The Pianist of Willesden Lane

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Based on the book The Children of Willesden Lane by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen Adapted and directed by Hershey Felder

DECEMBER 6 – 18, 2022




Dear Friends, I couldn’t be happier to welcome Mona Golabek back to Theater J for a return engagement of The Pianist of Willesden Lane. No one but Mona Golabek could have created such an intimate version of her mother, Lisa Jura’s, story. Lisa was separated from her family in World War II, brought to London on the Kindertransport. As a refugee child she was taken in, and with the help of music, she survived. Only a daughter could bring such a personal touch to the portrayal of her mother. And only Mona could perform the same concert repertoire her mother played with such mastery. In 2018, when Mona first brought us this show, we marked the 80th anniversary of the Kindertransport. Then, as an act of resistance and pride, it seemed historically important to remember the story of her mother. Today more than ever, we need stories like this. As refugee children are torn from their parents, we need to remember stories like Lisa Jura’s. As powerful people trumpet antisemitism to their millions of followers, we need to tell stories of hope. Educating future generations is key to the survival of Jewish heritage and faith. The Pianist of Willesden Lane is our link from past to present to future. Theater J is pleased to be bringing students from four area schools to experience this production. A Theater J teaching artist will also visit their classroom as part of a pilot program sponsored by the Shapiro Family Foundation. If you are interested in supporting this work and educating future generations, you can contribute at Together we can build a better world, worthy of beautiful music and the hope of youth. As we build a better tomorrow, I thank you for being with us tonight. Warmly, David Lloyd Olson, Theater J Managing Director



LEADING PRODUCER Covenant Foundation

DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities National Endowment for the Arts SPONSORING PRODUCER

The Government of the District of Columbia Norbert Hornstein and Amy Weinberg Sari R. Hornstein

The Marinus and Minna B. Koster Foundation Revada Foundation of the Logan Family

Susie and Michael Gelman, The Morningstar Foundation Nussdorf Family Foundation

Kay Richman and Daniel Kaplan Share Fund

The Shubert Foundation SUPPORTING PRODUCER Bruce A. Cohen*

Ginny and Irwin Edlavitch Dianne and Herb Lerner

Alfred Munzer and Joel Wind

Helene and Robert Schlossberg

Barney Shapiro and Susan Walker THANK YOU TO OUR PRODUCTION SPONSOR Stuart Eizenstat

This production is supported in part by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

*of blessed memory 4


David Lloyd Olson, Managing Director Presents The Hershey Felder Production of MONA GOLABEK in


Adapted and Directed by.......................................Hershey Felder

Production Design.....................................................Hershey Felder & Trevor Hay Lighting/Video Design.............................................Jason Bieber

Sound Design/Production Manager.....................Erik Carstensen Costume Design.........................................................Jaclyn Maduff

Projection Design.......................................................Andrew Wilder & Greg Sowizdrzal Dramaturg...................................................................Cynthia Caywood, PhD Associate Direction...................................................Trevor Hay

Production Stage Manager.....................................Danny Debner

Assistant Stage Manager.........................................Rebecca Talisman TIME & PLACE World War II: Vienna, Austria 1938 - London, England 1942 The running time of The Pianist of Willesden Lane is approximately 90 minutes with no intermission. The production thanks Steinway & Sons for their courtesy in providing the concert grand piano. This production is dedicated with great fondness to the memory of Robert M. Birmingham. Photography, video and/or audio recording of this performance by any means whatsoever are strictly prohibited.


ABOUT THE ARTISTS Mona Golabek (Lisa Jura) is the daughter of Lisa Jura, a child piano prodigy born in Vienna, Austria, who came to England as a refugee in 1938 as part of the Kindertransport rescue operation. Her father, Michel Golabek, was a French resistance fighter, who received the Croix de Guerre. Mona’s grandparents died at Auschwitz. Mona, deeply inspired by her mother's story and the last words her mother heard at the train station – “Hold on to your music…. it will be your best friend”, became a concert pianist and has performed with major conductors and orchestras worldwide. The Grammy nominee and prolific recording artist has been the subject of several documentaries including Concerto for Mona with conductor Zubin Mehta. Her mother is the subject of Ms. Golabek’s acclaimed book, The Children of Willesden Lane, co-authored by Lee Cohen. The book, now in its 24th printing, has been translated and published in French, Italian, German, Hebrew, Spanish, and Polish. The book is now in pre-production for a major feature film. In 2012, Mona made her debut in The Pianist of Willesden Lane, adapted from the book. The production, directed by Hershey Felder, has been celebrated by critics and audiences across the globe, with recent sold out theatrical runs in New York and London. Ms. Golabek has received Best Actress Nominations from the New York Drama Desk and Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle. Ms. Golabek formed the Hold On To Your Music Foundation. With the help of the Milken Family Foundation, Facing History and Ourselves, and the Annenberg Foundation, she created educational resources for the book that have been adopted into school curricula across America. To date, more than 500,000 students and families have experienced the WILLESDEN READ – the educational mission devoted to spreading the message of her mother’s story. Now, in a unique and groundbreaking partnership with the USC Shoah Foundation, she will bring the educational mission and her mother’s story to students and communities across the globe. Hershey Felder (Director/Playwright) American Theatre Magazine has said, “Hershey Felder is in a category all his own.” Following 28 years of continuous stage work and over 6,000 live performances throughout the U.S. and abroad, Hershey Felder created Live from Florence, an arts broadcasting company, which has produced more than a dozen theatrical films to date. They include the world premiere musicals Musical Tales of the Venetian Jewish Ghetto; Before Fiddler, a musical story about writer Sholem Aleichem; The Assembly, based on the award-winning book Out on a Ledge by Eva Libitzky; and others all benefiting theatres and arts organizations across the U.S. Two seasons of programming are currently available at Hershey has given performances of his self-created solo productions at some of the world’s most prestigious theatres and has consistently broken box office records. His shows include George Gershwin Alone (Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre, West End’s Duchess Theatre); Chopin in Paris; Beethoven; Maestro (Leonard Bernstein); Franz Liszt in Musik, Lincoln: An American Story, Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, Our Great Tchaikovsky, and A Paris Love Story.


