CHERRY HILL, NJ (CBS) — The creator and star of “A Jew Grows in Brooklyn,” coming to the Kimmel Center beginning tomorrow (Dec. 23rd), is tonight presenting a treasured family heirloom to a South Jersey museum.
The valise to be displayed at the Goodwin Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Cherry Hill is in itself unremarkable, but it once carried in it the hopes, dreams, and few personnal possession of Jake Ehrenreich’s family.
They fled the Holocaust only to end up in a Soviet work camp in Siberia and, after the war, a displaced-persons camp, and finally the United States.
Ehrenreich says he connected to that journey unexpectedly.
“I was doing a show for Joseph Papp and I walked into the theatre, the Public Theater in New York, and I saw a plaque that this building was used to house homeless immigrants from the Nazi devastation in Eastern Europe,” Ehrenreich recalls. “The building that I was performing in was the building that my family lived in, with that valise, when they came to this country 40 years earlier.”
Coincidence two: the show was called “Jonah,” his father’s name.
Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio 1060.