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News Brief


American poet and playwright Lois Roisman, who wrote frequently on Jewish themes, has died.

Roisman, who was active in progressive Jewish causes, died June 2 at her home in Lyme, N.H. She was 70.

Roisman’s plays included “Nobody’s Gilgul,” which won the Outstanding New Play award at the 1993 Source Theater Festival in Washington, D.C., and was anthologized in the book “Making A Scene: The Contemporary Drama of Jewish Women.”

Born in Texas, Roisman lived for many years in Washington before moving to New Hampshire in 1995.

She was the founding executive director of Jewish Funds for Justice, a group that sought to expand Jewish philanthropy beyond its traditional concerns. One of its first grants was to a young Chicago activist named Barack Obama.

At the time of her death, Roisman was a research associate at the Brandeis Women’s Institute at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., and was completing a series of poems she described as a personal dialogue with the tales of the Chasidim.

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