His compositions and recordings include Aliyah, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra; Fairytale, a musical; Les Anges de Paris, Suite for Violin and Piano; Song Settings; Saltimbanques for Piano and Orchestra; Etudes Thematiques for Piano; and An American

ABOUT THE ARTISTS Story for Actor and Orchestra. Hershey is producer and designer for the musical Louis and Keely: ‘Live’ at the Sahara, directed by Taylor Hackford; and writer and director for Flying Solo, featuring opera legend Nathan Gunn. Hershey has operated a full-service production company since 2001. He has been a scholar-in-residence at Harvard University’s Department of Music and is married to Kim Campbell, the first female Prime Minister of Canada.

MS. GOLABEK WOULD LIKE TO THANK: First and foremost, my heartfelt gratitude to the extraordinary British people who opened their hearts and souls and saved the lives of so many young refugees, including the “kinder” of 243 Willesden Lane. To those who have given so much love and support through the years: Dr. Kiu Bakshandeh, Dr. Michael Berenbaum, Richard Burkhart, Christine Burrill, Lee Cohen, Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, Nancy Fisher, Wendy Fisher, Dr. Jane Foley, Dr. Anita Friedman, Jeff Glassman, Chuck Hurewitz, Ambassador Fay Hartog-Levin, Hon Dr. Waltraud Dennhardt-Herzog, Patti Kenner, Larry Kirshbaum, Dina and Fred Leeds, Susan and Moses Libitzky, Milton and Tamar Maltz, Morton Meyerson, Shana Penn, Sandy and Larry Post, Steve Robinson, Victoria Mann Simms and Ron Simms, Bruno Wang, Helen and Sam Zell. Thank you to my beloved family for your daily strength and inspiration: Jackie Maduff (for her unparalleled dedication), Arnie Wishnick z”l, London, Jesse, Manny, Gary, and to my beloved sister’s children and grandchildren—Michele, Sarah, Jonathan, Rachel, and Ren, Emma, Lisa, and Maya—who continue the musical legacy and carry the torch passed down by Lisa Jura. Thanks to David Lloyd Olson, Kevin Place, Johanna Gruenhut, Danny Debner, Tom Howley, Jasmine Jones, the box office and house staff, and everyone at Theater J. I am grateful to everyone who has entered my life in connection with The Pianist of Willesden Lane: my acting coach Howard Fine, the Geffen Playhouse, Samantha Voxakis and the entire team of Hershey Felder Presents. And finally, infinite gratitude to the incomparable Hershey Felder who believed in the story “of the little girl who was sent away and told to hold on to her music.”

THEATER J LEADERSHIP David Lloyd Olson (Theater J Managing Director) made his stage debut at age five at the Marcus JCC of Atlanta preschool and is now proud to be one of the leaders of the nation’s largest professional Jewish theater. He most recently served as managing director of Quintessence Theatre Group in northwest Philadelphia. He has held positions at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Arena Stage, GALA Hispanic Theatre, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and Pointless Theatre Company. He was an Allen Lee Hughes management fellow at Arena Stage and a Fulbright English teaching assistant in Valmiera, Latvia. He proudly serves on the board of the Alliance for Jewish Theatre. He is an alumnus of the University of Maryland and a member of Adas Israel Congregation. 7

PRODUCTION, EDCJCC, & THEATER J STAFF PIANIST OF WILLESDEN LANE STAFF Head Electrician: Garth Dolan Load-in Crew: Danny Debner and Tom Howley Electricians: Alex Monsell, Rex Hsu, Logan Duvall, Michael House Light Board Programmer: Mikayla French Sound Engineer: Levi Manners EDLAVITCH DCJCC LEADERSHIP Edlavitch DCJCC Chief Executive Officer: Dava Schub Chief Financial Officer: Craig Mintz Chief Operating Officer: Bini W. Silver Senior Director of Institutional Advancement: Emily Jillson THEATER J STAFF Managing Director: David Lloyd Olson Producing Director: Kevin Place Associate Artistic Director: Johanna Gruenhut External Affairs Development Manager: Emily Gardner Director of Patron Experience: Jasmine Jones EDCJCC Arts Marketing Coordinator: Lena Barkin EDCJCC Arts Outreach Coordinator: Jacob Ettkin Ticket Office Manager: Tabitha Littlefield EDCJCC Creative Director: Molly Winston House Managers and Ticket Office Associates: Mitchell Adams, Cristen Fletcher, Chad Kinsman, Regev Ortal, Robert Reeg, Hadiya Rice, Sam Rollin, and Mary-Margaret Walsh Production Resident Production Stage Manager: Anthony O. Bullock Director of Stage Operations: Danny Debner Technical Director: Tom Howley Head Electrician: Garth Dolan Resident Casting Director: Jenna Place Resident Props Designer: Pamela Weiner Education & New Play Development Education Programs Assistant: Jen Jacobs Expanding the Canon Rosh Beit: Sabrina Sojourner Expanding the Canon Commissioned Writers: Zachariah Ezer, Harley Elias, Carolivia Herron, Jesse Jae Hoon, MJ Kang, Thaddeus McCants, and Kendell Pinkney Yiddish Theater Lab Commissioned Writers: Lila Rose Kaplan, Caraid O’Brien, and Aaron Posner Teaching Artists: Dr. Debra Caplan, Evan Casey, Sarah Corey, Felicia Curry, Kimberly Gilbert, Eric Hissom, Naomi Jacobson, Chad Kinsman, Kate Eastwood Norris, Cody Nickell, Tracy Lynn Olivera, Jenna Place, Aaron Posner, Howard Shalwitz, Dani Stoller, Holly Twyford, Erin Weaver, and Em Whitworth 8

