Yeshiva students bring history to life

Fourth graders Celine Glanzberg and Daniel Shaltiel stole the show with their portrayals of George and Martha Washington during Crown Heights Yeshiva’s production, “A Time Line Through History,” on Feb. 28.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Parents and teachers alike were awed by the students of Crown Heights Yeshiva, whose two-day production of “A Time Line Through History” rivaled any Broadway show.

“I’ve been to ‘Mamma Mia,’ ” said the Marine Park school’s principal, Malkie Machlis, “but this was better.”

The production kicked off on Feb. 28, when talented first through fourth graders performed a light-hearted series of songs, dances, and dramas that told the tale of America’s past, starting with Christopher Columbus’s discovery of the New World, and ending with portrayals of the country’s highest-regarded Jewish inventors of the 19th and 20th centuries — including Albert Einstein, Jonas Salk, and Levi Strauss. The day’s stand-out performances went to oldest performers.

“If you had seen grade four’s musical production, you would have thought you were on Broadway,” said Machlis, speaking of the act featuring Daniel Shaltiel and Celine Glanzberg as George and Martha Washington. “The costumes, choreography, dance, and song were magnificent.”

The second day of performances, featuring students from grades five through eight, was a moving interpretation of some of America’s darkest chapters. The production began with the tragic events of the Civil War, followed by the horror of the Holocaust, and ended with a moving candlelight memorial for those who perished on 9-11 — a segment which evoked more than a few tears from the audience.

“The children who saw it, the parents and the teachers, I don’t think anybody can be the same after they saw this,” said Rabbi Chaim Orlan. “It was incredible.”

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

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