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Staged Reading of a New Play Eighty-Three Years Rabbi Laurie Katz Braun, playwright

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Thursday, April 1, 2004

Thursday, May 6th 7:00 pm 
Admission is Free. No registration is required. 
Photo ID required for entrance.

Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion 
One West 4th street (Between Broadway and Mercer) 
New York City

"If sound judgment sits well on gray hair, and wise advice comes well from older men," then why is it so difficult for young people to agree "long experience is the old man's crown" (Wisdom of Ben Sira, chapter 25, vv. 5-6). Join playwright Rabbi Laurie Katz Braun and her company, Theater 8, on Thursday, May 6 at 7:00 pm when they present her new play, Eighty-Three Years, which explores the intergenerational relationships of a Jewish family, particularly the relationship between a young woman and her aging grandmother. The play centers on two characters, Sarah the granddaughter, and Evelyn the grandmother, at vastly different points of the human life cycle, who struggle to imbue their lives with meaning. The play examines such fundamental human issues as mortality and immortality, naming, aging, pain, and joy. It is a contemporary family drama that pursues timeless themes with both seriousness and humor. Ultimately, through the lens of one Jewish family's story, Eighty-Three Years is about the struggle to respect the voices of other generations while simultaneously seeking to discover our own.

Laurie Katz Braun is a playwright, novelist and rabbinical teacher. She is the founder of Theater 8, the New York City Jewish theatre company in residence at The Actor's Temple. She has worked in theater and film in Philadelphia, Jerusalem, Los Angeles and New York. While at the University of Pennsylvania, she studied with writer Chaim Potok and playwright Romulus Linney. She received her rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and for three years served as rabbi at Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, New York.

This program is offered in conjunction with the exhibition The Art of Aging, on view through June 25, 2004 at HUC-JIR Museum. Aging is a process that begins with birth-it is a lifelong journey affecting the dynamics of human relationships, creativity, memory, continuity, and growth. Jewish text sources are full of references to values affecting the dynamics of human relationships, creativity, memory, continuity, and growth. Jewish text sources are full of references to values intrinsic to the aging process, from the respect attendant to one's elders, honor for one's parents, forty as the age of understanding, fifty as the age of counsel, the celebration of wisdom at age sixty, the celebration of strength at the age of eighty, and intergenerational and familial responsibilities. Through painting, sculpture, photography, installation, mixed media, and video, contemporary artists from Israel and North America reflect on the diverse aspects of aging, including creativity and vitality, memory, anxiety, wisdom, physical change, loss, intergenerational interaction, responsibility, and optimism.

For further information, please call Amy Lehr at 212-824-2293 or e-mail

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.