Burning Coal Theatre will present B’rukhim Haba’im: Stories of Welcome, an exhibit of filmed autobiographical stories by 21 Jewish seniors from across the Triangle, this summer at City of Raleigh Museum. Jewish Heritage North Carolina is proud to be one of this project’s supporting organizations.
B’rukhim Haba’im, the traditional Hebrew greeting of “welcome,” translates literally as “blessed are those who come.” Burning Coal’s program coordinator Staci Sabarski, supported by community volunteers, brought together Jewish seniors from Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. In Jewish tradition the mitzvah (good deed) of b’rukhim haba’im traces to Abraham and Sarah who welcomed three wayfarers to their tent.
“In a time when seniors might have felt more socially or geographically isolated due to the pandemic, focusing on stories of welcoming and returning seemed particularly appropriate,” says Sabarsky. “They’re sharing amazing personal stories, from welcoming love back into their life, to the welcome they received upon returning home from military service. We wanted the stories to be uplifting for the community.”
The participants in the project came not only from across the United States but also from Russia, Egypt, England, Canada, Italy, and Morocco. They testify to a growing multiculturalism within the Jewish community that reflects North Carolina society at large.
The North Carolina tales mark the culmination of month-long storytelling workshops, a community outreach project funded by a grant from the Carolina Foundation for Jewish Seniors and private donors. After several zoom sessions, the storytellers were professionally filmed individually at the Burning Coal Theater.
Their stories will be shown on 20 separate screens distributed throughout the City of Raleigh Museum’s main lobby, popularly known as Raleigh’s Living Room, on the museum’s first floor.
B’rukhim Haba’im: Stories of Welcome will run June 28 through August 31, 2022 at the City of Raleigh Museum, 220 Fayetteville St., Raleigh, NC 27601. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 9 am to 4 pm and Sunday from 1 pm to 4 pm. Admission is free. For further information about the exhibit, visit www.cityofraleighmuseum.org, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.