On the night of Monday, November 25th, Kveller and LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture teamed up at the 14th St Y in Manhattan to present, “WHAT’S THE MATTER? A night of storytelling with your favorite Jewish mamas.”
The audience was ushered into the theater, welcomed by a “Eve – Chair of all Mothers,” a “boobie chair” designed by artist Mirta Kupferminc, and 10 beautiful, sincere, modern-day mamas, all ready and willing to bare their varying emotions and experiences with motherhood for a packed crowd.
The stories, both grave and cheerful, ranged from Karen Hartman’s reading on trying to rebuild a relationship with her cancer-stricken mother, to Tamara Reese’s laughter-rousing story on her son who just can’t stop saying the word “cock.” A striking and painful story was told by transgender writer Joy Ladin, who went unacknowledged as a parent at her daughter’s bar mitzvah because the synagogue wouldn’t legitimize her new identity.
The epic night of storytelling ended with wine, hummus, and of course, more kvelling and kvetching, as the readers and audience mixed and mingled until close.
If you couldn’t make it, we’re happy to provide videos of the four Kveller writers who graced the stage, below. Enjoy!
Contributing editor Carla Naumburg’s reading about the mysteries of her Jewish identity:
Contributing editor Tamara Reese’s reading about her toddler who can’t stop saying cock:
Contributing editor Jordana Horn’s reading about conquering her fear of driving:
Contributing editor Adina Kay-Gross’ reading about letting go, both of her growing kids and her late father: