Arlene Chertoff, Toby Klein Greenwald and Sharon Katz
founded Bible Arts Productions in 2002 in order to create
family musicals based on the stories of the Bible. They
wanted their productions to be enjoyable to a wide audience,
while simultaneously giving positive messages that give
meaning to our lives in today's world. Arlene, Toby
and Sharon have already authored three musicals together:
"ESTHER and the Secrets in the King's Court," "NOAH!
Ride the Wave!" and "RUTH and NAOMI In the Fields of
Bethlehem". Music for "ESTHER" was composed mainly by
Rivka Epstein Hatten. Music for "NOAH!" and "RUTH" was
composed by Mitch Clyman.
Arlene moved to Israel in 1988
with her husband and three children. She has a BA in
Dance & Education, a Masters degree in Dance Therapy,
and has studied dance in many of the prominent dance
studios in New York City and in Israel. Arlene has 20
years experience teaching dance both in New York and
She has performed with the 'Jewish
Dance Ensemble' and other amateur dance groups. Arlene
still gets a chance to perform in the Raise Your Spirits
productions and occasionally in JEST productions.
In addition to being co-lyricist
for “ESTHER and the Secrets in the King's Court”, “NOAH!
Ride the Wave!”, and “RUTH and NAOMI” she has also created
the choreography for each of these shows for the Raise
Your Spirits Summer Stock Company (RYS) performances,
as well as choreographing the production of 'JOSEPH
and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' performed by
RYS in 2001.
Arlene has also done choreography
for the Jerusalem English Speaking Theatre (JEST) including:
'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown', 'Mikado', 'She Loves
Me', 'Pirates of Penzance', 'Camelot, 'Iolanthe', Tom
Sawyer', and 'H.M.S. Pinafore'.
Other choreographic projects
include: 'Little by Little', 'Pippin', Peter Pan', and
In her spare time, Arlene volunteers
at a Second Hand Clothing Exchange (which is a great
source for costumes!) and serving coffee and cakes to
the soldiers in the Gush Etzion IDF hospitality hut.
Toby Klein Greenwald is a theater
writer and director, journalist, author, translator
and editor. In addition to co-writing ESTHER and the
Secrets in the King's Court, NOAH! Ride the Wave!, and
RUTH and NAOMI in the Fields of Bethlehem, Toby has
been the theater director for all three shows. She has
been "making plays" since she was a child,
when she used to drape blankets over her family's dining
room table for the stage curtains, or jump out of the
den door into the backyard for a dramatic entrance.
She directed her first full length production at the
age of 11, for her neighborhood in Cleveland Heights.
It was "The Shoemaker and the Elves" (she
also played the title role) and her little troupe raised
$5.00 from the show, which they donated to the Heart
Fund. Toby played the evening show in proper costume,
without a sweater, against her mother's warning, and
several days later ended up in the hospital with meningitis,
which she thankfully recovered from. Ever since then
she listened to her mother, of blessed memory.
She continued to write and direct
plays in school, B'nei Akiva, camp and college. Her
most memorable performance at Camp Moshava (Wisconsin)
was when she was the only female in an all male cast
in a play written and directed by fellow campers David
and Joseph Stern, her mentors, who went on to do shows
at the famed Second City Club in Chicago (before they
went on to become erudite professors).
Toby's first real job at 18
was writing the poetry inside greeting cards for American
Greetings. She wrote an anniversary card that became
Toby has degrees in Jewish Bible
and Philosophy and English Literature. She also studied
Communications, Film, Drama, Psychodrama, Bibliodrama,
Photography, Graphic Art, Cartooning, Ceramics and Painting.
She wrote or co-wrote many of the website dramas that
appear on WholeFamily.com,
of which she is the editor, and in which capacity she
co-wrote a marital self-help novel with Dr. Michael
Tobin that has been published in Hebrew and German.
She has taught Creative Writing to students of many
different ages and abilities, including a group of women
from Gush Katif, whose work is included in the book
she translated, Route of Longing Prayers from
the Land of Israel. She is also the editor of two soon
to be published books - Rabbi Shlomo Riskins,
Stories for my Grandchildren, and The Golden Pens of
Gush Etzion writings by her senior citizen students.
Today she produces and directs
the D'or L'Dor Interactive Theater, the Brothers Troupe,
and woks with the Gush Etzion Playback Theater. She
initiated the innovative "Pippin-Poland Project"
at the Lachan Learning Center and was the school's first
theater director/producer. These present-day projects
followed the directing of "JOSEPH", and Toby
is grateful to Producer Sharon Katz for leading her
to return to her love of directing.
Toby made aliya one month after
the Six Day War and worked as an educator for many years
in a variety of capacities, in Israel, the U.S. and
Canada. Today she is a member of the Presidents
Commission to Examine the Structure of Government in
Israel, of the Citizens Empowerment Center of
Israel, and of Leviah Mothers for Israel.
She is married to Yaakov and
they have children and grandchildren who will some day,
please G-d, lead to a tribe whose members are as numerous
as the stars in the heavens.
Among Toby's favorite quotes
are, "Life is full of surprises" and "This
world is only a hallway to the next".
Sharon Katz, mother of five,
and grandmother of two, made Aliyah with her husband
Israel and their children 13 years ago from Woodmere,
She has been a journalist her
entire adult life – news reporter for "Newsday", editor
of "Show Business", East Coast Editor of "The Hollywood
Reporter", and freelancer for many national and local
publications. Sharon also worked as associate coordinator
of public relations in the Astoria Motion Picture and
Television Center Foundation, as well as its Associate
Coordinator for the Student Academy Awards.
Sharon has been editor of VOICES
Magazine for the past ten years – traveling
throughout the country, interviewing inspiring individuals
and reporting positive stories about what's right with
life in Israel.
Charity and community work are
an important part of her life – as founder and head
of a myriad of organizations and special projects –
for the welfare of her town and her nation. Sharon also
enjoys volunteering her time to serve soldiers in Gush
Etzion's hospitality hut, snapping photos all over the
country, and visiting Rachel's Tomb every week.
One of her proudest accomplishments
was the founding in 2001 of the Raise
Your Spirits Summer Stock Company, which has brought
great joy and strength to more than 25,000 women throughout
Israel, during the past years of terror and war. She
also serves as the producer of RYS shows and creator
of its website.
Through Raise Your Spirits,
Sharon has discovered that she loves singing and dancing
on stage with her friends, and hearing the sound of
laughter and applause. Sharon has performed as Pharoah
in RYS's "JOSEPH and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat",
Achashverosh in RYS's "ESTHER and the Secrets in the
King's Court", and Og in "NOAH! Ride the Wave!" She
is also co-lyricist of "ESTHER…", "NOAH!..." and "RUTH
and NAOMI." Sharon is proud to have created Biblical
musicals (together with Toby and Arlene) that give people
the world over faith, hope and pride.