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Thrilling and Tragic Stories of Jewish Circus Artists and Owners Before World War II Coming to The Braid

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Circus Jews achieved international fame – until World War II changed their fate.  

Thrilling and Tragic Stories of Jewish Circus Artists and Owners Before World War II Coming to The Braid

The thrilling and tragic stories of Jewish artists and circus owners who captivated Europe with their amazing acts in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are coming to The Braid for Circus Jews, an international Zoom event on Sunday, August 8.

Historians and performer Stav Meishar will join viewers from London as she shares how scores of talented Jewish acrobats, horseback riders, clowns, and trapeze artists broke boundaries. Now their fascinating stories will break your hearts. Circus Jews achieved international fame - until World War II changed their fate.

Circus Jews, a special Sunday Morning with The Braid event, will be live on Zoom from Los Angeles and the UK, on Sunday, August 8, at 11 a.m., PT/2 p.m. ET, and 7 p.m. in England. It is free to attend, but The Braid hopes viewers will consider choosing a virtual ticket from its website. The suggested donation is $18. For the link to register and more information on how to use Zoom, visit: www.the-braid.org.

In conversation with moderator Professor Maureen Rubin, Meishar will share her seven years of research and stirring photographs that depict the personal lives of Jewish circus artists who thrilled German audiences for more than 60 years.

The event will also feature clips of Meishar's acclaimed performance and include a Q and A with the virtual audience. Meishar is an award-winning performance maker, multidisciplinary stage artist, academic researcher, and educator. Her work explores the amalgamation of history and current affairs, using theatre, circus, and contemporary performance.

She currently tours the world with her one-woman show that features her own circus act and puppetry, based on the true story of a Jewish acrobat who survived the Holocaust by hiding in a German circus. In addition to telling this true story, Meishar's show examines questions of antisemitism and multigenerational trauma.

Born in Israel and now based out of Bristol, UK, Meishar has performed on scores of professional theatre and circus stages, on the ground and in the air, in Hebrew, English, and Yiddish.

"The Braid is delighted to bring our first international Sunday Morning with The Braid to our growing global audience," says Ronda Spinak, The Braid's artistic director. "Our mission is to explore and bring historic and contemporary Jewish stories from around the world to our audiences. Stav Meishar's incredible show will give us all a peek into the rich and forgotten world of circus Jews, a group of entertainers with whom many of us are unfamiliar."

The program will begin with a performance by Meishar that introduces the story of circus Jews, followed by a candid conversation that reveals the history, talent, and fate of this group of talented artists and circus owners that history has too often failed to document.

"I'm so thrilled to have the opportunity to talk with Stav and to introduce her and her riveting stories to our viewers," says Rubin, who will moderate the event. "I learned so much from her already and can't wait for our audience to meet her and hear and see some of the highlights of her dedicated and extensive research."

Stav Meishar is the latest in a series of noteworthy and significant speakers and performers who have shared their knowledge with Braid audiences. Previous guests include Rabbis Naomi Levy, Toba August, and Laura Geller; LA Superior Court Judges Renee Korn and Angela J. Davis; writers Rob Eshman, Angella Nazarian, and Esther Amini; politicians Jackie Goldberg, Joy Picus, and Laura Friedman; as well as comedian Melanie Chartoff, folk legend Ellen Harper, and numerous other distinguished Jewish men and women who have inspiring stories to tell.

Learn more about The Braid at www.the-braid.org.

For virtual tickets to Sunday Morning with The Braid, featuring Stav Meishar and memories from the historical albums of circus Jews, visit: www.the-braid.org.


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