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“From Baghdad to Brooklyn”

Carol Dworkin special to the Jewish News

Film and stage actress, singer, yoga instructor, dancer, storyteller, Hebrew speaker, a rabbi’s wife and mother. Yes, you could describe Michelle Azar as a woman of many talents and dimensions.

“From Baghdad to Brooklyn,” written and performed by Azar, was a sell-out success on Broadway in September 2017. Azar’s story enables her to weave a powerful story of a family whose different worlds collide. Her solo performance attempts to understand her confusion and eventual embracing of the convergence of her Middle Eastern and East European ancestors’ psyches and experiences. Her show grapples with these different worlds through stories, dance, and songs. Hebrew, Arabic and Yiddish lyrics are intertwined in her storytelling to inject authenticity and humor.

This Nov. 15, Women of Temple Beth Emeth will bring the unique spirit of Michelle Azar to the synagogue (2309 Packard St., Ann Arbor) for her one-woman show beginning at 7:30 p.m. Accompaniment will be by TBE member and multi-faceted musician, Dave Gitterman.

As a young singer and actor growing up win the suburbs of Chicago and spending summers in Israel, Azar inherited two cultures from her parents: Sephardi from her father, who left Iraq for Israel as a teenager before immigrating to America, and Ashkenazi from her mother, who sang and performed on stage in her native Brooklyn, N.Y.

Singing has continued to be a key focus in her life while being a mother of two young daughters and wife of Jonathan Aaron, senior rabbi of Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills whose family is part of the Ann Arbor’s TBE community.

A dessert reception will follow the 60-minute Nov. 15 performance. Tickets are available at and will also be sold the night of the performance. Adults, $20/ students, $15. Order now to reserve seating.


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