The Moment You Knew

May 28-31, 2012

Moments of revelation and discovery in a Jewish woman’s life.This show explores the lives and experiences of a group of Jewish women at seminal moments.


JULIE BRAM (Writer: Yearning For Peace) is a full time community volunteer and activist. She has a B.A. in Communication Studies (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and an M.A. in Education, both from UCLA. She is a founding partner of the Jewish Venture Philanthropy Fund, is active at the American Jewish Committee and is an advisor to the founder of Israel Up Close, an organization dedicated to educating people around the world about modern day Israel. Julie currently serves on several advisory boards, including The American Friends of Hand in Hand, The Holy Land Democracy Project, Jewish World Watch, and Hebrew Union College School of Jewish Non-Profit Management, where she serves as chair of its Mentor Program. She is married to Steve Bram, who works unbelievably hard so she can play.
ZENA DAVID (Actor: Dreams From My Father, Finally Home) has been awarded several Los Angeles Educational Partnership Grants and A Global Teaching Award. Her production of The Diary of Anne Frank led to a correspondence between Zena’s students and Miep Gies, who had saved the diary of Anne Frank. Ms. David’s plays have been performed in schools and at the Barnsdall Park Theater, and she facilitated a creative writing workshop for Tisha B’av in a women’s prison. Her acting credits include a Cornerstone Theater Production and The Mikveh Monologues, presented at the Wadsworth Theater. She has been an assistant producer for a Dramalogue award-winning theater and an associate director for an original musical about the second half of life. Her most recent speaking engagement was at the Mount Sinai’s Simi Valley 2011 Yom HaShoah Observance and Photo Exhibition, Through Your Eyes: Holocaust Memorials Around the World.
C.J. ERLICH (Writer: Lilac Ticket) has an M.S. in Computer Engineering from Boston University, a B.A. in Semiotics/Development Studies from Brown University and a Certificate in Subjects Allied with Medicine from Birkbeck College, University of London. She is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America, the International Center for Women Playwrights and the Brooklyn Playwrights Collective. Her plays include 2+1= Murder (Overall Festival Winner, Bellarmine International MADthematics fest, Louisville, KY), All’s Fair In Love and Science (Audience Choice award, Manhattan Theatre Source), Three’s A Cloud (Women’s Theatre Project, Fort Lauderdale; Flush Ink Productions, Kitchener, ON), and Noir In Second Class (Appetite Theatre, Chicago). Her dramadies The Lilac Ticket and Secondhand Gifts were finalists for the prestigious Heideman Award. Publications: Noir In Second Class, Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2011 (Smith & Kraus) and Home Sweet Homeland Security (Heuer Press). More at
SHIRA FOX (Singer) is the daughter of two Los Angeles cantors. Shira has served as Cantorial Soloist of Temple Rodeph Shalom and at Temple Beth El. She currently serves as Cantorial Soloist for Beit T’Shuvah. Her theatrical credits include lead roles in Lil Abner and Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She is an alumnus of SUNY, and currently acts as B’nai MitzvahTeacher and Program Coordinator at Kehillat Israel Reconstructionist Congregation.
LYNNE HIMELSTEIN (Writer: Leaving LA) has dedicated herself to the Jewish community, assuming a leadership position on the National Women’s Philanthropy Board of United Jewish Communities. She has served as Chair of America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) for Central Indiana. Additionally, she has held leadership roles in National Council of Jewish Women and JCRC. In great demand as a speaker on Jewish philanthropy, she has traveled around both the United States and Israel, inspiring people to give to Jewish organizations. Lynne was born and raised in Los Angeles, but for the past 18 years she and her husband have lived in Indianapolis where, they raised their two children.
RABBI SHERRE HIRSCH (Writer: My Mother’s Weight) studied eastern philosophy in Asia and was ordained in 1998 at the Jewish Theological Seminary. She spent 8 years as the first woman rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, the largest Conservative synagogue in the western U.S. She has served as a regular guest on Naomi’s New Morning, The Tyra Banks Show and PBS’ Thirty Good Minutes. Widely known as the relationship rabbi, she is the go-to person for outlets as diverse as ABC News, Joan Hamburg, and Telepictures. Rabbi Hirsch also serves as the spiritual life consultant and lecturer for the Canyon Ranch Companies in Arizona and Massachusetts. Her first book, We Plan, God Laughs: What to Do When Life Hits You Over the Head (Doubleday), was published in April 2008. Her next book will be published by Random House in Spring 2012.
