Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains will hold a Scholar-In-Residence weekend featuring Peninnah Schram, internationally known storyteller, Friday, February 10 through Sunday, February 12. The program is free and open to the community, with a dessert reception Friday evening and a luncheon on Saturday.
Peninnah Schram, Professor of Speech and Drama at Stern College of Yeshiva University, is a storyteller, teacher, author and recording artist. She is the author of ten books of Jewish folktales. Her latest illustrated anthology, The Hungry Clothes and Other Jewish Folktales, was published in 2008. She also has recorded a compact disc, The Minstrel and the Storyteller, with singer/guitarist Gerard Edery. Peninnah Schram has received the Covenant Award for Outstanding Jewish Educator, The Circle of Excellence Award from the National Storytelling Network, and the National Storytellers Network 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Scholar-in-Residence Weekend begins with services Friday evening, February 10, at 7:30 p.m. During services, Peninnah Schram will tell “Sacred Stories for Shabbat.” The audience will also have the opportunity to interweave singing with some of the stories. A dessert reception will follow services.
Saturday’s presentation, “On Eagles’ Wings,” will take place during Shabbat morning services, February 11, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Through her storytelling, Peninnah Schram will explore that week’s Torah portion, which includes the dramatic giving of The Ten Commandments. A luncheon will follow.
Peninnah Schram will present “Jewish Stories One Generation Tells Another” during Saturday’s lunch at 12:30 p.m. Her tales will draw upon Jewish sources as well as world folklore.
On Sunday, February 12, at 9:30 a.m., Peninnah Schram will present, “Humor and Hokhma With a Detour Through Chelm,” a participatory storytelling experience for all ages. Peninnah Schram will tell folktales filled with humor and hokhma (wisdom), including stories about the legendary fools of Chelm. Sunday’s program is designed to be intergenerational so that children, parents and grandparents can enjoy it together.
“We are really excited to be able to bring such a renowned Jewish educator and storyteller to our community,” said Elly Bauman, Director of Education at Congregation Beth Israel. “Peninnah Schram mixes humor, wit, songs and dialogue into her folktales. Her captivating presentations have mass appeal – they can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of age or educational background.”
For more information, call the synagogue office at 908-889-1830. Congregation Beth Israel is located at 18 Shalom Way, Scotch Plains, New Jersey (at the corner of Martine Avenue).