Center for the Arts

Gaelen Center for the Arts

Something for everyone . . . Close to home!

Our Gaelen Center for the Arts features professional performances of the highest caliber in the Maurice Levin Theater, community arts programs, and art classes led by experienced instructors in professional studios. Each season is filled with fascinating and entertaining events for all ages.

For more information, contact Carol Berman, 973-530-3421,

Order Tickets Here

Looking for information about

Triple Threat Theater Camp?

Click HERE!

Visit our new JCC Maccabi section for more information on the JCC Maccabi ArtsFest


JCC Book Group



The Invisible Wall, 

by Harry Bernstein

Thursday, March 13, 7:30 PM



A gripping coming-of-age memoir of Bernstein's childhood in a poverty-stricken and religiously divided mill town in northern England before and during World War I. Home to both Christian and Jewish families, the street where Bernstein grew up was defined by the strict social and vocational segregation of the two religious groups. Bernstein deftly narrates the tale of his sister's forbidden love for a Christian boy from the other side of the street. From the perspective of his boyhood self, Bernstein offers a glimpse into a family riven by poverty, sibling jealousies, and an abusive, alcoholic father, yet held together tenaciously by a caring mother. In the tradition of Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes. (Library Journal Review)




Check out our School of the Arts

Children's Production Company Auditions

PETER PAN AUDITIONS FOR TUESDAY HAVE BEEN MOVED TO THURSDAY same times. Wednesday is on as scheduled, though please check in with the JCC before you come- we hope to see you there!

Click HERE for more information

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Book Group

Welcome to JCC MetroWest's Monthly Book Group

Our book group is free, open to both members and non-members, and you can join and begin attending at any time!


Mini-Series March, April, May

A memoir and two novels set in England during time periods ranging from World War I to the present day. By reading them chronologically, we hope to learn about the Jewish community in England through history.




The List,

by Martin Fletcher


Thursday, April 10, 7:30 PM

Martin Fletcher has captivated television audiences for thirty-five years as a foreign correspondent for NBC News. In this gripping story of a young Jewish family struggling to stay afloat in post-World War II London, Fletcher combines his own family’s history with meticulous research. Austrian refugees Georg and Edith await the birth of their first child. Yet how can they celebrate when almost every day brings news of another relative or friend murdered in the Holocaust? Their struggle to rebuild their lives is further threatened by growing anti-Semitism in London's streets; Englishmen want to take homes and jobs from Jewish refugees and give them to returning servicemen. A sensitive, deeply touching, and impossible-to-forget story.



The Innocents,

by Francesca Segal


Thursday, May 15, 7:30 PM

Nice, reliable Adam is engaged to Rachel, the perfect Jewish girl, in a closely knit North West London Jewish community. But Rachel's free-spirited cousin Ellie, back from a scandalous time in the U.S., makes him feel not so nice and not so reliable. He falls for Ellie, but the machinations of both his fiancee and his community create obstacles to his desires. Inspired by Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, Segal's book is warmer, funnier, and paints a more dynamic and human portrait of a functional community that is a wonderful juxtaposition to Wharton's cold social strata in Gilded Age New York. Segal took the theme of a well-known novel and made it her own. Lively and entertaining. (Publisher's Weekly)




The People of Forever Are Not Afraid

by Shani Boianjiu


Thursday, June 12, 7:30 PM

Yael, Avishag and Lea grow up together in a tiny, dusty Israeli village.  When they are conscripted into the army, their lives change in unpredictable ways, influencing the women they become and the friendship that they struggle to sustain.  Yael trains marksmen and flirts with boys.  Asighag stands guard, watching refugees throw themselves at barbed wire fences.  Lea, posted at a checkpoint, imagines the stories behind the familiar faces that pass by her day after day.  They gossip about boys and whisper of an ever more violent world just beyond view.  They drill, constantly, for a moment that may never come.  In a relentlessly energentic and arresting voice marked by humor and fierce intelligence, Shani Boianjiu creates an unforgettably intense world, capturing that unique time in a young woman's life when a single moment can change everything.


