Golda and Eleanor's commitment to the betterment of the world for all peoples is a benchmark to Jewish communal leadership. Joan's portrayal of these women will inspire the audience to give of themselves, both financially and on a more personal level, because she will challenge each audience to follow the character's examples and to make their own history, leave their own legacy.
Delighting audiences with her compelling portrayals of famous women, Joan Wolfberg has traveled throughout the country for the past decade, weaving a tapestry of drama and history into an educational, entertaining and inspirational tale.
Joan is an accomplished motivator and fundraiser for social, religious, and political groups, so if the community desires, the performance can be linked to fundraising, friendraising, thanks, or other inspirational messages.
GOLDA MEIR: FROM POGROM TO PRIME MINISTER
Joan Wolfberg, as Golda, takes you from the pogroms of Russia, to Milwaukee, to Denver, to Palestine...and finally to "life in state of our own"...Israel...as Prime Minister.
Joan Wolfberg can bring an extraordinary experience to any community's Israel Independence day celebration, with her accomplished performance as Golda Meir. Joan can present in formats ranging from as short as 15 minutes to an hour and a quarter, from a straight performance to a Chautauqua style presentation, where at the end of her program, she stays in character,and answers questions posed to her about Golda, and her life.
ELEANOR ROOSEVELT: NO ORDINARY WOMAN
Along the way you'll learn of her belief in the equality of women, civil rights, human rights, politics and freedom.
You'll discover her relationship with FDR and others, her strengths, her weaknesses, her sense of humor, and her ideals for justice and decency.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Morris Malakoff • JTNews
Posted: January 23, 2009
“Golda Meir” as interpreted by Joan Wolfberg will take place Sun., Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. at Temple B’nai Torah 15727 NE 4th Ave., Bellevue. For more information about the performance contact 425-603-9677 or visit www.templebnaitorah.org. Admission is free.
It’s been more than three decades since Golda Meir died. She was a giant on the world stage in her time. Starting life in Kiev, she made her way to the American Midwest before settling in Palestine and eventually becoming the fourth Prime Minister of Israel. In her day, a female head of state was a rarity.Her legacy lives on in many ways, but the most unique may be through Seattle resident and veteran actress Joan Wolfberg.Wolfberg, whose repertoire of one-woman shows also includes one about Eleanor Roosevelt, is renowned for her portrayal of Meir. She has staged the performance throughout North America, but her presence on the stage in the Seattle area has been a rarity.
That will change when she performs her portrayal of the “Iron Lady” of Israel on Sunday, Jan. 25 at Temple B’nai Torah in Bellevue as part of the congregation’s 2009/5769 cultural arts series. Wolfberg, who moved to Seattle about a year ago, has been playing the role of Golda Meir for two decades, beginning with a regional theater production of Golda.“After that, I developed the one-woman show,” she says. That development included not only academic research, but also talking to people who had known Meir.
In the intervening years, she has performed countless times for groups ranging from schools to Jewish Federation dinners. “What I found was that here was a woman who led Israel through some of its most trying times, but who also had a very human side that the world often did not see,” Wolfberg says.She adds that no matter the audience, she is continually gratified by the reaction of those in attendance.“People are often moved to tears,” she says. “I often am told that they too now see the human side of a great woman.”Wolfberg says that parallel to the story of a person’s life, the play is also the story of the nation of Israel.“I open the play saying that Golda is a woman who moved to Palestine to build the nation of Israel,” she says. “That she and the nation are survivors — and that ‘survivor’ is synonymous with being Jewish.”B’nai Torah’s Rabbi James Mirel says that he first saw Wolfberg perform her Meir production in an intimate setting — a friend’s living room.“It was amazing to see her up close,” he says. “I knew then that we had to get her to come to B’nai Torah. It is something that I know many can benefit from seeing.”The performance will be held in the sanctuary, which will double as a theater that night.“It will work well for her,” says Mirel, a performer in his own right. “She needs a light and sound. After that, it is all her. And it is wonderful.”The performance, underwritten in part by the Hermine Pruzan Endowment Fund, is presented free of charge.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Thursday, March 26 6:37 p.m.
BY BRETT OPPEGAARD FOR THE COLUMBIAN
Before Jackie and Hillary and Michelle, there was Eleanor.
