A Legend Exposed!


Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble is collaborating with From the Horse’s Mouth on the new work Anna Sokolow Way premiering at the Theater at the 14th Street Y, December 4-8, 2013. The in depth piece will use rare video, live performance, and narrative script to explore Anna Sokolow’s personal struggles and the creation of Theater Dance.

Anna Sokolow has taught and influenced some of the most influential and recognizable individuals in the creative communities of theater, dance, and film/television. Some of these greats will be performing in Anna Sokolow Way. Kevin Conroy (of Batman fame), Ze’eva Cohen, Mark Haim, Danny Lewis, and Paul Bloom are just a few of the well known names performing in the premier.Image

Tickets:  800-838-3006 ext. #1 or  http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/474331 

General Admission: $30; Student/Senior: $18

These Jewish Mamas Are About To Get Really Real

Writers from the Jewish Daily Forward, Tablet, Kveller.com and LABA will be getting real personal about life as modern-day mothers for our upcoming event: WHAT’S THE MATTER? A night of storytelling with your favorite Jewish mamas, this coming Monday at the Y.

‘How real,’ you might ask? Read these excerpts below. And then get your $10 tickets here so that you can hear the rest of their stories.

Two of my children have become bnai mitzvah, but I wasn’t seen as their mother on either occasion. My son became bar mitzvah at the very end of my life as a man; a few weeks after he was called to the Torah, I began living, for the first time, the female identity I had struggled to suppress since childhood. By the time my daughter was bat mitzvah, I had been living as myself for years, but though my ex-wife (I’ll call her “K”) and I had seen one another when handing off kids, we had never appeared together in public, as part of the same fractured family. Joy Ladin

I’ll always be a little envious of my mother’s ability to move straight to the hazy, hot center of worrying. Who doesn’t long to immerse themselves so fully, so blindly, in an act of love for their child? Our love for our children is a reckless one, so is not natural when they are at risk to worry recklessly? But I don’t want worry this way. I try not to worry this way. Because this isn’t how I want to love. Elissa Strauss


Over the years, I became increasingly concerned by the idea that Jewish status is conveyed through one’s mother. My mother didn’t identify as Jewish, and while there were clues that her mother (who grew up in Northern Italy) might have been Jewish, the truth was lost in the secrets that died along with so many during World War II. I will, quite simply, never know if my mother is halachically Jewish. Which means my own halachic status as a Jew-and as a Jewish mother, who can pass that status on to her own children-was ambiguous. Carla Naumburg

I felt like I was beginning to lose my mind. Every pregnant woman on the street was a personal affront, every baby shower invitation an assault. When Britney Spears announced her pregnancy, I ranted about it to anyone who would listen. I organized our schedule around my ovulation and measured upcoming events by what month I would be in if we were successful this time around. I stopped sleeping.  Judith Rosenbaum

What Kiki Schaffer Learned from Her Mom

kikiWe recently sat down with Kiki Schaffer, Director of the Parenting, Family and Early Childhood Center, to talk about her mom and what she learned from her. 

Come hear Kiki tell her true life mother stories on November 25th atWHAT’S THE MATTER? A night of storytelling with your favorite Jewish mamas,” an evening produced by Kveller.com and LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture

Question: Describe your mother in five words.

Answer: Strong, loving , adventurous, dramatic, glamorous.

Question: What did you learn from her about motherhood?

Answer: I learned to be fiercely loyal to my family.  And I learned that spending time with my children was life’s greatest joy. My mother was a brave, bold, independent woman, but she worried so much about her kids’ safety and happiness.  I learned there must be something about giving birth that releases into the Mama a long-lasting worry hormone.

Question: Does she influence the way you teach parents to parent at the Y?

Answer: Absolutely.  I carry her inside of me always.  She was the quintessential caregiver.  My mother was also a lot of fun.  She had very creative strategies for those challenging parenting moments, strategies that involved playfulness and surprise:  inventing games,breaking into song in tense moments, acting out little shows, word plays.  But she was also very, very critical and sarcastic.  That is something that I wanted to avoid as a parent and parenting professional.

Question: Can you give us a little sneak peak of the story you will be telling about her on the 25th?

Answer: In 1941 my parents left Brooklyn Harbor on a freighter bound for Africa.  Their ship, the Robin Moor, was about to become the first US ship to be torpedoed by the Germans during WW II.  They were given 20 minutes to get into lifeboats and then they watched the German submarine sink their ship.  What happened after that was the stuff of an enduring family story.

Make sure to join us at this unique event where you can hear writers get personal about their lives as modern-day mothers. Featuring writers from the Forward, Kveller, Tablet and LABA Fellows, including: Carla Namburg, Jordana Horn, Tamara Reese, Adina Kay-Gross, Marjorie Ingall, Brooke Berman, Karen Hartman, Elissa Strauss, Adi Ezroni and LABA teacher Ruby Namdar on the meshugganah mothers of the Torah.

