Episode #33: Both/And from True Colors!

“I emerged from the birth canal strangling on the umbilical cord.  I wonder if God was giving me a chance to change my mind: are you certain you want this adventure of life as a Cuban Catholic daughter of a Jewish mother?”


On this episode, hear the incredibly moving piece “Both/And,” one of the favorite stories from the hit show True Colors which returns to The Braid in Santa Monica for four performances September 19-22. Written by Maria Ramos-Chertok and performed by Heidi Mendez (bios below), “Both/And” is from the collection of pieces that makes up our wildly popular Salon show True Colors – full of humorous, revealing and inspiring stories from Jews of Color exploring identity, community and being a Jew in modern times.

Material Adapted, Curated, and Producedby Ronda Spinak
Producedby Eric Greene
Directed by Susan Morgenstern
Dramaturges Lisa Rosenbaum & Susan Baskin
Literary Manager Suzanna Kaplan
South Bay Producer Liz Altman
San Francisco/Bay Area Producer Carol Kirsh
Assistant Producer Barbara Koletsky
Associate Producers Rose Ziff & Susie Yuré
Artistic Associate Daphna Shull
Assistant Artistic Director Andrew Fromer

Starring: Brie Eley, Kimberly Green, Heidi Mendez, Joshua Silverstein and Katherine Washington

Written By: Ruth Behar, Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl, David Chiu, Marcos Cohen, Courtenay Edelhart, Marra B. Gad, Marissa Tiamfook Gee, M.A. Hosein, Maria Ramos-Chertok, Larry M. Sanders, and Joshua Silverstein

Featured on this episode:
Written by Maria Ramos-Chertok. Performed by Heidi Mendez.

MARIA RAMOS-CHERTOK (Writer) is a writer, workshop leader, and coach who facilitates the Butterfly Series, a writing and creative arts workshop for women who want to explore what’s next. Her book, The Butterfly Series: Fifty-two Weeks of Inquiries for Transformation, was published in August 2018. She is finalizing her debut novel, Rosie’s Blues, inspired by the experience of her mother opening their family home in Hackensack, New Jersey, as a shelter for battered women and children. Maria’s manuscript won the 2018 Adult Fiction Mentorship prize from the Word for Diversity. She is a contributor to All the Women in My Family Sing: Essays on Equality, Justice, and Freedom (Feb. 2018), edited by Deborah Santana, and She’s Got This! Essays on Standing Strong and Moving On (Feb. 2019), a Write-on Mamas project. Since 2014, she’s cohosted women’s salons showcasing women-of-color artists. For more info, visit: www. mariaramoschertok.com.

HEIDI MENDEZ (Actor) is a bilingual actor/director/educator who has worked professionally in Madrid, Mexico City, Utah, Texas, and now California. Her favorite roles include Lady Bracknell, Prospero, and most recently Amanda in The Glass Menagerie. Some favorite shows as director/choreographer include Cats, Working, Fiddler, and The Diary of Anne Frank. She is known as the Rapping Grandma to kids in juvie where she volunteered for two years which led her to be founder/director of ACT RISK NO MORE, a nonprofit whose mission is to rescue troubled teens through theater. Heidi is married to Nick (a Mormon bishop) and is the mother of three boys, resulting in her being afraid nothing. For fun, Heidi takes hip-hop classes and plays dress- up with her granddaughter. Education: BA in acting from BYU and MA in directing from Texas State, plus two Utah teaching certificates for theater and Spanish.

For more info on True Colors, click here.

Episode #33: Both/And from True Colors!2019-08-08T13:46:57-07:00

Episode #32: Hippie Woman Wild! with Carol Schlanger

Why did a not-so-nice Jewish girl, expelled from Yale Drama School during the Vietnam protests, abandon her acting dream to follow the man she loves to an off-the-grid commune in Oregon? CAROL SCHLANGER, acclaimed actress, writer and JWT favorite will read and perform a hilarious, bawdy and true story from her new book as she celebrates the publication of her memoir, Hippie Woman Wild: A Memoir of Life & Love on an Oregon Commune.

Click here to buy tickets for Hippie Woman Wild!
Sunday, August 11th 10:00am – 12:00pm
At The Braid Performance and Art Space
2912 Colorado Ave. #102, Santa Monica, CA, 90404

On this episode Lisa and Maureen are joined by Carol and Arlene Sarner, award-winning screenwriter and moderator of the event. They chat about how laundry is done – commune style, what it was like suddenly swapping Manhattan for rural Oregon and why Carol never wants to see a chicken again…enjoy the episode! RIP Eddy the Ram.

Click here to purchase the book and/or leave a review on Amazon!

CAROL SCHLANGER is a professional award winning actress and writer, best known for her honest, fearless and outrageously funny work. She’s billed as “a baby boomer’s answer to Lena Dunham.” A native New Yorker, Carol first received notice and rave reviews as ” The American Housewife” at the New York Public Theater. Carol is a graduate of Yale Drama, where she began her professional acting and writing career working with Improv Guru, Paul Sills at the Body Politic in Chicago. Since, she has worked consistently in film, television and on stage. Her plays have been produced both in New York and L.A.

Carol has worked as a staff writer for Imagine Television and created two pilots, Back to the Garden and Hello Pilgrim for CBS. Her one-woman play, Mouth to Mouth (1995) received L.A. Critics Awards for Acting and Writing. She was the 2011 winner of the L.A. playwrights story slam. A much in demand storyteller, she performs in high-end venues throughout L.A including The Moth, Sparc, Tasty Words, the JWT and I Love A Good Story.

An old hippie, and lifetime organic farmer, Carol has just completed her memoir, Hippie Woman Wild, about a 24 year old urbane and, radicalized New York actress from privilege, and Yale, who joins her cowboy lover, Clint, in a back-to-the land movement of the 1970’s, living on in the Oregon wilderness on a commune. The wild, multi-layered story is the unheard female voice of a generation.

Episode #32: Hippie Woman Wild! with Carol Schlanger2019-07-24T13:54:33-07:00

Episode #31: The Way Home with NEXT @ The Braid

CLICK HERE to get your tickets to The Way Home

What happens when you bring together the next generation of Jewish theatre artists under one roof? You get an incredible, compelling and uniquely original theatrical production! Hear from the Writers, Producers, Directors and creative Artists that make up this year’s cohort of NEXT @ The Braid Fellows as they get ready to share with you THE WAY HOME – performing June 8-18 all over Los Angeles at a Thrift Store, Fabric Shop or Art Gallery near you!

Wondering which venue is near you? Click here for all days, times and locations!

June 8th – Downtown LA *Come Early for a Special Art Gallery Viewing*
June 9th – Santa Monica *Come Early for an Art Talk with our Artists*
June 11th – Reseda
June 12th – Fairfax/Melrose
June 13th – Venice *Come Early for a tour of this unique Fabric Shop*
June 15th – Santa Monica *Come Early for an Art Talk with our Artists*
June 16th – Studio City *Come Early for 10% Off Shopping…Dad’s Like to Thrift Too!*
June 18th – Silverlake

Now in its third year, NEXT is a professional development fellowship program from JWT. Each year, a group of emerging artists are selected from a competitive applicant pool. The fellows then select a theme and invite the Los Angeles community to submit stories, poems, plays, musical works and art around that theme. NEXT fellows then collaborate to curate, cast, direct, and produce an original show and companion art exhibit over a nine-month period.


JUDITH GOLDSTEIN (Producer & Art Curator) Calling herself a modern day gypsy, Judith has lived in four countries, four states and countless cities- absorbing the culture, art and traditions from every place she’s had the pleasure of experiencing. Judith has worked in food industry as a cook, food writer, and historian. In 2014, she graduated from the University of Gastronomic Sciences with a Master’s in Food Culture and Communications. In addition to her passion for gastronomy, Judith immerses herself in photography, writing, and dance.  Her love and enthusiasm for art and food has always been the anchor that united her dynamic journey and she hopes to bring her passion, world experience and love for the humanities to the NEXT @ The Braid community.

