Shabbat Salon: The Mitzvah Project
They were called mischlinge, a Nazi term meaning “mixed blood” or, more crudely, “halfbreed.” The term was used to describe Germans descended from one or two Jewish grandparents. By the outbreak of the Second World War, tens of thousands of mischlinge were serving in the German armed forces. The Mitzvah Project, co-authored and directed by Broadway veteran Annie McGreevey and conceived, co-written and performed by actor Roger Grunwald, tells the tragic story of a German half-Jew who became a decorated officer in Hitler’s army. The lecture examines the historical conditions that produced two centuries of German-Jewish striving, intermarriage and conversion, which, in turn, produced over a hundred thousand mischlinge soldiers.
Roger Grunwald, a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, has been a professional performing artist for over four decades. He was honored with a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) for the development of THE MITZVAH PROJECT and is on the Speakers Bureau of the Jewish Federation.