Show Closing Today…

It’s almost impossible to believe that, after another 500 or so people come through our crowded doorways today, we’ll be done presenting this important show. RETURN TO HAIFA has been meaningful, provocative, prescient and, most of all, moving every night, and it’s brought this Israeli company (made up of brilliantly variegated strands of the country’s multicultural quilt) so very close to its American hosts. There’s a profound sense that nobody really wants to leave! The Israelis could stay–braving even the cold–for a good long while, but new commitments call to them–and we could keep presenting this moving show, bringing so many different kinds of audience members together into rich, complex contemplation and conversation, but new rehearsals dawn for us as well.

There’ll be much rounding up to come–these incredible conversations are a lot to summarize–but the record is rich already and we feel obliged to keep adding to it–if only there were time! Last night’s panel on Trauma–Sustained Trauma in a Conflict Zone–occasioned our first youth contingent–4 teenagers (Muslim, Jewish, Catholic)–sharing reactions and responded to by a distinguished 2nd panel of rabbis and psychologists. We thank Richard A. Chefetz, M.D. (Former President of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation); Dr. Judy Roth (psychoanalyst and adjunct associate medical professor at City University in New York and co-founder of Mental Health Activists in Partnership); Rabbi Sid Schwarz (Senior Fellow at Clal: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership); and Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt (Congregation B’nai Tzedek and Director of Israel Policy and Advocacy for the Rabbinical Assembly); along with student representatives from Face To Face and Seeds of Peace including Miko Zeldes-Roth and Meg Kelly, together with cousins Sarah Rahman and Salam Abdul-Ali.

We expect to have video excerpts from this large, provocative, insightful panel posted very soon.

Today’s final panel comes from our on-going multi-faith dialogue series, “Scripture Unscripted,” bringing Christian, Muslim and Jewish clergy and community members together for post-performance reflection. Today’s focus, “Encountering the Other: Sacred Listening” will be presented in partnership with American Jewish Committee—Washington Jewish Committee, moderated by Rabbi Tamara Miller (Educator and Spiritual Counselor); featuring The Rev. Ann Gillespie (Associate Rector for Worship and Pastoral Care, Christ Church); Marshall Breger (Professor, Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America); and Imam Shad (All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center Board Member and Qurtuba Institute Advisor).

Should be a good one. As promised, quotes and notes from panels past, still to come. Until then, so very grateful to all the 45-plus panelists who’ve shared their thoughts and expertise with us.