Role-Playing for Peace

  • ‘Isaac and Ishmael join together to bury their father Abraham in the Cave of Machpelah…which is in Hebron, in the Land of Canaan,’ the Book of Genesis tells us. We ask: Will that bond be renewed to bless the living?
  • One of the great Golden Ages in all of Jewish history flourishes in Spain during the early Middle Ages, under the reign of enlightened Arab, Muslim rulers.
  • A vivid word portrait of Dona Gracia Mendes represents the safe haven offered by the Muslim Ottoman Empire to Jews fleeing the Inquisition.
  • The literary editor of an Arabic newspaper in East Jerusalem (1980’s) sees compromise as the only solution: ‘Israeli writers say the same thing, don’t they?’

These are excerpts from my solo dramatic presentation, entitled STAR & CRESCENT: JEWISH-MUSLIM ENCOUNTERS. This project was researched and devised to promote dialogue and to highlight often ignored historical periods when Jews and Muslims lived together in relative peace, and express the hope that they may do so again.

“We were moved, enlightened, invigorated by your performance.” This Puffin Foundation evaluation characterizes accolades from sponsors including the Holocaust Genocide, Human Rights Teacher Training Institute, Nassau Community College, L.I.; Hillel at SUNY Stony Brook, L.I.; a ‘twinning’ event, the Long Island Islamic Center and Temple Beth El of Great Neck, L.I.; an interfaith teenage group, Suffolk JCC, Commack, L.I.; Brandeis University Institute for Adult Learning.

For performance possibilities in the NY Metro area, please call (516)374-6899 or email


Judith Goldsmith is a free-lance dramatic artist/educator and Barnard alumna with graduate studies in History at Columbia University who specializes in solo theatrical presentations based on Jewish themes.

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