The Art of Forgiveness


January 28 – February 3, 2013

A riveting compilation of stories, plays and poems that reveal the secrets to forgiving. But do we ever forget?


Curated, Adapted & Produced by Ronda Spinak
Directed by Ellyn Gersh Lerner
Dramaturge Lisa Rosenbaum
Associate Producers Abby Freeman & Susie Yuré

Twenty Things I Know for Sure
Written by Ann Buxie. Performed by the Ensemble.

Harvey and Ellen
Written by Ellen Switkes. Performed by Caroline Aaron.

Ready and Waiting
Written by Sherri Morr. Performed by Jeanette Horn, Caroline Aaron, and Shelly Goldstein.

The Last Supper
Written by Rabbi Lynne (Kern) Appel.  Performed by Caroline Aaron and Rick Zieff.

Written by Shelly Goldstein. Performed by Shelly Goldstein and Rick Zieff.

Within Reach
Written by Cambria Gordon. Performed by Abbe Meryl Feder and Rick Zieff.

Get This
Written by Cindy Chupack, adapted from her original article that appeared in the New York Times Modern Love Column.  Performed by Shelly Goldstein, Rick Zieff, and Abbe Meryl Feder.

Not Child’s Play
Written by Ronda Spinak.  Performed by Jeanette Horn.

Jewish Haiku
Written by Annie Korzen.  Performed by the Ensemble.

Written by Elizabeth Borgwardt. Performed by Abbe Meryl Feder and Rick Zieff.

Not in a Million Years
Written by Arlene Sarner. Performed by Caroline Aaron.

Four Not So Simple Words
Written by Didi Carr Reuben.  Performed by Jeanette Horn and Ethel Golub.

Greedy for Life
Written and performed by Ethel Golub.

Music and Lyrics by Buckcherry. Performed by Shelly Goldstein.



CAROLINE AARON (Actor) is an accomplished actor in film, television, and stage. Directors such as Woody Allen, Mike Nichols, Robert Altman, Nora Ephron, Paul Mazursky, Don Roos, and many others keep her in demand.  Her work with Nichols includes: on Broadway in Social Security, and in films such as Heartburn (opposite Meryl Streep), Working Girl, Primary Colors, and What Planet Are You From? Film audiences perhaps best know her as Woody Allen’s sister in Crimes and Misdemeanors, but she has worked with Allen in Alice, Bullets Over Broadway, Husbands and Wives, and Deconstructing Harry. She has guest-starred on Desperate Housewives, Brothers and Sisters, Shark, Sex and the City, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Six Feet Under, among others.  She is the recipient of a Helen Hayes and Dramalogue Award.

RABBI LYNNE (KERN) APPEL is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and is a poet and writer who has been published in magazines, newspapers, and anthologies worldwide. She teaches classes for women in synagogues and is currently working on a Jewish Memoir. As a pulpit rabbi, she created innovative women’s programming focused on excavating the women’s voice in Torah, and the creation of ritual and spiritual writing. Currently, she is working on a documentary about women rabbis, and an accompanying theater piece. She is also in the process of writing two books.

ELIZABETH BORGWARDT (Writer) is an Associate Professor of History and Law at Washington University in St. Louis, where she specializes in the history of international law with a focus on human rights ideas and institutions. Her most recent book, A New Deal for the World: America’s Vision for Human Rights, was published by the Belknap imprint of Harvard University Press and is in its fourth printing. A New Deal for the World garnered the Merle Curti book award from the Organization of American Historians as the best book in the history of ideas, among other awards, including a Pulitzer nomination. Borgwardt recently served as the Richard and Ann Pozen Visiting Professor of Human Rights at the University of Chicago.  Her current project on crimes against humanity in history, law, and politics is under contract with Alfred A. Knopf.

ANN BUXIE (Writer) has her PhD in Mythology. Her dissertation explores the relationship between humans and nature. She has hosted Tales By The Sea, a storytelling concert series for grown-ups, since 1995. Without sharing our stories, peace is impossible.

