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Join Natan Berenshteyn and Debra Clinton, two iconic figures for arts and culture in the Richmond Jewish community, for an intimate evening of stories and songs, cabaret-style. In their premiere performance together, Natan and Deb will explore popular music of the 20th century through the lens of Broadway and beyond. The vocal stylings of Clinton, along with the mastery of Berenshteyn at the piano, will make for a memorable evening as they share the music and stories that are meaningful to them.
Debra Clinton is happy to be celebrating the start of her 12th season as Artistic Director of the Jewish Family Theatre here at the Weinstein JCC performing wonderful music with the celebrated Natan Berenshteyn. A theatre artist in the Richmond community for over 30 years, Debra has made a career performing, directing, writing, and teaching theatre. Directorial credits include work at Virginia Repertory Theatre, Firehouse Theatre, Richmond Triangle Players, Dogwood Dell and countless productions here at the JCC, including work on the inclusive theatre program, Kesem. Debra is a proud recipient of the 2013 Theresa Pollack award for excellence in theatre, as well as a recipient of a Richmond Theatre Critics Circle Award for her libretto and lyrics for the original musical, Croaker, along with composer Jason Marks.
By day, Debra moonlights as a theatre instructor in Hanover County, providing the opportunity to pass along her love and knowledge of theatre and spend her days doing what she loves. She is grateful to her supportive family who have always grounded her and to all those at the Weinstein JCC who support the arts and the work done by Jewish Family Theatre.
For the past 20 years, Natan Berenshtyn has served both the Richmond and Jewish communities through music, as the choral director at Atlee High School as well as the music and choral director at Congregation Beth Ahabah Originally from Moldova, Natan started playing the piano at age 6. In addition to a college degree from Moldova State Institute of the Arts, Natan holds a bachelor’s degree in music education and a master’s degree in music performance from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Funny, sexy, touching...Now battling breast cancer after fighting off lymphoma, Valerie does something most people facing cancer for the second time in their life probably wouldn’t think of doing. With a fear that she might lose “the girls”, the first thing on her to-do list is to take them out for one last hurrah. And does she succeed? Is there a “happy ending”? This sexy, adventurous award-winning solo show follows the triumphant journey of one woman seeking her own "hulk-like" strength to find her superhero within.
Valerie is an actor in both theater and film, as well as a playwright. She was raised in Richmond and graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and James Madison University. Her credits include the Off-Broadway production of "A Stoop on Orchard Street," "Cookie in Rumors" and "Claudia Shear’s Blown Sideways Through Life." Films: "How I Became that Jewish Guy," which premiered at the NYC Film Festival, and "Bridges and Tunnels."
Songs weave us together and connect us to our people and our communal experiences. The community is invited to a special evening of Havdalah and songs presented by Cantor Sarah Beck-Berman and Cantor Dara Rosenblatt. This post-Shabbat musical experience provides an opportunity to move from a place of distinction to a place of togetherness through songs from Mizrachi, Sephardi, Ashkenazi and Israeli traditions.
"A threefold cord is not easily broken!"
וְהַחוּט הַֽמְשֻׁלָּשׁ לֹא בִמְהֵרָה יִנָּתֵֽק׃
About Cantor Dara Rosenblatt
Originally from Trumbull, Connecticut is the Cantor at Temple Beth-El in Richmond. She was ordained June 2018 from Hebrew College’s Cantor-Educator program. Cantor Rosenblatt attended Muhlenberg College and graduated with a degree in Music, with a concentration in vocal performance, and English. Cantor Rosenblatt previously worked in Framingham, Natick, Newton, and Pittsfield, Massachusetts, as well as Charleston, South Carolina, and Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Prior to starting her graduate studies, she worked for the Hillel at the College of Charleston in South Carolina engaging students in Jewish life on campus. During the summer months she traveled to Israel and studied at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.
Cantor Rosenblatt’s Jewish journey is rooted in her love for Jewish music and prayer and the joy that it brings not just to her, but everyone around her. Her interest in Jewish music, in particular Yiddish music and niggunim, stems from her love for Yiddishkeit and heimish Jewish community experiences she has been blessed to experience. She looks forward to presenting this program with Cantor Sarah Beck-Berman!
About Cantor Sarah Beck Berman
Cantor Beck-Berman earned her B.A. in Religious Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, and was ordained as a Cantor in January 2018 by the ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal Cantorial Program. She is the Cantor and B'nei Mitzvah Coordinator at Congregation Beth Ahabah in Richmond, VA, where she enjoys leading the congregation during services, working with the adult and youth choirs, planning meaningful and fun life cycle celebrations, and teaching people of all ages. Cantor Beck-Berman has also taught and performed at various local venues, including as a guest lecturer at VCU.
Ophira Eisbenberg is a Canadian-born stand-up comedian and writer. She hosts NPR’s nationally syndicated comedy trivia show Ask Me Another (airing on 400+ stations) where she interviews, jokes and plays silly games with celebrity guests.
When not immersed in trivia, she can be seen headlining across the United States, Canada and Europe with her unique seamless blend of stand-up and storytelling to her loyal fan base of smart, irreverent comedy lovers. She has appeared on Comedy Central, "This Week At The Comedy Cellar," Kevin Hart’s "LOL Network," HBO’s "Girls," "Gotham Live," "The Late Late Show," "The Today Show" and VH-1.
Eisenberg is a regular host and teller with The Moth and her stories have been featured on The Moth Radio Hour and in two of The Moth’s best-selling books. Her first book, Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy is a comedic memoir about her experiments in the field as a single woman, traveling from futon to futon and flask-to-flask, gathering data, hoping to put it all together and build her own perfect Frankenmate. It was optioned for a feature film.
Presented by Allianz Worldwide Partners
Amnon Weinstein has spent the last two decades locating and restoring violins that were played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust.
He dedicates this important work to 400 relatives he never knew. These grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins stayed behind in Eastern Europe when Amnon’s parents, Moshe and Golda, immigrated in 1938 to Palestine, where Moshe opened a violin shop. After the war, Moshe learned that his entire family – 400 in all – had been murdered during the Holocaust.
After growing up to become one of the most respected violin makers in the world, Amnon became determined to reclaim his lost heritage. He started locating violins that were played by Jews in the camps and ghettos, painstakingly piecing them back together so they could be brought to life again on the concert stage. Although most of the musicians who originally played the instruments were silenced by the Holocaust, their voices and spirits live on through the violins that Amnon has lovingly restored.
He calls these instruments the Violins of Hope.
Presented by: Virginia Holocaust Museum (VHM) and Virginia Museum of History and Culture (VMHC)
Sponsored by Linda and Earl Ferguson