About

About Us

Mission

The Jewish Repertory Theatre is a program of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo. Founded in 2002, the JRT is a professional theatre whose mission is to present high quality plays grounded in Jewish life, themes, and values. Through our productions, audiences of diverse beliefs and backgrounds explore both the uniqueness of Jewish heritage and cultural experiences, as well as those that are shared with others. Drama illuminates the human condition, and the JRT strives to bring this into focus through the lens of Jewish theatre. The Jewish Repertory Theatre is theatre for everyone.

Committee

David Bunis, Committee Chair and JRT Producer
Dr. Saul Elkin, Artistic Director
Ann Emo
Michael Frisch
Les Greenbaum
Regina Grol
Susan Freed-Oestreicher
Maxine Seller
Sophia Veffer
Lois Weis
Laura Yellen

Jordana Halpern, Managing Director
Katie Wzontek, Cultural Arts Assistant

David Bunis is the co-founder of the Jewish Repertory Theatre Of Western New York. A Buffalo native, he returned to Buffalo in 1965 after working in New York City for Bloomingdale’s. He served as chairman of the board of The Sample Shop, one of Western New York’s finest specialty stores, a chain founded in 1929 by his mother Anne Bunis and run by the Bunis family for over 60 years. He retired from the business world in 1990. David has been an active volunteer for many agencies in this region having served on several boards, including Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo and Jewish Philanthropies. He is a member of SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), counseling small business owners. David Bunis is chair of the JRT advisory committee and serves the company as its producer.

Saul Elkin is the co-founder of The Jewish Repertory Theatre of Western New York and has appeared in or directed many JRT productions. He is the founder and artistic director of Shakespeare in Delaware Park, and a former chair of the University at Buffalo’s Theatre Department. Coming from Jewish immigrant parents from Russia and Romania, Saul Elkin spoke both Yiddish and English growing up in New York City. He began his acting education in a small children’s theater school for Jewish children. His first show was at the age of seven, cast as the lead in a play by the founder of the Yiddish Art Theater, Maurice Schwartz. Elkin continued to work as both an actor and director for the Stage as well as Television. His acting and directing credits include over 250 theatre performances, film, television (“The Edge of Night” a soap opera in which he played a doctor), and several regional and seasonal theater companies. He holds B.A. and M.F.A from Columbia, and a Ph.D from Carnegie-Mellon University. He came to Buffalo, NY in 1969 and began teaching Theater at the University at Buffalo, where he soon became Chairman of the Theater Department in 1971-1985. He founded Shakespeare in Delaware Park in 1976 and co-founded the JRT in 2002.

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