BARI HOCHWALD (Actor: Law and Motion, Standing On Holy Ground, Yearning for Peace) received her BFA in acting from Syracuse University and completed graduate studies at the American Repertory Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard. She is a member of Actor’s Equity and SAG/AFTRA. In the United States she appeared in regional theaters throughout the country. In Los Angeles, Ms. Hochwald served as Associate Artistic Director and founder of fofo, a critically acclaimed post-modern theatre company. Additionally, she has worked in the development of over 50 new plays and was nominated and awarded for her performances with The Drama Critics Circle Award, The Garland Awards, the Maddy Awards and the L.A. Weekly Awards. Her most recent performance in L.A. in Murray Mednick’s Fedunn was called “the best performance of the year” by LA Weekly Magazine. Ms. Hochwald has Guest Starred on numerous productions including: NYPD Blue, The Practice, Judging Amy, Desperate Housewives, Star Trek – Voyager, Enterprise and DS9.
JANE JELENKO (Writer: Dreams From My Father) was the first woman partner in the consulting arm of KPMG, the international professional services firm. After retiring from the firm in 2003, Jane found herself in the process of Changing Lanes which is the title of the book she co-authored on the topic. Along with photographer Barbara Mack, she wrote Portraits in Black and White: Holocaust Survivors of Café Europa. She has also published several articles on dance and continues to blog on the subject of living a meaningful life at She serves on several corporate and community boards including SunAmerica Funds, Cathay Bank, the Los Angeles Music Center, the Gabriella Education Foundation, the American Technion Society Western Region, and SHARE. She is a founding board member of the Center Dance Arts and serves as its president. Ms. Jelenko graduated cum laude in Mathematics from Barnard College in 1970 and earned an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Southern California in 1977.
SUZANNA KAPLAN (Writer: Feelin’ Jewish) was born in Mexico City to an American mother and Mexican father. She performed on some of Mexico’s famous Vaudeville stages, as well as acted in commercials, films, and on stage. Kaplan moved to the US where she started a translation service and language school, doing well enough to sell it and travel for a year. In Israel she married and had a baby. She also worked for a production company, writing and producing film scripts and museum guides used for fundraising all over the world. Back in the US, Kaplan read scripts for her husband, a producer of TV and feature films. She also worked in freelance in Hispanic advertising. Kaplan’s writing credits include: a novel, five feature length scripts, and several television treatments, in addition to a produced one-hour drama for Hispanic TV (Telemundo) and a small segment for a TV show on Fox network.
SHAYNA LESTER (Writer: Standing On Holy Ground) is a Marriage and Family Therapist, a Jewish Spiritual Director and an ordained Interfaith Minister in private practice in Santa Monica. She has served as the Lead Volunteer Chaplain in the Jewish Community at the California Institution for Women for the past 5 and 1/2 years where she teaches Jewish Ethics and Restorative Justice as well as provides spiritual direction and counseling. Because of her work at the prison, in 2010 Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi honored her with an ordination as a Gabbai to the Jewish Community. Shayna has been married to Eli Lester for 35 years. They have a combined family of 6 children, 9 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
JUAN LOZANO (Technical Producer) Juan is happy to be joining the production of The Moment You Knew as a Technical Producer. Juan has an extensive background in theatre and is a graduate of A.M.D.A. in New York. Juan has worked at some great theaters in Los Angeles which include The Geffen Playhouse, The Kirk Douglas, and The Wadsworth Theatre as Rigger, Carpenter, Sound and Electrics.
STEPHEN MACHT (Actor: Lilac Ticket) trained professionally at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, is a graduate of Dartmouth College, and holds a Ph.D. in Dramatic Literature from Indiana University. He has played leading men in plays and dozens of television movies and feature films, including Raid On Entebbe, Graveyard Shift, and The Immigrants. On television, he was Sharon Gless’ love interest in Cagney and Lacey and has recurred on Boston Public, Jack and Jill and Boomtown. On stage, he starred opposite Charlton Heston in A Man for All Seasons and Cain Mutiny Court Martial, and recently starred opposite Sharon Gless in a new play entitled A Round Heeled Woman. His philanthropic work includes The Parkinson’s Resource Organization, The Jewish National Fund, and The Center For Jewish Culture and Creativity.