Founding Artistic Director: Martin Blank


“The most influential Jewish theater company in the nation.” —The Washington Post Theater J is a nationally-renowned, professional theater that celebrates, explores, and struggles with the complexities and nuances of both the Jewish experience and the universal human condition. Our work illuminates and examines ethical questions of our time, intercultural experiences that parallel our own, and the changing landscape of Jewish identities.

As the nation’s largest and most prominent Jewish theater, we aim to preserve and expand a rich Jewish theatrical tradition and to create community and commonality through theatergoing experiences. The Edlavitch DCJCC embraces inclusion in all its programs and activities. We welcome and encourage the participation of all people, regardless of their background, sexual orientation, abilities, or religion, including interfaith couples and families.


Theater J and the Edlavitch DCJCC commit to being an inclusive, safe, and welcoming space for all. This institution does not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations from either patrons or staff. Please visit our website at to learn more about our policies and procedures. LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Our building sits on the traditional homeland of the Nacotchtank (Anacostan), farmers and traders who lived along the banks of the Anacostia River. Beginning in 1608, European settlers decimated the Nacotchtank with disease, warfare, and forced removal. By the 1700s, the survivors fled to join other tribes to the north, south, and west, including the Piscataway Peoples, who continue to steward these lands from generation to generation. We know this acknowledgement is only a small step towards justice, and we ask that all of us learn about the past and present and invest in the future of our country’s Indigenous communities wherever we are.



Timeline and Dramaturgy provided by Hartford Stage, Melia Bensussen, Artistic Director, Cynthia Rider, Managing Director. Written by Sarah Hartmann, Artistic Apprentice.


indertransport, or Children’s Transport, was a rescue effort to aid Jewish children refugees in escaping Nazi Germany to seek asylum in Great Britain. The British Government permitted the program to move forward following the violence of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, which took place across Greater Germany on November 9, 1938. Several aid committees, including The British Committee for the Jews of Germany and the Movement for the Care of Children from Germany (later renamed the Refugee Children’s Movement), combined their efforts to transport children out of Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. The British Government agreed to issue temporary travel visas to children under 17 with the assumption that they would eventually be able to return to their families. Organizations and private individuals assisting the refugee effort funded the travel and care of the children, including a guarantee of 50 pounds intended to later assist in their re-emigration to Germany. The first Kindertransport left Berlin on December 1, 1938 carrying almost 200 children from an orphanage that had been destroyed during Kristallnacht. The train stopped in Holland, where the children boarded a ship to ferry them to England. They arrived in Harwich on December 2. The first transport from Vienna left on December 10. Children travelled on their own, infants often being cared for by older children. Those who had sponsors awaiting their arrival were permitted to travel straight to London. Children without sponsors stayed at a camp in Dovercourt Bay until a family or home could be found to take them in; almost half would find foster homes across Great Britain. The children who weren’t taken into foster homes were placed in hostels or group homes. Older children often found work in Britain at factories, farms, or in private homes. Once Great Britain entered the war in September of 1939, the Kindertransport effort ended, with the last known transport leaving Berlin on September 1, shortly before Britain’s official declaration of war on Germany. Around 1,000 children were interned by the British government as enemy aliens in 1940, several being transported to Australia on the Dunera. Some of these “enemy aliens” were eventually released, and many of the young men joined the war effort to fight in Britain’s Armed Forces. Over the course of the nine-months that Kindertransport had been in operation, almost 10,000 children had found refuge in Britain. Few of them were ever reunited with their parents, many of whom perished in the atrocities their children had escaped.


↑ Jewish Kindertransport children arriving in London in February 1939. Photograph: Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images


My mother, Lisa Jura, was my best friend. She taught my sister, Renee, and me to play the piano. We loved our piano lessons with her. They were more than piano lessons—they were lessons in life. They were filled with stories of a hostel in London and the people she knew there. Her stories were our folklore, bursting with bits and pieces of wonderful characters who bonded over her music. Sitting at the piano as a child, I would close my eyes and listen to her lilting voice and imagine her world. She always believed “each piece of music tells a story.” Her legacy has inspired my music and my life. I pass along her story in the hope that it may enrich the passion and music that lie in each of us. —Mona Golabek


Timeline and Dramaturgy provided by Hartford Stage, Melia Bensussen, Artistic Director, Cynthia Rider, Managing Director. Written by Sarah Hartmann, Artistic Apprentice.


JANUARY 30: Adolph Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany.

APRIL 1: A nationwide campaign against Jews is begun by the Nazi Party, starting with a call to boycott Jewish owned businesses. A number of laws follow, including removing Jewish children from public schools.


AUGUST 19: Following the death of German President Paul von Hindenburg, Hitler unites the roles of Chancellor and President to name himself the Führer, or Leader, of Germany.


