Mission, Staff and Values

The Jewish Plays Project identifies, develops, and presents new works of theater through one-of a kind explorations of contemporary Jewish identity between audiences, artists, and patrons.

The JPP’s innovative and competitive development vehicle invests emerging artists in their Jewish identity; engages Jewish communities in the vetting, selecting and championing of new voices; and secures mainstream production opportunities for the best new plays.

The JPP has featured some of the best artists working in New York, including writers David Hein and Irene Sankoff (Come from Away), Jonathan Caren (Rise on Netflix), and Lauren Yee (Cambodian Rock Band); directors Marc Bruni (Beautiful), Daniella Topol (Rattlestick Theater AD),, and Tamilla Woodard (Yale Drama School); and actors Andrew Polk (The Band’s Visit), Gus Birney (Dickinson won AppleTV+), Ronald Guttman (Mad Men, Hunters), Kirrilee Berger (Amazon’s Just Add Magic), and Obie and Drama Desk nominee Marcia Jean Kurtz.

20114 Winner G-d’s Honest Truth at Theater J

Crucially – the JPP is effective. Of the 52 plays the JPP has actively developed, 30 have gone on to production in New York, London, Tel Aviv, and around the U.S. and Canada for more than 30,000 audience members.

2019 Winner In Every Generation at Victory Gardens

Staff & Board

David Winitsky

Founder and Executive Artistic Director

David Winitsky is the Founder and Executive Artistic Director of the Jewish Plays Project, the nation’s leading development house for contemporary Jewish theater. Since founding the JPP, he has been a Storahtelling/LabShul Maven, a 2014-17 UpStart National Fellow, a 2013 LABA Artist Fellow, and a 2011 PresenTense New York City Fellow. Currently, he is a Fellow at UJA’s  Institute for Jewish Executive Leadership at Columbia Business School.

More about David

David held leadership positions at Playwrights Theater of New Jersey (Producing Director), What Exit? Comedy Theater (Co-Artistic Director), and the Obie Award-winning HERE Arts Center (General Manager), in addition to positions in commercial theater (Broadway on Broadway, Chicago, Rent, Miss Saigon, etc.)

In 2021, David was on sabbatical from the JPP and is the Interim Producing Artistic Director at the Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca, NY, where he navigated this leading Finger Lakes region non-profit through the pandemic wilderness, including producing two new play development workshops and the World Premiere, outdoor production of SHAPE by Kara-Lynn Vaeni. In Ithaca, David also is in his fourth year as a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Near Eastern Studies, where he teaches the course “Sitcom Jews: Ethnicity and Culture on TV and Stage, 1948-Present”. It’s a fun class.

As a freelance artist, David has directed or assisted on Broadway, off-Broadway, and regionally at Papermill Playhouse and Chicago’s famous Steppenwolf Theater. NYC: Displaced Wedding (New Worlds Theatre Project). A Wonderful Flat Thing (14th St Y), Brooke Berman’s Until We Find Each Other (Best of Festival, MITF). Regional: Settlements (upcoming, Interact Theatre, Philadelphia), Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba (Children’s Theatre of Charlotte) The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the GalaxyOur Dad is in Atlantis and The Fantasticks.

With the JPP, David has developed 49 plays, 27 of which have gone on to production and further development in New York, London, Tel Aviv and around the U.S. He has directed new plays by Renee Calarco, Lindsay Joelle, David Rush, Colin Greer, Lauren Feldman, and a host of others, and created innovative arts programs in JCCs in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Chicago, Charlotte, Houston, Washington DC, Fairfax VA, Hartford, New Haven, San Francisco and Palo Alto.

As a consultant, he has helped raise over a million dollars for arts education, underserved youth, and FSU programs, and has developed an expertise in Presbyterian organizations in Elizabeth, NJ.

David holds an MFA in Directing from Northwestern, where he studied with Tony Winners Frank Galati, Mary Zimmerman, Tina Landau and Anna Shapiro. He received his BA in Mathematics from Cornell.

More important than all of this, David is the proud husband of Elizabeth Samet, and thankful father of Ezekiel (21) and Alexander (18), and resides in South Philadelphia (Go Eagles!).

