Jewish resources to occupy your family during social distancing – part 12

by Reporter Staff

A variety of Jewish groups are offering online resources – educational and recreational – for those who are not allowed out of the house. Below is a sampling of those. The Reporter will publish additional listings as they become available. 

  • In honor of Pride Month, the 92nd Street Y will present a limited online release of the June 2016 performance of “The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey” through all of June at www.92y.org/archives/absolute-brightness-leonard-pelkey. It was written and performed by James Lecesne, directed by Tony Speciale (with original music by Tony Award-winning composer Duncan Sheik (“Spring Awakening”). Lecesne portrays every character in a small Jersey shore town as they unravel the story of Leonard Pelkey, a tenaciously optimistic and flamboyant 14-year-old boy who goes missing. The New York Times said the play “ leaves you beaming with joy.” 
  • The blog of the Museum at Eldridge Street, www.eldridgestreet.org/blog/, offers new stories posted once a week that explore the past, present and future of the Lower East Side, and look behind the scenes at the museum.
  • The Museum at Eldridge Street will offer the free program “Dig Your Roots @ Home” on Thursday, June 25, from 3-4 pm. The Zoom program will be guided by a genealogist from the Center for Jewish History’s Ackman and Ziff Family Genealogy Institute, who will show how to discover information about the lives of people’s ancestors and the places where they lived. This interactive workshop will include tips and resources for getting started with family history research – and provide a forum for answering some specific research questions. Although there is no cost, registration is required and can be made at www.eldridgestreet.org/event/dig-your-roots-home/.
  • The Shalom Hartman Institute is offering “All Together Now: Jewish Ideas for this Moment” Running” from June 29-July 23. The programs are free and open to all. There will be tracks for rabbis, college students, teens and Muslim leaders, alongside a range of offerings for lay people. People will be able to learn from almost 100 Hartman scholars over the four weeks for what the Institute calls “inspiring learning tailor-made for this unique moment.” For more information and to register, visit https://updates.hartman.org.il/summer-hartman-at-home.
  • Partners in Torah, www.partnersintorah.org, offers people the opportunity to learn about any Jewish topic with a mentor of their choice. There is no charge for the lessons. The lessons are one-on-one and conducted by phone. There are also opportunities for those who want to teach. For more information, visit the website, e-mail support@partnersintorah.org or call 1-800-STUDY-42.
  • The Orthodox goup Yachad will hold a virtual “Battle of the Singers: Benny Friedman vs. Mordechai Shapiro” on Tuesday, June 16, at 7 pm. The “Battle of the Singers” will be an interactive musical program that is aimed at all ages. The MC of the evening will be Meir Kay. The proceeds will benefit Yachad’s efforts in helping individuals with disabilities and their families combat isolation during COVID-19. For more information or to purchase a ticket, visit www.yachad.org/concert.
  • The Jewish National Fund will hold a Virtual Book Club Summer Reading Series. The discussions will be moderated by IsraelCast’s host, Steven Shalowitz, and the featured author. On June 24, at 8 pm, the featured book will be “The 100 Most Jewish Foods: A Highly Debatable List” by Alana Newhouse. On July 22, at 8 pm, the book will be “Jewish Comedy: A Serious History” by Jeremy Dauber. On August 19, at 8 pm, the book will be “The Ten Commandments of Character: Essential Advice for Living an Honorable, Ethical, Honest Life” by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin. To register for the events, visit www.jnf.org/menu-3/videos/ondemand.

For additional resources, see previous issues of The Reporter on its website, www.thereportergroup.org.