Jewish LIFE Programs


View the Complete Jewish LIFE Program Guide Here

Falafel and Short Israeli Films Presented by the Ma’Aleh School of Television and the Arts in Jerusalem

Upcoming dates:

  • Thursday, December 14 • 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, March 8 • 6:30 pm


We’ll Always Have Casablanca: The Life, Legend and Afterlife of Hollywood’s Most Beloved Movie casablanca-image

  • Thursday, December 14  
  • 1 pm (Includes bagel & a smear.)
  • Fee:  $10

Filled with fresh insights into Casablanca’s creation, production and legacy, We’ll Always Have Casablanca is a magnificent account of what made the movie so popular and why it continues to dazzle audiences 75 years after its release. Noah Isenberg reveals the myths and realities behind the production of the movie, the controversial casting decisions, and focuses particularly on the central role refugees from Hitler’s Europe played in the production.

Noah Isenberg is director of screen studies and Professor of Culture and Media at The New School, and a recipient of an NEH Public Scholar Award.

*Friday, Dec. 1  at 12 Noon… join us for the movie Casablanca.  Fee: $5 includes Pizza! 

In Search of Israeli Cuisine

  • Thursday, December 14, 6:30pm
  • Fee: $15/person includes falafel dinner

In Search of Israeli Cuisine is a portrait of the Israeli people told through food. It’s a “feast for the cultures that make up Israel today – Jewish, Arab, Muslim, Christian, Druze- a rich, complex and human story emerges. Through a documentary-like setting, we will learn about food through interviews, farms, markets, restaurants, kitchens, landscapes and history. We will discover that this hot, multi-cultural cuisine has developed only in the last 30 years.

91% liked it on Rotten Tomatoes! 

This program is supported by the Irma Horowitz Endowment Fund.

Bad Rabbi And Other Strange But True Stories from the Yiddish Press bad-rabbi-image

  • Thursday, January 11 7pm
  • Fee $10

Really????  Bad Rabbi???  No way!.....

True stories plucked right out of the Yiddish papers from the late 18th Century to the early 20th Century, Eddy introduces us to thieves, wrestlers, poets and beauty queens -- and all their misadventures!  Part journalism, part “Jerry Springer”, get ready to laugh and be entertained by a bit of history not so easily found.

Eddy Portnoy is an expert on Jewish popular culture, and has an MA in Yiddish  from Columbia University and a PhD in Jewish History from JTS. He has taught at JTS and Rutgers, and lectured worldwide.

Something Beautiful Happened: A Story of Survival, Faith and Courage in the Face of Evil


  • Thursday, January 18
  • 7 pm
  • Fee: $10

Seventy years after her grandmother helped hide a Jewish family on a Greek island during World War II, Yvette Corporon sets out to track down their descendants – and discovers a new way to understand tragedy, forgiveness and the power of kindness.  In beautifully told interweaving storylines, the past and present come together in a nuanced, heartfelt story about the power of faith, the importance of kindness, and the courage to stand up for what’s right in the face of evil.

Yvette Corporon is a three-time Emmy Award winning writer, author and producer.  She has received the Silurian Award for Excellence in Journalism and the NYC Council & Comptroller’s Award for Greek Heritage & Culture.

 Event co-sponsored by Jewish Family Service


Dr. Ali Chaudry Understanding Islam

The meaning of the Islamic Faith, its core theological principles, and its ethical teachings

  • Date: TBA
  • Fee $10

Dr. Ali Chaudry, a prominent leader of the Muslim community in Basking Ridge, and a talented educator and leader of the great interfaith community in NJ, will share the fundamental principles of Islam.

Dr. Chaudry was elected to the Bernards Township Board of Education serving from 1990-1995 and as Mayor in Bernards Township in 2004, becoming the first Pakistani born Muslim to become Mayor in the United States. He is the co-founder of the NJ Interfaith Coalition. He serves on the NJ Attorney General’s Muslim Outreach Committee and as a member of the Interfaith Advisory Council of the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. Dr. Chaudry is a frequent speaker at interfaith events and initiated the Pledge to Stand for the Other, calling on everyone to challenge
bigotry in any form.

