“Scott Davis renews our connection to the tone, the texture, and spirit of Eastern European shtetl life, engaging our minds, stirring our emotions, and renewing our faith.” —Rabbi Raachel Jurovics
Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik
A delightful Chanukah presentation based on Scott Davis’s original stories about the tiny shtetl town of Oykvetchnik. Meet the caretaker of the synagogue who can’t remember where he placed the big menorah, the rabbi who can’t find a husband for his beautiful but vain daughter, and an old pawnshop menorah that teaches a young boy the deepest meanings of Chanukah. Blending the traditional themes of Chanukah with a nostalgic visit to the Jewish “Old Country” of 19th-century Eastern Europe, these fun, humorous, and soulful stories offer the whole family an uplifting and heartwarming way to celebrate the Festival of Lights.
Excerpt from “Reb Shimon the Shammes” by Scott Davis
A fun-filled journey back in time to the land of our alte bobehs and zaydehs—our great grandmothers and grandfathers—the tiny towns and villages of Russia and Eastern Europe at the turn of the twentieth century. Meet the old book peddler who must follow his own path; the melamed (the school teacher of young children) who dreams of a better world; and the Litvak (the skeptic from Lithuania) who discovers the heavenly power of a simple good deed. This one-hour solo performance of classic stories by Sholem Abramovitsh, Sholem Aleichem, and I. L. Peretz will make you laugh, maybe bring a tear to your eye, and fill your heart with the joy of yiddishkayt and Jewish culture.
Excerpt from “Mendele the Book Peddler” by Scott Davis
The exciting personal story of how a Jewish storyteller rediscovered the forgotten nineteenth-century Yiddish writer, Jacob Dinezon (1851?-1919). Once a successful and much beloved Jewish novelist in Eastern Europe, Dinezon befriended and mentored almost every major Jewish literary figure of his day, including I. L. Peretz, Sholem Aleichem, and Sholem Abramovitsh, the classic writers of modern Yiddish literature. Though Jacob Dinezon’s legacy was nearly obliterated by the demise of Yiddish following the Holocaust, his contributions to modern Jewish literature are now being re-evaluated and celebrated almost a century after his death. This chronicle of a Jewish storyteller’s exciting search for “Uncle Dinezon” is filled with original research, first-time translations, cultural discoveries, and wonderful stories. (Learn more here.)
“Your talk yesterday was excellent. You had the audience in the palm of your hand, hanging on every word. They loved the content and the dramatic delivery. You may not believe this, but the JCC audience is a tough one, but they got all sweet and syrupy when they told me how much they enjoyed your talk.” —Maxine Carr, JCC Program Coordinator