WHAT’S THE MATTER? A night of storytelling with your favorite Jewish mamas takes place November 25, 2013 from 7-8:30pm at the Theater at the 14th Street Y. Tickets are $10. Click here for tickets and for more information. Come from the kvetching, the kvelling, and the free wine.

Dance is back at the 14th Street Y! The Dance Series brings Free Lectures, Master Classes, and Performances.

Do you love Dance?  This year, the 14th Street Y is bringing an exciting series of dance to our Theater in partnership with several Downtown Dance Companies. Each company will present dance performances in the Theater, as well as host special events and master classes for all to attend. These classes and events range from lectures about prolific dance icons to fitness classes for the whole family.


Kicking off the Dance Series is Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble. Jim May, current artistic director, is giving a free lecture about the life, work, and overall influence of founder Anna Sokolow. When asked about his lecture, Jim says, “See through rare videos how Anna Sokolow’s choreography influenced Jerome Robbins, Pina Bausch, Alvin Ailey, Paul Taylor, and dozens of actors, dancers, and musicians of the 20th Century.” The lecture is taking place for free on Friday, November 8, 2013 from 7-9pm in the 14th Street Y Studio A for all ages. The company is presenting Anna Sokolow Way with From the Horse’s Mouth December 4-8, 2013 at the Theater at the 14th Street Y. For tickets click here.

Undertoe Dance Project, presenting their New York Season at the Theater at the 14th Street Y November 18-24, 2013, click here for tickets, is teaching a great evening of master classes in tap and jazz dance styles. The master classes are taking place on November 16, 2013. The jazz dance class is from 4-6pm and the tap class is from 6-8pm at the 14th Street Y Fitness Studio. Click here for class information and tickets for the classes. The company is also presenting their infamous Tappy Hour on November 18, 2013 from 7-8:30pm in the Theater at the 14th Street Y. Enjoy a glass of wine and learn a few tap dances from the company while getting a preview of the New York Season. Click here for tickets for Tappy Hour.

The Dance Series is off to a great start in November. Here is a list of all of the performance dates of the Downtown Dance Companies partnering with the Theater:

November 18-24, 2013: Undertoe Dance Project presents New York Season

December 4-8, 2013: Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble and From the Horse’s Mouth presents Anna Sokolow Way

December 12-15, 2013: Jacobs Campbell Dance presents FIVE

April 8-13, 2014: American Tap Dance Foundation presents Rhythm in Motion

June 19-22, 2014: The 14th Street Y presents YouMake ReMake LABA Edition by Renana Raz

Master classes and special events will be held by each company in the Dance Series. All information about performances and these events or classes can be found here. Also make sure you follow the Dance Series on Twitter for up to date information and fun facts about the dance community.

Meet 2013-14 LABA Fellows, Artist Yael Kanarek and Dancer Yehuda Hyman

Time to meet two new 2013-14 LABA fellows. (Haven’t heard about our arts program, LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish culture? Click here.)

“White between “The Green Blouse” and Sneakers, No. 1, 2012 “ Yael Kanarek

Yael_CompressedYael Kanarek is a multidisciplinary artist. She has been working with the visual properties of languages to explore the globally of human interaction. In addition to her fine art practice, she recently founded Aleph Foundry, a company that specializes in text-based jewelry. Selected for the 2002 Whitney Biennial, past exhibitions of Kanarek’s work also include The Drawing Center, New York; Beral Madra Contemporary Art, Istanbul; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens; CU Museum, Boulder; Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University; The Jewish Museum, New York; Exit Art; The Kitchen; Museum of the Moving Image, New York; Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh; bitforms gallery, New York; Nelly Aman, Tel Aviv; Boston CyberArts Festival; HVCCA, Peekskill; Orsini Palace, Bomarzo; and Sala Uno Gallery, Rome. In addition to a Rockefeller New Media Fellowship and an Eyebeam Honorary Fellowship, Kanarek is also the recipient of grants from the Jerome Foundation Media Arts and New York Foundation for the Arts; commissions from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Turbulence.org, and The Alternative Museum; Kanarek’s distinctions also include residencies at Civitella Ranieri, Harvestworks and the Ma’amuta Art and Media Center. In 1999, she founded Upgrade! International. Kanarek holds an M.F.A. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. www.yaelkanarek.com

Yehuda_CompressedYehuda Hyman is a playwright, dancer/choreographer and poet. He was born in Los Angeles to immigrant parents from Poland and Turkey. His plays include “The Mad 7,” “The Mad Dancers,” “David in Shadow and Light” (co-written with Daniel Hoffman), “Center of the Star,” and “Swan Lake Calhoun.” His work has been produced nationally at theaters including McCarter Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, San Diego Repertory Theater, Theatre J, and Cornerstone Theater and The Marsh. Honors include the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, NEATCG Playwrights Residency Grant, Jerome Fellowship, Heideman Award, and grants from the Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity and Foundation for Jewish Culture. www.themad7.com