Congregation Beth Shalom Presents Stage Drama to Prepare for Jewish High Holy Days

Staff Report

Congregation Beth Shalom will present the play “Dedication”, the fifth in a series of original stage dramas written and directed by congregant Anna Brubaker. Serious, yet tinged with light-hearted comedy, the play follows a small group of friends and relatives through one long, trying day that will test their relationships and emotions in both characters and the audience.

Writing is Brubaker’s love, and developing plays is her special contribution to the holiday.  “These plays let me use my creativity to help people look at issues and relationships in their own lives without making them feel uncomfortable or judged,” said Brubaker. “They give some very talented actors in our congregation the chance to shine as they bring the characters to life.”

The beginning of the Jewish High Holy Day season is marked by the observance of Selichot.  Selichot is held on the Saturday night preceding Rosh HaShanah (Jewish New Year); and is designed to direct congregant’s hearts and minds toward self reflection, prayer, repentance and forgiveness.

“In Jewish tradition, the month before the New Year, is one of spiritual preparation and reconciliation, with special prayers and the daily sounding of the Shofar (ram’s horn), culminating in the Selichot service and our annual play,” explains Rabbi Betsy Torop, also an actor in this year’s play. “I am very grateful for the dedication of our Beth Shalom players, lead by Anna Brubaker, which helps us do the sacred work of this season in a meaningful and engaging way.”

Rabbi Torop will also lead the audience in an interactive discussion of issues highlighted in the presentation after the show.  Guests will be able to enjoy various dairy desserts after the discussion, and the evening will end in a traditional Selichot service.

Congregation Beth Shalom is located at 706 Bryan Rd., in Brandon. The drama will begin on Saturday, August 31 at 7 p.m.  Admission is free and the public is invited.  Contact the synagogue office at 681-6547 for further information.