Enlivening The Stories Of Our Tradition
“The oral tradition of storytelling offers insight, inspiration and meaning in our
own journey as we travel our unique Jewish Path.” -Brian Rohr
Using cultural folktales as well as story’s from the Torah and other sacred texts, Storyteller Brian Rohr lifts the stories out of their usual written context and brings them to life in the realm of the oral tradition. Through doing so, we are invited to find ourselves within the ancient stories and find a deeper understanding of how the sharing of the stories in this way offers us new perspectives within our tradition.
Brian has performed and taught for a number of Jewish communities and organization throughout the country. A selected list includes:
– The 14th International Jewish Renewal Aleph Kallah,
– The P’nai Or and Havurah Shalom communities in Oregon,
– As an Artist-In-Resident at Camp Solomon Schechter located in Olympia, WA,
– Temple Chai located in the Chicagoland area
– Temple B’nai Torah in Bellevue, WA.
– Congregation Bet Shira in Port Townsend, WA
– A Keynote Performer at the “Tapestry of Jewish Learning” in Austin, TX
– Tell It Like It Is: Portland’s Jewish Storytelling Festival and more
Honi the Circle Maker
14th International Aleph Kallah in Redlands, CA.
7min 56Sec (Complete Story)
**Please note that the beginning of the video is shaky, because the camera is handheld. The camera steadies itself after just a few moments.
Short 2 min. audio clip from region-wide performance of the Hearing Lightning, Seeing Thunder event.
Examples of Jewish Storytelling Programs that are offered (but not limited to):
1) Calling the Sacred: Stories of Connecting with the Divine – In this program, Brian will share stories drawn from Jewish and other cultures, showing the human need for a direct relationship with the Divine. During this time, we will explore how so often that connection we long for comes from those strange and hidden parts of ourselves, and our community, that we regularly choose to ignore in favor of being civil and accepted.
2) From Trickster to Patriarch: Jacob’s Initiatory Journey – In his performance, Brian will lift the story of Jacob out of its usual context of the written Torah and bring it to life in the realm of the oral tradition. During this telling, we will hear about his adventures with his brother Esau, stealing the birthright and blessing, running away from home, falling in love with his beloved, being betrayed by his uncle, his dark night of his soul and ultimately a great reunion. This is his story of moving through his initiation into adulthood, from a trickster to a patriarch. (This is a full-length performance which can also be shared as a shorter excerpt or turned into a more intimate workshop setting)
3) Finding Miracles: Stories of Darkness and Light – In this program, the listener is invited to connect with the magic and energy inherent in the holiday of Chanukah. Through stories of miracles, darkness and the hidden light we will be reminded of our own miraculous journeys and learn to celebrate them amongst the ancient tales.
4) Hearing Lightning, Seeing Thunder – In this performance, we journey with Moses and our ancestors to the base of Sinai, where we as a people have regularly returned for thousands of years, ready to connect with the divine. In this program we will explore ritual preparation, connection, fear and awe as we delve into the meaning and mysteries of a sacred covenant.
Throughout the evening for any of these events (or another), participants will be invited to find themselves within these old stories. In this way we all become more than just audience, we become participants in this ancient act, feeding our soul with the nourishment gifted by our ancestors.