Wednesday, December 05, 2007

“Not My Brother’s Keeper” at USJC Conference

Orlando, Florida

By Jonathan Adam Ross

Storah On The Road

S-T-O…..R-A-H….T-E-L-L-ing! Why? Because they loved it! Amichai Lau-Lavie and I spent this past Shabbat at the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Biennial Convention in sunny Orlando, Florida. And the enthusiasm for what Storahtelling does was electric before we translated a single pasuk. I arrived on Thursday to spend a little time with my good friends Mickey and Minnie Mouse and their dog Pluto at their home in the Magic Kingdom. But all day Friday and Friday night, Amichai and I were deluged with people coming up to us who had seen us perform either in their own congregations or at other Jewish community events and conventions. And people seemed thrilled that United Synagogue invited us to share what we do with at the Biennial.

Friday night we had a really nice Shabbos dinner at the convention with my parents, David and Rose Ross who came in from Memphis. And every three minutes, someone new would come over to our table to welcome us and say hi. And though the room we Storah-ed in on Shabbat morning was ample – 150 seats – it was standing room only, as more than two dozen people stood outside the doors just to listen from outside. The response to the Storahtelling Maven performance was really heartening as Jews from around North American expressed a desire to bring what we do into their home shuls. And the workshop in the afternoon was also really great. Company member Shira Epstein’s parents were there and her mom came to the workshop too!

The best moment was hearing esteemed Rabbi Joel Roth, of the Jewish Theological Seminary, tell Amichai that what we were doing was really important, and that we should keep on doing it. I also enjoyed Splash Mountain on Thursday. 3 times was enough, but I had a great time!

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