Theatrical Work


Parallel Lives

"Parallel Lives: Growing Up Black and Jewish in the 1950's"

"The Roots of Parallel Lives"


Delta Rising!

"Parallel Lives: Growing up Black and Jewish in the PRESS/EVENTS in the 1950's"




Two Renowned Authors Discuss Their Different Lives in Commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Center for Jewish History


The American Jewish Historical Society, in association with The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, presented the conversation, "Parallel Lives: Growing Up Black and Jewish in the 1950s," a commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Tuesday, January 13, 2004, at 6:30 pm. The Center for Jewish History is located at 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY.


Taking part in the celebration were two authors from the Delta region of Mississippi: Clifton Taulbert, an African American author of the best-seller Once Upon A Time When We Were Colored and winner of the NAACP image award, and the Jewish American, twenty-year Wall Street veteran Eugene Dattel, author of The Sun That Never Rose. They have been performing "Parallel Lives", for over six years, comparing their childhoods and reaching out to diverse audiences. Following their presentation, Taulbert and Dattel were joined by Peter Geffen, Executive Director, Center for Jewish History; Rabbi Marc Schneier, President and co-Founder, Foundation for Ethnic Understanding; and invited guest C. Virginia Fields, Manhattan Borough President. Other special guests will be announced.


Clifton Taulbert, a Pulitzer Prize nominated author and the President and Founder of the Building Community Institute, speaks throughout the world on the critical issues of building community and creating an environment branded by respect, affirmation and inclusion. He is also the author of the internationally acclaimed book Eight Habits of the Heart, which provides the framework on which to build, maintain, and sustain a powerful, effective, and caring community.


Eugene Dattel has maintained a lifelong interest in the study of southern, racial, and comparative history. He is the author of The Sun That Never Rose (1994), which investigates the economics and culture of Japan.

Gene Dattel's grandfather immigrated to the Mississippi Delta, "the most Southern place on earth," in the late 19th century, and Dattel was born and raised in the Delta. He spent 20 years on Wall Street, 15 of which were overseas as the Managing Director at Salomon Brothers. He also served as an independent consultant. His current research/writing project is about the juxtaposition between cotton and race. He has returned to the Delta to sponsor educational and research programs.


Rabbi Marc Schneier, as President and co-Founder of The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, is one of the leading voices in the field of intergroup relations, reconciliation and understanding. He is the author of Shared Dreams: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Jewish Community, and is at the forefront of strengthening Black/Jewish relations, Latino/Jewish relations and Christian/Jewish relations.


For more information on the Center for Jewish History, visit


About the American Jewish Historical Society
With offices in New York City and on the campus of Hebrew College in Newton Center Massachusetts, the American Jewish Historical Society is the country's oldest ethnic historical organization in the United States. Since 1892, AJHS has gathered materials documenting the American Jewish experience. Its publications are among the most distinguished in the field and its programs and exhibitions are highly regarded.


About The Foundation For Ethnic Understanding
The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding is a national nonprofit dedicated to strengthening relations between ethnic communities, committed to the belief that face-to-face dialogue is the most effective path towards the reduction of bigotry and the promotion of reconciliation and understanding.


About the Center for Jewish History
The Center for Jewish History, (, is the central resource for the cultural and historical legacy of the Jewish people. Located in the heart of Chelsea, NYC, it is within a ten-block radius of one of the largest populations of college and graduate students in the country. The Center serves the worldwide academic and general communities with combined holdings of approximately 100 million archival documents, a half million books, and tens of thousands of photographs, artifacts, paintings and textiles. The Center is comprised of a partnership of five major institutions of Jewish scholarship, history and art: American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. In addition to its exhibit halls, classrooms, auditoriums and banquet facilities, the Center houses the Reading Room, the gateway to accessing the collections of the five partner organizations, and the Genealogy Institute, a research center where Jewish descendants can uncover information about their ancestors. The Center for Jewish History will interest all who wish to explore the richness of the Jewish past and the promise of the Jewish future.


(Source: Center for Jewish History)