REBECCA KEREN EISENSTADT
Rabbi | Private Educator | Performer |Creative
Rebecca is a Rabbi and private educator. She received semicha at Mesifta Adas Wolkowisk Rabbinical Academy in New York in 2020. She is an honors graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and The Leonard N. Stern School of Business. She works as an educator, actress, writer, producer, graphic designer, and theater-professional in New York City.
Rebecca apprenticed Obie Award Winner & Tony Nominee Elizabeth Swados (z'l) for more than 10 years, working with her as an actress, collaborator, dramaturg, and poetry assistant. Her favorite work was their project Rachel and Leah: The Musical Before Technicolor. Rebecca penned the lyrics and co-wrote the book with Daniella Rabbani. The music is composed by Elizabeth Swados, with musical direction by Kris Kukul. Before working on Rachel and Leah, they co-conceived and created Atonement: An Oratorio, about themes of social action and personal responsibility embedded within the Jewish High Holidays. Rebecca has had her own poetry published with publications including Lilith Magazine.
As a writer and illustrator, Rebecca created the Children's Book Dinotzaurus, an educational picture book for children in Yiddish and English.
Rebecca has been working as an educator for more than 15 years. She primarily focuses in Bnei Mitzvah preparation, Judaic Studies and Hebrew (beginner-advanced). Operating like a Jewish Life and Experience Concierge, Rebecca plans and leads elaborate trips to Israel, performs as a religious officiant at events, creates educational resources to supplement learning, and teaches both Hebrew and Yiddish languages. Her latest addition to her team is her shih-poo, Scout, affectionately known as the @BarkMitzvahTutor, who helps make Jewish learning even more unique and fun. Since 1998 she has mentored and taught more than 700 children for Bnei Mitzvah and maintains a rigorous schedule of more than 35 private sessions a week. Rebecca has served on faculty of Central Synagogue, Congregation Habonim and Door To Door Tutoring. She has partnered with virtually every synagogue in the NYC area to help families accomplish their goals. Rebecca works with unaffiliated families as well. She also used to work as a consultant from 2008-2011 for The NYC Department of Education's Office of Arts and Special Programs.
As a theater professional, Rebecca worked for 6 years at BFV Management/Frankel Green Theatrical Management and Feinstein's/54 Below as the Marketing and Design Associate. Over the last decade, Rebecca has produced numerous independent projects and collaborated with various foundations. Other theaters Rebecca has worked with include PLAYWRIGHTS HORIZONS (Marketing Resident 2008), HERE Arts Center, The Mint Theatre and The Folksbeine. While at NYU, she founded The WOMB: Tisch's women's theater club, dedicated to providing more performance opportunities for female artists. As president, she has been the executive producer of seven full-length WOMB productions and directed shows including Uncommon Women and Others by Wendy Wasserstein. She also produced and directed new plays by student playwrights.
As an actress, she is recently performed in the National Yiddish Theatre's Off-Broadway show The Megile of Itzik Manger. Time Out NY called her performance "A Standout & Lovely!" as Queen Vashti. Rebecca also starred in the LaMaMa E.T.C, Metropolitan Room and Axelrod Performing Arts Center concert productions of Rachel and Leah. In March 2011, Rebecca appeared in Swados's award winning tribute for the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire memorial, From the Fire. Rebecca has acted in various productions with The National Yiddish Theater/ The Folksbiene since 2009. In addition, Rebecca was a soloist in Elizabeth Swados' Atonement: An Oratorio, presented at St. Marks Church, The JCC in Manhattan, The Cathderal Church of Saint John the Divine and The Actors' Temple. Select NYC credits: Zillah in the Off-Off Broadway revival of Tony Kushner's A Bright Room Called Day; Leah in The Dybbuk, under the direction of Elizabeth Swados. Other performance venues include Symphony Space, Lincoln Center, Town Hall, Baruch Performing Arts Center, Bohemian National Hall, and the Vanderbrough Theater in London. Rebecca's acting training includes The Experimental Theater Wing, The Stella Adler Studio of Acting, The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA in London), Stonestreet Studios for Film and Television, Northwestern University's CHERUB Program and The Washington Conservatory of Music.
Rebecca does a lot--- Liz Swados called her The Jewish Wonder Woman!
Now read the book, WALKING THE DOG, By Liz Swados, dedicated to Rebecca. Swados wrote about the friendship between an artist and a Tutor/Actress, inspired by the friendship and collaborations between Liz and Rebecca. (Picture below from Feminist Press Launch reading at Barnes & Nobel Starring Taylor Mac, Rebecca, and Academy Award-Winner Meryl Streep.)