Storytelling Workshops

  • ReStorying Our Heritage

It is time to reclaim the mythic grandeur and spiritual audacity of Judaism’s creative storytelling imagination. In this class we will explore our heritage of stories and make visible the ways storytellers have always bundled old images and bold new themes together.

Our journey will begin with one image- the flash of light that began the beginning. What was this light that was created before the sun, moon and stars? Together we will enter traditional teachings, our own hearts and explore many possibilities.

In addition, this class will put the oral back into the oral tradition. Using playful prompts and creating safe story circles our work will be structured as a story-arts workshop. Our goal will be imagining the role stories and storytellers have played in the past, present and future.

JUST IN:  This course will be offered at the Aleph Kallah, an international gathering devoted to deepening Jewish Spirituality that bridges experiential education with Jewish practice.  To see the full schedule and Register Click Here.  July 1-7, 2013; Rindge NH

  • How to Tell So Your Family Will Kvell

Using story games, jokes and the powers of joy, this workshop is designed to tap into the inherent storytelling abilities we all carry within.  Together we will learn to craft stories with confidence, humor, and skill.  Everyone leaves with one story under their belt.

  • The Enchanted Kingdom of Hasidism

Hasidism’s revolution was waged not with violence but with stories.  Together we will enter this magical world, what Elie Wiesel calls “The Enchanted Kingdom of Hasidism”.  We will meet the Hasidic masters through their stories, and hear their message of the sacredness within all- even stories.   We will work in small and large groups exploring and entering into a variety of Hasidic stories.  All participants will become familiar with the early masters, their stories and the fervor at the origins of Hasidism.

  • Entering the Underground Forest: Exploring the Personal Dimensions of Story

Dream and Story are close cousins.  In this workshop, we explore this epic story together and discover the collective meanings it carries.  We will use personal and group reflection to explore this wondrous journey through a mysterious underground forest attributed to the Reb Pinchas of Koretz.

  • Reb Nachman of Bratzlav: Judaism’s “Patron Saint” of Storytelling

One day Reb Nachman told a tale that moved people so deeply he decided the time for storytelling had come.  Scholar David Roskies attributes the beginning of Yiddish Literature to Reb Nachman’s stories.  Who was he?  Together we’ll learn about the long and complex tales he told, uniquely combining Ukranian folk tales with traditional mystical imagery.  We’ll use all of our hearts and minds to meet Reb Nachman.  This work will guide our dialogue on the path of creative storytelling for our time.

  • Preserving Family Stories

As a storyteller, I am dedicated to collecting and preserving all the stories we carry in our communities.  I am available to help draw out personal stories and collect organizational histories.  I have created audio recordings, video movies, and written transcripts from this work.

A sample of oral history projects:

  • Bubbe Mayses and Zayde Mayses: The Temple Israel Elders’ Stories Project

This project interviewed 10 elders from Temple Israel collecting their memories of growing up Jewish.  We culminated this project by creating community wide event and video movie.   This project was partially supported with a grant from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.

  • A String of Pearls: An Oral History Interview with Gordon Pearl

Gordon Pearl, a gifted comedy writer and musician, chose to script his memories for maximum affect!  Our end result rivaled Larry King Live! (smiles).  To view a preview of this work, click here and scroll down.

  • An Exchange of Two Worlds: The Life and Wisdom of Tom Melvin

This interview with Tom Melvin collects the wisdom from his long life.  After several harrowing experiences, including escaping Vienna at the start of WW2, and recent upheaval of his home, he shares his gratitude, blessings, and wisdom for all.  Preview coming soon.


-CD’s Available-

The Birth of Love: Tales for the Days of Awe includes David’s retelling of ancient mythology, Old World Yiddish tales (set in the Berkshire foothills), medieval folktales and other stories first told at High Holiday services.