By Deb Silverthorn
“We often think about ‘Jewish community’ only as it relates to whatever organization we work with or represent. But the word ‘community’ is made up of two significant words: ‘common’ and ‘unity.’ We as Jews share a unifying point, the Torah, and a common goal, partnership,” said Levine Academy Head of School Marion Peterson. “I can’t think of a better way to model a Torah-centered partnership and the true sense of community than supporting the One Night, One Community, One Cause fundraiser.” The Thursday, May 13 event will headline Arthur Miller’s Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “Death of A Salesman” at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. The evening will benefit Akiba, Levine and Yavneh academies and the Jewish Community Center of Dallas.
“This historic partnering is an opportunity to raise much-needed funds for scholarships and cultural programming,” said JCC Director of Cultural Programming Judy Cohn. “While schools have stretched their budgets to the limits, and fundraisers are being held on many levels, community and families pulling together in an all-for-one and one-for-all effort might make the difference. We must be there for our children.”
“The ‘One’ fundraiser is the ideal response to the gathering of day school volunteer and professional leaders convened by the Center for Jewish Education last spring,” said Jaynie Schultz, chair, Center for Jewish Education of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. “The concept of coming together to support essential community institutions is taught in our schools and JCC. Our community is ‘walking the talk’ and setting a strong example for all our local organizations to galvanize around their common needs and move forward together.”
“Donations are important but here is a chance to place our fingerprints on a group effort,” said Dan Prescott, an unsurpassed community volunteer, noting that the JCC and all day school beneficiaries of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas were invited to participate in the program. “There’s a great feeling about us all coming together, showing a microcosm of the community.”
Schultz said, “Dan Prescott immediately understood that although fundraising is important to help our schools provide scholarships, the collaboration of the schools and JCC with this event is a turning point.”
“There is an oxymoronic metaphorical significance in the schools and the J joining together in this effort for Miller’s ‘Death of a Salesman,’ the quintessential tragic social drama. But not so for our children as a result of this event,” said Marion Peterson, head of school at Levine Academy and an “English teacher by love.” “The money will be used to fund scholarships for those who need them so Jewish children can experience a sense of community and not feel abandoned.”
Written in 1949, the timeless tale is the portrait of a family and the collapse of the notion that personal success is measured by one’s financial prosperity. In the play, Willy Loman is ‘Everyman’ and we are all part of a system pushing the lie that materialism measures the worth of people. To exclude basic human values — knowledge, community and love — is to court disaster, and in Loman’s case, self-destruction.
The Dallas Center for the Performing Arts’ production features Broadway, television and film actor Jeffrey DeMunn, whose credits include “The Green Mile,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” “The Majestic,” “The Mist,” “Law and Order,” the revival of Arthur Miller’s “The Price,” and “Our Town.”
“Hinei ma tov umanaim, shevet achim gam yachad. The concept of brothers coming together is evident here,” said Rabbi Zev Silver, a member of Akiba Academy’s leadership team. “The nicest part of this is the achdut, the unity of faculties, parents, community members and leaders coming together. This is good for our community and for the Jewish people.”
“The children from these schools and throughout the community are the beneficiaries of the programs of the J including the Glee Club Camp, J Players, Youtheatre, FamiliArts and much more,” Cohn said. “These kids are our community, and we are theirs.”
Sponsors for the One Night, One Community, One Cause event will also receive invitations to a private concert, on May 12, by Israeli violinist Vadim Gluzman and his wife, pianist Angela Yoffe. Gluzman, who appears regularly with major orchestras throughout the world and recently made his debut with the Chicago Symphony, plays a 1690 Stradivarius violin, on extended loan to him by the Stradivari Society of Chicago. Gluzman and Yoffe’s concert tour is sponsored by the Central Area Consortium and the Western Galilee Partnership of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas.
“The pursuit of Jewish education at all levels has always been a priority of this community. Yavneh Academy is pleased to work with the other day schools and the JCC to help ensure that education will be available to as many students as possible,” said Carol Kreditor, president of Yavneh Academy’s board of directors. “Jewish education, while focusing on the standard religious academics, also teaches and encourages our students to live a Jewish life and take an active part in their community. Working with the other day schools and the JCC helps us provide Jewish education and also sets an example of how to work together as a community.”
For more information about the event and sponsorship opportunities, or to purchase single tickets at $100 a piece, call Judy Cohn at 214-239-7115 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.