, a network of businesses committed to social change. He is a co-author of Bearing Witness: A Zen Masters Lessons in Making Peace.
 
Tom Ashbrook, moderator (pictured), is the award-winning host of National Public Radio’s On Point, produced by WBUR Boston. He previously served as an editor at The Boston Globe and as a foreign correspondent based in India, Hong Kong and Japan.

The Jonathan Samen Hot Buttons, Cool Conversations Discussion Series brings together distinguished scholars, artists and activists to engage in unique exchanges around controversial and difficult subjects. Nationally, and often internationally, renowned panelists are led by expert moderators through respectful and thought-provoking discussions.

Through this series the JCC serves as a community living room - a place where people who hold divergent opinions and perspectives come together, share ideas
and gain understanding. Hot Buttons, Cool Conversations is ground-breaking in that it creates an opportunity for intellectual and emotional exchange, and makes a space for passion, insight and creativity to take root.

The series is named in memory of and in honor of Jonathan Samen, past chair of the JCC Governing Board whose legacy of leadership includes his unique ability to bring together people from different sides of an issue to work together to achieve positive results. 

The Jonathan Samen Hot Buttons, Cool Conversations Discussion Series is underwritten by generous donor support.

From Within – Songs of Healing and Renewal

An interfaith concert featuring Jodi Blankstein

  • Date

    Saturday, October 25 (7:30pm)

  • Location

    Leventhal-Sidman JCC

    333 Nahanton Street, Newton, MA 02459

    Contact Phone Number: 617-965-5226

  • Age Groups

    Adult|Senior

  • Cost

    $15; JCC members, students, seniors cost: $12

Description

Join Cantorial Soloist Jodi Blankstein (pictured), Minister of Music Laura Weiss and guitarist Adam Dehner for an interfaith concert featuring soulful songs of healing, renewal and resilience. Born out of an interfaith musical relationship, the concert is filled with beautiful melody and rich harmony that will lift your spirit. Visit jodichants.com to hear samples of this inspiring music.
 
Jodi has served as the cantorial soloist at Temple Emanuel in Andover since 2011. Beginning this fall, she will begin leading Congregation Mishkan Tefila in Newton and the Beth El Temple Center in Belmont in weekly song and prayer. Minister of Music Laura Weiss is the Director of Music Programming, Organist, Choir Director, and Children’s Choir Director for South Church in Andover. Adam Dehner is a founding member of the popular contemporary Jewish band Yom Hadash. He is a studio musician, record producer and guitar teacher in Boston.
 
Co-sponsored by JF&CS Jewish Healing Connections, Mayyim Hayyim, and JCC Interfaith Connections.

 All JCC arts and humanities offerings are programs of the Ryna Greenbaum JCC Center for the Arts.

Comedian Richard Lewis

With Mike Jacobs

  • Date

    Saturday, November 1 (8pm) and Sunday, November 2 (2pm)

  • Location

    Leventhal-Sidman JCC

    333 Nahanton Street, Newton, MA 02459

    Contact Phone Number: 617-965-5226

  • Age Groups

    Adult|Senior

  • Cost

    $35; JCC members, students, seniors cost: $32

Description

Perhaps Mel Brooks put it best when he said, “Richard Lewis may just be the Franz Kafka of modern day comedy.”
 
Comedy Central has recognized Richard Lewis (pictured) as one of the top 50 stand-up comedians of all-time. GQ Magazine named Lewis one of the ‘20th Century’s Most Influential Humorists.’ Lewis has taken his lifelong therapy fodder and carved it into a commanding, compelling art form. Lewis remains addicted to performing before live audiences and is on a continuous Tracks of My Fears stand-up tour. In live performance he is often compared to a jazz musician for his wild riffs that fly out into space but always find a way to float back into rhythm as they splatter recurring themes against a spiraling, lyrical backdrop. Don’t miss this rare Boston appearance!
 
Mike Jacobs’ edgy brand of autobiographical comedy traces its roots to the north end of Hartford where he was voted “funniest kid” in his 6th grade class. His stories of “life” are hilarious, relevant to everyone…and true. Mike is a regular at the top comedy clubs in New York City.

All JCC arts and humanities offerings are programs of the Ryna Greenbaum JCC Center for the Arts.

Annual Comedy Cabaret

Smart, hip comedy featuring Tony V, Dan Naturman, Dan Crohn

  • Date

    Saturday, January 17, 2015 (8pm)

  • Location

    Leventhal-Sidman JCC

    333 Nahanton Street, Newton, MA 02459

    Contact Phone Number: 617-965-5226

  • Age Groups

    Adult|Senior

  • Cost

    $28; JCC members, students, seniors cost: $25

Description

In 1986 Tony V (pictured) was named “Funniest Person in Massachusetts” by Showtime television. He quickly rose to national headliner status as he performed on HBO, Comedy Central, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, A&E and MTV. Along with being a popular headliner at clubs and colleges throughout the world, Tony V has worked with Jay Leno, Dennis Miller, Bobcat Goldthwait, Steven Wright, and Adam Sandler.  
 
Dan Naturman is known to his fans as the “real winner” of Last Comic Standing 2, and was the favorite of celebrity judges Drew Carey and Brett Butler. Dan’s charming combination of self-deprecation and outright grouchiness has had audiences howling from coast to coast and has earned him spots on NBC’s Last Comic Standing (seasons 2 and 7), the Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and Comedy Central.
 
Dan Crohn has been performing stand-up comedy in and around Boston for years. A semi-finalist in the Boston Comedy Festival and the Laughing Skull Festival, his stories of family and friends have entertained audiences throughout New England.

All JCC arts and humanities offerings are programs of the Ryna Greenbaum JCC Center for the Arts.

Israeli Stage presents Never Ever Ever

Written by Sivan Ben Yishai, Starring Jordan Ahnquist

  • Date

    Monday, February 9 (7:30pm)

  • Location

    Leventhal-Sidman JCC

    333 Nahanton Street, Newton, MA 02459

    Contact Phone Number: 617-965-5226

  • Age Groups

    Teen|Adult|Senior

  • Cost

    $15; JCC members, students, seniors cost: $12

Description

This touching portrayal of a teenage boy dealing with dyslexia was the winner of four Israeli Assitej Awards in 2013. Yoni runs away from school, from home, from himself. He runs away the moment he’s confronted with the words disabled or dyslexic. In this moving, one-man play, Ben Yishai provides the audience an experience of what it’s like to feel like an outsider, feeling different, being differently-abled, yet, at the same time whole.  Show is performed as a staged reading.
 
Israeli Stage is dedicated to exposing audiences to the works of Israeli playwrights, offering high-quality artistic, apolitical programming to help promote Israeli culture in a meaningful way.

All JCC arts and humanities offerings are programs of the Ryna Greenbaum JCC Center for the Arts. 
 
Co-sponsored by Gateways, Jewish Big Brother Big Sister, JCC Inclusion and Support Services, Jewish Vocational Service, and Yachad.

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