Jewish youth organizations have responded to the call sent out by Isaac Van Grove, director of “The Romance of a People,” for a cast of 6,000 volunteers required for the pageant which will be presented at the Polo Grounds on September 14. The League of Jewish Youth, Mizrachi Youth Organization, Jewish National Workers, Forward Youth Group, Junior Hadassah and Young Judea, are among the organizations which have volunteered cooperation. “The Romance of a People” is a portrayal in drama, oratorio and dance of four thousand years of Jewish history.
The pageant as it was originally given in Chicago stressed the religious aspect of the history of the Jews. The scenario is being rewritten for the New York presentation and it will deal more extensively with the historical episodes in the development of the Jews and it will include such modern episodes as the conditions of the Jews in Germany under the Hitler regime, it was said yesterday.
Proceeds from the performance of the drama will go to the American Palestine Campaign, which is raising funds in this country to finance the settling in Palestine of Jews who are suffering persecution in Germany.
Isaac Van Grove, director of the Chicago Civic Opera Company, who is in charge of the entire production, has written into the score many ancient Hebrew melodies and has also revived Jewish folk dances thousands of years old. Rehearsals will start on August 8 and one of the problems to be faced is securing an auditorium large enough to include the tremendous cast. Meyer W. Weisgal, executive director of Jewish Day at Chicago, is executive director of the production.
The opening scene of the pageant will be the breaking of earth’s first dawn, heralded by unseen voices intoning the lines from Genesis: “And God said, ‘let there be light’.” Then follows the story of Israel’s progress down through the years. The text of the production is taken from the Pentateuch and the Torah.