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Jewish World Watch Names Stephanie Liss Playwright-In-Residence

Jewish World Watch has named television writer and playwright Stephanie Liss its first Playwright-in-Residence in a groundbreaking partnership that will shine a spotlight on the local nonprofit organization's global fight to end genocide.

The new partnership is designed to use Liss' plays to tell the gripping behind-the-scenes stories of Jewish World Watch's work currently in Darfur, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, with women and families who suffer the heaviest burdens of war and political strife - attacks, displacement, rape and sexual violence. These women are victims and survivors, charged with rebuilding and restoring their own lives, and the lives of their families and communities.

In the coming year Liss is expected to spend time and travel with the JWW team as an observer of their humanitarian aid efforts, and will write a series of plays based on the experiences. She expects each play to focus on the women and families being helped by JWW, as well as key individuals within the organization, including Co-Founders Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis and Janice Kamenir-Reznik, and Executive Director Tzivia Schwartz-Getzug.

"Stephanie Liss shares a passion and commitment for the Jewish ideals that are the hallmark of our organization and for our work to help end genocide in Darfur and Congo," said Schwartz-Getzug. "We look forward to working with her to further illuminate our mission through her theatrical storytelling."

Liss sees the partnership as another way to tell the stories of Jewish World Watch with a focus on its distinctly Jewish perspective. "The mandate of JWW is 'Do not stand idly by,' and this is also our mandate as Jews," said Liss. "I've always tried to do this kind of work as a writer - to participate in the healing of the world through my words. By partnering with JWW, I have the opportunity to expand further on this aspect of Judaism. I'm so humbled that JWW agreed to let me give voice to their work."

ABOUT STEPHANIE LISS
Stephanie Liss is a playwright and television writer whose groundbreaking work consistently gives voice to the voiceless. Her television credits include: Second Serve - The Renee Richards Story; the Writers Guild nominated David - The David Rothenberg Story; and Hidden in Silence, for which she won a WGA Award. Her play, Faces of War, about an Israeli and a Palestinian, was presented at the 92nd Street Y / Makor in New York. Research for this project took Liss to Lebanon where she went underground with the PLO and Hamas and spent time with Yasser Arafat in his compound in Tripoli Lebanon. While in Beirut, Liss attended Shabbat with the Israeli Army in the mountains high above the city. She has lived in Africa, traveling with the Maasai, and was part of a nine-woman group sent to the former Soviet Union in order to bring aid to underground Jewish communities there. In 1992, Liss was among six writers invited to accompany the United Nations High Commission on Refugees to Somalia and Bosnia in order to document the stories of the genocides and wars in both countries. Liss is an alumni of The Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, where she studied theatre.

ABOUT JEWISH WORLD WATCH
Jewish World Watch (JWW) is a hands-on leader in the fight against genocide and mass atrocities, engaging individuals and communities to take local actions that produce powerful global results. Founded in 2004 by Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis and Janice Kamenir-Reznik as the Jewish response to the genocide in Darfur, it has grown from a collection of Southern California synagogues into a global coalition that includes schools, churches, individuals, communities and partner organizations that share a vision of a world without genocide. JWW bears witness to first-hand accounts in conflict regions, partners with on-the-ground organizations to develop high-impact projects that improve the lives of survivors and help build the foundation for a safer world, and inspires our communities to support tangible projects and advocate for political change. JWW has allocated almost $5 million for relief and development projects that have helped tens of thousands of people in Sudan and Congo.www.jewishworldwatch.org.


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