HomeFebruary 2024“I Loved Jew, I Loved Jew Not: Stories of Jewish Resilience Against...

“I Loved Jew, I Loved Jew Not: Stories of Jewish Resilience Against the Tide of Antisemitism”

In a world where the currents of hatred threaten to engulf the shores of tolerance and understanding, a resilient fragment of humanity rises to defy the roiling sea of antisemitism. The Merage JCC is proud to bring the world premiere performance of “I Loved Jew, I Loved Jew Not: Stories of Jewish Resilience Against the Tide of Antisemitism” by The Braid.
    The Braid, formerly Jewish Women’s Theatre, is the go-to Jewish story company and leading non-profit organization creating, curating, producing and preserving stories grounded in Jewish culture and experience. Through its performances and programming, The Braid empowers artists and audiences to feel pride in Jewish culture while building community and connection between people of all backgrounds.
    This production is gripping, urgent, and inspiring and the stories within this production echo the unbroken spirit of the Jewish people and their allies. Over a dozen contemporary writers, both Jews and friends of the community, come together to share true stories of facing antisemitism and finding the strength to stand against it.
    The Stories being shared:
    Emmy-winning comedian and Off-Broadway star Monica Piper, a part of the LA cast, fearlessly performs her own hilarious and vulnerable confession about the challenges of Jewish identity. Her story is a testament to the power of laughter in the face of adversity, showcasing the indomitable spirit that refuses to be broken.
    Rob Eshman, former national editor of The Forward, shares a riveting yarn of twists and turns, recounting his encounter with a Nazi in a hotel hot tub. Eshman’s story serves as a stark reminder of the persistence of hatred, yet it also reveals the resilience of those who refuse to yield to it.
   Rabbi Ed Feinstein of Valley Beth Shalom provides a spiritual perspective on facing hatred, sharing how he finds holiness in the midst of adversity. His story is a beacon of light, illuminating the paths to resilience and strength through faith and community.
    Acclaimed memoirist Esther Amini, author of “Concealed,” shares a poignant story of persecution in Iran and the astonishing challenges she faced from fellow Jews in America. Her journey reflects the global nature of antisemitism and the importance of solidarity in overcoming adversity.
    Arlene Sarner, screenwriter of “Peggy Sue Got Married,” confides a painful childhood moment, offering a personal glimpse into the lasting impact of antisemitism. Her story underscores the significance of acknowledging and confronting the wounds of the past.
    Podcaster Rich Dlin lays bare what it means to be Jewish in the present moment, offering a contemporary perspective on the challenges faced by the community. His story invites readers to reflect on the ongoing struggle against antisemitism and the importance of standing together.
    The show also includes stories from a Black Jewish college student navigating campus antisemitism and a non-Jewish woman dedicating her life to helping Jews in the hospital. These narratives emphasize the diversity within the community and the shared commitment to resilience and unity.
    “ I Loved Jew, I Loved Jew Not” is an invitation to be in community, to support the Jewish people, and to bear witness to the unwavering spirit that refuses to be silenced. Through these authentic stories, readers will find strength and inspiration, realizing that even in the face of overwhelming hatred, there is a collective power that can stand tall and unyielding.
    Join us on Sunday, March 3, 2024 at 4 p.m. at the Merage Jewish Community Center.
    Purchase tickets at jccoc.org
    For more information, please contact Geri Dorman at: gerid@jccoc.org or 949-435-3400, ext. 303.  

Geri Dorman, MS, LPCC, NCC is the Prime Time Adult Director at the Merage Jewish Community Center. She is a contributing writer to Jlife Magazine.

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