CHANDLER TURK (Literary) is a writer for film, television, and theatre. He is currently the writers’ production assistant for Disney’s upcoming series “High School Musical: The Musical” which will premiere on their new streaming service Disney+ in late 2019. Turk earned his BFA at NYU Tisch’s Department of Dramatic Writing in 2018.  He has previously worked for the Inkwell Theater as the associate producer of Chickenheads (September 2018) and Journey to Alice (January 2018).

AYSHA WAX (Director & Marketing) is a writer, director and comedian. She is fun, witty and unintentionally the loudest person in the room. Aysha loves creating stories that are fun, festive, and feminist. Her webseries Wannabees that was co created by Marian Bruno was sold to Fox Digital in 2014.  Aysha has also had her sketches featured on Buzzfeed, Funnyordie, Wifey TV, and WhoHaHa. Aysha has performed improv and sketch around Los Angeles at iO West, the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, Westside Comedy Theater, The Pach Theater and the Groundlings.  Aysha also spent eight years teaching Hebrew School around Los Angeles, which inspired her one woman show Hebrew School Horror that she toured around LA and NYC. When Aysha is not creating things she moonlights as a dating consultant with her partner Rebecca Leib. Their dating classes are known as “Feeling It” dating. Aysha can help you level up dating wise while enjoying the process and maybe finding a partner in the process. In essence, Aysha is here to make your life a little better and more fun!

ARNON Z. SHORR (Marketing & Director) is an Israeli/American modern-Orthodox Jewish filmmaker who lives and works in Los Angeles. His award-winning shorts and features have screened in festivals around the world. His most recent short film about Jewish pirates, “The Pirate Captain Toledano”, an official selection at 48 film festivals and competitions, is now available on Blu-Ray, DVD and streaming on Amazon.com

KYRA MORLING (Producer & Art Curator) is an actor, writer, and artist recently graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a B.A. in theater. She’s split her time between Los Angeles and New York City working at The Hammer Museum, Gagosian Gallery, Royce Hall, Bowery Poetry Club, The Hole, and Marciano Art Foundation. As a performer, she has trained with Atlantic Theater Company, Upright Citizen’s Brigade, Second City, and has been featured in both Hollywood and Edingburgh Fringe. Her heart lies with Project Nongenue, an LA- based theater company in which she was a founding member. Find out more at kyramorling.com.

ORA YASHAR (Literary) is the Showrunner’s Assistant on the Netflix series ATYPICAL, a show which empathetically and humorously explores what it means to be “normal”. Further nourishing her love of storytelling is Ora’s ongoing involvement as a Script Consultant for Sundance’s Episodic Lab. Through a collaboration with Women In Film, Ora wrote an Emmy nominated PSA for the Santa Monica Museum of Art and directed a 2x Telly Award winning PSA for the ALS Association. Her short script ICE CREAM was a 2017 Austin Film Festival Semi-Finalist, Kansas City Film Fest Finalist and a 2018 Screencraft Film Fund Semi-Finalist. In order to say thank you to all those who have come before, Ora enjoys volunteering her time at the Motion Picture and TV Fund which supports the aging entertainment community in living with dignity and purpose. She earned her MFA in Directing from Chapman University.

JULIE LANCTOT (Director & Marketing) a graduate of UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television, has participated in the LA theater community as an actor and assistant director. Most recently, she played Rosaline in Chase What Flies’ production of Love’s Labor’s Lost and Isabella in Method and Madness’ production of Measure for Measure. Julie assistant directed Dangerous Liaisons at Antaeus last Fall and is currently assisting on a staged reading of the Jacobean tragedy Women Beware Women. Now dipping her toes into the world of writing, she is developing an original web series with some of her closest friends. Julie is enjoying the process of becoming a hyphenate and looks forward to continuing her journey with JWT.

DAPHNA SHULL (Literary Manager) is a three-time NEXT Arts Council Fellow, literary manager, and writer, born and raised in Tampa, Florida. She received her bachelor’s degree in media production from Florida State University. After graduating in 2014, she headed west to pursue a career in screenwriting and the arts. Today Daphna works as JWT’s Artistic Associate and as a museum educator for the Zimmer Children’s Museum.

ANDREW FROMER (Council Coordinator), a Los Angeles native, grew up as an active member in the Jewish community through Stephen Wise Temple. He attended Windward School in Mar Vista, where his acting career began in plays and musicals. After completing his BFA in theater at UC Santa Barbara, and an exciting year of living in Israel, Andrew took a dive into filmmaking and has since branched into production by helping prepare for distribution two feature films he has acted in: AMP Creative’s Highway to Havasu (dir. Jeff Janke) and Mockingbird Pictures’ The Sweet Life (dir. Rob Spera). Andrew also edits, directs, and is very excited to be coordinating this year’s iteration of NEXT @ The Braid, JWT’s Emerging Artists Fellowship.

This show is made possible with generous support from the Department of Cultural Affairs of Los Angeles, Erwin Rautenberg Foundation, Y&S Nazarian Initiative, a program of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, and Gail Solo.

Thank you to our Community Organizational Partners for your commitment to Jewish Women’s Theatre and presenting our Salons in your communities.

National Council of Jewish Women, Los Angeles
Patricia Torkan Art Studio Gallery
Eretz Synagogue Cultural Center
Fabric Planet
Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center

Episode #31: The Way Home with NEXT @ The Braid2019-05-28T09:45:06-07:00

Episode #30: True Colors with Joshua Silverstein and David Chiu


Our latest Salon, True Colors, features humorous, revealing and inspiring stories from Jews of Color exploring identity, community and being a Jew in modern times. On this episode, Lisa and Maureen chat with two of the many creative minds contributing to this incredible show! Joshua Silverstein is an actor in the show, wrote a piece commissioned by JWT and the Jewish Journal named him “one of the five best Jewish beatboxers in the world.” Lisa and Maureen will also talk with brilliant screenwriter David Chiu on his experiences and challenges rising through the ranks of Hollywood and his passion for activism. Listen in for Royal secrets, Judaism in ancient China and more!

*Join us for True Colors in JUNE, extended by four shows June 25, 26, 29 at 7:30 pm and June 30th at 2:00 pm!*

JOSHUA SILVERSTEIN (Writer/Actor) is an award-winning actor, comic, writer, beatboxer, and educator whose performances and productions throughout the country have prompted admiration from creative greats ranging from Norman Lear to Prince. For more than 20 years, Joshua has provided and facilitated theater, improvisation, and spoken-word workshops and in-school residencies designed to create a safe and open space for students of all ages to experience the freedom of creative expression. Joshua brings passion, play, and persuasion to make words, thinking, and expression infectiously fun. During the school year, Joshua serves as the cohost and co-producer of Emmy Award–winning Downbeat 720, a high school open-mic that has been a staple of Santa Monica for the last 16 years. Joshua also performs for The Late-Late Show with James Corden on the segment “Drop the Mic” and on the weekly stand-alone half-hour TNT series, Drop the Mic.

DAVID CHIU (Writer) is a screenwriter living in Los Angeles. He and writing partner Patrick Wall wrote an episode for the Amazon Prime series LORE and recently sold a VR project to Dreamscape Immersive for development with Sam Raimi and Walter Parkes. Together, David and Patrick are represented by Authentic Talent & Literary Management. David is a member of Temple Isaiah, whose board of trustees he was nominated to this year. Through his work with the Temple Isaiah Green Team, he has personally advocated for environmental policy at City Hall and in Sacramento. A weekly attendee at his shul’s Torah study minyan as well as Shabbat services, he was honored to receive Temple Isaiah’s 2019 Emerging Leaders Award. Also a member of the Los Angeles Jews of Color group, David is thrilled to help celebrate the Jewish community’s diversity.

