A Presentation by Michael Several
Between 1968 and 1979, women at the Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center wrote and produced five musical comedies. These productions are an example of women forging a presence in an institution that barred them from equal participation in religious ritual and prevented them from fully participating in temple governance. The musicals exemplify the role of synagogues as community centers where Jewish identity and a sense of community were fashioned in post-war suburbs. In addition, the scripts present markers of Jewish identity and document the influence of the second wave of the women’s movement on a group of middle class Jewish suburban women.
Using oral histories, photographs, advertising flyers and programs in a Power Point presentation, Michael Several will weave themes in the scripts to important events that marked the second wave of the women’s movement.
Michael Several graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in political science. He has written articles about the ancient Near East, public art in Los Angeles, and an attempt in 1893 to ethnically cleanse Redlands of its Chinese population. Prior to moving to Berkeley in 2020, he was the historian at the Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center, where he taught a monthly class, conducted oral histories, and assembled and organized documents that were donated to Special Collections at UCLA.