Joshua Benghiat

Resident Designer & Associate Artistic Director

Josh is a father and husband residing in Brooklyn, NY. His lighting design work includes theater, opera, concert halls, dance, broadcast, and live events. Theatrical design and associate work spans Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional including Center Theatre Group, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Syracuse Stage, McCarter Theatre, Barter Theatre, and Geva Theatre Center. 

More about Josh

Josh currently designs concerts for the Lincoln Center White Light Festival and is the lighting designer for The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. As part of Lincoln Center’s Restart Stages, he lit the Jaffe Drive venue, including Continuum, curated by Nick Kendall. He serves as Associate Artistic Director of the Jewish Plays Project, playing an active role in new play development, lending both dramaturgical and design support to new and emerging works. Josh is a long-time associate to Allen Lee Hughes, most recently for TONI STONE and A SOLDIER’S PLAY.

Josh teaches at the Yale School of Drama. He received an AB from the University of Chicago and an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
www.BenghiatLighting.com

Heather Helinsky

Contest Dramaturg

Heather Helinsky is a dramaturg that playwrights have recognized as “especially adept at freeing energies in unexpected ways. She encourages discovery.” She is based in Philadelphia and the Literary Manager for Playwrights Foundation/Bay Area Playwrights Festival. She now has fifteen years of experience as a professional dramaturg, specifically in the area of new play development and focused on advocating for women playwrights and writers of color.

More about Heather

As a freelancer, she works with playwrights and manages her own small consulting business developing new work throughout the year. She reads and evaluates scripts for Sundance Theatre Lab, O’Neill’s Artistic Council, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Seven Devils, and KCACTF and has worked on new plays in development on various festivals since 2010. Nationally, her dramaturgical work has been seen at the American Repertory Theatre, Arizona Repertory Theatre, Best Medicine Rep, Borderlands Theatre Company, Denver Center Theatre Great Plains Theatre Conference, The Kennedy Center, The Lark, Miracle Theatre in Portland, Moscow Art Theatre’s American Studio, Omaha Community Playhouse, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Salt Lake Acting Company, Telluride Playwrights Festival, Woolly Mammoth and Venus Theatre Company. For Theatre Philadelphia, she served as a Barrymore Judge for two seasons, reviewing 60-80 productions a year.

She moves fluidly between classical dramaturgy and new play development; she has been the Literary Manager of the Pittsburgh Public and PICT Classic Theatre as well as part of the National New Play Network’s rolling world premiere of Caridad Svich’s Guapa. As an educator, she’s mentored emerging dramaturgs at KCACTF Regions 4, 6, 5, 7, & 8 and was the National Dramaturgy Coordinator for KCACTF in ’12 & ‘13. Since 2016, she also reads for Kennedy Center playwriting awards and helps select the students for the Undergraduate Playwrights Workshop.

She has been a Visiting Professor of Dramaturgy at the University of Arizona (‘07/08), Carnegie Mellon School of Drama (‘12/’13), and adjunct work at Brooklyn College (’15) and Lesley University (’16 & ’17) and a guest workshop with Yale dramaturgs in spring ’19. She was the 2008 recipient of the Beatrice, Benjamin, and Richard Bader Fellowship for the Visual Art of Theatre at Houghton Library and also was a fellow in the NCI O’Neill Critics program in 2016. Her M.F.A. in Dramaturgy and Theatre Studies is from the American Repertory Theatre/Moscow Art Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard. Member of LMDA since 2006, and serves on LMDA’s board as VP of Freelance since 2018.

Illana Stein

Artistic Producer

Illana Stein is a New York based director originally from Fort Worth, Texas. She has a passion for working on Shakespeare and the classics and developing language-driven new works. Ms. Stein has directed Off-Broadway and Off-Off. She won an Overall Excellence Award in Directing for or what she will by Charly E. Simpson which premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2012.

Regionally she has worked all over the country including assisting at Signature Theatre Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Yale Repertory Theatre, Hangar Theatre, The Pearl Theatre Company, and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. She was Assistant to the Artistic Director for 3 years at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company where she assisted on over 20 plays with the resident acting ensemble as well as directed touring productions and assisted with casting.

More about Illana

As an Associate Director she has worked on acclaimed productions of (NY Times Critic’s Pick, Drama Desk nominee for Best Revival) Tamburlaine the Great, directed by 4-time Olivier winning director, Michael Boyd, and Pericles directed by Trevor Nunn, both at Theatre for a New Audience. She was Associate Director on Fingersmith by Alexa Junge, directed by Bill Rauch at American Repertory Theatre.  