Episode #30: True Colors with Joshua Silverstein and David Chiu2019-05-29T21:34:43-07:00

Episode #29: Bravissima! Jewish Women in Music with Susan Greenberg and Miriam Cutler

Move over Gershwin and Barenboim, Jewish women musicians are rocking the world and JWT is thrilled to present three of the best at our upcoming event BRAVISSIMA! Jewish Women in Music on April 7th as part of our Sunday Morning at the Braid series. On this Episode, Lisa, Maureen and Arlene are joined by two of our three panelists: flute soloist Susan Greenberg and composer Miriam Cutler (Bios Below). Learn what it’s like to score such projects as The Simpsons, the documentary RBG, playing the Hollywood Bowl, traveling the world with the US State Department’s American Film Showcase and more!

BRAVISSIMA! Jewish Women in Music
April 7th, 2019 10:00 am – Noon
$25 General Single Ticket *Includes light brunch, live musical performance, panel discussion and Q&A with our guests*

SUSAN GREENBERG enjoys a versatile career as soloist, chamber musician, symphony player, and recording artist. The Los Angeles Times has described her playing as “brilliant” “elegant” and “supple.” During her 36 years with the LA Chamber Orchestra, she was a frequent soloist on both flute and piccolo. She has also appeared as guest soloist with the San Francisco and Oakland Symphonies, the Santa Monica Symphony, the Napa Valley Symphony, and at the Hollywood Bowl. Presently she is the principal flutist with the Santa Monica Symphony and the Vicente Chamber Orchestra. She has performed with the LA Philharmonic, L.A. Opera, New York City Opera, American Ballet Theater, as well as at the Casals, Ojai and Martha’s Vineyard Music Festivals. Ms. Greenberg was the principal flutist for the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra’s tour of Japan, and has received the “Most Valuable Player” award on the flute from the National Association of  Recording Arts and Sciences. Ms. Greenberg is presently the flute professor at Pepperdine University and Santa Monica College. She is the Co-Artistic Director of Chamber Music Palisades and has recorded for over 500 motion pictures and many TV television shows, including the Simpsons for 25 years.

Emmy nominated Composer, MIRIAM CUTLER has an extensive background in scoring independent film & TV projects, as well as two circuses. She was chosen by her peers to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a member of the Documentary Branch and invited to represent Documentary Film abroad for the US State Department’s American Film Showcase. She has also been Composer in Residence at Columbia College of the Arts, and presented workshops at USC, UCLA, Berklee College of Music and internationally. She recently completed scores for Dark Money, Love, Gilda and RBG, which was nominated for a 2019 Oscar. Miriam’s passion for documentary film has led to a focus in non-fiction with credits including the award-winning Ethel (Sundance/HBO), Rory Kennedy’s five time Emmy nominated documentary about her parents, Bobby and Ethel Kennedy, which was shortlisted for an Oscar in 2013. Additionally her films have won several Emmy Awards and she has served as Lab Advisor for the Sundance Institute Documentary Composers Lab since it began in 2003. She has co-produced two Grammy-nominated live jazz albums, albums for Nina Simone, as well as independently released albums of her own songs and soundtracks. She recently released a compilation album from 18 of her film scores, available from Movie Score Media http://moviescoremedia.com/film-music-miriam-cutler/

Episode #29: Bravissima! Jewish Women in Music with Susan Greenberg and Miriam Cutler2019-05-28T09:49:25-07:00

Episode #28: Jewish Women Foodies with Susan Feniger, Dr. Beth Ricanati and Amelia Saltsman

WARNING: Listening to the following episode WILL make you hungry

Click here to join us at our Jewish Women Foodies panel on March 10th!

On this episode, Lisa and Maureen sit down with three incredibly marvelous mavens of the kitchen: cookbook authors Dr. Beth RicanatiAmelia Saltsman and Susan Feniger, who not only writes cookbooks, but is a renowned chef, restauranteur, radio and TV personality and owner of Border Grill. They’ll give us a preview of our great morning of culinary chat on Sunday March 10th 10:00am – 12:00pm. You’ll also be able to get signed copies of cookbooks, a special challah baking demonstration and our first ever raffle! Amazing prizes await!

Jewish Women Foodies Panel and Challah Baking Demonstration
March 10th, 10:00am – 12:00pm
$20 pre-sale, $25 at the door
*Includes light brunch, demonstration, panel and Q & A with our guests!*
Added bonus: Beth Ricanati, M.D. will share her thoughts about the therapeutic value of challah baking, followed by a demonstration – and samples.

Iconic culinarian, author, and entrepreneur SUSAN FENIGER may be best known for her Modern Mexican concept, Border Grill restaurants, trucks, and catering, which she runs with her business partner of more than 35 years, Mary Sue Milliken. Now with locations in Downtown Los Angeles, LAX, The Huntington Library, and Las Vegas’s Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Border Grill continues to serve street food-inspired regional Mexican cuisine with a commitment to sustainability and the best quality ingredients. In June 2018, Feniger and Milliken debuted a fast casual eatery, BBQ Mexicana, at Las Vegas’s Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, and later this year, they will return to Santa Monica with a new all-day Mexican restaurant. Feniger also launched her own solo ventures—Blue Window with Kajsa Alger at The Huntington Library in 2016 and to-go concept Grab & Global by Susan Feniger at both LAX and San Jose International Airports in 2018 After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in New York, she made a groundbreaking move in joining the nearly all-male kitchen at Chicago’s Le Perroquet, serendipitously meeting the only other woman in the kitchen—Mary Sue Milliken. After working for Wolfgang Puck at Ma Maison in L.A., Feniger went to the French Riviera to further hone her skills, and returned to open City Café with Milliken in 1981, forever changing L.A.’s culinary landscape by introducing eclectic dishes from around the world. That evolved into the larger CITY Restaurant in 1985—and the introduction of Border Grill as a simple spot for authentic home cooking and street foods of Mexico informed by the duo’s treks through the country. A James Beard Award that same year confirmed their impact on the nation’s cuisine. Feniger and Milliken brought their innovative approaches to The Food Network with nearly 400 episodes of the “Too Hot Tamales” and “Tamales World Tour” series. They also were the original co-hosts of the popular food-centric radio show, KCRW’s “Good Food,” in L.A. Susan has co-authored six cookbooks, including Susan Feniger’s Street Food and competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” in 2010. In 2018, Feniger and Milliken were named the recipients of the fourth annual Julia Child Award from The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, marking the first women to be honored. The distinction complements additional accolades, including the Elizabeth Burns Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Restaurant Association in 2013; earned induction into Menu Masters Hall of Fame in 2014; and the 2018 Gold Award from the Los Angeles Times for culinary excellence and innovation in Southern California. Feniger is an active member of the community, and currently sits on the boards of the Scleroderma Research Foundation, L.A. LGBT Center, and L.A. Tourism & Convention Board; works closely with Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, Share Our Strength, and Human Rights Campaign; and co-founded Chefs Collaborative. Head to the Border Grill’s website for locations, menus and more info!

BETH RICANATI, MD has built her career around bringing wellness into women’s everyday lives, especially busy moms juggling life and children. She has practiced internal medicine at the NY-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic. In addition, her writings have appeared in peer-reviewed medical journals and many lifestyle blogs. Ricanati lives in the Los Angeles area with her family and one challah-loving dog. Visit Dr. Ricanati’s website, House Calls for Wellness for more info.