CINDY CHUPACK (Writer) has won two Emmys and three Golden Globes as a TV writer/producer whose credits include Modern Family, Sex and the City, and Everybody Loves Raymond. She’s currently in New York working on an upcoming HBO show called Divorce starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Hayden Church.  A longer version of this story about her dad appears in her New York Times bestseller The Between Boyfriends Book, and her new comic memoir about marriage, The Longest Date: Life as a Wife, is now available. For more about Cindy, visit

ABBE MERYL FEDER (Actor) has been called “the greatest actress of her generation” by her grandmother. Hailing from the fabulous city of New York, her film credits include Sex Ed (opposite Haley Joel Osment) and Brahmin Bulls. Other credits include The Internet Date (film), Ed(tv), CSI:NY (tv), Pushing Daisies (tv), and Las Vegas (tv). When not pursuing her craft, Abbe is the Director of Operations at IKAR. Twitter and Instagram: @iAMFeder.

ABBY FREEMAN received her BFA from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She is a co-founder of AiRealistic, an aerial theatre com- pany. She has choreographed and performed in New York and Los Angeles, as well as many international cities. She created original work for clients including The LA Philhar- monic, Toyota, Johnson & Johnson, General Motors, and Red Bull. Most recently, she performed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2009 LA Philharmonic Gala, and in the opera Andre Chenier at the Bregenz Festival in Austria in 2011 and 2012.

SHELLY GOLDSTEIN (Actor/Writer) has written for every genre of TV, film, and stage. Her one-woman shows have played to sell-out crowds throughout the US and UK. She co-starred with Sir Derek Jacobi and Vanessa Redgrave in the British film The Riddle and with Vinnie Jones in the Irish film Assault of Darkness. She has written or punched-up scripts, lyrics, documentaries, animation, award shows, jokes and special material for such artists as Steve Martin, Barbra Streisand, Sharon Stone, Justin Timberlake, LL Cool J, Jane Fonda, Garry Marshall, Steven Spielberg and Yoko Ono. She wrote the disco musical, Last Dance, which workshopped on Broadway, and directed the critically-acclaimed hit comedy The Vic & Paul Show in L.A. and Chicago. She is currently writing the book and co-writing lyrics for the new musical Lobster Boy and she just co-wrote the sitcom pilot Bingo with the legendary Bruce Vilanch. Follow her @GroovyShelly.

ETHEL BLUEFIELD GOLUB (Writer) was born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. Since the age of 16 she worked as a secretary for several companies andthen in real estate until she moved to Los Angeles, where she opened The Wound & Wound Toy Company and ran it for 25 years. After taking a writing class at Beverly Hills High, Ethel fell in love with writing and feels blessed to have found this calling in her senior years. She has presented her writing at The Coffee Fix in Studio City, with Wendy Hammers at the Santa Monica Playhouse, and at the Women’s Club in Santa Monica for their 100th Birthday Celebration. She was a winner of the writing contest at the Adolph & Rose Levis JCC in Boca Raton, Florida.

CAMBRIA GORDON (Writer) is a children’s author and environmental activist.  She is the co-author of the award-winning book The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming (Scholastic, Inc. September, 2007).  Other writing credits include Los Angeles Times Magazine and online magazines Boys Life and Parent Guide News. Cambria was an award-winning advertising copywriter for such clients as Nissan, Microsoft, Mattel, Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and Energizer. She has served as a trustee for University Synagogue, and is currently co-chair of the Los Angeles Leadership Council of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and on the advisory board of the Los Angeles Sustainability Collaborative. Cambria is married to television writer/producer Howard Gordon and is the mother of three children, ages 22, 19, and 11.