SEPTEMBER 15: The Reichstag, or German Parliament, passes the Nuremberg Race Laws, which ban Jews from holding citizenship, marrying or having sexual relationships with German persons, and strip them of most political rights, including the right to vote. 12


MARCH: Germany annexes Austria in what it announces as the Anschluss, or union, in which Austria is unified with the German Reich.

OCTOBER 5: All German Jews’ passports are declared invalid. They are reissued identity cards marked with a red ‘J’ to indicate their heritage.

NOVEMBER 9-10: Violent anti Jewish pogroms are carried out across Greater Germany. Nazi rioters break into homes and Jewish owned shops, and destroy more than 250 synagogues. Over 30,000 Jews are sent into concentration camps. This night was known as Kristallnacht, meaning Night of Broken Glass. DECEMBER 2: the first Kindertransport from Berlin arrives in Britain, transporting almost 200 Jewish children to safety.


MARCH 15-16: Nazi Germany invades Czechoslovakia.

SEPTEMBER 1: Using a method of attack that became known as a blitzkrieg, or ‘lighting war,’ Nazi Germany invades Poland. SEPTEMBER 2-3: Britain and France declare war on Germany.

SEPTEMBER 5: The United States declares its neutrality.



JANUARY 8: Rationing begins in Great Britain in an effort to waylay food shortage.

APRIL-MAY: Over the course of the spring Nazi Germany invades Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and France. MAY 10: Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain. MAY 20: Auschwitz, one of the most notorious concentration camps, is established outside of Krakow, Poland.

JUNE 14: Paris is invaded by the Nazis.

JULY 10: The Battle of Britain begins. The German Luftwaffe would continue an air-strike campaign in British skies over the course of almost 4 months. This would eventually lead to the London Blitz, in which London would experience 57 consecutive days of aerial attack. SEPTEMBER 27: Germany, Italy, and Japan sign the Tripartite Pact, becoming the Axis Powers.


OCTOBER: Jews from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia begin to be transported to extermination camps located in Poland and other Baltic States. The Nazis referred to this systematic mass murder as “The Final Solution.”

DECEMBER 7: Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, bringing the United States into the war.


JANUARY 26: The First US troops arrive in Great Britain.


FEBRUARY 2: In the first major defeat of Hitler’s forces, Germany surrenders at Stalingrad.

JUNE: British and American air forces begin a bombing offensive on Germany. SEPTEMBER 8: Italy surrenders to the Allies.

JUNE 6: D-Day landings take place on the beaches of Normandy. British, US, and Canadian troops land on the coast, and though they suffer tremendous losses, by the end of the month they are able to spread into Northern France. AUGUST 25: Paris is liberated by French and American troops.


JANUARY 26: Auschwitz is liberated. APRIL 30: Adolph Hitler commits suicide.

MAY 7: Nazi Germany unconditionally surrenders its armed forces to the Allied Powers. MAY 8: Victory Day is celebrated throughout Europe. AUGUST 6: The United States drops the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.

AUGUST 14: Japan agrees to an unconditional surrender to the Allied Powers. NOVEMBER 20: The Nuremberg War Trials begin, marking the first time an international tribunal would be used in this manner to bring leaders to justice for atrocities committed throughout the war.



SPOTLIGHT ON MUSIC: edvard grieg's piano concerto in a minor By Ellen Morgan Peltz, Former Literary Director at Theater J


hile The Pianist of Willesden Lane is brimming with well-recognized and beloved pieces of classical music, one piece in particular takes center stage: Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor. This is the piece with which Lisa Jura—portrayed by her daughter, Mona Golabek—planned to make her debut at Vienna’s Musikverein concert hall. The three movements of the Grieg concerto are featured prominently, opening and closing the play as well as accompanying Jura’s description of the London Blitz and of her professional debut. Near the beginning of the play, Jura says that she has studied the concerto’s “every secret again and again.” Jura’s inspirational story, told against the backdrop of the Grieg concerto, illuminates many of these secrets for us. Still, some remain unspoken and merit a closer look. Edvard Grieg (1843 – 1907) was a Norwegian pianist and composer whose music exemplified the trend of nationalism that was popular within the 19th century romantic style. Not surprisingly, this trend was particularly prevalent in countries with a history of forced subservience to a foreign power. Grieg’s music features a distinctively Norwegian style of composition, derived in large part from his integration of native folk tunes into his work. (The third movement of Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, for example, incorporates nods to a Norwegian folk dance and imitations of a Norwegian folk fiddle.) The fact that Jura’s attraction to Grieg’s concerto coincides with Germany’s invasion of Austria and her own loss of nation and family adds a layer of somber significance to the pairing.

Despite being widely considered one of the leading composers of the Romantic era, Grieg was not a very prolific composer. His Piano Concerto in A minor is Grieg’s only completed concerto and easily his most significant work. Though he was only 25 when he wrote it, the piece possesses the confidence and polish of a much more mature and experienced musician. It is particularly fitting that the Grieg concerto holds a significant place in the careers of both Jura and, in her portrayal of her mother, Golabek. Grieg’s obsession with perfecting the piece spanned his entire career; the final version of the concerto was completed only weeks before his death. When Golabek plays the final movement of the Concerto as a postlude to her mother’s story, the magnitude of the music—connecting her mother’s lifetime to her own, her mother’s story to hers, and her story to ours—is undeniable. The concerto’s ability to span lifetimes and unite generations is one of its secrets that Jura would not likely have been able to grasp at age 14. We have her daughter to thank for revealing that secret to us today.