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Children's Production Company

The Brothers Grimm “go Broadway” as Sondheim and Lapine offer up a cockeyed fairy tale in Into The Woods Jr., an adaptation of one of Sondheim’s most popular works designed especially for young performers. All of your favorite characters—
Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (and his beanstalk), and the Witch—meet and interact in this whimsical original story.

Audition Info:

Prepare an up-tempo song to sing a cappella. Be prepared to dance. Come either day and time and plan to stay about an hour. Callbacks TBA. There is a participation fee to be in the show.

T(w)een-Stars (grades 5-12)

Tuesday, March 25, 7:30-9:30pm
Wednesday, March 26, 7:30-9:30pm

Kiddy-Stars (grades K–4)

Your own show with the Best of Into The Woods Jr. The cast will be made up of only K-4th graders and the show will be only the best parts of the play! Rehearsals will be on Thursdays from 4:00-5:30pm and one other day depending on role.

Thursday, March 27, 4:00-6:00pm
Sunday, March 30, 2:00-4:00pm 

Auditions are also available by appointment.  For more information. contact Samara Grossman: 973-530-3410 (

Show Info:

Thursday, May 29 | 7:30pm | T(w)een-Stars
Sunday, June 1 | 1:00pm | Kiddy-Stars
Sunday, June 1 | 3:00pm | T(w)een-Stars

For more information, contact Samara Grossman: 973-530-3410 (


Member/Student/Senior: $15
General: $18

To purchase tickets, visit
or call the box office at 1-800-494-TIXS.

*Fee for Box Office: $1 per ticket and $.50 per order


Don't Forget!

Show Info:

Thursday, March 20, 7:00pm | Kid-Stars
Saturday, March 22, 8:00pm | Kid-Stars
Sunday, March 23, 1:00pm | Mini-Stars
Sunday, March 23, 3:00pm | Kid-Stars


Member/Student/Senior: $13
General: $16

To purchase tickets, visit
or call the box office at 1-800-494-TIXS.

*Fee for Box Office: $1 per ticket and $.50 per order


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Our Staff

Gaelen Center for the Arts Staff

Carol Berman


Carol Berman, a graduate of the University of Miami with a BFA in Performance has spent the better part of her 'grown up' life in the midst of early childhood.  Carol is the Manager of the Gaelen Center For The Arts as well as Director of the JCC MetroWest School of the Arts and Triple Threat Theater Camp and directs all the Children Production Company and Teen Production Company musicals at the Maurice Levin Theater on the campus of the JCC MetroWest in West Orange, NJ.  Carol owns TCW, LLC, an entertainment company for all occasions and a rolodex of classes and experiences for parents/guardians and their favorite youngsters, as well as being a registered and certified Music Together facilitator. Carol Berman teaches and lectures throughout the tri-state area a variety of subjects including You CAN do this:  Learning To Love Music and Movement In The Early Childhood Classroom;  Improv for the Young Actor; Adult Improv; On Camera:  A Way To Self-Esteem, among other high energy classes and lectures.  If all of this wonderful nonsense called "Life" isn't enough - Carol and her three 'boys' reside in Livingston with their new pup Buster, PuffBall, Flappy and the Fish.

Samara Grossman






Samara Grossman is an actor, choreographer, teaching artist and adventure seeker. She has been on the stage in such roles as "Sarah" in COMPANY; "Catherine" in ARMS AND THE MAN; "Grace/Maggie" in WORKING; "Sally" in A LIE OF THE MIND; "Woman II" in CLOSER THAN EVER and many more throughout the Tri-State area.  As a Choreographer, Samara has worked all over New York and New Jersey at such venues as The Players Theater (OFF BROADWAY), William Paterson University, JCC MetroWest, JCC on the Palisades, the Wayne "Y", the Clifton "Y", Riverdell High School and others. Her teaching as brought her from Westchester to West Orange teaching all forms of Dance (theater dance, choreography, ballet, tap, modern, hip hop, movement for actors); Acting; Musical Theater; Creative Writing; Poetry; Audition Technique and has been known to teach a cooking class here and there. She comes from many years at the NJY Camps and had a stint at the Dr Joy Browne show for CBS as well as Disney Theatricals on Broadway for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, KING DAVID, the NYC premier of HERCULES and the load in for THE LION KING. Samara attended the Idyllwild Arts Academy for Musical Theater, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy for Musical Theater and received her BA from William Paterson University in English Literature.