JEANETTE HORN (Actor) is an actor, director and educator. She has appeared Off-Broadway in NYC and on regional stages in San Diego and Los Angeles – most recently as a member of The Actors’ Gang in Culver City where she appeared in their production of OY! by Helene Cixous, Mate by Lolly Ward and Ghost Sonata directed by Brian Finney.   She co-authored and directed An Evening with Eleanore at North Coast Repertory Theater and directed and acted in the new play readings of The Streisand Festival. She has served as Education Director at Circle Repertory Theater, Manhattan Class Company  in NYC and La Jolla Playhouse. She has been and continues to work as a teaching artist in schools and The Actors’ Gang Prison Project. She is proud of her work with The International Theatre & Literacy Project, where she has guided the creation of new work in Africa, Bali and India. She is thrilled to be a part of the Jewish Women’s Theatre.

ANNIE KORZEN (Writer) is proud to be a Moth Mainstage storyteller.  She offers group classes and private coaching in storytelling. Annie was the recurring Doris Klompus on Seinfeld and has performed her solo shows Yenta Unplugged and The Yenta Cometh on three continents.  Her newest entertainment is a full evening of her stories called Tales from the Mouth: Comedies of Errors.  Annie is currently developing a solo show with Ronda Spinak for JWT.  She is the author of Bargain Junkie: Living the Good Life on the Cheap and has done humorous essays for NPR’s Morning Edition, The New York Times, LA Times, and many more. For additional info and videos, go to

ELLYN GERSH LERNER is a native Angeleno. She is a frequent respondent for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and has guided many plays through the development process. As a faculty member for the last ten years at Califor- nia State University Northridge, Ellyn has taught theatre, humanities, freshman seminar and other interdisciplinary courses including “The Idea of Story.” Ellyn is a graduate of Occidental College, Ball State University and UCLA, where she earned her Ph.D. in Theatre. Among the many plays she has directed are the off-Broadway premiere of The Pretender, William Inge’s Bus Stop at the University of Michigan, Sophocles’ Electra at the University of North Texas, and Lanford Wilson’s Book of Days at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon.

SHERRI MORR (Writer) has spent the last several decades working and consulting in the Jewish community as a fundraiser, teacher, and trainer.  She completed an MA and an honorary doctorate at Hebrew Union College.  She volunteers at 826LA, a project to teach creative writing to children from low-income school districts.  Sherri has published fundraising articles in technical journals and blogged on the Bay Citizen in San Francisco. She is working on several writing projects including Captain Kirk Visits the Holy Land and And Another Thing. Sherri has three grown sons, three grandchildren, and lives in LA.

TONY PERSICO‘S passion and drive for acting was apparent at birth, with his first steps walking out of the cradle and onto the stage. By the age of seventeen he had performed in over 52 plays and skits ranging from Chicago’s Elite to inner city youth outreach programs. He was born and raised in Chicago, IL, starting his studies at Caryn International Academy for Film and Arts in St. Paul Minnesota. Thru the nine years he has lived in LA, Tony has studied with Larry Moss & Michelle Danner, taken di- rection from Deborah Aquila and shaken the hands of directors such as Steven Spielberg and Oliver Stone. Working now as the Technical Director for The Edgemar Center for the Arts & Associate TD for The Electric Lodge. His dedication and commitment to the Art has been and will always be a lifetime of work.

DIDI CARR REUBEN (Writer) grew up in the Bronx, NY. Her mother instilled in Didi a love for music and acting beginning at age two when her mother taught Didi to sing Mozart’s Alleluia. At 17, Didi became a singer with a local band doing gigs in New York and from there spent the next 12 years performing in nightclubs around the US and abroad. In the ‘70s she moved to Los Angeles to continue to pursue her music career and landed a co-starring role on the ABC sitcom Sugar Time, produced by James Komack. Both music and acting played integral roles in her life until she met and married Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben in the early ‘80s. In 1986 Didi and Rabbi Reuben moved to Pacific Palisades to take over the positions of rabbi and rebbetzin of Kehillat Israel Synagogue. Didi has sung and taught Confirmation at KI for the last 28 years until June 1, 2014, when Rabbi Reuben retired as senior rabbi and “graduated” to the rabbi emeritus position. Didi is most proud of her work as rebbetzin of KI and mom to Gable Carr.

