My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Yiddishkayt, Los Angeles, CA, USA
I had a whirlwind of a summer with Yiddishkayt on their Helix Project. "Whirlwind" refers to the twisting, turning layers of time and space that we explored in Ojai and Eastern Europe. It hints at the chutzpah, ambition, and strength with which Yiddishkayt's leaders took us on an intellectual, physical, and even spiritual journey. They gifted us a whirlwind of culture that we wolfed down like we did the delicious breakfast buffets in Poland, from sensuous poetry to rich literature, to boisterous song, to a history of defiance. And it was a whirlwind of emotions: delirious laughter with my peers on the program; delight in the joys of Yiddish culture; bewilderment at an eastern world so different from ours; devastation at the loss of the life we were celebrating; deep gratitude for the hospitality and work of non-Jews preserving a culture that was not theirs; and unending awe at our ability on this program to collapse the expanse of time and connect to people whose lives are too rarely remembered. I am a better human being because of Yiddishkayt.
Review for Youth Musical Theater Company, Berkeley, CA, USA
Having trained, performed, and watched theater in various settings, I believe YMTC is the best company for giving valuable training in the process of putting on a production. The directing and production team believe we are worth the investment it takes to have the highest production quality possible. We students learn acting, singing, and dancing techniques not only from the amazing staff, but also from watching each other. In my first production (at age 14), the older actors inspired, mentored, and included me. In the next 4 years at YMTC, I recognized in myself growth as a performer, but more importantly, as one of those mentors and leaders I had aspired to be. Hearing this from younger students was among the most fulfilling experiences of my life. Yet even in my latest production, I continued to learn from other students my age and younger. Now in college theater productions, I hope to help create similar cast dynamics of mutual respect and learning. YMTC fosters an open, nurturing environment where students learn to be excellent performers and great people, building strong community and lasting friendships. It has shaped who I am as a performer and person, and for that I will be forever grateful.
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