She directed the 2019 educational tour of Julius Caesar for Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.  Most recently she directed the World Premiere of Hans & Sophie by Sean Hudock, Illana Stein, and Deborah Yarchun for Amphibian Stage in Fort Worth, Texas.  The production garnered 5 awards by the Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critic Forum including Outstanding Director, Outstanding New Play, Outstanding Design for the production team, Outstanding Performance by an Actor, and Outstanding Performance by an Actress.  Ms. Stein is a recipient of a 2018 Drama League First Draft Residency, in the directing company of New York Madness, and a member of the 2012 Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab.

William Steinberger

Artistic Producer

William Steinberger is thrilled to join the JPP as Artistic Producer. He has previously worked with the JPP on the 2019 Hartford Jewish Playwriting Contest and at the 14th Street Y for “The Mah Nishtanah Plays.” As a director, Will has developed new plays at Hartford Stage, the Drama League, Berkshire Theatre Group, New Light Theatre Project, All For One Theater, the Wilma, 59E59, The Flea, The Tank, Bethany Arts Project, Judson Church, Passage Theatre, Czech Center NYC, Theatre Horizon, InterAct, FGP, Uglyrhino and several universities.

More about Will

Will is also proud Artistic DirectorCo-founder of InVersion Theatre, which has produced nine full-length works. He has assistant directed for Darko Tresnjak, Doug Hughes, David Auburn, Michael Wilson, Vivienne Benesch, Kip Fagan, Lee Sunday Evans, Robert O’Hara, Maria Mileaf, Kristin Marting and others. Will’s dramaturgy has been featured in The Wall Street Journal.

He has worked on the artistic staffs of Hartford Stage, the Wilma and Passage Theatre and recently produced Andy Bragen’s Notes on My Mother’s Declinefor PlayCoABTP at NYTW Next Door. Will is a Resident Director at the Flea, past Manhattan Theatre Club Directing Fellow and member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. 

Board of Directors

Judy Bowman
Felica Kobylanski
Deborah Radin
Barbara Wind
David Winitsky

Advisory Board

Robert Sherman:

Executive Director, Jewish Education Project (New York, NY)

Randy Ellen Lutterman:

Vice President of Arts and Culture, JCCA (New York, NY)

Dede Jacobs-Komisar:

Giving Manger, Huntington Theater (Baltimore, MD)

Elizabeth Samet:

Creative Director and Senior Vice-President, Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA)

Rabbi Joel Soffin:

Retired Clergy, President Jewish Helping Hands (New York, NY)

Become a Reader

Artist Panel Readers

Casey J. Adler

Rita Anderson

Tina Ball

Andrew Barnes

William Barnett

Kristie Berger

Mariel Berlin-Fischler

Debbie Bernstein

Jesse Bernstein

Deborah Blumenthal

Rebecca Boroson

Marshall Botvinick

Christina Leilani Campbell

Joanna Castle Miller

Esther Cohen

Caitlin Cowan

Annie Dinerman

Ann-Marie Dittmann

Valerie Stack Dodge

Matthew Doherty

Robert Dorfman

Gail Duberchin

sharon eitan

Bridget Erin

Christine Ferriter

Marissa Friedman

Dana Leslie Goldstein

Tammy Green

Jonah Greene

Samantha Harris

Molly Rose Heller

DeDe Jacobs-Komisar

Leila Joffe

Stephanie Kane

Steven Kanner

Hank Kimmel

Gabrielle Kogut

Ross Kramer

Artem Kreimer

Danielle Levin

Deborah Liss-Green

David Loewy

Rayah Martin

Miranda Mattlin

Lee Miller

Terry Miller

Abel Muñoz

Molly Olis Krost

Yoni Oppenheim

Jessica Owens

Nikki Raymond

Michal Richardson

Larry Rinkel

Sara Rodriguez

Kamala Rose

Alix Rosenfeld

Jenna Rowell

Izzy Salant

Roy Schreiber

Sophie Schulman

Marissa Shadburn

Keaton Shapiro

Avital Shira

Robyn Shrater Seemann

Joshua Silverstein

Hannah Simon

Isabel Smith-Bernstein

Zoe Sonnenberg

Ariana Starkman

Illana Stein

Zach Stone

Max Tootleman

Bess Welden

Luke White

Ariella Wolfe

Ryan Woods

Emma Woodward

Community Panel

Huge thanks and kudos to all of these amazing Jewy folks!

