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Letter from AJT President David Chack
Dear Friends:
At this year’s AJT Conference in Los Angeles, watching the Solo Performers Showcase at historic Santa Monica Playhouse and the Playwrights Forum at UCLA Hillel, I saw amazing work in a packed house (on Super Bowl Sunday no less). Plus the panels and presentations created challenging and controversial discussions. So, from all of this I had an AHA MOMENT! We do what we do to create a vital and dedicated community of artists for Jewish theatre and culture.
Joanna Caplan, a new participant who performed TOTAL VERRUKT!, from Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield, MA put it best, The conference was great. Thanks for encouraging me to come, to share my work and connect with this new network. I feel invigorated - we have a lot of work to do, important and necessary work to do. We are doing great work and we must keep the momentum going and support one another. “ Joanna was one of many who were so impressed with the incredible people and spirit that are part of AJT.
I want to thank the committee who helped make this Los Angeles conference AMAZING: Stacie Chaiken, Jeannine Frank, Alan Friedenthal, Wendy Graf, Aaron Henne, Carol Rosen, Ronda Spinak, and Richard Stein. Volunteers: Rachel Silvert, Eli Taylor, Hannah Jacobs, Annette Mann, Sharon Chernoff and Nalsey Tinberg. Special Thanks: Perla Karney, Hilary Egar, and Raul Subia at UCLA Hillel.
We also thank the following sponsors for “Witness & Responsibility” Day organized by Stacie Chaiken, Adjunct Assistant Professor at USC: Presenting Sponsor: USC Shoah Foundation Institute; Co-sponsored by USC Schools & Departments: Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life; Dornsife College of Letters & Sciences; Hebrew Union College; Hillel; the Libraries; the Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics; Office of Religious Life; the School of Theatre.
On a sad note and on behalf of our AJT community I want to acknowledge the loss of Stacie Chaiken’s father, Bob Chaiken right on the heels of the conference. Stacie – you are in our thoughts and may your father – Bob Chaiken - Binyamin son of Esther and Yitzak forever be for you and your family as a blessing.
I want to thank all who have served on the AJT Board whose terms have ended. You have sustained and grown this organization moving us to our new incarnation as a sole non-profit. Thank you Janet Arnold, Norman Fedder, Lawrence Goodman, Herb Isaacs, Ralph Meranto, and Deborah Baer Mozes. May you go onto more strength. And now we have a new and extremely diverse Board of Directors -  people from all parts of the United States and even outside of this continent.
Feel free to email me and our new Board members with your thoughts and ideas. And let us know of your connections with each other (SEE THE AJT-CONNECT IN THE AJT NEWSLETTER).
Thank you for being part of this ever expanding and wonderful community!
With much gratitude,
David Y. Chack
President, Association for Jewish Theatre

spacer.gifPhotos above- From top - David Chack, Gerry Fried, Michelle Slonim - Middle picture- Charlie Varon as Rabbi Sam, Bottom Picture - Richard Montoya and Sivan Hadari-  All photos by Elaine Siegel
AJT Connections
Connections made through the last two conferences.


Members of AJT have the opportunity to network and make important connections in the area of Jewish theatre.  Here are just a few of the connections which have been made through AJT:

Noemi Schlosser connected with David Chack of ShPIeL Performing Identity and her production of "Sound of Silence" was done in Chicago.

Noemi connected with Michelle Slonim and their production of "Date Me' was done in New York and Chicago.

Rebecca Joy Fletcher connected with David Chack and Piven Theatre which brought her show "Cities of Light" to Evanston, IL

Mike Nussbaum met Ari Roth from Theatre J in Washington D.C. which led to a role in "Imagining Madoff" by Deborah Margolis who also connected with Ari Roth at the Chicago conference.

Deborah Margolis connected with Ralph Meranto and her play "Imaging Madoff" was done in Rochester, NY

Mel Weiser and his wife connrected with Ari Weissberg of Teatron in Toronto for a production of their play about Israel "A Tiny Piece of Land."

