BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — They teach the Torah, preside over marriages and lead solemn prayer — but can they belt out Broadway show tunes?
Find out Dec. 3 when an ‘all-star’ cast of rabbis, cantors and other Fairfield County Jewish leaders take the stage for a rousing staged reading of “Fiddler on the Roof” at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in Bridgeport.
Presented by the Federation of Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County, the production begins at 4 p.m. at the Park Avenue synagogue. The audience will be encouraged to sing along to some of the show’s most memorable songs, including "Tradition" and "To Life."
The event is the brainchild of Federation CEO David Weisberg, a former professional theater performer who will take on the lead role of Tevye.
The federation is a nonprofit educational and humanitarian organization representing 15 Jewish communities in the region. Weisberg sees the performance as a way to bring together members of the Jewish community for a fun and entertaining afternoon to benefit a good cause.
All net proceeds will benefit the federation’s efforts to support needy Jews in Ukraine, creating a connection between the event and the geographic setting of the musical, writer Sholom Aleichem’s fictional town of Anatevka in 19th-century Russia.
So who fills out the rest of the cast?
Cantor Debbie Katchko Gray will play Tevye’s wife Golde and Rabbi Ita Paskind, Cantor Shirah Sklar and the federation’s Israeli Emissary Bar Degani will play Tevye’s daughters Tzeitel, Hodel and Chava.
Rabbi Evan Schultz, Cantor Dan Sklar, and educator Justin Beck play the daughters’ suitors Motel, Perchik and Fyedka.
The cast also features Rabbi Colin Brodie, Rabbi Rachel Bearman, Rabbi Greg Schindler, Hazzan Niema Hirsch, Ellen Ashkins, Matt Greenberg, Julia Brennan, Dana Preis and Shlomo Kessel, along with a choral ensemble.
One ensemble member, Sandy Rothenberg, has the special distinction of being Aleichem’s great-granddaughter.
The volunteer orchestra is led by Arthur Gang, and Diana Muller serves as the production manager for the script-in-hand reading.
Tickets for “Fiddler on the Roof” are $10 and can be purchased at shalomct.org/fiddler or by calling (203) 226-8197.
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