JENNIFER MAISEL (Writer: Friends Forever) has written many plays including: Goody Fucking Two Shoes (ATL’s Humana Festival), The Last Seder (The Organic, Theatre J, Ensemble Studio Theatre LA- Project, Teatro Da Juventude, Park Square Theatre), Birds (Rorschach Theatre), Eden (Theatre of NOTE), and There or Here (Pen West Literary Award finalist, PlayPenn, Hypothetical Theatre in NYC) . Her awards include the Kennedy Center’s Fund for New American Plays Award, the Charlotte Woolard Award, the Roger L. Stevens Award, and the South Coast Repertory’s California Playwrights Competition. She is a PEN West Literary Award finalist and a four-time Heideman Award finalist. She recently received an Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan foundation rewrite commission for her new play, Out of Orbit, developed at the 2010 Sundance Theatre Lab and will be attending the Great Plains Theatre Conference with Match.
SUSAN MORGENSTERN (Director) has been an actress since the age of five. Susan crossed over into directing when she began staging musical theatre concert readings while co-teaching “American Musical Comedy” with Tom Lehrer at U.C. Santa Cruz. She went on to teach and direct at the renowned Stage Door Manor performing arts camp in upstate New York. In Los Angeles, her direction of David Vowell’s The Ascension of Lili at the Two Roads Theatre received critical acclaim. At Theatre West, Susan has directed selections from David Ives’ All in the Timing; TW’s inaugural Youth Theatre musical, Just Too Cool, and the musical, Saturday Night at Grossinger’s. In 2010 at TW, she directed Barbara Nell Beery’s The Socialization of Ruthie Shapiro. At the Falcon Theatre, she has directed Leap, Surviving Sex and Sam Bobrick’s hit comedy, The Psychic. Susan directed Happy Days, A New Musical, book by Garry Marshall, music/lyrics by Paul Williams at Cabrillo Music Theatre’s 1,800-seat auditorium. Last month, she directed a stage reading Ghost-s, A Musical About a Musical at KTC’s INKubator series with the creative team of Kincaid Jones (book), Noelle Donfeld (lyrics) and Brian Woodbury (composer/lyrics). As a proud member of Actors Equity, she heartily applauds everyone who supports live theatre.
NECHAMA (Writer: Finally Home) is serving time at the California Institute of Women.
JAMIE PACHINO (Writer: Still Blonde Runs Deep) is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter with national and international credits. Her plays have been produced in four countries, commissioned, published and honored. She has been named the winner of the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays production grant, the Laurie Foundation’s Visionary Award and Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson (“Jeff”) Award for Best New Work among many others. Her plays include Splitting Infinity, Waving Goodbye, The Return to Mortality, Race, Aurora’s Motive and Theodora: An Unauthorized Biography, which have been developed and produced by such companies as Steppenwolf, American Conservatory Theatre, Hartford Stage, Long Wharf, Northlight, San Jose Rep, Pasadena Playhouse, ACT, Geva, Florida Stage, and the Women Playwrights Festival in Athens, Greece. Jamie’s film work includes features for Disney, DreamWorks, Vanguard Films and Walden Media, and teleplays for the Hallmark Hall of Fame and Lifetime Television. She currently writes for the television show Fairly Legal on USA Network. More at
MONICA PIPER (Writer/Performer:Tip Of The Ice Pack) is an Emmy Award-winning comedy writer, stand-up comedian and motivational speaker. She was nominated for an American Comedy Award as one of the top five female comedians in the country and starred in her own Showtime Network special, No, Monica, Just You. She has written for Roseanne, Mad About You and Veronica’s Closet and was the head writer of the beloved children’s animated series Rugrats, as well as writing shows for Disney and Cartoon Network. She is presently bringing her laugh-out-loud advice to corporate America, showing audiences everywhere how to “Find the Funny” in their lives. Please visit
LISA PEARL ROSENBAUM (Dramaturge, Writer: Law and Motion) practiced law for five years before becoming a producer for Jewish Television Network. Her debut novel, A Day of Small Beginnings (Little, Brown & Co. 2006), is a multi-generational story about a secular American Jewish family set in contemporary Poland. This past winter, it was chosen to inaugurate the Spertus Institute’s One Book, One Community program in Chicago. She is currently at work on a novel about the destruction of ancient Indian mounds at Cahokia, Illinois, the Blacklist, America’s interstate highways and oh yes, love. Lisa also blogs for JWT BlogStories and is a JWT Arts Council member. She lives in Pacific Palisades with her husband, Walt Lipsman. They have two daughters, Ariana and Maya.