Portrait of Edvard Grieg by Joseph John Elliott and Clarence Edmund Fry, 1888.


TWO JEWS WALK INTO A WAR... co-starring bobby smith Omnipresent DC talent Bobby Smith returns to Theater J’s stage in Two Jews Walk Into a War… by Seth Rozin this January Smith joined Theater J Producing Director Kevin Place for an interview about his career and the upcoming production. Place: It’s been over a decade since you’ve been in a show at Theater J—what makes you excited to come back? Smith: The last project I was in here was a musical and it was just a massively big project—none of us had any time to relax into the amazing environment here at the EDCJCC. It’s great to come back and be in a smaller play, get deep into this script, and get to enjoy this community and the artists who work here. Place: Between one-man shows, big-budget musicals, and more you are one of the busiest actors in town. How do you do it? Smith: Listen, I’m very lucky to do what I do—and also it is a business and my source of income. Sometimes it feels like I’m running for my life! But when I focus on the part of me that just wants to do the work right, to make the audience in the room and my collaborators happy, I’m reminded of what an honor it is. I learn so much from everybody. I’ve never really stopped learning, and that gets me ready every time. Place: What draws you to Two Jews Walk Into a War…? Smith: I’m so intrigued by these two men, Zeblyan and Ishaq, and the unique situation they are in as Jewish people in Afghanistan at this time. But even more than that, I’m intrigued by the personas they inhabit and the style of this piece— like a vaudeville, but without Groucho Marx. I’ve also wanted to work with director Adam Immerwahr for a long time. To share this with him and Sasha Olinick and create and learn and play together is going to be such a treat. Two Jews Walk Into a War… runs from January 11 to February 5, 2023. For tickets visit


2022-2023 THEATER J COUNCIL 2022–2023 THEATER J COUNCIL Rae Grad, Co-Chair Robert Schlossberg, Co-Chair Mara Bralove Bruce A. Cohen* Nancy Firestone* Mindy Gasthalter Ann Gilbert Cheryl Gorelick Patti Herman Daniel Kaplan Arlene Klepper Kenneth Krupsky

Stephen Lachter Karen Lehmann-Eisner Ellen Malasky Meredith Margolis Howard Menaker Alfred Munzer Sherry Nevins Saul Pilchen Elaine Reuben Bella Rosenberg

THEATER J HONORARY COUNCIL Patty Abramson* Paul J. Mason Michele G. Berman Hank Schlosberg Marion Ein Lewin Trish Vradenburg*

Evelyn Sandground Mita M. Schaffer Lewis Schrager Terry Singer Stuart Sotsky Patti Sowalsky Manny Strauss Bob Tracy Kathryn Veal

Joan S. Wessel Irene Wurtzel

EDLAVITCH DCJCC 2022–2023 BOARD OF DIRECTORS OFFICERS Jonathan Grossman, Treasurer Daniel Hirsch, President David Goldblatt, Assistant Treasurer Johanna Chanin, Vice President Meredith Margolis, Vice President Benjamin D. Loewy, Secretary Janis Schiff, Vice President BOARD MEMBERS Barbara Abramowitz Janet B. Abrams Andrew Altman Joan Berman Michele G. Berman Jordan Lloyd Bookey Jennifer Bradley Sara Cohen Jaclyn Lerner Cohen Eva Davis Jonathan Edelman Myrna Fawcett

Meg Flax Brian Gelfand Dina Gold Debra Goldberg Rena Gordon Brad Lackey Sid Moskowitz Alfred Munzer Alyson Myers Melanie Franco Nussdorf Arnold Polinger Shannon Powers

Norm J. Rich Ilene Rosenthal Michael Salzberg Rhea Schwartz Michael Singer Tina Small Mimi Tygier Diane Abelman Wattenberg Eric Zelenko Dava Schub, Chief Executive Officer, Ex Officio

William Kreisberg Saul Pilchen Deborah Ratner Salzberg John R. Risher, Jr.* Lynn Skolnick Sachs

Mindy Strelitz Francine Zorn Trachtenberg Robert Tracy Ellen G. Witman

FOUNDING DIRECTOR Ginny Edlavitch DIRECTORS EMERITI Stephen Altman Rose H. Cohen Jill Granader Martha Winter Gross Stephen Kelin 16


*of blessed memory

DEEPEN YOUR IMPACT Theater J is dedicated to producing work that illuminates ethical questions of our time, examines the changing landscape of Jewish identities, and celebrates inter-cultural experiences. It is because of you, our community, our audience, our supporters, that Theater J has grown to be “the nation’s most prominent Jewish theater” (American Theatre Magazine). Less than half of Theater J’s budget comes from ticket revenue. We are reliant on generous gifts from audience members like you, who see the value of having a thriving Jewish cultural center in the heart of the city. We invite you to join your friends and neighbors in supporting our work. With your gift, you’ll be recognizing the vital role Theater J plays in our community–a place where the stories of immigrants are proudly told, where we ask that theater engage both the head and the heart, and where we produce art that reminds you of who you are.


Theater J accepts contributions by mail, phone, online, or through stock donation. Checks can be made payable to Theater J and mailed to 1529 Sixteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036. For more information or to make a donation visit or contact or call 202.777.3225.