AMELIA SALTSMAN is a writer, teacher, and award-winning author of The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen: A Fresh Take on Tradition and The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook: Seasonal Foods, Simple Recipes, and Stories from the Market and Farm, Saltsman is passionate about helping everyday cooks make the connection between small-farmed foods and real-life meals. In her warm style, Amelia streamlines today’s desire for healthier, sustainable foods; the need to get dinner on the table; and the longing for rich holiday traditions into one seamless whole“Great taste and good farming practices go hand in hand. When the raw ingredients taste good, it’s the most obvious sign that our food has been grown sustainably and locally, and that it’s at its freshest and most nutritious. Amelia’s name is synonymous with intuitive, seasonal cooking, and her food reflects the bold, diverse flavors of her eclectic background. Amelia’s books have made numerous “best” lists, including The Washington PostCooking Light, and KCRW’s Good Food, and she has been featured in such diverse outlets as Parade MagazineYahoo! Food, Food52Fit Pregnancy, Vegetarian Times, US Airways, USA Today, Jewish Chronicle of London, The Jerusalem Post, and Los Angeles magazine. Her work has appeared in Bon Appétit, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Boston GlobeFood52, The KitchnCooking LightHuffington PostJewish JournalNational Geographic Traveler, and more. Amelia is a frequent guest on KCRW’s Good Food and has appeared on Hallmark’s Home & Family and Good Day L.A. Known as an energetic and inspiring teacher, she teaches at such venues as Google’s corporate offices and Rancho La Puerta. A long-time champion of local family farms, fair food, and farmers’ markets, Amelia is committed to raising the food literacy rate: knowing how, where, and by whom our food is grown; knowing how to cook a simple, healthy meal; and understanding the historical, local, and global impact our food choices have on our families and communities. Amelia served ten years on the California Certified Farmers’ Markets Advisory Committee and Direct Marketing Task Force; contributed to The Sage Encyclopedia of Food Issues; and empowers people to confidently “read” their farmers’ markets. Visit Amelia’s website for more info!

Episode #28: Jewish Women Foodies with Susan Feniger, Dr. Beth Ricanati and Amelia Saltsman2019-02-28T10:12:17-07:00

Episode #27: The Giving Life with Jill Black Zalben and Natella Royzman

CThe act of philanthropy is a vitally important lifeline for the communities in which we live. On this episode, Lisa and Maureen sit down and discuss the art of giving with two of our three panelists joining us at the upcoming event The Giving Life: Jewish Women Philanthropists. Jill Black Zalben of the Stanley & Joyce Black Family Foundation and Natella Royzman of the Jewish Community Foundation share their amazing stories about where a passion for giving has taken their lives. On February 24th, Jill and Natella will be joined by our third panelist Ilyse Teller of the Concern Foundation for a panel Q & A, light brunch and short performance.

WHEN: Sunday February 24th, 2019 10:00am – Noon
WHERE: The Braid Performance and Art Space, 2912 Colorado Ave. #102, Santa Monica, CA, 90404

Episode #27: The Giving Life with Jill Black Zalben and Natella Royzman2019-04-01T15:36:31-07:00

Episode #26: Family Secrets by the Bay with Michael Naishtut and Niloo

In this episode, Andrew chats with the other half of our cast who are sharing the tantalizing stories of Family Secrets all the way up in the Bay Area. Listen in and meet Michael Naishtut and Niloo, both with globe-spanning-multilingual performance careers!

Have a listen to hear about the tantalizing revelations that await in our first salon of the year, Family Secrets! Hear another preview piece from the show and dive into the experience of what its like to act in JWT’s signature style Salon Theatre on the road!

Performance in this episode:

An excerpt from
Ham and Cheese Croissants and a Letter to God
Written by Alexander Nemser
Performed by Michael Naishtut

Family Secrets credits:
Material Adapted, Curated, and Produced by Ronda Spinak
Directed by Susan Morgenstern and Lisa Cirincione
Dramaturg Lisa Rosenbaum
Literary Manager Suzanna Kaplan
South Bay Producer Liz Altman
San Francisco/Bay Area Producer Carol Kirsh
Assistant Producer Barbara Koletsky
Associate Producers Rose Ziff and Susie Yuré
Artistic Associate Daphna Shull
Assistant Artistic Director Andrew Fromer

Episode #26: Family Secrets by the Bay with Michael Naishtut and Niloo2019-02-19T19:13:50-07:00

Episode #25: Family Secrets with Debbie Kaspar and Rosie Moss

In this episode, Maureen is joined by guest host Andrew Fromer to chat with two actors from our first salon of the season, Debbie Kaspar and Rosie Moss! Debbie is a two-time Emmy-nominated writer and an award-winning comedian who has written for Roseanne, The Rosie O’Donnel Show among others. Rosie is a JWT veteran having performed in Guilty Parties last year; she has alos starred in Lifetime’s miniseries The Rookie and theatre goers will know her from starring performances at The West Coast Jewish Theatre and The Odyssey.

Have a listen to hear about the tantalizing revelations that await in our first salon of the year, Family Secrets! Hear some preview pieces from the show and dive into the experience of what its like to act in JWT’s signature style Salon Theatre.

Performances in this episode:
Uf Gozal
Music and Lyrics by Arik Einstein and Miki Gavrielov
Performed by Rosie Moss

My Sissy Boo
written and performed by Debbie Kaspar

Family Secrets credits:
Material Adapted, Curated, and Produced by Ronda Spinak
Directed by Susan Morgenstern and Lisa Cirincione
Dramaturg Lisa Rosenbaum
Literary Manager Suzanna Kaplan
South Bay Producer Liz Altman
San Francisco/Bay Area Producer Carol Kirsh
Assistant Producer Barbara Koletsky
Associate Producers Rose Ziff and Susie Yuré
Artistic Associate Daphna Shull
Assistant Artistic Director Andrew Fromer

Episode #25: Family Secrets with Debbie Kaspar and Rosie Moss2019-02-19T19:14:42-07:00

Episode #24: Season 11 Preview with Ronda Spinak

JWT Artistic Director Ronda Spinak returns to the podcast to let us know what’s in store for our incredible 11th season of our unique storytelling experiences known as Salon Theatre. Listen now for some tidbits on Family Secrets, It’s a Life and True Colors as well as insight into the process of putting together our one-of-a-kind style of show, how the pieces get chosen and what does it mean to attend a Salon at JWT.

Want to Subscribe to our 3-show season? Click here to book yours today!

Want to know how to have your work included in one of our shows? Head to our Submit Your Story page for info/guidelines…

Click here for Box Office home page!

Episode #24: Season 11 Preview with Ronda Spinak2019-02-13T13:44:18-07:00

Episode #23: Monica Piper in Not That Jewish

Happy Hannukah! Emmy Award-winning comedy writer and comedian Monica Piper (bio below) joins Lisa and Maureen for a very special holiday episode of the JWT Podcast, giving listeners a tantalizing preview of her incredible one woman show, Not That Jewish, now playing at The Braid in Santa Monica after a triumphant run Off Broadway. Ever wonder what it means to have a Jewish heart? Or how about how did Monica go from English teacher to award-winning comedy writer/performer/producer? Have a listen and find out…

Click here for more info on Not That Jewish

MONICA PIPER was a Campfire Girl … in the Bronx.  “You sense your life isn’t normal when you’re sitting on the D train with a bag of marshmallows and a twig.”

Monica began her career as a high school English teacher. While finding it rewarding, she had to move on. “I couldn’t handle the money and prestige.” Realizing her passion was making people laugh, she studied improv with Second City in Chicago and performed with the Wing and Papaya Juice in San Francisco. She then went solo as a stand-up and soon became one of Showtime Network’s Comedy All Stars. It wasn’t long before she landed her own Cable Ace Award–winning Showtime special, No, Monica, Just You, and was nominated for an American Comedy Award as one of the top five female comedians in the country. Monica was recruited by Ms. Barr herself to write on Roseanne, after which she went on to write for Mad About You and Veronica’s Closet

Monica was now a mother, and sitcom hours meant too much time away from her son, so she turned to animation. After writing for the adult cult favorite Duckman, she became head writer of the #1 children’s animated series Rugrats, for which she won an Emmy. She then developed and wrote series for Nickelodeon, Disney, and Cartoon Network.

