Editor’s Note: Sasson Gabay, an Israeli actor, will be starring in the production of the Broadway musical, The Band’s Visit, at Knight Theater in Charlotte, August 6-25. A few weeks before their arrival, The Charlotte Jewish News spoke with Gabay, who will be recreating the role he played in the film in 2007. The conversation has been lightly edited for space and clarity.


What was your musical theater background before you became a film actor?

I’ve been in live theater for more than 40 years. I’ve also got a few musicals under my belt: I was Fagin in Oliver, Captain Hook in Peter Pan, and I’ve also been in The Threepenny Opera. I love to sing in theater and musicals, but in this show I have just one duet. Tewfiq does not do a lot of singing on the stage.

What was the transition from… Continue reading

This summer the Shalom Park Freedom School (SPFS) will be opening its doors for the 9th summer to serve 75 students from Huntingtowne Farms and Sterling Elementary schools that are from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. The goals of the SPFS are to provide a six-week program to facilitate literacy and character-building for these scholars. Preliminary research suggests these efforts are making a difference for participants in the Freedom School. Without summer programs like the SPFS, 75% of students from low income homes are estimated to lose 2-3 months of learning over the summer. In contrast, 90% of Freedom School scholars gained or maintained their reading ability.

Want to know three super simple – and fre – ways to support SPFS?

  1. Welcome our Shalom Park scholars – they are our guests.

Our scholars are excited, and it is summer. Smile and wave when passing them in the hallways.

Yes, it can be… Continue reading

Part two of five

By Cantor Elias Roochvarg

Cousin Hillel took me to Sde Boker, the home of David Ben Gurion after he retired from being (Israel’s first) Prime Minister. Nearby is a campus of the University of Beersheva, now called Ben Gurion University, at which one of their areas of study is Desert Studies. Makes sense! We are surrounded by Midbar Tzin, the Wilderness of Tzin, where the Children of Israel wandered on their way to the Promised Land. Ben Gurion went in the opposite direction: He lived most of his life in the Promised. Land, but retired to the Wilderness – by choice; he was fascinated by the desert and the challenges it posed.

One of the most recognizable things about him was his hair (not unlike Larry of the Three Stooges), so below is a photo of him getting it “trimmed” … by the same guy (the… Continue reading