COMMUNITY ACCESS TICKETS In order to ensure our work is accessible to people of all socio-economic backgrounds, Theater J has launched the Community Access Ticket program. This allows DC, Maryland, and Virginia EBT cardholders to purchase tickets to any* performance for $5 per person! HOW IT WORKS: Bring a valid DC Capital Access card, Maryland Independence Card, or Virginia EBT card with a photo ID to the ticket office to purchase tickets. Reservations can be made in advance by calling the ticket office at 202-777-3210 or emailing a photo of the EBT card and photo ID to with subject line “Community Access Tickets” to have your account setup to purchase Community Access Tickets online. EBT funds cannot be used as payment. *Tickets are subject to availability and cannot be combined with any other offer. Valid only on Theater J-produced productions. A maximum of 4 tickets can be purchased per card per performance.



Theater J, as part of the Edlavitch DCJCC, embraces inclusion in all of its programs and activities. Theater J strives to make our productions accessible to all by providing the following to meet the needs of our patrons, and to enhance their experience at the theater. For more information, please contact our Director of Patron Experience at 202.777.3268 or contact our ticket office at theaterj@ ACCESSIBLE SEATING: The Edlavitch DCJCC has ramp access from the Q Street entrance and all our restrooms are ADA accessible. In the Goldman Theater, removable seats provide patrons with the opportunity to be seated with their companions while sitting in their wheelchair. ASSISTIVE LISTENING: Assistive listening devices are free-of-charge and offered on a first-come, first-served basis at all performances. OPEN CAPTIONING: Open Captioning is offered during one performance of each Theater J production. LARGE PRINT PROGRAMS: Large print programs are available at our Ticket Office, located on the first floor. Theater J respects and welcomes gender diversity. Please use the restroom which makes you most comfortable or most closely fits your gender identity or expression. An all-gender restroom is located on the Lower Level.


JxJ Year-Round continues this Winter

JxJ’s year-round lineup of film and music continues with an all-new slate of insightful documentaries, and local musical acts, all presented in our state-of-the-art cinema and concert space, Cafritz Hall. FILMS

Thursday, December 8, 7:30 PM


Acclaimed photo-journalist Micha Bar-Am allowed director Ran Tal to enter his vast archive of negatives. Followed by a Q&A with Director Ran Tal and New York Times Columnist Tom Friedman. Thursday, December 15, 5:30 PM


There has been a Laemmle in the movie business since there’s been a movie business. This is story about a family business, but also about the future of cinema. Screening followed by a Q&A with the subject of the documentary, Greg Laemmle. Thursday, January 26, 7:30 PM



In 1996, NASA astronaut Dr. Jeff Hoffman brought a small Torah scroll on board Space Shuttle Columbia. On Shabbat, while orbiting Earth, he read from the book of Genesis, “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” Screening followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker Rachel Raz and a NASA expert! Sunday, December 11, 5:00 PM


Enjoy an evening of local music with Steven Gellman and Gabrielle Zwi. Sunday, January 29, 10:30 AM


Nefesh Mountain Duo and Seth Kibel Klezmer Trio are joining up to bring you an unforgettable Sunday Klezmer Brunch!

Browse the full lineup at JxJDC.ORG 19

FRIENDS OF THEATER J Theater J gratefully acknowledges the following donors who have given to our 2022-2023 Season since November 10, 2021. This list is current as of November 15, 2022. Leading Producer ($100,000+) Covenant Foundation

DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities

National Endowment for the Arts

The Marinus and Minna B. Koster Foundation Revada Foundation of the Logan Family Susie and Michael Gelman, The Morningstar Foundation

Nussdorf Family Foundation Kay Richman and Daniel Kaplan Share Fund The Shubert Foundation

Bruce A. Cohen* Ginny and Irwin Edlavitch

Dianne and Herb Lerner Alfred Munzer and Joel Wind

Helene and Robert Schlossberg Barney Shapiro and Susan Walker

The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Stuart Eizenstat Cheryl Gorelick Patti and Mitchell Herman

The Morgan Fund at the Seattle Foundation Patricia Payne and Nancy Firestone* Diane and Arnold Polinger Bella Rosenberg Evelyn Sandground and Bill Perkins

Hank Schlosberg The Leshowitz Family Foundation, Terry Singer Patti and Jerry Sowalsky The George Wasserman Family Foundation

Anonymous Gift Michele and Allan Berman Ann Loeb Bronfman Fund Susan and Dixon Butler Marion Ein Lewin Karen Lehmann-Eisner Myrna Fawcett

Ann Gilbert Rae Grad and Manuel Schiffres Meg and John Hauge Arlene and Martin Klepper Howard Menaker and Patrick Gossett Sherry Nevins Saul and Nancy Pilchen

Elaine Reuben, The Timbrel Fund Dr. April Rubin and Bruce A. Ray Manny Strauss and Betsy Karmin Dr. Kathryn Veal Judy and Leo Zickler

Mara Bralove and Ari Fisher Embassy of Canada Johanna Chanin and Randall Levitt The Tides Center Jews of Color Initiative Bunny Dwin Patricia and David Fisher The Robert M. Fisher Memorial Foundation Mindy Gasthalter

Linda Goldsmith and Howard Berger Martha Winter Gross and Robert Tracy Sandra and Stephen Lachter Ellen and Gary Malasky Paul and Zena Mason Jeff Menick Undine and Carl Nash M. Craig Pascal Nora Roberts Foundation

Ilene and Steven Rosenthal Mita M. Schaffer and Tina M. Martin Peggy and David Shiffrin Les Silverman Richard Solloway Dr. Stuart Sotsky Joan S. Wessel

Suzanne and Enrique Fefer Lois and Michael Fingerhut Dina Gold Michael R. Klein and Joan Fabry