Monica returned to her first love, performing. As a stand-up, she headlines fundraising events for organizations including the City of Hope, the Jewish Federation, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Brandeis Committee, and the Premiere Oncology Foundation, as well as Jewish groups nationwide. 

Monica also works in the corporate world as a motivational comedian. As a breast cancer survivor, she inspires audiences everywhere to lose the stress and Find the Funny in their personal and professional lives.

An artist-in-residence with Jewish Women’s Theatre, Monica performs original pieces for their At-Homes Salon Theatre Series and is eternally grateful to JWT and Gail Solo for commissioning her critically acclaimed one-woman play, Not That Jewish, which earned an LA Drama Critics Circle nomination for Best Solo Performance of 2015. Monica is thrilled to bring Not That Jewish back to LA after its hit seven-month run off-Broadway.

Monica recently enjoyed playing the role of Bess Myerson in Barra Grant’s Miss America’s Ugly Daughter at the Broad Stage Edye Theater in Santa Monica.

Monica lives in Santa Monica with her dog, cat, and son, Jake, whom she loves and adores “almost every day.”

Episode #23: Monica Piper in Not That Jewish2019-02-19T19:15:53-07:00

Episode #22: Jews in America – Fall Party Preview

On this episode, Lisa and Maureen are joined by Susan Baskin (see bio below) a writer and frequent contributor to JWT’s salons as well as JWT Artistic Director Ronda Spinak. Ronda and Susan have been working together over the past few months to prepare for JWT’s Fall Party, the annual kickoff to our season of salons. This year’s theme is Jews in America featuring historical documents, original works, music and more from all over the USA’s vibrant timeline. Maureen, Lisa, Susan and Ronda  discuss what inspired this year’s theme, the importance of citizenship and the duality of being a Jew in America, as well as a preview of what’s in store for this year at JWT. Listen and enjoy!

JWT Fall Party: Jews in America
October 28th, 2018 at a Home in Brentwood (details to follow ticket purchase)
Doors open at 1:30 PM for shmoozing, dessert buffet, and special surprises
Showtime is at 2:30 PM. 

If you bring someone who has never been to JWT before, you will receive a special thank you gift from us!

SUSAN BASKIN (Writer) wrote the Academy Award–winning film Violet and has also written extensively for television and film. Her credits include Remington Steele, Dynasty, and numerous television movies. Her essays have been published in The Los Angeles Times Magazine, West, and Los Angeles Magazine, and she is currently working on a novel.

Episode #22: Jews in America – Fall Party Preview2019-02-19T19:17:08-07:00

Episode #21: Past & Present: Russian Jewish American Stories at the Wende Museum

On the latest episode of the JWT Podcast Lisa and Maureen sit down with Dr. Joes Segal, Chief Curator of the Wende Museum of the Cold War in Culver City and JWT Artistic Director Ronda Spinak. We are preparing for a very special event at this fascinating museum, a unique reprisal of Past & Present: Russian Jewish American Storiesan incredible show that tells stories of loss and discovery, joy and tears, shame and pride through the eyes of those who have struggled to survive in two very different worlds. Attendees will get a private tour of the museum and see the performance amidst the unique art displays…

Join us on Sunday November 11th, starting at 5pm

Episode #21: Past & Present: Russian Jewish American Stories at the Wende Museum2019-02-19T19:18:11-07:00

Episode #20: Chutzpah & Salsa Preview with Sonia Nazario

On today’s very special episode, we revisit the incredible hit show Chutzpah and Salsa, true stories about what it means to have a Latin heart and a Jewish soul by writers from Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Venezuela & Panama. You will laugh, cry and be inspired by this entirely charming show as it is being REPRISED! This coming October 11th, 13th & 14th, made possible in part by a grant from the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Arts Commission.

Click to here to view the trailer for the show

Today you’ll hear “The Value of One” a riveting true story from Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Sonia Nazario (see below for bio), performed by Rachael Hip-Flores. Following the recording is an interview with Sonia. Please join us for the performance on October 14th if you’d like to hear Sonia speak in person as she will join the cast and production team for the Q&A following the performance.

Click here to check out Sonia’s website

SONIA NAZARIO is an award-winning journalist whose stories have tackled some of this country’s most intractable problems — hunger, drug addiction, immigration — and have won some of the most prestigious journalism and book awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes. She was also a finalist for a third Pulitzer, in Public Service.

She is best known for “Enrique’s Journey,” her story of a Honduran boy’s struggle to find his mother in the U.S. Published as a series in the Los Angeles Times, “Enrique’s Journey” won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2003. It was turned into a book by Random House and became a national bestseller.

Her recent humanitarian efforts to get lawyers for unaccompanied migrant children led to her selection as the 2015 Don and Arvonne Fraser Human Rights Award recipient by the Advocates for Human Rights. She also was named a 2015 Champion of Children by First Focus and a 2015 Golden Door award winner by HIAS Pennsylvania. In 2016, the American Immigration Council gave her the American Heritage Award. Also in 2016, the Houston Peace & Justice Center honored her with their National Peacemaker Award.

Nazario, who grew up in Kansas and in Argentina, has written extensively from Latin America and about Latinos in the United States. She has been named among the most influential Latinos by Hispanic Business Magazine and a “trendsetter” by Hispanic Magazine. In 2012 Columbia Journalism Review named Nazario among “40 women who changed the media business in the past 40.”

She is a graduate of Williams College and has a master’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She has honorary doctorates from Mount St. Mary’s College and Whittier College. She began her career at the Wall Street Journal, and later joined the Los Angeles Times.

She is now at work on her second book and is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times.

Check out Sonia’s talk on the TED stage: TEDx – Solving Illegal Immigration

Links to recent works:

NYT – Do You Care About the Rule of Law?

LAT – How to Secure the Border

NYT – How the Most Dangerous Place on Earth Got Safer

For more articles or to stay up-to-date on Sonia’s work, follow her Facebook page.

Credits for Chutpah & Salsa:

Adapted, Curated & Produced by Ronda Spinak
Produced by Suzanna Kaplan
Directed by Susan Morgenstern
Dramaturge Lisa Rosenbaum
South Bay Producer Liz Altman
Associate Producers Barbara Koletsky, Susie Yuré, Rose Ziff

Special thanks to Cindy Kendall for performance recording.

In today’s episode you heard:

Opening Remarks
Written by Suzanna Kaplan. Read by Ronda Spinak

Musical Summons of Cast
Violin by Marnina Schon

The Value of One
Written by Sonia Nazario.  Performed by Rachael Hip-Flores.

Click here for more info on Chutzpah & Salsa

Episode #20: Chutzpah & Salsa Preview with Sonia Nazario2019-02-19T19:19:09-07:00

Episode #19: Sacred Resistance Update with Vicki Juditz and Ronda Spinak

On this week’s episode, Andrew sits down with the incredible storyteller Vicki Juditz, creator and star of the now OVATION RECOMMENDED Sacred Resistance, as well as JWT’s Artistic Director Ronda Spinak. They chat about the latest extension of dates for the show (Must close October 7th!) and discuss the amazing, heartwarming and surprising reactions that audiences are having to this show. PLUS a special preview clip from a performance! Have a listen and don’t forget to grab your tickets:

Sacred Resistance Credits:
Written and Performed by Vicki Juditz
Directed by Susan Morgenstern
Produced by Ronda Spinak 
Lighting Designer Ernest McDaniel
Stage Manager  Michelle A. Prudente
Associate Producers Susie Yuré & Rose Ziff
Artistic Associate Daphna Shull

Sacred Resistance was made possible with generous gifts from Annette & Leonard Shapiro and from Gail Solo.

