Fairy tale play raises money for needy
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Fairy tale play raises money for needy

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There were so many actors in the Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey Hebrew adaptation of the Snow White story that extra dwarfs had to be added.

Turning the time-honored “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” into “Shilgiah and the Dozen Dwarfs,” the 38 seventh-grade girls at the Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey in River Edge brought a Hebrew fairy tale to life on March 23.

This was the latest in a 15-year string of Purim-inspired plays on the day school’s stage. “It just gets bigger and bigger every year,” said seventh-grade teacher and mashgicha ruchanit (mentor) Cindy Zucker, who writes the script and involves each student in the production.

What has not changed is that the performance is strictly a benefit. This year, it raised about $800 for Project Ezrah, a Bergen County non-profit that assists unemployed Jews with a range of services.

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Snow White (Shilgiah) Keren Neugroschl with narrators, from left, Rebecca Klamen, Temima Kanarfogel, Eliana Alter, Rachel Klar, and Chavi Cohen. Narrator Shirel Gold is not pictured.

Tzedakah coordinator Shana Horn of Teaneck headed a committee of students that prepared raffle prizes and tickets, designed and sold admission tickets, and met with the school’s dean, Rabbi Shmuel Goldstein, to decide on a beneficiary. Goldstein always makes a cameo appearance in the play.

“The girls designed the costumes, made the scenery and playbills, organized a raffle, and worked together beautifully to make it all happen,” said Zucker.

She had to add five extra dwarfs – Yenta, Hungry, Snappy, Lazy, and Weepy – to accommodate the large number of actors. All wore snoods to approximate the look of the dwarfs in the Disney version of the tale.

Narrator Rebecca Klamen of Teaneck said that even her family’s care-giver came to see the play. “She doesn’t know Hebrew, but she got it because it’s a famous story,” said Rebecca, who also designed the playbill with Shulamit Stochel of Teaneck, aka Happy the dwarf.

Zucker said the play begins with an English explanation and its narrators sometimes inject a bit of English translation. However, she intends the play as “a living Hebrew experience that will stay with them. We always choose a story that is familiar, and the girls learn so much modern Hebrew in a natural way.”

DVDs of the production are available for sale to further benefit Project Ezrah. Call Zucker at (201) 986-1414.

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