My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew my-jewish-year-image

  • Thursday, February 8
  • 7pm
  • Fee: $10

Whether you’re seeking an accessible, digestible roadmap for Jewish life, or a fresh take on what you have been practicing for a lifetime, Abigail’s journey will leave you educated, charmed and inspired.  She had great teachers – over 60 rabbis whose wisdoms are woven throughout Abigail’s personal journey.

Abigail Pogrebin is a former producer for 60 Minutes and Charlie Rose, and she moderates her own interview series at the JCC Manhattan.



Lift and Separate; Marilyn Simon Rothstein

  • Thursday, February 22
  • 7:00pm
  • Fee $10

This novel tells the story of a Jewish mother of three grown children whose husband left her for a younger model, tries her best to conquer family weddings by herself, divided loyalties, and the news that her husband’s pretty young chippy is now pregnant…oy!!! It’s time for her to pull herself up by her lacy bra straps and find a way to begin life again, second time around! Marilyn does a great job cramming in lots of hilarious scenarios for everyone to discuss!  

Marilyn Simon Rothstein has owned an advertising agency for 25 years, became an adult bat mitzvah (achieving her lifelong goal of chanting from the Torah), and happily married a nice Jewish man. 

Bring your book club to this event!

When Longing Meets Reality

Rachel Korazim, Visiting Scholar from Israel joins us for Yom Ha’atzma’ut 

  • Thursday, April 19
  • Time: 7:00 pm (6:30 pizza for teens)
  • Fee: $10 adults; free for teens

Based on one of the first paragraphs of Israel’s Declaration of Independence, this lecture offers a chronological exploration of the longing for Zion and its reality. The clash between romantic longing from afar and the harsh realities of the land, have been, and often still are, very difficult even for the greatest lovers of Zion. Popular songs and poetry put to music will be part of this lecture.

Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel golda-meir-image

  • Sunday, April 22  6pm
  • Fee $10

“You will never find a better sparring person than adversity”.

Golda Meir was a world leader like no other.  Born in czarist Russia in 1898, she immigrated to America in 1906 and grew up in Milwaukee, where in her early years she displayed political consciousness.  From there, this would eventually catapult her into the inner circles of Israel’s founding generation.

Francine Klagsbrun is the author of more than a dozen books.  Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, and Ms. Magazine.

Come Support Our LGBTQ Community! Phoenix Schneider

  • Wednesday, April 25
  • 7:00pm
  • Free to the Community

Learn what LGBTQ means, the broad spectrum of gender and sexual orientation, and how we can best support loved ones in their expressed identity. This is the time for education and Q & A!! The program is open to one and all.  Phoenix Schneider, MSW, is a trans activist and social worker who has worked in the nonprofit sector since 2000. Phoenix specializes in program development and direct services with the LGBTQ communities. Phoenix is a thought leader in the area of LGBTQ youth and mental health and has extensive experience developing local and national programming. Under Phoenix’s leadership with JFCS of Greater Philadelphia, the agency was awarded The Human Rights Campaign Foundation “Seal of Recognition” for Leadership in Supporting and Serving LGBTQ Youth and Families. Phoenix’s lifelong mission is to help people seek their highest potential as well as to promote culture shifts towards full acceptance and inclusion of everyone. 

Event co-sponsored by Jewish Family Service 

Healthy Gut, Flat Stomach: Don’t we all dream of a flat stomach?

  • Thursday, May 10
  • 7pm
  • Fee $10
  • Jewish people are notorious for having digestive issues – and we LOVE to talk about them!  Learn about the right foods to eat.  It may sound complicated or far-fetched, but the many converts who have tried this science-supported diet swear by it.  This book will break down the science so that you can understand it – and implement it easily on your own.

Danielle Capalino is a registered dietitian in a private practice in

New York City.  She wants you to feel great without having to wear an elastic waistband!