Theater For A Cause
n original historical exhibit, "Uneasy Years _
Michigan Jewry During Depression and
War," has opened at the Michigan State
University Museum in East Lansing.
It is being presented alongside a U.S. Holocaust
Memorial Museum traveling exhibit, "Varian Fry,
Assignment: Rescue 1940-41," about an American vol-
unteer's rescue of more than 1,000 Jews, including lead-
ing writers, artists and intellectuals, in Vichy, France.
Together, the exhibits are the basis for a series of pro-
grams, "Perspectives on Rescue and on Michigan Jewish
Life in the 1930s and '40s." This series is a collaboration
between Lansing's Congregation Shaarey Zedek, MSU's
Jewish Studies Program and the MSU Museum, with
the assistance of the Jewish Historical Society of
new theater company is getting off the
ground with a play about surviving breast
cancer and an educational program for teens.
Founded by Arlene Sorkin of West Bloomfield,
IlluminArt Productions seeks to present socially
relevant theater to a wide range of audiences.
Patty Ceresnie of West Bloomfield is the compa-
ny's artistic director.
IlluminArt's first production is the musical For
Our Daughters, to be presented at Temple Israel in
West Bloomfield and other venues in May.
The show deals with women of differing back-
grounds and experiences who share one trait —
they are all fighting breast cancer. Many of the
performers are cancer survivors themselves.
t the Seeds of Peace Detroit banquet in
November, Aaron David Miller stood at the
podium of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in
Dearborn and said he hoped to be the organization's
His wishes were granted Jan. 15,
when the career U.S. State Department
diplomat took the reins of the interna-
tional peace organization.
Founded in 1993, Seeds of Peace is
best known for its conflict-resolution
and coexistence camp, which brings
teens from areas of conflict to the
Maine woods. So far, more than
2,000 teens from 22 nations have grad-
uated from the program.
Seeds programs for teens continue
a coexistence center in Jerusalem,
in M ianpn
je, wen' IA,, ctrttiftent it:
as conferences and seminars in
of the world. Its adult Peace
Partners also participate in internation-
Miller, who received a Ph. D. in
American diplomatic and Middle East
history from the University of
Michigan, joined the Department of
State in 1978, where he helped formu-
late U.S. policy on the Middle East and
the Israeli-Arab peace process. He has
served as an adviser to six secretaries of
state and in several other capacities
dealing with policy planning and nego-
Miller has written three books and
numerous articles on the Middle East.
He becomes Seeds' second president,
Left: Harriet Siden of Bloomfield Hills, JHSM vice president, with the 1930s memorabilia of her late husband, Franklin Siden.
the death of the organization's
Right: Benno Levi of Oak Park, Jewish Historical Society treasurer, with Jeanette Cook and Zelda Rose, both of Farmingtot 2 Hills,
first president, John
at the display about his immigration as a child from Germany in the 1930s. He joined a family in Detroit.
Wallach. He will work out of _ the
of Peace Washington, D.C., office,
Michigan (JHSM) and archival materials from the
About two" dozen actors met for a sing-through
while Janet Wallach, wife of the Seeds founder, will
Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives of the
rehearsal Jan. 12 at the Oakland Regional Office
head up the organization's New York office as senior
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.
of Karmanos Cancer Institute in Southfield.
The Michigan exhibit includes personal photo-
Karmanos is funding the production, with grants
— Diana Lieberman
graphs, memories and records from the archives of
from the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan
Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Lansing and the
Foundation and the Living Free Foundation,
Rabbi Leo M. Franklin Archives at Temple Beth El in
founded by Lesli Cohen of Birmingham.
Bloomfield Township, as well as contributions from
"We needed another medium to get the infor-
individuals, families and organizations across the state.
mation out about breast cancer, especially to those
t its first graduation ceremony in its three-
The presentation provides examples of Michigan
who are medically underserved," says Pat Sachs,
year history on June 8, the Jewish Academy of
Jewry's response to the threat and reality of war, vol-
Karmanos' Oakland Region director. "The theater
Metropolitan Detroit will matriculate 21 sen-
unteering to fight, attempting to rescue relatives and
experience is engaging and involves active partici-
iors. Of those, 17 applied to the University of
raising funds and political awareness on behalf of
Michigan and 12 were accepted, reports Dr. Helene
Jewish refugees in Europe and Palestine.
In addition to For Our Daughters, IlluminArt,
Cohen, JAMD dean of academic affairs.
The MSU team developing the "Uneasy Years"
which is an affiliate of the nonprofit Illusion Theater
JAMD seniors also have received letters of admis-
exhibit was led by co-curators Dr. Kenneth Waltzer,
of Minneapolis, has begun a theater program at
sion from the University of Wisconsin, the
history professor; and Dr. Kirsten Fermaglich, assis-
West Bloomfield High School. Called Project
University of Indiana, Michigan State University
tant professor of history and Judaic studies; along
TRUST (Teaching and Reaching Using Students
and Eastern Michigan University, according to col-
with Julie Avery, MSU Museum curator.
and Theater), the teen troupe produces one-hour
lege counselors John Boshoven and June Swartz.
— Staff Report shows on themes relevant to teens, including smok-
JAMD seniors applied to 70 colleges and universi-
ing, eating disorders, violence and sexual abuse.
ties, including Brandeis University in Waltham,
The MSU exhibits are continuing until June
Project TRUST which is co-sponsored by Jewish
Mass., Washington University in St. Louis and
15. Information: (517) 355-7474. Web site:
Family Service, has so far booked performances at
Emory University in Atlanta. Responses are expected
Five other Oakland County high schools.
in early April.
— Diana Lieberman
— Robert A. Sklar
Ann Arbor Bound?