By Zachary Lempert, Judaic Studies
Advisor: John Brolley
Abstract: "Saying Kaddish for God" is an intimate, salon-theatre experience which serves as an opportunity for public education. Seeking to interrogate the question "where was God during the Holocaust?" this creative research process culminated in a public performance of a one-hour original play. This play features a variety of primary sources and original pieces, including manuscripts from the American Jewish Archives and the Holocaust and Humanity Center. "Saying Kaddish for God" premiered on November 23, 2019 as a collaboration between the Department of Judaic Studies at the University of Cincinnati, the Max Kade German Cultural Center, and Cincinnati's Holocaust and Humanity Center at Union Terminal. The project includes an original script, literature review, and reflection. Because of this projects's overwhelming success, a Jewish salon-theatre company will be created to continue to serve this newly discovered market. The 2020 Community Study commissioned by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati calls for innovative and dynamic engagement opportunities outside of traditional religious settings, presenting the opportunity for an organization to capitalize on an expanding market in the unengaged Jewish community and growing Cincinnati arts scene. Because of these converging factors, Jewish Theatre Cincinnati will launch in 2020 to create approachable and relational theatre experiences in the Cincinnati and Jewish community through our intimate approach to storytelling and community building.