Although recent generations might not know much about her or think of her in the same way as those other first lady forces, Eleanor Roosevelt showed the country that a woman didn't have to stand behind her prominent man. She emerged as one of the most influential civil rights advocates of the 20th century.
"There has never been another first lady like Eleanor, before or since," said actress Joan Wolfberg, who will present a one-woman retrospective on Roosevelt's life March 27 in Ridgefield's Old Liberty Theater.
The free program is sponsored by Humanities Washington and its Inquiring Mind program, which would be cut from the state's 2009-2011 budget as proposed by the governor.
Ridgefield Community Librarian Ann Margaret O'Reilly said the nonprofit group is lobbying to get the money reinstated, but this Roosevelt performance might be the end of the series locally, which this year also brought to Ridgefield professional actors portraying Woody Guthrie and Harriet Tubman.
Humanities Washington screens the actors and tests their level of knowledge on the roles. "These are exceptional performers, with legitimate credentials in their fields," O'Reilly said. "'Inquiring Mind' is the seal of approval."
Wolfberg, for example, is a Chautauqua scholar on Roosevelt, who has performed her piece more than 200 times throughout the country. The Seattle-based actress, who also tours as Golda Meir, said every line in her production has been documented as coming directly from Roosevelt. The dramatic artistry lies in-between, demonstrating that living history lessons can connect with people in intense ways that other media can't.
"I can make the audience members laugh, when I tell this story," she said. "And I can make them cry."
Eleanor Roosevelt was married to Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States, who took over the country during the Great Depression of the 1930s. When he began, more than 13 million people were unemployed, and virtually every bank in the country had closed. Through his "New Deal" policies, Roosevelt's administration was able to revive the nation. He is the only president to ever serve more than two terms (he had four).
Then-New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, vacation in Warm Springs, Ga., in October 1929. (Files/The Associated Press)
Both of Eleanor Roosevelt's parents died at an early age, and she was raised by her wealthy grandmother. She later married her distant cousin, the ambitious Franklin, before he suffered polio-related paralysis that limited his public speaking engagements.
Eleanor Roosevelt became the de facto spokeswoman for her husband, and as his political power grew, she began advocating for more rights for women and minorities, particularly African-Americans.
She became the first first lady to offer weekly press conferences, and during her syndicated newspaper column's peak, "My Day" ran in more than 130 publications six days a week.
Wolfberg starts the show's action in 1959, just a couple of years before Roosevelt's death, allowing for flashbacks to her childhood and years in the White House.
"The world today is just like it was back then," Wolfberg said. "The economy, war. It's amazing how very little has changed. We keep doing the same things over and over again."
Even though she had a life of privilege, Roosevelt focused her energy on the plights of the less fortunate.
"She had so much, the maids, the big houses, all of the things that wealth can bring," Wolfberg said. "She felt she had to give back."
Wolfberg acknowledged that her audiences typically are filled with senior citizens who directly remember Roosevelt in some way. When she has toured schools, the students have had to be prepped in advance by their teachers to even know who Roosevelt was.
"It's very sad, but that's why I'm doing what I'm doing," Wolfberg said. "Future generations have to know about these women. They need to learn from them. Their voices need to continue to be heard."
Saturday, March 14, 2009
What do we know about Golda Meir?
We know she was born in Kiev in 1898. Moved to the US in 1906 and to British Mandate Palestine in 1921.
In 1948, David Ben-Gurion appointed Golda Meir to be a member of the Provisional Government.When Prime Minister Levi Eshkol died suddenly in early 1969, the 71 year old Meir assumed the post of Premier, becoming the world's third female Prime Minister.
That's what we read in history books and in the Jewish Virtual Library online.
But what about Golda the woman; the leader of Israel during the Yom Kippur? What was she feeling and thinking?
Professional actress Joan Wolfberg has developed a one-woman show portraying Golda Meir. Joan looks and sounds like Golda, complete with gestures, facial expressions, and Golda's wit and wisdom.
The event will take place at a lovely private residence in Aspen. The cost is $36 per person in advance,(through March 9; no reservations taken after 6:30 pm) and $50 per person at the door. This event is open to the entire (Jewish) community.