LISA PEARL ROSENBAUM (Dramaturge) is the author of the novel A Day of Small Beginnings (Little, Brown & Co. 2006). When not engaged with All Things JWT she works on her new novel about the destruction of ancient Indian mounds at Cahokia, Illinois, the Blacklist, America’s interstate highways, and oh yes, love.  Lisa lives in Pacific Palisades with her husband, Walt Lipsman. They have two daughters, Ariana and Maya.

ARLENE SARNER (Writer) is an award-winning screenwriter/playwright/producer. She has written for every major movie studio including Universal, Fox, Columbia, Paramount, Disney, Warner Bros., Tri-Star and Orion as well as TV networks ABC, CBS, CBC and VHI.  Her film work includes Academy Award-nominated Peggy Sue Got Married and Blue Sky, starring Jessica Lange in her Academy Award-winning role.  Recently, Arlene collaborated with director Agnieszka Holland on July Walking Home. Arlene and her husband and co-writer, Jerry Leichtling, turned Peggy Sue Got Married into a stage musical and mounted a successful production in London’s West End.  A US production is in the works.  Currently, Arlene is working on two book projects, a stage musical based on the life of Hollywood lyricist Al Dubin as well as a movie based on the life of famed pianist Glenn Gould.

RONDA SPINAK (Producer) created and produces JWT’s At-Homes Salon Theatre Series, now in its eighth season. She has curated more than 24 original Jewish-themed salon shows for JWT, as well as adapted many of the pieces performed. She graduated from Stanford University, and holds degrees from UCLA (MBA) and USC (Masters in professional writing). Ronda’s plays include Stories from the Fringe and festival-winner Oscar Wilde’s Wife, a favorite at the Ashland New Play Festival and Dayton’s FutureFest. She has written for the Emmy Award-winning children’s show Rugrats and authored the critically acclaimed nonfiction book ProBodX: Proper Body Exercise (HarperCollins, publisher). Ronda is on the board of the Association for Jewish Theatres and is a member of the Dramatists Guild. She feels blessed to be working with the many talented and inspiring women who give so generously to Jewish Women’s Theatre.

ellen switkes (Writer) was founder/producer of Cornucopia, a personal storytelling show that ran for 3 years at Actors Workout Studio in North Hollywood. She is a board member of LA Story Works. For the past 5 years, she has volunteered with Koreh LA, the reading tutorial program of the Jewish Federation, working with children in LAUSD. Prior to entering the storytelling world, she worked on Entertainment Tonight and The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers.

SUSIE YURÉ (Associate Producer) has volunteered for 30 years in non-profit organizations, in which she has held leadership roles in fundraising, event planning, facilities coordinating, programming, membership, marketing, and administration. Susie has produced musical theatre productions, classical concerts, and cabaret performances and has been intensely involved in the world of theatre for over 20 years. She holds a BA and MA in elementary education from USC, along with her California lifetime teaching credential. Her favorite role is as mom to her two talented (grown) children, who are both professional (and working) musicians.

RICK ZIEFF (Actor) works in theatre, film and television, and is also an active audio-book narrator and voice actor in animation, video-games and commercials.  He played the historical figure Andrew Goodman in the film Mississippi Burning, and has performed across the country in numerous plays including The MenschFiddler on the RoofEnter Laughing, and Yiddle With a Fiddle. From the West Coast Jewish Theatre to the Jewish Rep in New York City, he is a popular addition to Jewish-themed projects.  He was thrilled to be cast as Otto Frank this fall for the 60th anniversary of the historic radio play Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, performing with his young girl, actress Katie Zieff.