Several hundred people filled the Taub Auditorium at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly to see an emotional reading of Jeff Cohen’s play “The Soap Myth,” a story about Holocaust survivors who have been forced to make their way in a world where there are people who distort the truth or deny that the Holocaust ever took place. Ed Asner — seven-time Emmy and five-time Golden Globe award-winner — played the lead, a passionate Holocaust survivor who is encouraged by a young journalist to document his personal experience. Tovah Feldshuh — two-time Emmy and four-time Tony Award nominee — played a Holocaust denier, and Liba Vaynber played a young journalist who pursues the story and is caught between many versions of the same narrative.
“Our presentation of ‘The Soap Myth’ provided an emotional and deeply moving evening for our Patron of the Arts supporters,” said Nina Bachrach, the JCC’s director of arts and culture development. “It was both humbling and powerful to host a live performance about such an important topic, and also served as a stark reminder about the need to educate future generations, especially since it is now documented that 30 percent of Americans do not believe that six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. We received incredible feedback from the audience, thanking us for presenting this topic here, and the cast and crew, in turn, raved about our audience and their thoughtful response to the evening.”
Following the performance and the moderated talkback Q&A with the playwright and cast, Patron of the Arts subscribers attended a post-event meet and greet, with photo opportunities with the cast, at a private dessert reception. The program was held on January 27 as a tribute to International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The reading was directed by Pam Berlin and included Ned Eisenberg, who played a number of serious and comic roles.
Maggie Kaplen and the Kaplen Foundation were the program’s presenting sponsors.