Barry Kropf Liza Levy Vicki Robinson Trina and Lee G. Rubenstein

Alfred Sanders Irvin Wolloch Fund Alan and Irene Wurtzel

Barry Friedman Gertrude & Lawrence Gichner Fund for the Performing Arts Michael Halpern and Glenda Turner Helaine Harris and Jody M. Tavss Lucia and Frederic Hill

Pamela Hunt The Frank and Marta Jager Foundation Nancy Limprecht and Rick Haines Arleen Enid Lustig Winton Eaheart Matthews, Jr. Alan McAdams and Ellen Dykes

Avis and Ralph Miller David Rutenberg Cathy and Marc Scheineson Leonard Schreiber

Toby Port and Jeffrey Ahl Randi Altschuler Anonymous Susan and Alan Apter Anthony Bauer Lisa Bell Sharon Bernier Laura Brown and Stephanie Fosburg Michael L. Burke and Carl W. Smith

Jamie and Stuart Butler Laurie Calhoun Leslie Carothers Leah Chanin Wallace Chandler Dave Connick Rosemary Crockett Alison Drucker and Tom Holzman Evelyn and Barry Epstein

The Keaton Family Elise A. Feingold Nancy and Cary Feldman Lawrence Franks and Ellen Berelson Kit Gage and Steven Metalitz Donna Garry Jerald M. Goldberg Mark Goldberg Ellen Goldberg

Sponsoring Producer ($25,000–$99,999) The Government of the District of Columbia Norbert Hornstein and Amy Weinberg Sari R. Hornstein

Supporting Producer ($18,000–$24,999)

Leading Angels ($10,000–$17,999)

Sponsoring Angels ($6,000–$9,999)

Supporting Angels ($3,000–$5,999)

Enthusiasts ($1,000–$2,999)

Admirers ($500–$999)

Devotees ($100 - $499)


FRIENDS OF THEATER J Daniel and Marion Goldberg Debbie J. Goldman Stephen Goldsmith David Goldstein Roberta and Morton Goren Robert Gramss Dr. Larrie and Joyce Greenberg Sally Greenberg Gail J. Gulliksen Bonnie and Alan Hammerschlag Eric Hissom Elizabeth Hodes David and Stephanie Houseknecht Carie Jasperse Brian M. Jones Karen A. Jones Elaine Kaplan Patricia Keig Aviva Kempner Lynne Kennedy and Joan Darrah Melinda Kingsbury Joel Korn Patricia and John Koskinen Beth Kramer Richard and Bonnie Kramer Ellen Kramarow and Jared Garelick Susan Kristol Penney K. Lagos Sandra Lapietra and Alan Helgerman Dan Leathers Darryl Lynn Lefcoe, DDS Dr. Karen Levenback Patricia and Randall Lewis Karen Lewis Michael Lewis and Linda Singer Diane Liff and Georgia Korn Elaine Ligelis Laurie and Len Lipton Sheila Lopez

Jennifer Madans and Terence Phillips Noreen Marcus and Jay Sushelsky Dorothy Mayer Janice Mehler Howard Menaker and Patrick Gossett Robin Meyer Lisa Mezzetti Kim Mills Caroline Mindel Michael Moore Dennis and Laurie Moody Sally Morell Cathy and George Murphy Adrienne Nelson Ruth and Pedi Neta Gayle Novig and Terry Mahn Elizabeth Olchowski James Osteen Dana Pashkoff Elizabeth Peterson John Peterson Deborah and Alan Pollack Jessica Pollner Drs. Dena and Jerry Puskin Bernice Quay Kent Rader Erica Raphael and Richard Friedman Barbara Rappaport Nancy and Samuel Raskin Daniel Raviv Grace Robinowitz Linda Rosenzweig and Sandy Bieber Steven M. Rosenberg and Stewart C. Low III Nancy and Herbert A. Rosenthal Alan Safran Thomas Saunders Tia Scales Leslie Scallet

Margaret Schaefer Anne and Barry Schenof Lois Schiffer Gena Schoen Linda Segal Howard Shalwitz Ruth and Phillip Shapiro Sylvia Shenk Rabbi Sanford H. Shudnow Merrill and Mark Shugoll Michael Singer and James Smith Arlene Farber Sirkin Myrna Sislen Marlene Slatkin Catherine Solomon Linda Spector Rochelle Stanfield and Edward Grossman Carol Starley Margaret Hahn Stern and Stephen Stern Michael Stoller and Jyl Braff Donald and Mary Street Lee Talisman Joan A. Treichel Harriet and Randy Tritell Jordana Tynan Janice and Harold Ulmer Marjorie Weingold Valerie and John Wheeler Adam Winkleman Janet and Robert Wittes Muriel D. Wolf Carrie Wolfe and Mark Greenwood Adrienne Yang Rivka Yerushalmi Helaine and Ros Zinaman, Abitbol *of blessed memory



*of blessed memory

The Edlavitch DCJCC wishes to thank the following donors who enable us to serve the community. This list includes all donors of $1,000 or more who made gifts between July 1, 2022 – November 13, 2022. The Edlavitch DCJCC would like to thank all of our donors for the important impact they have on our work.


