Rabbi Benjamin Blech, co-author of The Sistine Secrets: Michelangelo’s Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican, makes an appearance in Toronto next week.
The well-known lecturer and professor at Yeshiva University is speaking on “A Miracle on a Mission to Rome: The Holy Jewish Treasures in the Vatican” at Beth Tzedec Congregation. He is expected to reveal fascinating details of the fate of many precious Jewish items.
His talk is free to the public and is being sponsored by the Beth Tzedec Max and Beatrice Wolfe Library. 1700 Bathurst St., Wednesday, Nov. 21, 7:30 p.m. To register, please call 416-781-3514, ext. 225 or e-mail email@example.com.
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Chai Tea Presents Israeli Film: Toronto Jewish Film Festival presents the Canadian première of Policeman (Ha’Shoter), Israeli director Nadav Lapid’s explosive 2011 film judged as one of the year’s best by the Village Voice. The story focuses on Yaron, part of an elite Israeli anti-terrorism unit that is pitted against a group of young anarchists associated with the global Occupy movement. (Occupy protests began in Israel two days after the film’s first public screening.)
Hebrew with English subtitles. Cineplex Odeon Sheppard Cinemas, 4861 Yonge Street at Sheppard Avenue. Chai Tea, Sunday, Nov. 25, tea at 4 p.m., film at 5 p.m. Tickets $15, available in advance or at the door. www.tjff.com, 416-324-9121.
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Beth Tikvah Variety Show: Beth Tikvah’s fourth annual Tribute to Laughter, Nostalgia and Song features Mitch Smolkin, Zoey Adams, Nina Shapilsky, Michael Wex, Jenny Eisenstein and Alf Kwinter, performing in English, Yinglish and “a bissel Yiddish.” $12 in advance, $18 at the door, $25 reserved patron seating. Beth Tikvah Synagogue, 3080 Bayview Ave. Sunday, Nov. 18, 2 to 4 p.m. 416-221-3433.
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• Violinist Itzhak Perlman returns to Toronto for a recital with Rohan De Silva on piano at Royal Thomson Hall on Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. Tickets $29.50 to $129.50. 416-872-4255.
• The energetic acoustic guitar duo Isra-Alien plays original compositions inspired by the roots of Israeli music. The duo performs a CD release show at Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W., Sunday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m. www.lula.ca.
• Beth Sholom Music Series presents A Touch of Klez, an evening of Jewish soul music featuring klezmer, Yiddish, Gypsy, Arabic and Mediterranean music. Beth Sholom Synagogue, 1445 Eglinton Ave. W. Wednesday, Nov. 21, 8 p.m. $18, includes dessert reception. Call 416-783-6103 to book tickets.
• Israeli flutist, composer and Yemen Blues member Hadar Noiberg and two other musicians perform a CD release concert, featuring jazz improvs, western harmonies and Middle Eastern and North African rhythms and melodies. $25. Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, Al Green Theatre, Thursday, Nov. 22, 8 p.m. www. algreentheatre.ca, 416-924-6211, ext. 0.
• Israeli-Canadian viola soloist Rivka Golani, formerly of Toronto, performs two concertos with the Canadian Sinfonietta based on themes from the Blackfoot tribe. Glenn Gould Studio, Saturday, Nov. 24, 8 p.m.
• The Jubilate Singers and the Toronto Jewish Folk Choir perform “L’khayim!” a concert of Jewish music in Ladino, Yiddish and other languages to mark the 80th birthday of the late composer Milton Barnes. With klezmer ensemble Shtetl Shpil. Grace Church on the Hill, 300 Lonsdale Rd. Sunday, Nov. 25, 3:30 p.m. Tickets $25 to $10. 416-485-1988, www.ticketweb.ca.
• The Israel Cancer Research Fund presents An Evening with Canadian Music Icons featuring “Lunch at Allen’s,” a musical collaboration with Murray McLauchlan, Cindy Church, Marc Jordan and Ian Thomas. Hosted by Amy Sky. Glenn Gould Studio, Monday, Nov. 26, reception 5:30 p.m., performance 7 p.m. 416-440-7781, www.icrf.ca.
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Arts in Brief
• The so-called Jewish settlers of the West Bank tell their stories in The Spring of Judea and Samaria, a “ground-breaking” documentary produced by Ezra Ridgley. A screening takes place at York University Students Center, Room 307. Monday, Nov. 19, 7:30 p.m. Watch the trailer on youtube.
• Author Sharon Abron Drache launches her new short-story collection, Barbara Klein-Muskrat, Then and Now. Miles Nadal JCC, Thursday, Nov. 15, 6:30 p.m.
• Shlomo Schwartzberg continues his discussion of the “Social Cinema of Sidney Lumet” with a look at The Dybbuk, Bye Bye Braverman, The Pawnbroker, Daniel and A Stranger Among Us. Miles Nadal JCC, Monday, Nov. 19, 7 to 9 p.m. $12, students $6.