Gerry Fried connected with Art Feinglass of Seattle Jewish Theater and is in discussion about his play "Sperm: The Musical."  He also connected with Mel Weiser and his wife regarding other possible projects.

David Chack and ShPIeL connected with Aaron Henne in Los Angeles and theatre dybbuk and ShPIeL  will hold a joint workshop in Los Angeles in June of 2012.

If you have connections that you have made through AJT, please let us know.  Send to Elayne at

(Photo from left-Rachel Silvert, Olivia Choate, Sivan Hadari and Michelle Slonim)
Photo by Elaine Siegel
DSC_1053 3
AJT Welcomes its new members
Appel-Cohen, Maxine Playwright Dover Heights, New South Wales, Australia
Barnett, Bill Playwright Gutenberg, N.J.  
Baum, Tom Playwright Los Angeles  
Bellman, Barbara Student Washington, D.C.  
Bernstein, Paul Playwright Audubon, New Jersey  
Bookin-Weiner, Sara Scholar Medford, MA outside Boston  
Cainer, Daniel Playwright London, U.K.  
Caplan, Joanna Solo Perf. Ashfield, MA  
Cooper, Barbara Playwright Woodland Hills, CA  
Copelin, David Playwright Ashland, Oregeon  
Dayan, Sara Playwright Jerusalem, Israel  
Feinglass, Art Art. Dir. Seattle, WA  
Fried, Gerald Playwright Santa Fe, New Mexico  
Fuglei, Kate Solo Perf. Studio City, CA  
Goldberg, Keren Scholar Studio City, CA  
Grover, Jeffrey Playwright Chagrin Falls, Ohio  
Hadar, Sivan Solo Perf. Brooklyn, NY  
Halperin, Michal Playwright Los Angeles  
Halpern, Belle Playwright Lincoln, MA  
Javitch, Karen Playwright Omaha, NE  
Jehlen, Wendy Solo Perf. Sommerville, MA outside Boston  
Kenner, Lisa Playwright Los Angeles  
Kish, Linda Playwright New York City  
Lewis, Paul Playwright Bainbridge Island, Washington  
Lookingglass Theatre Theatre Co Chicago  
Maisel, Jennifer Playwright Los Angeles  
Matz, Milton Playwright Walnut Creek, CA  
McConnel, Lauren Playwright Mt. Pleasant, MI  
Piven Theatre Theatre Co Evanston, IL  
Potok, Adena Board Member Merion Station, PA  
Rodan, Raphael Student Forest Row, East Sussex, U.K.  
Schrager, Lewis Playwright North Bethesda, Maryland  
Sholiton, Faye Art Dir. Beachwood, Ohio  
ShPIeL Performing Identity Theatre co. Chicago  
Silvert, Rachel Student Washington, D.C.  
Taub, Michael Scholar Yonkers, NY  
Theatre dybbuk Theatre co Los Angeles  
Varon, Charlie Solo Perf. San Francisco  
Winitsky, David Art. Director Maplewood, New Jersey  
Photos- top - David Chack and Carl Reiner
Middle:  Carl Reiner and Susan Lodish
3rd from top:  Carl Reiner, David Chack and Mel Weiser
Bottom:  Ed Asner and Susan Lodish
(All photos by Elaine Siegel)
spacer.gifAJT BOARD MEMBERS:  David Y. Chack, President; Mira Hirsch, Past President; Rebecca Joy Fletcher, Vice President; Hannah Hessel, Vice President; Doug Brook, Vice President; Diane Gilboa, Secretary; Susan Lodish, Treasurer;
Members at Large:  Barbara Trainin Blank; Aaron Henne; Leslie Marko; Eli Taylor; Mel Weiser; Bryna Weiss
Ex Officio: Ellen Schiff; Moti Sandak
Coordinator:  Elayne LeTraunik


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