Peninnah Schram's tisch on Shabbat afternoon at Limmud Philly was amazing. She wove her own stories together while encouraging us to share as well. Niggunim, or melodies, carried us in between each story. The Schlibovitz front-and-center on the table reminded us that this is an age-old tradition of telling stories on Shabbat afternoon and it was time to exhale and enjoy. At the end, she tried something that seemed artistically challenging but managed to pull it off quite well. We were divided into three groups and each group represented a particular song and sentiment: love, peace, and faith, and the songs were woven into her story so that each of us contributed to the fullness of one story.
I admire Peninnah's storytelling skills and I wonder how many walls she must have knocked down in order to stand tall as a woman maggid years ago. I look forward to learning more from her, and it was a pleasure to see her embody true talent at Limmud.
Aviva Perlo lives in Philadelphia and is a social service project manager and improv artist.
Peninnah Schram, storyteller, is Professor of Speech/Drama at Yeshiva University's Stern College. She is vibrantly elegant in telling Jewish stories of wisdom and wit. Her latest anthology is: The Hungry Clothes & Other Jewish Folktales and CD, The Minstrel & The Storyteller with singer Gerard Edery. Peninnah has received the Covenant Award for Outstanding Jewish Educator and the National Storytelling Network's Lifetime Achievement Award.
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