City Producers

Laurie Albert, Lonny Hoffman, Devorah Richards, Rabbi Donna Berman, Jacques Lemarre, Neil Tuch, Daniella Crankshaw, Susan Solomon Sims, Danielle Faitelson, Deborah Radin

Panel Readers: Silicon Valley

Amy Brown, Judy Kitt, Barbara Marcum, Emeri Handler, Deborah Sloss, Randy Brenowitz, Stacy Sanders, Jeremy Burns, Ora David, Ross DeHovitz, Robin Leiman, Patti Sue Plumer, Lauren Berman, Jonathan Radin, Megan Pope, Kelly Lo, Marti Jacobs, Lori Krolik

Panel Readers: Hartford

Adlyn Loewenthal, Al Vesdesi, Avinoam Patt, Brendon Gallagher, Cin Martinez, Donna Berman, Eric Ort, Godfrey Simmons, Jacques Lemarre, Jeffrey Shoulson, Joshua Cape, Julia Rosenblatt, Mark Overmyer-Velazquez, Melia Bensussen, Melissa Tero, P Shipper, Rona Gollob, S Ginsburg, Taneisha Duggan, Tianna, David Alex, Kristie Berger, William Davison, Maryan Fine, Ruth Garte, Devorah Greenfield, Perry Hoffman, Judith Iglarsh, Gail Juris, Bonnie Kaufman, Elizabeth Kleins, Hyma Levin, Sheri Morrison, Eleanor J. Reiter, Devorah Richards, Judy Rossignuolo-Rice, Alice Sachs, Sarah Sapperstein, Eliakim Schwarz, James Sherman, Sari Steinberg, Brian Zakem

Panel Readers: Chicago

David Alex, Kristie Berger, William Davison, Maryan Fine, Ruth Garte, Devorah Greenfield, Perry Hoffman, Judith Iglarsh, Gail Juris, Bonnie Kaufman, Elizabeth Kleins, Hyma Levin, Sheri Morrison, Eleanor J. Reiter, Devorah Richards, Judy Rossignuolo-Rice, Alice Sachs, Sarah Sapperstein, Eliakim Schwarz, James Sherman, Sari Steinberg, Brian Zakem, Haia Bchiri, Philip Bloch, Corinne Englehart, Eric Fisher, Sumner Garte, Ron Hirsen, Rosalind Hurwitz, Eileen Jacobs, Judith Kaufman, Ann Kirschner, Sarah Malka Krinsky, Faye Levinson, Merril Prager, Bernard Rice, Sandy Robbins, Alice Sachs, Robert Schwartz, Michael Shapiro, Rhoda Stamell, Elana Weiner Kaplow

Panel Readers: Houston

Maida Asofsky, Margie Beegle, Nada Chandler, Elizabeth Frankel, Steve Garfinkel, Marilyn Hassid, Lonny Hoffman, Jerry LaBita, Diane Lee, Kenn McLaughlin, Eileen Morris, Marilyn Nathan, Bunny Radoff, Bobbi Samuels, Jeremy Samuels, Shayna Schlosberg, Stefani Shapiro, Anat Kelman Shaw, Luke Wrob

Panel Readers: Fairfax

Laurie Albert, Alona Bach, Franklin C. Coleman, Alison Drucker, Laura Fargotstein, Jonathan Galub, Carol Gordon, Josh Greene, Tom Holtzman, Margie Jervis, Ellen Katkin, Alex Levy, Paul Michnewicz, Sasha Olinick, Ronnie Oppenheim, Jane Petkofsky, Jacob Savage, Kira Simon, Caroline Frankil Warren, Elena Widder, Alex Zaloum

City Producers

Laurie Albert, Lonny Hoffman, Devorah Richards, Rabbi Donna Berman, Jacques Lemarre, Neil Tuch, Daniella Crankshaw, Susan Solomon Sims, Danielle Faitelson, Deborah Radin

