Most people don’t know their great-grandparents.
Then again, most great-grandparents are not Sholem Aleichem.
Sandy Rothenberg is the famed Yiddish writer’s great-granddaughter. The longtime Weston resident grew up hearing his stories — and attending performances of “Fiddler on the Roof,” the musical based on his tales of Tevye the Dairyman.
She’s seen the original on Broadway, and its several revivals. Her daughter Lindsay was in the show, at Weston High School.
Sandy looks especially forward to this month’s “Fiddler” production by Staples Players. “They always do a wonderful job,” she says. (They do. The show opened last night, to rave reviews.)
Every year on his yahrzeit (anniversary of his death), Sandy and her extended family celebrate Sholem Aleichem’s ethical will — a document that passes values, blessings, life lessons, hopes and dreams, from one generation to the next. They read his stories, in a ceremony that’s grown from a small gathering to one held at the Brotherhood Synagogue in New York (with professional readers).
2016 marks the 100th anniversary of Sholem Aleichem’s death. How appropriate that a few months early, in a town next to her own, Sandy Rothenberg can watch her great-grandfather’s story live again.
(Thanks to robust ticket sales, Staples Players has added one more date for “Fiddler on the Roof.” It’s Thursday, November 19, 7 p.m., with reduced ticket prices of $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for students. The show also runs this weekend and next. For times and ticket information for all performances, click here.)