For more info on Sacred Resistance, click here.

Episode #19: Sacred Resistance Update with Vicki Juditz and Ronda Spinak2019-02-19T19:20:05-07:00

Episode #18: Story from a Prison Cell – Leslie Schwartz

Prepare for your Days of Awe with a Book Talk by award-winning author Leslie Schwartz. Her powerful new memoir: “The Lost Chapters: Finding Recovery and Renewal One Book at a Time” is one of atonement, transcendence, and of a passionate love of words. Join us for a light brunch, brief performance and discussion with Leslie about her transformational experience after being arrested and sentenced to 90-days in LA County jail…

Sunday August 26th,  10am-noon at The Braid in Santa Monica

Episode #18: Story from a Prison Cell – Leslie Schwartz2019-02-19T19:23:51-07:00

Episode #17: Uncorked with Corky Hale

If you don’t know Corky Hale’s name, you’ve most certainly heard her music.  Liberace, Sinatra, Streisand…just to name a few. And she’s accompanied many, many more! Corky has been performing as a jazz harpist, pianist, singer, flutist…she’s produced, owned a clothing store, auditioned in the nude…as she says, her life is nuts! And she joins us on stage at the The Braid, this Sunday July 29th to chat about her upcoming biography Corky Hale Uncorked, Music, Marriage and Making a Difference. A light brunch will also be served.

On this episode, Lisa and Maureen sit down with Corky and the book’s co-author Arlene Sarner to discuss some of the aspects and backstory of Corky’s life that will appear in the book. Have a listen and enjoy the stories!

VIDEO: Click here to watch Corky on the Tonight Show with Tony Bennett

Episode #17: Uncorked with Corky Hale2019-02-19T19:24:54-07:00

Episode #16: My Bad, My Good (Abridged)

Opening Song:
I’ll Raise My Voice
Music and Lyrics by Rachel Gold
Performed by Bobby Conte-Thornton, Rachel Gold, Ellie Fishman, and Alex Prakken with pianist Eric Fegan, from the song cycle SONGS FROM FARAWAY PLACES
On today’s episode, we revisit another beloved show from JWT’s past, featuring more honest, revealing and funny confessions from millennials of pivotal moments in life – learning to love, settling the score, figuring out what makes someone Jewish, and other stories in this one-of-a-kind show that will make you rethink your views about a new generation!The pieces featured in this episode are:

A Jewish Pastry
Written by Anna Forward
Performed by Lisa Cirincione and Sean Topps

Father in Me
Written by Paul Versten
Performed by Sean Topps

Motherly Love
Written by Lili Nanus
Performed by Matisse Rose and Arva Rose

The Designated Mourner
Written by Lizzie Shackney
Performed by Mirai Booth-Ong

Closing song:

Throw Out
Music and lyrics by Pontea Banayan
Recorded and Performed by Pontea Banayan

Material Adapted and Produced by Ronda Spinak
Directed by Susan Morgenstern
Assistant Director 
Lisa Cirincione
JWT Producer Jodie Mendelson
House Producers Elana Polan, Josh Hillinger and Sam Mandel

We’d also like to thank NuRoots, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and Moishe House for their support and partnership

Click for more info on My Bad, My Good


Episode #16: My Bad, My Good (Abridged)2018-07-01T08:54:02-07:00

Episode #15: Guilty Parties (Abridged)

Listen in on the guilt of a new generation!  From the things we should have done to actions we regret.  No one is safe from this moral dilemma as we navigate the expectations of society, family, and relationships.

The pieces featured in this episode are:

Compiled by Vicki Schairer
Performed by the ensemble, Nadége August, Nathan Bock, Chelsea London Lloyd, Rosie Moss and Judy Carter.

Written by Elana Spivak, from the blog McSweeney’s Internet Tendency
Performed by Chelsea London Lloyd, Nathan Bock and Nadege August

Written by Barbara Blumenthal Ehrlich
Performed by Nathan Bock and Chelsea London Lloyd

Written, performed and recorded by the Rosannah Sisters
Check out the Rosannah Sisters on Soundcloud

Written and performed by Judy Carter

Guilty Parties is this year’s salon from NEXT @ the Braid, JWT’s emerging artists fellowship. The fellows for 2017-2018 are:

Julie Gumpert
Sarah Resnick
Devan Liljedahl
Vicki Schairer
Andrew Fromer
Daphna Shull
Monique G. Lopez
Lisa Cirincione

For more info, visit NEXT @ The Braid’s page.

JWT Artistic Director Ronda Spinak
Executive Producer of NEXT at the Braid Abbe Meryl Feder
Additional Producing Liz Altman & Carol Kirsh
JWT Producing Director Susan Morgenstern
JWT Managing Director Sharon Landau

Episode #15: Guilty Parties (Abridged)2018-06-27T08:08:26-07:00

Episode #14: Dete Meserve

On this episode, Lisa and Maureen chat with best-selling and award winning author, creator and producer Dete Meserve (see bio below), in anticipation of her upcoming event at JWT. They are also joined by JWT Board Member and Literary Manager Suzanna Kaplan who will be co-moderating the event with Artistic Director Ronda Spinak.  Dete’s new book, “Random Acts of Kindness” includes true and inspiring stories that convey the power of kindness to transform ourselves and others. Have a listen to hear the inside scoop on all of the incredible stories that Dete discovered in creating this book.

Sunday, June 24th, 10am-12pm at The Braid in Santa Monica

DETE MESERVE is an award-winning author who is searching for Good. Like Kate Bradley in the novels Good Sam and Perfectly Good Crime, Meserve searches for people who are doing extraordinary good for others. While most mysteries focus on finding the killer or kidnapper, Meserve’s novels focus our attention on finding the helpers, the rescuers, and the people who bring light and hope into the world with their selfless acts of kindness. When she’s not writing, she is a film and television producer in Los Angeles and partner of Wind Dancer Films. Meserve lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children—and a very good cat that rules them all. Fore more info visit Dete’s Website.

SUZANNA KAPLAN was born in Mexico City and grew up speaking English at home and Spanish everywhere else. Following economic uncertainty, she moved to the US where she partnered with her best friend in a translation service and language school. They did well and being young, sold it as soon as they could and used the money to travel, eventually winding up in Israel. That trip stretched out to six years, a husband and a baby. Back in the US, Suzanna worked in Hispanic advertising and wrote for Spanish language TV. Her greatest pleasure these days is writing, producing and working with the wonderful women of JWT when not caring for the two most marvelous creatures known as grandchildren.

Episode #14: Dete Meserve2019-02-20T09:46:25-07:00

Episode #13: Sacred Resistance with Vicki Juditz

On this episode, Lisa and Maureen are back to chat with Vicki Juditz (see bio below), the writer and star of JWT’s next show, Sacred Resistance. They are also joined by JWT’s Producing Director (as well as the show’s director) Susan Morgenstern (see bio below), who has worked with Vicki to craft this riveting, humorous and poetic performance that compels us to ask the question, “What am I doing to make the world a better place?” Join us to hear how Vicki’s unconventional path to Judaism might be just the thing that inspires audiences to repair the world…VICKI JUDITZ Best known in LA for her one-woman show Teshuvah, Return about her journey to Judaism, Vicki has performed her original stories at theaters and festivals across the country, including the National Storytelling Festival and the Aspen LAFF Festival.  Her story Boca aired on KCRW’s UnFictional and Swing Dancing was featured in an episode of The Moth Radio Hour.  On TV, she has played comic roles on Coach, Everybody Loves Raymond, and My Name is Earl. This coming year Vicki will be performing at the Sierra Storytelling Festival in Northern California and with Storytelling Arts of Indiana in Indianapolis.