CAROL SCHLANGER (Writer/Performer: Wud den?) is a working film and television actress, storyteller, performer and author. She is a WGA Humanitas award nominee and a 1st place winner in the Los Angeles Playwrights Monologue Slam. Her one woman show Mouth To Mouth was the recipient of 3 Dramalogue Critics Awards. As a writer, she has worked in both television and film, and her plays Baba Yaga, Will You Still Feed Me? Night Garbage, Valley of the Shadow of Beth, Last Dance have received concert readings and highly successful productions in both NY and Los Angeles. She lives both in Los Angeles and Deadwood, Oregon, where she has been farming organically for over 35 years. She looks forward to the publication of her memoir Don’t Think Twice, chronicling her 5 years on a wilderness Commune, sections of which were first read for the JWT. She has been married for 39 years and is the proud mother of two adult children.
RONDA SPINAK (Producer/Writer: A Poem) created the At-Homes Salon Theatre Series, now in its fourth season. and has produced 13 original Jewish themed shows. She has written for the Emmy Award-winning children’s show, Rugrats, authored the critically acclaimed nonfiction book ProBodX: Proper Body Exercise (HarperCollins, publisher), and written many plays, including Oscar Wilde’s Wife, which was a finalist at the Ashland New Play Festival and Dayton’s FuturFest. She is currently producing the documentary film about women rabbis entitled, On the Fringe, and has recently co-authored the play, Stories From the Fringe, the personal stories of women rabbis culled from the transcripts of the documentary film. Stories From the Fringe will be presented in New York at the JCC in Manhattan in June. Ronda thanks Alan Ross and her two sons, for their loyalty and support. Ronda is grateful for the many blessings she’s received from her work with Jewish Women’s Theatre.
ROBERT TREBOR (Actor: Dreams From My Father, Law and Motion, Standing On Holy Ground, Yearning For Peace) Recent theatre includes Nicholas Kazan’s Mlle God at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, Peter Lefcourt’s La Ronde de Lunch at The Skylight Theatre, and was nominated for an LA Weekly Award for his one-man show The Return of Brother Theodore, also at The Skylight. He has worked extensively in film, garnering acclaim for roles directed by Oliver Stone, John Frankenheimer, Roland Emmerich, and more recently Rob Zombie. He is perhaps best known for portraying The Son of Sam, opposite Martin Sheen in the MOW Out Of The Darkness, and Salmoneus, the salesman in the Hercules and Xena TV series. He has written a best-selling humorous book, Dear Salmoneus: The World’s First Guide To Love and Money and has written A Lust for Actng: An Unreliable Memoir.
JUDY UNGER (Actor: My Mother’s Weight, Friend’s Forever, Feelin’ Jewish) made her Broadway debut in Golda and was in the National Tour of Brighton Beach Memoirs. She has appeared in numerous commercials and voice-overs and earned a B.A. in theatre from Fordham University. Since moving to Los Angeles, Judy has worked with LA Theatre Works and in independent film, most recently in The Understudy, which just completed a limited run in LA. She has studied improv at the Groundlings. Judy is also a ballet dancer, having studied at Joffrey, and performed with American Ballet Theatre when they were in Los Angeles. In addition, Judy has co-written a sitcom pilot, It’s All Your Fault. Judy is thrilled to be performing with the Jewish Women’s Theatre.
SUSIE YURE (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. Yure has produced musical theatre productions, classical concerts, cabaret performances, and she has been intensely involved in the world of theatre for over 20 years. She holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from USC, along with her California Lifetime Teaching Credential. She is currently president of Lev Eisha, a woman’s non-profit religious organization and spiritual community that meets once a month for a musical Shabbat experience. Her favorite role is as mom to her two talented (grown) children, who are both professional (and working) musicians.
KATE ZENTALL (Actor: Still Blonde Runs Deep, Leaving LA, Lilac Ticket) has appeared at the Public Theater and Carnegie Hall in NYC, and at the Mark Taper in LA, among many other venues, and has also been seen in numerous TV series, TV Movies, and films. She is now a writer and editor for the internet, magazines, and books.


