Matthew M. Neugroschel Annual Jewish Storytelling

Saratoga Jewish Community Arts, in partnership with Temple Sinai and with a generous grant from the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York, presents its seventh Annual Jewish Storytelling Event featuring both local and regional storytellers on February 21, 2021 at 7 PM. 

Experience our storytelling program by Zoom this season with some of our favorite bards. Our storytellers’ love for storytelling unites all of them. They use it in multiple ways through their daily lives and are coming to SJCA to share their passion with you, the listeners. 

There is a captivating gift for storytelling. It is not just a reading or recitation of a story. It is an enthusiastic interpretation of a tale so that the listener is transported through time and to places they have never been.  Stories open up the listener to new worlds and new understandings.  

So many are of the opinion that storytelling is for children, while adults read books. But stories of centuries past tell us something different. In fact, almost every culture has storytelling in its long ago history. It was the way, long before books were available, that custom, culture, and morality passed from one generation to the next. Listening to stories connects us to our history, to each other, to deeper parts of ourselves, and to the vast possibilities that life can hold.

Different people appreciate the words of a story in different ways. Adults comprehend the sociology and history while children understand the action. The child and adult may laugh at the same words; however, they did not hear the same story.  Nevertheless, both experience extreme pleasure from the occasion. 

For the Jewish people, “Storytelling has been a means of defining the Jewish identity, the ethnic distinctiveness as a Jew,” said Phyllis Wang, Coordinator of the Saratoga Jewish Community Arts. “To hear a Jewish story is to share the humor, wisdom, and angst, earthiness and Spirituality of an ancient and thoroughly modern, diverse, and irrepressible group of people bearing an extraordinary history,” The telling of stories is the way Jews share historical happenings and create a cultural history. 

In 2021, with readily available books, movies, television, radio, internet, telephone, and more, storytelling is still a most popular genre. There is no shortage of events, from festivals to conferences, opportunities galore for storytelling. There are happenings geared to every age group, from the incredibly young to the most senior, even if all is by Zoom these days.

Please join us for a selection of stories to fill the mind, the heart, and the soul with an engaging and entertaining family-centered evening of stories. Included in the storytellers for this evening are Shawn Banner, artist, teacher of art, and educator; Sylvia Bloom, educator, professor of voice, actress, opera singer, and recitalist; Jeanine Laverty, teacher of ESL and Storytelling; David Liebschutz, management consultant, life coach, and college professor; Beth Sabo Novik, facilitator, teacher, and transformational speaker; Sandor Shuman (Sandy), storyteller, musician & educator, and Martina Zobel, Jewish educator. 

This Annual Saratoga Jewish Community Arts Storytelling program has been renamed in memory of Matthew M. Neugroschel, a frequent contributor to Community Arts and the Saratoga Jewish Cultural Festival, a most creative and remarkable storyteller whose life was cut short this past year. Matthew had degrees in literature, fine art, and law, and concentrated on the American Civil Rights Movement.  He worked in the fields of Domestic Violence Advocacy and Family Law. He principally taught American History and American Studies at SUNY Albany, and instructed in such fields as culture and diversity, literature, art, law, and business. 

The Matthew M. Neugroschel Annual Jewish Storytelling will be presented on February 21 at 7:00 PM.  To register and access the Zoom link, email 

Follow us on Facebook and  or