“Journey’s End “ is a Smashing Success!

It was a sold-out crowd at the Phoenix Theater on Thursday night as TDSP Middle School performed Journey’s End, a play about the power of discovering your roots.

The play was about a group of high-school girls whose teacher, played by Elisheva Muroff, asks them whether they know anything about the people they were named after. Most of the girls confess ignorance. The teacher tasks them with finding out about the stories of people who came before them, and then writing an essay about it as part of a Jewish Heritage competition.

The girls start to interview their grandmothers, and they also go to a nursing home to interview the residents and hear their stories of hardship and triumph. One girl, played by 8th grader Rivka Sukholdolsky, was ashamed of her Iranian heritage and wanted to bury it because it had been so hard for her family to fit in in America. Because of the project, she talked to her great-grandmother, who shared her story of how she and some members of the family escaped from Iran by traveling by camel across a desert.  The girl gained a newfound respect and appreciation for her family and her heritage.

The scenes inside the nursing home were very funny, with the gray-haired residents trying to learn the new-fangled lingo of cell phones and selfies.

“The language? Isn’t it English?” asked an old lady, played by 7th grader Yonah Friedman.

“Not sure,” her friend, played by 8th grader Rochel Friedman, replied. “It certainly isn’t our English. Listen to this. B-R-B means Be. Right. Back!”

The dramatic scenes were punctuated by interludes of singing, dancing, and music. The girls in the dances leaped and twirled across the stage, in perfect sync, and with huge smiles on their faces. It was a joy to watch. A highlight of the dances was when the girls lined up in pairs holding each other’s hands. 7th grader Dina Wolin jumped forward on the outstretched arms and the girls tossed her into the air.

An in-house band comprised of Morah Chaya Brody on violin and guitar, 7th graders Meira Landesman on ukulele, Aiden Zimmerman on Cello, Yonah Friedman on flute, and 8th graders Mimi Goldstein on guitar, and Rochel Friedman on piano, played musical interludes and live music for some of the songs.

The girls in the choir harmonized and sang Ekroh, B’Sheim Hashem, Shalom Aleichem, and Eishes Chayil.

 “What I liked most about the play was the way that it showcased Torah values,” said Mrs. Robin Lucas, one of the people in the audience.  

It also showcased the amazing talents TDSP middle school girls, and the TDSP Teachers Academy students. The production gave the girls a chance to bond, grow, and enjoy themselves.

Thank you to Morah Elisheva Wealcatch for spearheading the production and directing it, Morah Nechama Ungar for coordinating practices and everything else, Morah Naomi Leah Freedman for directing and costumes, Morah Chaya Brody for directing the band and the choir, Morah Naomi Zweig, Morah Ilana Esther Geiger, and Morah Esther Neiman for directing the dances, Morah Esther Hastings for working on curtains, Morah Temima Jakob for helping with props, Morah Malky Kosofsky and Ms. Mayah Zilcha for doing makeup and hair, and everyone else who helped out!