David Bunis, Committee Chair and JRT Producer
Dr. Saul Elkin, Artistic Director
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.
Jordana Halpern comes to the Jewish Repertory Theatre with a background in communications, media relations, publications and a long history of associations with the Buffalo Jewish community. She moved to Amherst from Toronto in 1999, and her children are alumni of the JCC preschool program, Kadimah school and are currently students in Amherst schools. Jordana’s experience has included a decade of board participation at the Bureau of Jewish Education, board participation at Kadimah School of Buffalo, and committee work with membership and early childhood committees at the JCC as well as a seven year stretch as the public relations coordinator at the JCC. Her connection with JRT dates back to its inception a decade ago, when she wrote press releases and articles about how the theatre grew from a serendipitous conversation between Saul Elkin and David Bunis who discovered a common interest in bringing professional Jewish theatre to Buffalo.