Around the Town: Maccabi Games, on big stage

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray

It’s press time and I’m writing to you from St. Louis, home of my alma mater Washington University and the 2016 JCC Maccabi Games.
St. Louis has grown quite a bit in the last 30 years, but one thing is for sure — the folks are still warm and hospitable. The St. Louis J has rolled out the red carpet for Maccabi. A number of Tarrant County residents are participating with Team Dallas. They are: Brandon Meyers (tennis), Mitchell Meyers (tennis), Phillip Prostok (14-U basketball), Ethan Schackman (16-U baseball), Ryan Silverberg (16-U baseball), Bennie Sudbury (16-U baseball), and Saul Zimmerman (16-U soccer).
“We are grateful to the Dallas JCC for again allowing our Fort Worth and Tarrant County teens to join the Dallas JCC Maccabi team. We thank our Federation Foundation for making scholarship dollars available to support the athletes and we wish you all great success,” said Bob Goldberg, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County.
Goldberg added that the Federation has been busy this summer and highlighted the following:
“We welcomed our newest board members to our 2016-17 board of directors this week including: Dr. Gene Posnock, Richard Allen, Noreen Houston, Joe Mintz, Jon Suder, Linda Hochster and Mara Berenson. And we thank each of you and look forward to your active participation.
“We are thrilled to report that our 2016 Annual Campaign raised $943,035 from 1075 community members. This is a great compliment to Vice President Diane Kleinman and her team that worked hard to lead this year’s campaign. Thank you 1,075 times for each of the community members who stepped up to support the Annual Campaign. These results were an increase of $22,000 over what was raised last year.
“Budget allocations for the Jewish Federation ($346,548), Jewish Family Services ($212,770) and Community Programs ($54,654) were approved for the 2016-17 fiscal year at the July 28 board meeting. Later this month, the board will vote on recommendations that will be made for the distribution of $317,063 from the Annual Campaign by our Allocation’s Committee that met Aug. 2.
“The allocations committee will have $24,643 more to allocate than was available last year. These dollars will support more than 32 programs and services that further our mission to care for Jews in need and inspire Jewish life in Fort Worth and Tarrant County, in Israel and throughout the world.”

On big stage now

Cantor Sheri and Richard Allen recently returned from the Big Apple, where their daughter Rebekah’s musical, Remission, was featured as part of the New York Musical Film Festival.
“The New York Musical Festival nurtures the creation, production, and public presentation of stylistically, thematically, and culturally diverse new musicals to ensure the future vitality of musical theater,” according to its website.

Submitted photo Rebekah M. Allen is a writer, composer and lyricist. Her musical Remission was featured as part of the New York Musical Film Festival.
Submitted photo
Rebekah M. Allen is a writer, composer and lyricist. Her musical Remission was featured as part of the New York Musical Film Festival.

Rebekah wrote the book, music and lyrics for Remission, which is about Davy, a lonely college junior who dives into storytelling and fantasy to escape a life weighed down by stress, family dysfunction, and a challenging roommate. When blindsided by an unexpected cancer diagnosis, paralyzed by fear and despair, Davy leaves her own disease untreated and unknown to everyone around her. She pours herself into the search for connection through the stories of others, in order to find her path through life-or-death decisions, learn how to tell her own story, and uncover the possibility for hope.
Rebekah M. Allen is a writer, composer and lyricist living in New York City. Her original work has been featured at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, the Musical Theatre Factory, the York Theatre, the Boo Festival (Award Winner), the Songwriters’ Salon, and Second City Chicago. Her original musical We Are the Tigers, for which she wrote book, music, and lyrics, had its world premiere at the Hudson Backstage Theatre in Los Angeles in October 2015. Rebekah is a lyricist in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop, a member of the TEDxBroadway Young Professionals Program, and an entertainment contributor at Her website is
When interviewed by The Interval, Rebekah was asked, “Beyond being located in America, what does the term ‘American theater’ mean to you?”
She answered, “A lot of who I am was formed by the theater that I connected to. I think that is how American theater defined a lot of who I am as a person and what I do and how I express myself, and how I feel. And I know it does that for a lot of other people, too. I know that that’s a huge community across the whole world, and one thing that I talked about in a young professionals group I was in was how we can get theater to kids across the country who are not coming to these shows. Making sure that it’s available to people, making sure that it’s accessible, and making sure that we all have access to that community, because it can change lives and it can save lives. I think that it’s important to make it a living, breathing body in every single way.”
Mazal tov to Rebekah and her folks on her current and certain future successes.

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