Panel Readers: Chicago

David Alex, Kristie Berger, William Davison, Maryan Fine, Ruth Garte, Devorah Greenfield, Perry Hoffman, Judith Iglarsh, Gail Juris, Bonnie Kaufman, Elizabeth Kleins, Hyma Levin, Sheri Morrison, Eleanor J. Reiter, Devorah Richards, Judy Rossignuolo-Rice, Alice Sachs, Sarah Sapperstein, Eliakim Schwarz, James Sherman, Sari Steinberg, Brian Zakem, Haia Bchiri, Philip Bloch, Corinne Englehart, Eric Fisher, Sumner Garte, Ron Hirsen, Rosalind Hurwitz, Eileen Jacobs, Judith Kaufman, Ann Kirschner, Sarah Malka Krinsky, Faye Levinson, Merril Prager, Bernard Rice, Sandy Robbins, Alice Sachs, Robert Schwartz, Michael Shapiro, Rhoda Stamell, Elana Weiner Kaplow

Panel Readers: Silicon Valley

Amy Brown, Judy Kitt, Barbara Marcum, Emeri Handler, Deborah Sloss, Randy Brenowitz, Stacy Sanders, Jeremy Burns, Ora David, Ross DeHovitz, Robin Leiman, Patti Sue Plumer, Lauren Berman, Jonathan Radin, Megan Pope, Kelly Lo, Marti Jacobs, Lori Krolik

Panel Readers: Houston

Maida Asofsky, Margie Beegle, Nada Chandler, Elizabeth Frankel, Steve Garfinkel, Marilyn Hassid, Lonny Hoffman, Jerry LaBita, Diane Lee, Kenn McLaughlin, Eileen Morris, Marilyn Nathan, Bunny Radoff, Bobbi Samuels, Jeremy Samuels, Shayna Schlosberg, Stefani Shapiro, Anat Kelman Shaw, Luke Wrob

Panel Readers: Fairfax

Laurie Albert, Alona Bach, Franklin C. Coleman, Alison Drucker, Laura Fargotstein, Jonathan Galub, Carol Gordon, Josh Greene, Tom Holtzman, Margie Jervis, Ellen Katkin, Alex Levy, Paul Michnewicz, Sasha Olinick, Ronnie Oppenheim, Jane Petkofsky, Jacob Savage, Kira Simon, Caroline Frankil Warren, Elena Widder, Alex Zaloum

Panel Readers: Hartford

Adlyn Loewenthal, Al Vesdesi, Avinoam Patt, Brendon Gallagher, Cin Martinez, Donna Berman, Eric Ort, Godfrey Simmons, Jacques Lemarre, Jeffrey Shoulson, Joshua Cape, Julia Rosenblatt, Mark Overmyer-Velazquez, Melia Bensussen, Melissa Tero, P Shipper, Rona Gollob, S Ginsburg, Taneisha Duggan, Tianna, David Alex, Kristie Berger, William Davison, Maryan Fine, Ruth Garte, Devorah Greenfield, Perry Hoffman, Judith Iglarsh, Gail Juris, Bonnie Kaufman, Elizabeth Kleins, Hyma Levin, Sheri Morrison, Eleanor J. Reiter, Devorah Richards, Judy Rossignuolo-Rice, Alice Sachs, Sarah Sapperstein, Eliakim Schwarz, James Sherman, Sari Steinberg, Brian Zakem

JPP Values

The JPP strives to be a joyous, creative, collaborative, democratic, and safe organization. Below are some of the ways that we are working to make the theater – and by extension the world – a graceful place to live.

Radical Welcome

THE JPP IS OPEN TO ARTISTS AND AUDIENCES OF ALL BACKGROUNDS, DENOMINATIONS, FAITHS, CREEDS, RELIGIONS, and other IDEALS. We believe that Jewish identity and culture are specific manifestations of universal human cravings for spiritual, ethical, moral and worldly joy. “Matrilineal descent” is neither important nor necessary.

We believe that you don’t have to be Jewish to have a Jewish conversation. 

Democratic Engagement and Collective Decision Making

The JPP believes that a multiplicity of voices and a deep responsibility to each other and to transparency at all stages are critical to making just decisions. The JPP embraces this in the three core compenents of our mission:

IDENTIFY: The JPP engages over 75 artists in a four-month, multi-vocal, community-based process to choose the plays that it advances. Every decision is made according to a clear set of guidelines, and with the understanding that the Artist community will evaluate and speak back to decisions made by company management.