SUSAN MORGENSTERN began directing in college by staging musical theatre concert readings while co-teaching American Musical Comedy with Tom Lehrer at UC Santa Cruz. She went on to teach and direct at the renowned Stage Door Manor performing arts camp in upstate New York.  In Los Angeles, for Theatre West, Susan has directed selections from David Ives’ All in the Timing; the musicals Just Too Cool, book by Mary Garripoli, music by Phil Orem; and Saturday Night at Grossinger’s, book by Stephen Cole, music by Claibe Richardson; and Barbara Nell Beery’s play, The Socialization of Ruthie Shapiro.  At the Falcon Theatre she directed Leap, by Arnold Margolin, Surviving Sex, by David Landsberg, and the hit comedy, The Psychic, by Sam Bobrick. Susan directed Happy Days, a New Musical, book by Garry Marshall, music/lyrics by Paul Williams, at Cabrillo Music Theatre.  She directed an extended-run production of Meryl Cohn’s comedy Reasons to Live at the Skylight Theatre.  In 2014, Susan began working as a consultant show director at Disneyland Parks and Resorts, Anaheim.  She has directed numerous JWT salon shows, and now happily holds a position as JWT’s Producing Director.

Episode #13: Sacred Resistance with Vicki Juditz2019-02-20T09:50:12-07:00

Episode #12: United Colors of Jews

Yes, Jewish people come in all different colors! Back in January NEXT @ The Braid, our emerging artist fellowship, partnered with Jews of Color to produce a night of stories highlighting Jewish diversity. Attendees were encouraged to bring family photos and introduce the audience to their “multicultural mishpacha” through a great story, and the night did not dissapoint! In this episode, we bring you three of those stories told on stage that night, hosted by the award-winning performer Joshua Silverstein (see bio below). We hear from Emily Bowen Cohen about her Native American heritage, Benny Lumpkins Jr.’s life-changing experiences growing up in Detroit, and Courtenay Edelhart’s generously donated Hannukah shopping spree in Bakersfield. Have a listen and join us for this incredibly eye-opening episode!

JOSHUA REUBEN SILVERSTEIN is an award-winning actor, comic, writer, beatboxer, and educator. His various performances and productions throughout the country have received admiration from such creative geniuses ranging from Norman Lear to Prince.

He is an original member of Norman Lear’s DECLARE YOURSELF ROAD TRIP SHOW, a 3-year spoken-word/musical performance tour encouraging the American people to register to vote.

Beatboxing since the age of 5, Joshua has become the West Coast’s most sought-after beatboxer, named by the Jewish News Service as “one of the best beatboxers in the world.” His various collaborations with artists such as Slash from Guns and Roses, poetic icon Ursula Rucker and Improv legend Wayne Brady have earned him the title of “the hardest-working performer in L.A.”

His solo show, “The Joshua Silverstein Show,” has been receiving rave reviews since its preview at the Greenway Court Theater in Los Angeles in 2014. An early version of the show, titled “Tell Me I’m Pretty” (directed by Diana Wyenn), was presented at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles in 2016.  Backed by a three-piece band, Joshua playfully weaves through personal narratives pertaining to race and gender constructs in America. Using devices including pantomime, beatboxing, rapping, and spoken word, Joshua has created a show that continues to inspire, challenge, provoke and motivate. For more info, please visit Joshua’s website.

Episode #12: United Colors of Jews2018-05-23T12:31:13-07:00

Episode #11: Guilty Parties Update with Daphna Shull

On this episode, Vicki and Andrew chat with fellow member of NEXT at the Braid, Daphna Shull (see bio below) before Monday night’s performance at the Braid in Santa Monica of this year’s NEXT salon, Guilty Parties. They talk about their work together on the council, all the different areas that Daphna contributes to JWT and you’ll get to hear some bonus music written by Daphna that didn’t quite make it into the final show.

DAPHNA SHULL is a two-time NEXT Arts Council Fellow, literary manager, and writer, born and raised in Tampa, Florida. She received her bachelor’s degree in Media Production from Florida State University. After graduating in 2014, she headed west to pursue a career in screenwriting and the arts. Today, Daphna works as a museum educator for the Zimmer Children’s Museum and recently joined the JWT staff.

Episode #11: Guilty Parties Update with Daphna Shull2019-02-20T09:55:52-07:00

Episode #10: Happy Mother’s Day!

On this very special Mother’s Day edition of the JWT podcast, we quickly jump back to 2013 and the performance of Oh, Mother! a smash-hit of ours that was crafted to set the record straight about Jewish mothers, and there was nothing cliche about it! The piece featured in this episode is Evolution Without Me written and performed by Carol Schlanger.

Oh, Mother! was…

Produced by Ronda Spinak
Directed by Ellyn Gersh Lerner
Dramaturge Lisa Rosenbaum

Associate Produced by Susie Yuré and Abby Freeman

Episode #10: Happy Mother’s Day!2018-05-10T14:42:00-07:00

Episode #9: Guilty Parties

Vicki Schairer and Andrew Fromer are two young artists making their way through the Los Angeles entertainment industry. They also happen to be original members of JWT’s cutting edge fellowship known as NEXT @ The Braid, a program through which JWT gives voice, support and resources to emerging artists thanks to a very generous grant from the Jewish Community Foundation. Now in its second year, the fellowship culminates in a JWT-signature salon-style show that’ll showcase the writings, artwork and acting of other emerging millennial artists. This year’s show is entitled Guilty Parties and is sure to leave audiences wow-ed as they follow along on a wild ride through the guilt of a new generation.  From the things we should have done to actions we regret.  No one is safe from this moral dilemma as we navigate the expectations of society, family, and relationships.

In today’s episode, Lisa and Maureen sit down with Vicki and Andrew to chat about how NEXT got its start, what the creative process has been like as they work with the JWT leadership and a couple of teasers as to what juicy pieces await in Guilty Parties.

Find out more about NEXT @ The Braid

VICKI SCHAIRER is a director for film and theatre and a television producer. She has directed several short films and is currently in development for a handful of new projects.  She works as a television producer with credits on shows for Amazon Prime, TLC, the History Channel, and Fullscreen. She worked as a theatre director, production manager, and arts administrator in the greater Boston area prior to moving to Los Angeles in 2014. Vicki directed dozens of projects for the Boston stage and collaborated closely with playwrights to develop new work through workshops and readings. She worked in the artistic department of the Huntington Theatre Company and co-founded the collaborative devised theatre ensemble Project: Project, for which she co-wrote and co-directed original plays. She received her undergraduate degree in physics and theatre from Brandeis University and completed the Summer Institute in Film Production at UCLA.

ANDREW FROMER is a Los Angeles native and grew up as an active member in the Jewish community through Stephen S. Wise Temple. He attended Windward School in Mar Vista, where his acting career began in plays and musicals. After completing his BFA in theater at UC Santa Barbara and an exciting year of living in Israel, Andrew took a dive into filmmaking and has since branched into production by helping prepare for distribution two feature films he has acted in: AMP Creative’s Highway to Havasu (dir. Jeff Janke) and Mockingbird Pictures’ The Sweet Life (dir. Rob Spera). Andrew also edits, directs, and hosts his own podcast on the entertainment industry, SideKickBack Radio, which can be found at www.sidekickback.com. He is very excited to be on board for an exciting year with NEXT@theBraid.

Episode #9: Guilty Parties2019-02-20T10:00:40-07:00

Episode #8: Hold Me Heal Me (Abridged)

Today we are going back into Jewish Women’s Theatre’s archive to share stories from Hold Me, Heal Me, a show about the true healing power of kindness. The three stories in this episode illuminate how kindness comforts us even in our most broken moments.The pieces featured in this episode are:

The Shabbos Goy
Written by Joanne Verdino. Performed by Lisa Cirincione and Sean Topps.

A Balm in Beverly Hills
Written by Faye Sholiton. Performed by Kate Zentall and Sean Topps.

