As a child, I went through a phase where I wanted to be a ballerina. I was in awe of their poise, beauty, and grace. My desire to be a ballerina was alas, just a dream, but my appreciation for dance remained.  

Dance is a universal language. Performers convey a plethora of emotions through their artistic moves and costumes. The music can transport us to another time and place.

I know of many people who regularly enjoy the cultural offerings in Dayton, me included. And I feel very fortunate to live in a city with such a robust arts community.

What some are unaware of, however, is the Jewish and African American connections to our local dance community. The stories of Josephine and Hermine Schwartz, founders of the Dayton Ballet, and Jeraldyne Blunden, founder of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, will be shared at a newly choreographed program designed exclusively for this event. When Dance Transcends Barriers: The Story of Jewish and African American Dance in Dayton will take place on Sunday, April 7th at 3:00 p.m. at Beth Jacob Congregation (7020 N. Main Street, Dayton, 45415). This is a program of Beth Jacob Congregation and the Jewish Community Relations Council, funded through an Innovation Grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton.

This performance by DCDC2 will celebrate the lives of these incredible women and showcase how the Schwartz sisters were able to support and encourage Jeraldyne Blunden during a time when the African American community was frozen out of dance studies.

If you happen to have a subscription to the Dayton Daily News, our very own Meredith Moss Levinson wrote a wonderful story about the upcoming program. You can click here to view it. We also have a short synopsis of the event, and well as RSVP information, on our website. You can click here for that information.

While this event is very important, I want to acknowledge that our community lost an incredible man on April 2nd. Bob Kahn, of blessed memory, was not only well-known and loved in our Jewish community, but throughout the entire Miami Valley. His story of surviving the Holocaust, his passion for keeping alive the memories of those we lost, and his drive to ensure people never forget has left a lasting impression on those who had the privilege of meeting Bob or hearing about his experience. His funeral will take place on Sunday, April 7th at 3:00 p.m. at Temple Israel. May Bob’s memory be for a blessing.



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