DEVELOP: Throughout the new play development process, the JPP affords comprehensive and significant methods for both artists and the public to comment on the plays we develop. All feedback is taken by JPP staff, and presented to the principal creatives at appropriate times and in ways that prioritize kindness, artistic productivity, and grace. 

ADVOCATE: The JPP believes that the process of advocating for a play shoud take place in the open, with many individuals voicing their support for new plays. Our experience is that community members and audiences who participate in the new play development process are effective and creative ambassadors for plays that they love. In addition to more traditional industry-led advocacy, the JPP has seen multiple voices from mulitple points of view mak the difference in moving a play from concept to production.  

Creating Safe, Joyous and Harrassment-Free Spaces

The JPP is dedicated to ensuring that every interaction – for and between artists, community members, audiences and staff and volunteers are respectful, safe, and free of any harrassment, intimidation, or (G-d forbid) violence of any kind.

The JPP staff and Board are currently reviewing our full Sexual Harrassment Policy and intend to post it here for compelete transparency by the Spring of 2023.

 

Equity, Diversion and Inclusion

 

The JPP is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion in the values we hold, the work we select, the people in our company and with whom we work, and the environment we strive to create. We dedicate our work to the uplifting of a wide range of perspectives and voices, including age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, denomination, faith, geographical origin, and political and cultural outlook.

 

We invite all people to work and engage with the JPP, whether one identifies as Jewish (culturally, religiously, or ethnically), non-Jewish, or is questioning one’s Jewish identity. We only ask for a conversation around engaging audiences and ideas through Jewish stories.

 

We do not discriminate in practices or employment opportunities on the basis of an individual’s race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, veteran status, or disability. 

 

Moreover, the JPP is activist in its approach to justice. We are striving to be an anti-racist, anti-misogynist and inclusive and egalitarian organization. We are working to learn more and do more to interrupt tragic cycles of oppression. 

 

The JPP commits to ensure that every JPP space is safe for everyone; spiritually, emotionally, ethically, and of course physically. We reject and actively work to prevent harassment and discrimination among our staff, board, artists, and participants.

 

We strive to create an environment for our artists and audiences where we can safely contribute our diverse ideas and experiences, promote empathy and conversation, and come together as a community.

Valuing the Land on which we work and the peoples who care for them.

The JPP is homed on the traditional homelands of the Canarsie and Munsee Lenape peoples, currently known as Brooklyn, New York. We celebrate this place called Lenapehoking and honor the Indigenous People who first loved it and cared for it. We honor the current Lenape Tribes and Leaders who are still here, still connected to the Land, who are still and have always been here stewarding the Land. 

The JPP is also a national, and at times international, organization and our work is done in many places and on many lands. We recognize the complexity and delicacy that surround understanding the history of all these places, and do not claim any unique or special understanding. We strive at all times to learn more, to collaborate with local peoples, and to be responsible and caring stewards of any land while we are on it. 

We encourage all in our community to learn more about the places where they ive and work. 

Native Land

 

Territory Acknowledgement

COVID Protocols and Health Safety

As the country has moved into the endemic stage of COVID, and as other health risks have grown, we remain committed to these core principles:

  • Vaccinations are Key: Every artists must show that they are fully vaccinated before working with the JPP When venue rules permit, audience vaccinations are also checked.
  • Masking is Still Important: Any time that staff, artists or audiences are not in the direct act of rehearsing or performing new plays in public, we strive to remain masked.
  • Testing: The JPP provides free COVID rapid tests to as many participants as we can, as often as we can, within the financial and practical limits of our work and budget.
  • Constant Learning: we are always taking stock of the newest information and best practices. We know that this ongoing public health emergency is always changing, and we wil update these rules as often as need be.

Democratic Engagement and Collective Decision Making

The JPP believes that a multiplicity of voices and a deep responsibility to each other and to transparency at all stages are critical to making just decisions. The JPP embraces this in the three core compenents of our mission:

IDENTIFY: The JPP engages over 75 artists in a four-month, multi-vocal, community-based process to choose the plays that it advances. Every decision is made according to a clear set of guidelines, and with the understanding that the Artist community will evaluate and speak back to decisions made by company management.

