Sandy Schuman

Sandy Schuman

Stories & Music

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There is always another side to the story.
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Storyteller in Residence - An Example Program

My Father was a Storyteller
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Songbook-Songs of My Father's
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Sandy Schuman will be our “Storyteller in Residence,” sharing his personal, historical, and fanciful Jewish stories. He is a consultant-turned-storyteller, author of the humorous book, Welcome to Chelm’s Pond, and son of the most famous Jewish songwriter you never heard of, Samuel Schuman. His stories will entertain and stimulate you.

Friday Evening: Lucky Numbers

What connection could there be between the State Lottery and the meaning of prayer?
My father bet on the State Lottery, and he had a unique method for selecting his numbers. Years after he told me about his lucky numbers I began to wonder about their significance, but it was too late to ask.
While sorting through the daily pile of mail, my eyes fixed upon an envelope, its return address from the New York State Division of the Lottery. Immediately my mind leapt to the possibility that here in this plain white business envelope was a prize check! With a steady hand I carefully laid the envelope flat on my desk blotter, flap side up. I picked up my letter opener, inserted the tip under the flap and glided it along the edge in one smooth stroke. I laid aside the letter opener, picked up the envelope, withdrew the contents, and there, there in my hands …

Saturday Morning: “Adon Olam” Past–Present–Future

I like to tell this story at the end of the service, even though everyone is eager for Kiddush. After all, at this point we have read the Torah, heard a beautiful Musaf service, sang songs, and even heard the announcements. Anything more would be anticlimactic. And yet we insist on concluding the service with one more song. But from all of Jewish liturgy, which can fit the bill? Of course we all know we conclude the service with Adon Olam, but why? From all of the possible prayers, poems, and songs, why this one?

Saturday Evening: Welcome to Chelm’s Pond

The legendary fools of Chelm have migrated to a new home where, they were told, “every acre is two acres, you can till the soil with a teaspoon, and there are not only four seasons, there are five.”
Bloomie is the ambitious proprietor of The Broiled Beet – serving the finest in Adirondack-Ashkenazick fusion cuisine – and the loveliest, kindest, and sincerest sheyne meydl in all of Chelm’s Pond. Adirondack Mendel is the renowned adventurer, mountain man, and Adirondack guide who always tells the truth even if he has to lie to do it. When they are brought together by Aufruf, the Yiddish-talking dog, they fall in love.
Guided by Rabbi Chayim Shmayim, the oldest and wisest khokhem in Chelm’s Pond, the results raise serious questions about the nature of God and the meaning of prayer, but in an extraordinary way that could happen only in Chelm’s Pond.

Sunday morning: How to tell a Jewish Story

In this workshop we explore the question, what makes a story a Jewish story. We explore various explanations and definitions and then proceed to the next question: How do you tell a story. This workshop is for anyone – teenagers, educators, grandparents – who wants to learn or sharpen their storytelling skills and who has a particular interest in Jewish stories. For my thoughts on this topic, see What is a Jewish Story.