'Count the Stars': For a united Israel

An OU-sponsored women's community project in Greater Jerusalem takes to the stage.

Sharon Katz and R.Sylvetsky,

WPC cast for Count the Stars
WPC cast for Count the Stars
Rebecca Kowalsky, Images Through Time, www.imagesthroughtime

Can you believe that working together to create a musical production can break the barriers between religious and secular, right and left, old and young? In a unique and talented women's group, they do. Every week.

This group of women has created The Women’s Performance Community (WPC) of Jerusalem. Participants of every background and age, the founders hoped, would share the common language of love of performance and create perhaps improbable, but strong friendships.

The partner in creating this community of brave, caring women was OU Israel and its premises became the home for monthly performance-related activities.

Now, WPC Jerusalem is putting on a show, Count the Stars, an original musical about the trials and triumphs of Abraham and Sarah, the patriarch and matriarch of the Jewish nation, which will take the stage at Jerusalem's Gerard Behar Theatre on November 28 and 30, December 4 and 6.

"Count the Stars" begins with Abraham's rejection of idol worship and follows his desire to teach all those around him the greatness of a caring G-d. While that may not seem like typical musical theater, in fact its inspirational story, spectacular songs and rousing dance numbers combine to bring audiences to their feet in exhilaration and applause.

In the musical, Abraham (Avram at first) and Sara dance and sing Broadway-style, as they encourage their students to “step into the light” and change their lives for the better. Later, Avram is shocked as a barber-shop-quartet of merchants reveal the sins of Sodom.

A symphony plays, as Avram is told Hashem’s promise to “Count the stars if you can; so shall your seed be.” And Abraham’s students tap dance when travelers/angels come to his tent, and he is able to fulfill his passion for hospitality, to the song "Abraham’s looking great, because he has guests again.”

Abraham spent his life searching for opportunities to demonstrate his loving-kindness to others. Such qualities heal a broken world, build a better tomorrow and help insure a blessed new year.

“Count the Stars” dancers may perform a kick line, as they recall Abraham’s quest for justice and goodness, but their message is sincere. The students of Abraham call out, “If there is good that needs doing, we will do it,” while not missing a beat. And when his son Isaac was weaned, the Bible says that “Avraham made a great feast on the day…”

The musical ends at that party, with the kings of Canaan regally dancing around Abraham and Sara, and finally recognizing G-d’s miracles and His reign as the true King.

"Count the Stars" is in English, and features both olim and veteran Israelis. Women throughout Israel are invited to join in celebrating shared roots, heritage and a feeling of unity because "Count the Stars" is not just a show, it is the celebration of the community of Israel's women.



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