DEVELOP: Throughout the new play development process, the JPP affords comprehensive and significant methods for both artists and the public to comment on the plays we develop. All feedback is taken by JPP staff, and presented to the principal creatives at appropriate times and in ways that prioritize kindness, artistic productivity, and grace. 

ADVOCATE: The JPP believes that the process of advocating for a play shoud take place in the open, with many individuals voicing their support for new plays. Our experience is that community members and audiences who participate in the new play development process are effective and creative ambassadors for plays that they love. In addition to more traditional industry-led advocacy, the JPP has seen multiple voices from mulitple points of view mak the difference in moving a play from concept to production.  

Radical Welcome

THE JPP IS OPEN TO ARTISTS AND AUDIENCES OF ALL BACKGROUNDS, DENOMINATIONS, FAITHS, CREEDS, RELIGIONS, and other IDEALS. We believe that Jewish identity and culture are specific manifestations of universal human cravings for spiritual, ethical, moral and worldly joy. “Matrilineal descent” is neither important nor necessary.

We believe that you don’t have to be Jewish to have a Jewish conversation. 

Creating Safe, Joyous and Harrassment-Free Spaces

The JPP is dedicated to ensuring that every interaction – for and between artists, community members, audiences and staff and volunteers are respectful, safe, and free of any harrassment, intimidation, or (G-d forbid) violence of any kind.

The JPP staff and Board are currently reviewing our full Sexual Harrassment Policy and intend to post it here for compelete transparency by the Spring of 2023.

 

Equity, Diversion and Inclusion

 

The JPP is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion in the values we hold, the work we select, the people in our company and with whom we work, and the environment we strive to create. We dedicate our work to the uplifting of a wide range of perspectives and voices, including age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, denomination, faith, geographical origin, and political and cultural outlook.

 

We invite all people to work and engage with the JPP, whether one identifies as Jewish (culturally, religiously, or ethnically), non-Jewish, or is questioning one’s Jewish identity. We only ask for a conversation around engaging audiences and ideas through Jewish stories.

 

We do not discriminate in practices or employment opportunities on the basis of an individual’s race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, veteran status, or disability. 

 

Moreover, the JPP is activist in its approach to justice. We are striving to be an anti-racist, anti-misogynist and inclusive and egalitarian organization. We are working to learn more and do more to interrupt tragic cycles of oppression. 

 

The JPP commits to ensure that every JPP space is safe for everyone; spiritually, emotionally, ethically, and of course physically. We reject and actively work to prevent harassment and discrimination among our staff, board, artists, and participants.

 

We strive to create an environment for our artists and audiences where we can safely contribute our diverse ideas and experiences, promote empathy and conversation, and come together as a community.

Valuing the Land on which we work and the peoples who care for them.

The JPP is homed on the traditional homelands of the Canarsie and Munsee Lenape peoples, currently known as Brooklyn, New York. We celebrate this place called Lenapehoking and honor the Indigenous People who first loved it and cared for it. We honor the current Lenape Tribes and Leaders who are still here, still connected to the Land, who are still and have always been here stewarding the Land. 

The JPP is also a national, and at times international, organization and our work is done in many places and on many lands. We recognize the complexity and delicacy that surround understanding the history of all these places, and do not claim any unique or special understanding. We strive at all times to learn more, to collaborate with local peoples, and to be responsible and caring stewards of any land while we are on it. 

We encourage all in our community to learn more about the places where they ive and work. 

Native Land

 

Territory Acknowledgement

COVID Protocols and Health Safety

As the country has moved into the endemic stage of COVID, and as other health risks have grown, we remain committed to these core principles:

  • Vaccinations are Key: Every artists must show that they are fully vaccinated before working with the JPP When venue rules permit, audience vaccinations are also checked.
  • Masking is Still Important: Any time that staff, artists or audiences are not in the direct act of rehearsing or performing new plays in public, we strive to remain masked.
  • Testing: The JPP provides free COVID rapid tests to as many participants as we can, as often as we can, within the financial and practical limits of our work and budget.
  • Constant Learning: we are always taking stock of the newest information and best practices. We know that this ongoing public health emergency is always changing, and we wil update these rules as often as need be.