Where We Are
Jewish Women’s Archive 18th Anniversary Celebration
This past spring, when JWA treasurer, Roz Garber, called me to commission a new work for an event at the Kennedy Library honoring Gail Reimer, JWA founder and director for 18 years, I was thrilled! Jewish Women’s stories are the focus and heart of JWA. These stories, from past to present, inspire and connect people all over the world. They stir the heart, inspire the mind and their documentation ensures their legacy.
As stories of Jewish woman throughout history, including my own, are the focus of my 2 major works, “Dear Olivia” and “Streaming Shabbat”, I was not only honored to be part of the gala evening but felt a personal connection to it as well.
I reached out to Gail’s husband, Joe, to learn as much as I could about Gail’s taste in music and poetry as well as the issues she was most passionate about in order to create a piece that would be personal. I learned that she was a serious dancer herself in her earlier life, that her daughter Tamara is a dancer living in California, and that she loves the poetry in The Song of Songs. Once I learned which were her favorite verses, I began work on the choreography and asked composer Joel Segel to set verses 5:2 and 8:3 to music. When I understood that my dance was to be the surprise offering, I schemed to include Tamara, who would be traveling east for the event, in the performance entitled “Where We Are”.
It was a wonderful celebration and an honor to be present as a guest and a contributor.
I hope to be adding a video of the dances to the website shortly.
Performers: Whitney Cover, Joe Gonzalez, Julie Leavitt, Tamara Reimer, Melinda Rothstein, Joel Segel, Gabriela Silva, Lorel Zar-Kessler
Choreography: Joanie Block
Composer: Joel Segel