New theater show explores Israelis in America

What becomes of the Jewish soul stuck between the American dream and the promised land? America is a place of new opportunities, but for Israel’s immigrants and their families, the story is more complicated…and a rich source of dramatic potential.

From thunderous stories of culture shock to family heartache across the ocean, this community has many stories to share with the world. The Braid, the go-to Jewish history company, brings a curated collection of them to life using its Salon Theatre. Professional actors perform these authentic and true tales at the world premiere of Star-Spangled Sabra. It sheds light on a unique chapter in Jewish history: no longer the wandering Jew but the wandering heart.

Star-Spangled Sabra will be performed live and in person at locations across California. However, it will also be played live on Zoom, as The Braid’s Salon style of storytelling is uniquely adaptable to virtual medium. These performances will take place from March 6 to 28; for dates, times and locations, visit the-braid.org/sabra.

Director Susan Morganstern reflects on The Braid’s return to live theatre: “We are excited to return to shared spaces with our clients! The relationship between what is happening on a stage and the audience is a key part of what makes every theater performance unique and special.”

Doing that with this show is particularly poignant for producer Sharon Landau, an Israeli immigrant who has lived in America for more than 40 years. “While there have been several individual shows about the Israeli experience in the United States, this is a new collage that weaves itself into a fuller tapestry of such a vibrant and growing community. We , Israelis, may laugh at some of the amusing caricatures of us in the mainstream media (think you’re not kidding the Zohan), but this show offers a chance to meet the diverse and authentic spectrum of Israelis who are truly here in America, contributing to the Jewish community and the world at large.”

For the co-founder and artistic director of The Braid, Ronda Spinak, which is exactly why they simply had to explore this topic. “With so many Israelis living in the United States today, how could we have a Jewish history society and not dive deep into their experiences in America?”

Even the actors have a personal connection. Roni Geva and Meitar Paz emigrated from Israel-Paz just six months ago. Jordan Bielsky’s mother is Israeli, while Rosie Moss is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Jerusalem. Lisa Ann Grant, the child of Holocaust survivors, feels a deep personal connection to Israel. They, the story writers and the entire production team look forward to sharing these delightful, candid and powerful stories with the world, on a show where Israelis in America can define themselves.

To learn more about The Braid’s origins, mission and community, visit the-braid.org/about/