Yiddish Chickens, Screaming Latkes, and a Pig Who Wants to Be Kosher



The Cast of the JBC Southern Touring Show

What do Yiddish-speaking chickens, screaming latkes, and a pig who really, really wants to be kosher have in common?

They’re all characters featured in 
Jewish Books Cooking
, a children’s theater show that brings eight popular, contemporary children’s books to life with bright characters and catchy songs.

Jewish Books Cooking (JBC) is a project made possible by The Covenant Foundation. The show debuted earlier this year in New York City. Created and directed by Liz Swados, the New York production of Jewish Books Cooking was mounted at several venues around the city. This December, along with a new director, new music director, and new cast, the show is also going to have a whole new destination – the Deep South.

How does a show like JBC wind up traveling through the South? It happened how it always happens in show biz, baby: “ya know a guy.”

While preparing for the inaugural New York production, the staff at Covenant thought about how great it might be to bring a peppy show like this to smaller communities. They would need a director for the touring show, and an organizational partner with connections to smaller communities…

But they knew a guy – or, in this case, a gal – and  they knew of just such an organization. So they made a few phone calls. They called me (because I’m a theater nerd who lives in Mississippi, and was lucky enough to intern with Covenant awhile back). They called the ISJL (since they’re an organization located in Mississippi, accustomed to partnering and delivering programming to smaller communities). They posed the question: what do you think about teaming up to bring JBC to Southern cities – smaller communities that aren’t always reached by this sort of performance?



The Books!

Everyone was excited about the idea. I mean, who wouldn’t want to bring something totally different to Southern audiences … namely, a children’s show filled with moxie-rich Jewish stories, not to mention all the kooky, rapping, dancing, hilarious characters?