The Mitzvah Project: “A Mischling in the Wehrmacht”

Monday, November 9, 2015 - 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Terrace Room, First floor, Claudia Cohen Hall, 249 South 36th Street

On Monday, November 9th, in commemoration of Kristallnacht, the Jewish Studies Program and the Germanic Literatures and Languages Department, welcome Roger Grunwald who will be performing a one-man show, The Mitzvah Project: “A Mischling in the Wehrmacht.” Thousands of German men who were descendants of Jews served in Hitler’s Army. Roger Grunwald’s one-man show explores the surprising history of these “Mischlinge” soldiers, men who were the product of two centuries of German-Jewish assimilation, intermarriage, conversion and the striving of a people committed to calling the German Fatherland their home.

Roger Grunwald has been a professional performing artist for almost four decades. In 2013, he was honored with a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) for the development of The Mitzvah Project, which has been touring America since April 2014. The Mitzvah Project tour will be heading to the U.K. in the spring of 2016. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Grunwald has appeared in over 70 stage productions in the United States and Europe. From the early 1980s through the mid 2000s, Grunwald was one of a handful of community organizers that founded the non-profit All Stars Project (ASP), which has pioneered an innovative approach to youth development using theatrical performance. Today the All Stars Project has operations in six metropolitan areas around the country. During his 26-year tenure at the All Stars, Grunwald also co-founded the ASP's experimental Castillo Theatre where he starred in over 45 productions. In 2016, Roger will be featured in the pilot episode of VINYL, a new HBO series. The episode is directed by Martin Scorsese who, along with Mick Jagger, executive produces the series. VINYL chronicles the drug and sex-fueled rock ’n roll scene from the 1970s.

The show is an hour, and a discussion with the audience will follow.

This is the 30th Annual Joseph Alexander Colloquium, sponsored by the Joseph Alexander Foundation & the Mackler Family.

Jewish Studies Program
711 Williams Hall, 255 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
215-898-6654 / 215-573-6026 fax /