Monday, June 08, 2009

Maiden Voyage at Limmud CO
by Dr. Caryn Aviv - a Mile High Maven-in-the-Making, Posen Lecturer in Secular Jewish Culture at the University of Denver’s Center for Judaic Studies, and Director of Research with Jewish Mosaic: The National Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity.part of our Colorado Maven Training Cohort. (Generously supported by the Rose Community Foundation)

This past weekend, Ilan Glazer, Naomi Less and I performed Destiny's Child: Parshat Bamidbar at Limmud Colorado (the 2nd ever) at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs on Shabbat morning.

We had helpful assistance from Aaron Freeman (Chicago maven par excellence), Rabbi Eliot Baskin (Mile-High Maven in the Making) and Rabbi Josh Rose, a local Boulder rabbi, who leyned with us. We held Bruce Shaffer (our Mile High Maven and partner in crime on script development) in our hearts, as he was off celebrating his daughter's graduation that weekend.

Naomi and Ilan and I had an INTENSE rehearsal last Thursday to work out all the kinks in the script and get the music down. Baruch Hashem for Naomi's brilliant ritual directing and guitar playing, and for Ilan getting totally into his PostTraumaticStressDisorder-inspired character of Merari the Levite, because it really all came together beautifully and we had a lot of fun.

We got fantastic, glowing feedback after the performance, and four Colorado Jewish community folks have approached us to set up gigs. There is a hunger in our local community to have more Storahtelling, which is really exciting.

The most moving part of the show for me was during the third aliyah ("making lemonade out of lemons"). Under the tallit, a very sweet older woman talked about coming to the US from the Ukraine with $164 in her pocket, trying to make the best of her difficult circumstances, and finding solace and strength in opening up the Torah and finding meaning in what she found. Wow. She came up to me after the show with tears in her eyes and said this was the most beautiful Torah service she had ever been to in all her years in the US. I was very moved.

I think I speak for all the Colorado Mavens in the Making by exclaiming, with lots of enthusiastic punctuation, that we're super-excited for our upcoming training this August, can't wait!!

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