O, Engineer
Written by Anna Belle Kaufman. Performed by Kate Zentall.

Hold Me, Heal Me was underwritten by generous donations from Gail Solo, in dedication to Dr. Edith Eger, and Gladys & David Layne

Produced by Ronda Spinak
Assistant Producer: Barbara Koletsky
Directed by Eve Brandstein
Dramaturge Lisa Rosenbaum
Associate Producers: Susie Yure´ and Rose Ziff

For more info on Hold Me, Heal Me visit the show’s page.

Episode #8: Hold Me Heal Me (Abridged)2018-04-26T12:12:38-07:00

Episode #7: Funny Women of JWT

In today’s episode, Lisa and Maureen sit down with Shelly Goldstein and Melanie Chartoff (see below for bios), two incredibly funny women that have written and performed in several of JWT’s shows throughout the years including The Matzo Ball Diaries and Reckoning with Dad. Join us to find out how Shelly and Melanie got their start, what drew them into the world of JWT and how they both work to change the perception of Jewish women in the media.

MELANIE CHARTOFF is an inventor of stories and characters for the page, stage, and screen. As an actress, she’s best known for roles in series such as ABC’s late-night comedy show Fridays, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, The Newhart Show, Ally McBeal, and Touched by an Angel. She won a Dramalogue Award for the LA premiere of March of the Falsettos and acclaim for her performances in ACT San Francisco’s Sunday in the Park with George, The Vagina Monologues in Chicago, and Beyond Therapy at LA’s Coronet Theater. She can be heard daily somewhere in the world voicing characters such as Didi on Nickleodeon’s long running Rugrats and its spin-offs, movies, and games. She’s written lyrics and book and costars in her upcoming two-character play with music, Fine Lines, and is a columnist for the Huffington Post and the Jewish Journal. She hails from the East Coast stages of Long Wharf Theater, Yale University, and off- and on Broadway (Scapino, Via Galactica, Do I Hear a Waltz). She currently enhances people’s public personae in her Charismatizing Improvising Coaching and Classes. For more information, visit her websites: www.melaniechartoff.com and www.chartoffteaching.com.

Order Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Crazy Family featuring one of Melanie’s stories!

SHELLY GOLDSTEIN has written for every genre of TV, film and stage. Her one-woman shows have played to sell-out crowds throughout the US and UK. She co-starred with Sir Derek Jacobi and Vanessa Redgrave in the British film, The Riddle and with Vinnie Jones in the Irish film, Assault of Darkness. She has written or punched-up sitcoms, dramas, films, lyrics, documentaries, animation, award shows, jokes and special material for such artists as Steve Martin, Barbra Streisand, Sharon Stone, Justin Timberlake, Anne Hathaway, LL Cool J, Jane Fonda, Garry Marshall, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Yoko Ono. She wrote the book for the disco musical, Last Dance, which work-shopped on Broadway and she directed the critically-acclaimed hit comedy The Vic & Paul Show in L.A. and Chicago. She is currently writing the new musical, Somebody Feels the Water and is the L.A. correspondent for London’s Good Vibes radio. She recently won the New York Times Caption Contest.


Episode #7: Funny Women of JWT2018-04-19T10:31:39-07:00

Episode #6: Crossing Our Red Sea

Lisa and Maureen stop by rehearsal for our upcoming salon, Crossing Our Red Sea. They chat with actors AJ Meijer and Tiffany Mualem, as well as the show’s director Eve Brandstein, with an extra special musical preview. With the Jewish holiday of Passover approaching, Crossing Our Red Sea is a surprising show revealing life’s truths found in the Passover story. This is not a re-enactment of the exodus tale, but a re-examination of it using thought-provoking contemporary stories, poems, plays and songs that will make you laugh and cry. Opening March 10th!

Episode #6: Crossing Our Red Sea2019-02-20T10:03:07-07:00

Episode #5: A Passover Preview with Jim Ruxin

Lisa and Maureen are back with a very special preview of our upcoming March 4th film screening and talk with filmmaker Jim Ruxin. In this episode, Jim discusses how Arthur Szyk came to create one of the most well known haggadahs in the world, as well as detailing the Passover haggadah’s historical significance as a tool for storytelling, art display, and even war propaganda! Check out the info for March 4th’s event below:

Special Pre-Passover Film Event:
Hidden secrets and provocative pictures in Haggadot through the centuries and around the world.

Sunday, March 4 2pm – 4pm @ The Braid

Take a journey through the visual history of the diaspora as seen through 500 years of Haggadot, featuring the film “In Every Generation: Remaking The Szyk Haggadah,” with filmmaker Jim Ruxin. Prior to the film, Ruxin will present a short program about haggadot from around the world. To close the program he will display one of the new, fine art limited edition copies of the Szyk Haggadah for JWT’s guests to experience, along with a collection of diaspora haggadot.

$25 admission includes light refreshments.

Episode #5: A Passover Preview with Jim Ruxin2019-02-20T10:06:42-07:00

Episode #4: The Space Between (Abridged)

The Space Between explores humorous, heartbreaking and surprising stories that cut to the heart of what divides us and illuminate the yearnings and struggles, successes and failures of reaching out to find common ground. In this episode, we are bringing you a selection of pieces from the show.

To hear the show in its entirety, check out our very first episode!

This is a groundbreaking new show created by the first generation of NEXT @ The Braid, JWT’s Emerging Artists Fellowship. These 12 up-and-coming young artists have brought together stories, songs, poems and plays to create a unique theatrical experience that hope to bridge the gap in a time of intense divisions.

The pieces featured in this episode are:

MY FRIENDS TIED BUT I DID KNOT Written by Sigi Gradwohl Performed by Zoe Lillian
Check out Sigi’s original article on the Huffington Post!

LAKEWOOD Written by Rachelle Davidowitz Performed by Kyla Schoer and Zoe Lillian

A MARINE COMES HOME Adapted from an interview with Arturo Alsonso by Vicki Schairer and Lisa Cirincione Performed by Michael Hanson and Donnabella Mortel

NORTH STAR Music and Lyrics by Dan Omelio, Jesse Macht, and Emily Kitter Performed by Jesse Macht

INTERVENTION #2, HOW MAY I CONNECT YOU Written by Max Mondi Performed by Jesse Macht

2017 NEXT Arts Council Fellows: Amirose Eisenbach, Sigi Gradwohl, Abigail Marks, Chelsea London Lloyd, Andrew Fromer, Christian Alexander Prentice, Daphna Shull, Rachel Berney Needleman, Lisa Cirincione, Vicki Schairer, and Vanessa Espino. With Arts Council Producer: Abbe Meryl Feder and JWT Leadership: Artistic Director Ronda Spinak, Managing Director, Sharon Landau and Producing Director Susan Morgenstern

Performed by: Donnabella Mortel, Jesse Macht, Kyla Schoer, Michael Hanson, and Zoe Lillian.

Featuring stories by Rachelle Davidowitz, Adam Rotstein, Kaitlin Mamie, Sigi Gradwohl, Art Alonso, Daphna Shull, Julie Mayerson Brown, Max Mondi, Molly Murray, Vanessa Espino, Vicki Schairer and Abby Marks.

Featuring music by Jesse Macht, Dan Omelio and Emily Kitter.

Recorded in front of a live audience at The Braid in Santa Monica, CA on June 23, 2017.With generous support from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, Erwin Rautenberg Foundation, and Dennis Schuman Charitable Fund.

NEXT is a program of JWT. Artistic Director: Ronda Spinak; Managing Director: Sharon Landau; Producing Director: Susan Morgenstern.

More information is available at https://www.jewishwomenstheatre.org/showsevents/performances/past-shows-2/the-space-between/

Episode #4: The Space Between (Abridged)2018-02-15T01:39:12-07:00