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December 16, 2011  RSS feed

Text: T T T

Master storyteller to weave her tales in Tampa

Peninnah Schram Peninnah Schram Peninnah Schram, a grand dame of Jewish storytellers, will be the guest speaker at Tampa’s Congregation Rodeph Sholom on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 13 and 14.

Schram’s appearance is part of the congregation’s Sisterhood Shabbat weekend. The community is welcome.

Events begin Friday with a family dinner at 5:30 p.m., followed at 6:30 p.m. by a Shabbat service at which Schram will tell stories geared toward children. For those who do not attend the family dinner, there will be another dinner after the service. Cost for either dinner is $14 for adults and $8 for children

On Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Schram will deliver Torah stories during the Linda Blum Sisterhood Shabbat service and afterward at a free kiddush luncheon.

Schram was born and raised in New London, CT. As she was growing up, her cantorfather spent much time recounting tales of Elijah the Prophet, as well as other familiar and beloved Bible stoires while her mother, an enthusiast of the Yiddish language, taught her what it meant to be a mensch through the telling of stories and proverbs. These stories led Schram to understand the power and fascination of the oral tradition.

After graduating from college, she and a friend created Theatre à la Carte, a New York area theatre company that produced and toured adult and children’s plays. In 1966 they were invited to develop musical plays for children through the Jewish Heritage Theatre at the 92nd Street Y. In 1967 she began her teaching career at Iona College.

Schram started recording books in 1970 for the blind at the Jewish Braille Institute. That experience inspired her to begin to teach Jewish storytelling as a separate subject, and in 1974 she taught her first course on Jewish storytelling.

Schram is the founding director of the Jewish Storytelling Center. She has told stories in the U.S., Canada, England, and Israel, at synagogues, festivals, conferences, colleges, camps, and schools. She was recently honored by Yeshiva University. Among her other many honors, she is a recipient of the Covenant Award for Outstanding Jewish Education and the National Storytelling Network’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

For more information on the Sisterhood Shabbat Weekend, or to RSVP, call Congregation Rodeph Sholom at (813) 837-1911.

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