Diane and Norman Bernstein Foundation ◊ DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities

Jewish Federation of Greater Washington ◊ Daniel Hirsch and Brenda Gruss ◊ National Endowment for the Arts

Washington Area Community

Covenant Foundation DC Department of Homeland Security Susie and Michael Gelman, The

Morningstar Foundation Sari R. Hornstein The Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner

Family Foundation Nussdorf Family Foundation ◊ Saul and Nancy Pilchen ◊

Johanna Chanin and Randall Levitt ◊ DC Government Ginny and Irwin Edlavitch ◊ Lois and Richard England Family Foundation The Kay Family Foundation ◊

The Marinus and Minna B. Koster Foundation Alfred Munzer and Joel Wind ◊ Diane and Arnold Polinger ◊ Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation

Kay Richman and Daniel Kaplan Ilene and Steven Rosenthal ◊ Martha and Philip Sagon Family Foundation The Shubert Foundation

Michele and Allan Berman Pamela Bass-Bookey and Harry Bookey Charitable Foundation Bruce A. Cohen* Susan Sachs Goldman ◊ Cheryl Gorelick

Jacob and Charlotte Lehrman Foundation Dianne and Herb Lerner Amy and Alan Meltzer ◊ Sid and Linda Moskowitz ◊ Bella Rosenberg

Helene and Robert Schlossberg The Schoenbaum Family Foundation, Inc. Rhea Schwartz and Paul Wolff ◊ Shapiro Family Foundation

Ronald and Anne Abramson Anonymous Stuart Eizenstat Rae Grad and Manuel Schiffres Jill and Robert Granader ◊ Martha Winter Gross and Robert Tracy ◊

Stuart S. Kurlander and David L. Martin The Leshowitz Family Foundation, Terry Singer Patricia Payne and Nancy Firestone* Evelyn Sandground and Bill Perkins Janis and Philip Schiff ◊

Hank Schlosberg

Janet B. Abrams Joan and Alan Berman Jordan Lloyd Bookey and Felix Lloyd Susan and Dixon Butler Charles E. Smith Family Foundation Cyna and Paul Cohen, Sara C. Cohen and Norm J. Rich Eva Davis and Justin Kramer ◊ Jonathan Edelman Embassy of Canada Myrna Fawcett Mindy Gasthalter Ann Gilbert

Dina Gold Michelle and Jonathan Grossman ◊ Meg and John Hauge Arlene and Martin Klepper Sandra and Stephen Lachter Ellen and Gary Malasky Paul and Zena Mason Jeff Menick Sherry Nevins Elaine Reuben, The Timbrel Fund April Rubin and Bruce A. Ray Mita M. Schaffer and Tina M. Martin Les Silverman

Tina and Albert Small, Jr. ◊ David Bruce Smith Dr. Stuart Sotsky Manny Strauss and Betsy Karmin Mindy Strelitz and Andrew Cornblatt ◊ The Tides Center Jews of Color Initiative Francine Zorn Trachtenberg and Stephen Joel Trachtenberg ◊ Mimi Tygier and Robert Rubin Dr. Kathryn Veal Diane Abelman Wattenberg ◊ Judy and Leo Zickler

SStephen and Amy Altman Mara Bralove and Ari Fisher Cornerstone Research, Inc. Bunny Dwin

Embassy of Israel Brad and Ali Lackey M. Craig Pascal Carol Risher

Peggy and David Shiffrin Joan S. Wessel

John Ashley Elaine and Richard Binder Ito Briones and Warren Coates Dave Connick Jessica Dodson and Jeremy Levine Sonnie and William Dockser Ilana Marcus Drimmer Suzanne and Enrique Fefer Lois and Michael Fingerhut David and Patricia Fisher Jay Freedman 22

Samantha Galardi Cragg Hines The S. Kann Sons Company Foundation, Inc Michael Klein William Kreisberg The Kresge Foundation Karen Lehmann-Eisner Marion Ein Lewin Howard Menaker and Patrick Gossett Rona and Allan Mendelsohn

Morgan Stanley Joan Nathan Renay and Bill Regardie Henry and Anne Reich Family Foundation - Trina and Lee G. Rubenstein Alan Roth and Michael Rodgers Alfred Sanders Michael Singer and James Smith Susan Rubin Suleiman Helene Weisz and Richard Lieberman

$50,000 - $99,999

$25,000 - $49,999

$15,000 - $24,999

$10,000 - $14,999

$5,000 - $9,999

$2,500 - $4,999

$1,000 - $2,499

Investment Funds

Patti and Jerry Sowalsky Matthew Watson

All of the programs at the Edlavitch DCJCC are supported in part by a generous gift from the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. ◊ These Community Champions have supported the Edlavitch DCJCC's Annual Fund with generous contributions of $5,000 or more. With their support, the Center’s unique programs continue to grow and remain accessible to everyone in our vibrant community. ** This list includes all donors of $1,000 or more who made gifts between July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022. The Edlavitch DCJCC would like to thank all of our donors for the important impact they have on our work.

With the support of our community of donors, the Edlavitch DCJCC remains the premier address in our nation’s capital for an expanding, diverse, and vibrant urban Jewish community. Consider a tax-deductible contribution to the EDCJCC today. Visit

PHOTOS: • Page 3: David Lloyd Olson. Photo by Maggie Garrett. • Page 4: Eric Da Costa as Chaim and Shaina Silver-Baird as Chaya in Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story. Photo by Ryan Maxwell Photography.. Cast of Nathan the Wise by Gotthold Ephriam Lessing. Photo by Ryan Maxwell Photography. Renee Elizabeth Wilson and Awa Sal Secka in Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage. Photo by Ryan Maxwell Photography. Mona Golabek in The Pianist of Willesden Lane. Photo by Hershey Felder Presents. • Page 9: Jamie Smithson in The Wanderers by Anna Ziegler. Photo by Teresa Castracane. Daven Ralston and Billy Finn in Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything is Illuminated. Adapted by Simon Block. Photo by C. Stanley Photography.

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