Celebrating 25 years in 2022!
The West Coast Jewish Theatre is a California non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation devoted to the quality production of dramatic and comedic plays, musical theatre, revues and special performances.
Our mission is to portray Jewish history, philosophy and culture through theatrical productions dealing with Jewish life in days past, present and future. Through these presentations we hope to foster a respect for and understanding of the Jewish heritage. In carrying out this mission, the West Coast Jewish Theatre has the following objectives:
To keep alive dramatic works of the past, and to promote and encourage new and contemporary playwrights whose plays deal with Jewish themes;
To reach out to members of the Jewish community and their children and offer them an opportunity to connect positively with their roots, their ethnicity and their family; and
To portray to the non-Jewish community the unique qualities of the Jewish people, and those qualities shared with everyone that make us all equal in the family of man.
In accomplishing these objectives through entertaining and enlightening theatre, we hope to be a source of pride for both the Jewish community and the community at large.
Naomi Karz Jacobs
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Edward Asner, OBM
Shelley Berman, OBM
Monty Hall, OBM
Carl Reiner, OBM
Peter Mark Richman, OBM
Rabbi Jonathan Aaron
Rabbi David Baron
Rabbi Ken Chasen
Rabbi Allen I. Freehling
Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin
The West Coast Jewish Theatre was founded in 1993 when Naomi Karz Jacobs assembled a group of friends with Yiddishkeit and love of theatre in their hearts. They wanted to find a way to start a permanent Jewish theatre in Los Angeles. At that time, Los Angeles was the second largest Jewish community in the United States, with a pool of the most talented people in the film, television and theatre industries and was the home of major Hollywood studios. Yet it had no Jewish theatre. Furthermore, there were over forty-five Jewish theatres throughout the United States and Canada, including smaller communities like San Antonio, Texas, which has three Jewish theatres. Despite the fact that several previous attempts by others had failed, Naomi garnered support from many talented, dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers of all ages who felt strongly about this need and its importance to Jewish cultural continuity. They wanted to carry on Jewish traditions through the arts, specifically Jewish theatre. Education was also a major objective. For those who may not be affiliated with Jewish organizations or synagogues, the opportunity to experience provocative theatre can broaden perspectives and interests in Jewish culture.