Community Briefs: Holocaust Survivors to Receive Courage Awards and More

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“The Wild West Mikado” in rehearsals
“The Wild West Mikado” in rehearsals (Photo by Michelle Camperson Photography)

‘The Wild West Mikado’ Slated for Adath Israel Next Two Weekends

The Adath Israel Players will present for the next two weekends “The Wild West Mikado,” which is being billed as the East Coast premiere of Wes Finlay’s and Don Weller’s adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan’s musical comedy “The Mikado.”

In addition, professional bluegrass band The Ruta Beggars will perform at all shows.

The Adath Israel Players have been in business for more than 25 years, with many of the actors performing in community musical groups or participating in improv, a cappella and stand-up comedy. The acting crew is largely from Adath Israel, but members of other synagogues participate as well. Actors range from 6 to 80 and include parent-child combinations.

Performances are slated for 8 p.m. on Feb. 29,  2 p.m. on March 1, 8 p.m. on March 7 and 2 p.m. on March 8.

Two Holocaust Survivors to Receive Courage Awards

Holocaust survivors David Wisnia and David Tuck will receive the first-ever Courage Awards on Feb. 29 during the Local Heroes Awards Gala of the Valley Forge chapter of the Freedoms Foundation.

Both men will tell their stories to about 200 guests. As they speak, videos and a slideshow of photographs of their lives will play.

“The courage and strength they showed at such a young age is extraordinary and inspirational,” chapter President Amy Russell-Braccia said. “What they have to offer our youth is beyond textbook reading. They bring history to life through the words they speak while sharing their experiences during World War II. Hearing Mr. Tuck and Mr. Wisnia speak of America and what it meant to them makes us realize how very lucky we are to be free.”

Tuck survived the Lodz ghetto, Nazi slave labor camps and concentration camp confinement. He immigrated to the United States in 1950, is affiliated with the Holocaust Awareness Museum and Education Center in Philadelphia and has spoken widely about his experiences.
Wisnia, who is a cantor and a renowned singer, has spoken about his experiences in the Warsaw Ghetto and three years spent Auschwitz. In a 2015 Jewish Exponent article, he described escaping from Dachau in 1945, then spending a year as a translator with the 101st Airborne.

Beth Tikvah-B’nai Jeshurun Presents ‘Those Amazing Jews of Broadway’

“Those Amazing Jews of Broadway” will be presented for one night only at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 29 at Beth Tikvah-B’nai Jeshurun synagogue in Erdenheim. The show will celebrate Jewish composers and lyricists for their contributions to Broadway.

The show will feature some of the greatest hits from Harold Arlen, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein and Jason Robert Brown. Songs from 23 Broadway shows — including “Cabaret,” “La Cage Aux Folles,“ “Les Miserables,” “A Chorus Line” and “Rent” — will be featured, covering every decade from the 1930s to the 2010s, created by more than 35 different Jewish artists. The productions were collectively nominated for more than 130 Tony Awards, winning more than 70, as well as three Pulitzer Prizes.

The evening is the brainchild of BTBJ member Alan Blumenthal, a founding member of the Act Two Playhouse in Ambler.

Michael Bloomberg Opens Four Campaign Offices in Philadelphia Suburbs

Jewish Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg opened four campaign offices in suburban Philadelphia on Feb. 22.

Those offices are in Langhorne in Bucks County, Ardmore in Montgomery County, West Chester in Chester County and Media in Delaware County.

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