The new Necessary Stories Show offers dramatic readings of a selection of my stories. It’s a flexible and modular entertainment, offering stories happy, sad, and reflective, and can be adapted to any venue. I appear with my friends Jane Golbert and Annabelle Landgarten. Here are some photos, by Mizmor Watzman, from our performance at Jerusalem’s fabled literary cafe, Tmol Shilshom, in May 2016.
Plaudits for the earlier, one-man version of the Necessary Stories Show:
“Haim Watzman transports his audience both in time and place in an authentic, heartfelt and intellectually thought-provoking performance.” – Doris Traub, Congregation Beth Elohim, Brooklyn
“Haim Watzman brings the Israeli experience to life in a way that a history book never can. He reminded me again why Israel means so much to me. Mr. Watzman’s program was at once funny, thought-provoking, wise and enjoyable.” – David Greenberg, Congregation Beth Elohim, Brooklyn
To book performances, contact me by e-mail at email@example.com.
I’m also available as a speaker on my books and stories, service in the IDF, and Israeli affairs. I’ve spoken at synagogues, and Jewish Community Centers, to Birthright groups, university Hillel organizations, schools, and student programs in Israel, as well as to the U.S. Coast Guard.
My next U.S. visit will be in February 2017, with stops in Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Denver.
Sample Speaking Topics
“Why Israel’s Horrible, Awful, and Really Bad Electoral System is the Best for Its Needs: An Explanation of the Coming Israeli Elections, the Parties, the Opportunities, the Dangers, and a Few Thoughts and Predictions.”
Haim Watzman, author, translator, Jerusalem Report columnist, and concerned Israeli citizen in good standing will offer a quick briefing on Israel’s electoral system, its historical roots, how it has worked over the course of Israel’s history, and how it will play out in the coming election. Presented in February 2015 at Beth Emet Synagogue in Evanston, IL, and as the opening Tzion Lecture in Cleveland, Ohio.
A Crack in the Earth: Turning the Landscape of Israel’s Rift Valley into a Story
In this slide show talk, I tell the story of my trip through the rift valley that stretches from the Red Sea through the Jordan River valley to the Sea of Galilee and beyond, and how it turned into a book. The raw material of experiences and library research became a narrative in which three geographic segments of the rift each takes on a theme. The bare desert of the Arava become a place where the rift is seen by people who study the physical evidence on its surface; the Dead Sea and Jordan Valley are disappointed utopias; and Lake Kinneret and the Hula Valley are the realm of myth, where stories move over the landscape.
Company C: Conscience and Duty
A major theme in Company C is my service as a soldier during conflicts in which I opposed the Israeli government’s policy. I served in Lebanon as an enlisted man and in the West Bank during the first Intifada as a reservist, despite my opposition to Israel’s occupation of these areas. My story of my doubts and questions, leading to my decision to serve as a soldier while protesting as a civilian, serves as a basis for a broader discussion of current trends in the army and in society, and about how I can be a committed Zionist even if I disagree with the Israeli government’s policies.
“Thank you so much for sharing your story and views at Cardozo. I think the event was a huge success and lent some much-needed diversity and passion to the debate over Israel-related issues on campus. I also think you handled the tough questions and some harsh feedback from a few attendees quite well. You conducted yourself professionally but at the same time came across very personable and approachable.” – Josh Gajer, Cardozo Israel Alliance, Cardozo Law School, New York City