Aron Hirt-Manheimer

Aron Hirt-Manheimer

Inside Leadership
Photo of Nathan the Wise being performed on stage

Antoni Cimolino, artistic director of Canada’s Stratford Festival, has dedicated the season to the theme “breaking boundaries.” The selections include two paired morality plays with crossover repertory casts – Birds of a Kind and Nathan the Wise – that challenge us to transcend our inherited religious and ethnic prejudices.

Directed by Cimolino and written by Lebanese-born Wajdi Mouawad, Birds of a Kind (original French title Tous Des Oiseaux) is making its English debut at the Ontario-based repertory theater company, the largest in North America. Mouawad, an award-winning...

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Random assortment of overlapping small white tiles printed in black with various words

Cantor Elizabeth Sacks is senior cantor at Temple Emanuel in Denver, Colorado. Ordained as a cantor by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in 2007, she holds a B.A. in Jewish studies and music from Harvard University. She previously served as the associate cantor at Central Synagogue in New York.

Cantor Sacks is married to Elias Sacks, associate professor of religious studies and incoming director of Jewish studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. They live in Denver with their children, Charlie and Tova.

I caught up with Cantor Sacks to...

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Actress playing Hannah Senesh in the play of the same name

Blessed is the match, consumed in kindling flame. Blessed is the flame that burns in the heart’s secret places. Blessed is the heart that knows, for honors sake, to stop its beating. Blessed is the match, consumed in kindling flame. – Hannah Senesh

Hannah Senesh, who was martyred at age 23 while on a rescue mission in Nazi-occupied Hungary, is perhaps best known for her two poems, “Blessed Is the Match” and “Eli, Eli.” She has also been immortalized in books, film, and theater – most recently by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s revival of “Hannah Senesh: A Play with...

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Corner of a building and a flight of stairs along a tree-lined alleyway in Jerusalem's Old City

Julia Knobloch captures the essence of the “wandering Jew” in her powerful collection of poems, Do Not Return (Broadstone Books, 2019). Each poem evokes intimate memories of people and places she has known personally or encountered through her identification with the collective Jewish experience.

In her verses, filled with pathos and longing, time and space are collapsed, transcended. Her ancestors and influencers are ever present – Batya, who drew Moses from the river; Grandmother Hanna grinding poppy seeds in prewar Poland; a priestly Leonard Cohen in a gray suit sitting on a...

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Erlanger family

Jeffrey Erlanger gained fame at age 10 when he appeared on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” in his electric-powered wheelchair. After visiting with Jeff, Mister Rogers turned to the camera and said, “For all of Jeff’s physical problems, he’s such a competent boy. He has learned so much because his mom and dad love him and he loves them.”

On the eve of Father’s Day, I sat down with Jeff’s parents, Howie and Pam Erlanger, to gain insights about how they raised such a competent and loving son. As a young child, Jeff faced surgery after surgery, yet he always...

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