The Covenant Grants

Welcome to the Talmud! (A Musical Tale)

Organization: MAQOM, Houston, TX

Grant Year: 2002

Project Director: Rabbi Judith Z. Abrams

Type of Grant: Signature

Grant Amount: $5,000 (1 years)

Website: http://www.maqom.com/

Arts and Culture
theater

The grant supported the completion of a musical theater production that aimed to communicate that the Talmud can be easily accessible and enjoyable. The plot centered on a young girl, Rachel, who struggles to motivate herself for her Bat Mitzvah until the magical intervention of a great Medieval Talmud commentator helps her discover the Talmud’s relevance to her own life.

Participants:
Members of the larger Jewish community of learners (including day schools) and a cast of 20.

Results/Impact:
The show was staged four times in Houston to diverse, standing-room-only crowds that included individuals from across the spectrum of Jewish life.
Accompanying educational materials were produced to be used either as a curriculum or to aid performers’ character development.

The script of “Welcome to the Talmud! (A Musical Tale)” was performed in an off-Broadway reading.

The libretto for “Welcome to the Talmud! (A Musical Tale)” was published.
Hundreds of DVD recordings of the show have been distributed.

Sample songs from the production are available for free download on the website, as is the script; DVDs are available for order and there’s a CD of the show’s instrumental music designed for performances.

A Talmud Tale: A Musical from Rabbi Judith Abrams was published by Ben Yehuda Press in 2010.

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