Produced by Ronda Spinak
Directed by Susan Morgenstern
Dramaturge Lisa Rosenbaum

Associate Producers: Susie Yure´

A Short Poem Performed by Judy Unger
The Moment by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, On Vocals, Shira Fox

Still Blonde Runs Deep
Written by Jamie Pachino, Performed by Kate Zentall

Dreams From My Father
Written by Jane Jelenko, Performed by Zena David

My Mother’s Weight
Written by Rabbi Sherre Hirsch, Performed by Judy Unger

Leaving LA
Written by Lynne Himelstein, Performed by Kate Zentall

Law and Motion
Written by Lisa Rosenbaum, Performed by Bari Hochwald and Robert Trebor

Friends Forever – World Premiere, A Commission of JWT
Written by Jennifer Maisel, Performed by Judy Unger

Standing on Holy Ground
Written by Shayna Lester, Performed by Bari Hochwald and Robert Trebor

The Bitter and the Sweet
Written by Terri Lynn S, Performed by Kate Zentall

Finally Home
Written by Nechama, Performed by Zena David

Feelin’ Jewish
Written by Suzanna Kaplan, Performed by Judy Unger

Moments We Would Rather Not Have Had
Subscriber Contributions by Gail Barton, Nadia Gabai, Fae Hoffman-Buckner, Ellyn Gersh Lerner, Elisa Wayne, and Sally Wilk

Yearning for Peace
Written by Julie I. Bram, Performed by Bari Hochwald and Robert Trebor

Tip Of The Ice Pack – World Premiere, A Commission of JWT
Written and Performed by Monica Piper

Wud den? (Yiddish for could it be any other way?) – World Premiere, A Commission of JWT
Written and Performed by Carol Schlanger

Lilac Ticket
Written by C.J. Erlich, Performed by Kate Zentall and Stephen Macht

One Moment in Time
Music and Lyrics by John Bettis and Albert Hammond, Sung by Shira Fox

Q & A Post Show


“The Moment You Knew” presented at Susan and Mark Fien’s home – VALLEY SHOW

Actor Bari Hochwald – VALLEY