Stand Up For Mental Health
Saturday, Feb. 2, 6:30 PM
In Recognition of Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month, TEMPLE SINAI INVITES YOU TO A SPECIAL COMEDY EVENT featuring David Granirer (founder, comedian, and our MC for the evening) and a mighty group of Temple Sinai congregants eager to highlight the humor of their lives with mental health issues.
OUR COMEDIANS: (back row, left to right) Jordan Pearlman, Lis Myers, Anne Alter, Lisa Lederer, and Susan Blackman; (front row, left to right) Steffi Wright and Suzi Neft; (not shown) Spencer Edelstein Click to learn a little about the participants. (Photo credit: Paul Wossidlo)
We'll start the evening with Havdalah and then present Lisa Lederer with the Shore-Whitehill Award. This award, presented by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and Jewish Residential Services, celebrates volunteers who promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in Jewish life through advocacy or direct service to individuals and families.
Co-sponsored by Women of Temple Sinai, Jewish Residential Services, and Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.
About David Granirer & Stand Up For Mental Health
Our MC for the night will be David Granirer, who lives with depression. He got the idea for Stand Up For Mental Health from watching students in his Langara College Stand-Up Comedy Clinic course. “Though Stand-Up Comedy Clinic isn’t intended as therapy, I’ve had students overcome long standing depressions and phobias, not to mention increasing their confidence and self-esteem. There’s something incredibly healing about telling a roomful of people exactly who you are and having them laugh and cheer.”
INTRODUCING OUR COMEDIANS!
Anne Alter: 1) I have two cats, and an Instant-Pot I don’t know how to use. 2) I used to do singing telegrams and model for art classes. 3) When I was seven, I was offered the chance to train for the Olympics in figure skating. 4) My late husband was thirty years older than I was, a Republican, and may have been related to me. 5) My secret vice is ordering clothing catalogs and making scrapbooks out of them. 6) As a grown up, I once met Fred Rogers, lost it, and started babbling. 7) I collect teapots. 8) Technically, I ‘m nuts, but you won’t know it by looking at me.
Susan Blackman: Active member of WOTS (she’s the vice-president), co-chair for the Neshama Center. She has three children; one lives with her, a son who lives in Boston (but he’s about to move to Toronto), and a daughter who lives in Dayton, OH. She has a grandson who is 16 years old. She loves to knit, and just finished making an infinity scarf for her friend. “It was her color!”
Lisa Lederer: From Greensboro, North Carolina, she came to Pittsburgh for Grad school. She is married (her husband is from here) and there have a 15 month-old baby, named Jonah. She is finishing her Master’s degree in Public Health, and currently works part time at the VA hospital, doing behavioral research. On weekends, she and her husband enjoying walking through random neighborhoods, “There are a lot of cool places in Pittsburgh!” She also enjoys yoga and swimming. On taking the stand up comedy seminar; “I’m not a comedienne, and I’m not wild about public speaking. I did dance in High School, and that’s different because everything is planned.” Other than toilet training Jonah, she’s hoping to finish her Master’s by the end of this summer.
Lis Myers: Self advocate, has a daughter. Her favorite job was working in an AIDS hospice in the 90s. She likes that she is “rediscovering the writer in me.” She used to participate in poetry slams in Chicago with the concept inventor Mark Smith. She used to teach a 4 hour class to health care providers on how to work with parents who have mental illness and children with mental illness. She is currently working to turn this curriculum into a book.
Suzi Neft: Has a son (28 years old) and a pitbull named Ella Doe, (after Ella Fitzgerald and all the does in her neighborhood). She has a 20 year background in television production and 22 year background in public relations, marketing, news video and social media. She received her Masters degree in Corporate Communications from Duquesne University in 2016 when she was 59 years old. “I don’t believe your education should ever stop.” She is currently doing publicity work for the play, “Wiesenthal: Nazi Hunter”, which will perform at the August Wilson Center March 26-28, 2019. Proceeds will go to the Tree of Life Building Fund. “I want everyone to come!”
Jordan Pearlman: Grew up in Squirrel Hill. Graduated from Penn State with a Communications degree. He’s goal in participating in the Stand-Up seminar is to “help me get out of my own head.” He is faithful to his Higher Power, and is optimistic and hopeful. He cherishes his mother, and pitbull, Harmony, who is 5 years old. He aspires to open an urban arts community center, “so the youth from the inner city can get out of the streets.” He’d want the activities to be based on the Hip-Hop culture.
Stephanie Wright: Moved to Pittsburgh from Oregon to attend graduate school at Chatham. She has a Master’s degree in Food Studies, with a focus on Food Policy. She is married, and both she and her husband have Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture. She has two cats. She is the chair of the Young Adults group for Temple Sinai. She also teaches 3rd and 4th graders Sunday school at Temple Sinai. Her hobbies include gardening, cooking, food advocacy, and “tearing down the patriarchy!”
Spencer Edelstein: He came to Pittsburgh for graduate school and he’s engaged to be married. He’s starting a new direction in his life working with animals. He’s a regular volunteer at the animal shelter and he really likes cats; he has two of his own!