Rutgers Hillel executive director Andrew Getraer presents Sharon Karmazin with a gift following a performance of the Broadway show 13 at the Bernard Jacobs Theatre in Manhattan.
Photo by Debra Rubin
January 1, 2009
Rutgers Hillel made its mark on Broadway when about 75 students and supporters were invited to the Great White Way.
The group went to the Bernard Jacobs Theatre on West 45th Street on Dec. 11 to see the play 13, a musical about a New York boy about to celebrate his bar mitzva whose parents’ divorce brings him to a small Indiana town. The play will close Jan. 4 after a several-month run.
One of the show’s producers, Sharon Karmazin, provided “friends and family” tickets to the Hillel group. A longtime supporter of Hillel through the family foundation she began in 1996, Karmazin also arranged to have the show’s stage manager and some of its young cast members stay behind following the performance to meet with the Hillel group and answer questions.
“It was a fabulous night on Broadway for our students and many of our board members and supporters, thanks to Sharon Karmazin,” said Hillel executive director Andrew Getraer. “It was a wonderful program for a number of our students interested in Broadway and performing who wanted to see a Jewish-themed play.”
The opportunity to speak to the play’s young actors and actresses, said Getraer, “was important and exciting.”
Getraer said that through her Karma Foundation, Karmazin, who lives in East Brunswick, has been “a true friend” to Hillel for a number of years, underwriting its annual alternative spring break program with the American Jewish World Service.
The foundation was established to provide grants to organizations engaged in activities and programs in arts and culture, education and literacy, health and human services, and development and enrichment of Jewish life. It also supports the annual Rutgers Jewish Film Festival run by the university’s Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life.
With stage manager Karen Armstrong, the young actors sat cross-legged on the theater’s stage and answered questions posed by members of the Hillel group on such matters as how they got started in the business, schooling, and family support.
“I thought it was a wonderful show,” said Frankie Busch of North Brunswick as she left the theater. “I thought they were fabulously talented kids.”
Ariella Prince, a Rutgers student from Highland Park, said the evening was “an amazing experience.”
“As a lover of Broadway shows, I thought this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” she said. “It’s rare to actually get a chance to meet and talk to the actors on stage.”