Lisa Suss






Lisa Suss is an arts activist and advocate as well as an active professional artist.  She often serves as an art ahow juror and installs art for art exhibits, homes and corporate spaces.

Lisa spent 8 years as the chairperson of the West Orange Arts Council and was instrumental in the Council's development. She continues to serve on the Arts Council Board of Trustees.  She is a juried member of Exhibitor's Co-op, a well-known artists' exhibiting group which shows in New Jersey and surrounding states and was also a founding member of the Essex County Arts Advisory Board.

As the Visual Arts Manager for JCC MetroWest, she is responsible for programming and managing four exhibition spaces-the Gaelen Galleries at the West Orange and Whippany's Laurenberg Family Center, as well as the Arts Lobby and Steiner Court Showcases and Roland Exhibition Corridor in West Orange.  She is also the coordinator for the annual Gaelen Juried Arts Show & Sale.

Miriam Gardin, Director NJJFF


Miriam is an arts manager and artist with an extensive background in live performance. Through her producing company, Mpresentations, Miriam produced and directed the world premiere of The Divine Mr. Average by Tim Carlson in D.C.’s 2006 Capital Fringe Festival, and is working on new projects. Previously, Miriam served as Development Director for The Ensemble Studio Theatre in NYC. Before that, she worked for Situation Interactive, providing marketing and advertising services to theatrical clients such as Disney Theatrical Group. She has also worked for Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, Performing Arts Chicago, and Young Judaea. In Israel, Miriam was the artistic and managing director of Center Stage Theatre, producing, directing, and performing in stage and film productions. Through her company Mitzvah Coach, Miriam privately coaches B’nai Mitzvah students and parents in presentation skills. She holds an MFA in performing arts management from Brooklyn College and a BFA in theatre performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.


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Zaman Dance Theater

JCC MetroWest Resident Dance Company:

Zaman Dance Theater


Zaman Dance Theatre Collective


A diversified blend of emerging artists, Zaman Dance Theatre Collective brings culture, passion, and the human experience to the stage. 


This collaborative of artists and educators is committed to a diverse, humanistic, and globally astute presentation of art, through movement, prose, and supporting art forms.


About the Company


In January of 2010 Zaman Dance Theatre Collective was commissioned to be the resident dance company of the JCC MetroWest Gaelen Center for the Arts, in an effort to expand professional dance programming and artist collaboration in the MetroWest and surrounding areas.  

The newly formed collective is quickly emerging and has been commissioned to perform their works throughout the NYC metropolitan area, internationally, and to underserved populations in the Essex County MetroWest community.


In 2010 Zaman Dance Theatre hosted the 1st Annual Essex County MetroWest Dance Festival –In Celebration of National Dance Week, which features the works of professional and student dance artists throughout the state of New Jersey. The collective also hosts Modern Renaissance X, an annual evening of collaborative works by New Jersey dance and interdisciplinary artists. Zaman Dance Theatre is currently in its 3rd season and recently jumpstarted their Global Dance Initiative in the Western Cape of South Africa, in July of 2012. The company will be expanding its educational and outreach programming for the 2013-2014 season.





Zaman Dance Theatre Collective

PO Box 220

Glen Ridge, NJ 07028

                                                Artistic Director- Zakiya Atkinson

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Teen Production Company

The Brothers Grimm "go Broadway" as Sondheim and Lapine offer up a cockeyed fairy tale in Into The Woods Jr., an adaptation of one of Sondheim's most popular works designed especially for young performers.  All of your favorite characters - Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (and his beanstalk), and the Witch - meet and interact in this whimsical originaly story.

Audition Info:

Prepare an up-tempo and ballad song ("Happy Birthday" is OK!) to sing a cappella - be prepared to dance.  Come either day - any time - and plan to stay about an hour.  Callbacks TBA.  There is a participation fee to be in the show.

T(W)EEN-STARS (Grades 5-12)

Tuesday, March 25 • 7:30-9:30pm

Wednesday, March 26 • 7:30-9:30pm

For more information, contact Samara Grossman: 973-530-3410 (

Show Info:

Thursday, May 29 | 7:30pm (T(w)een-Stars)
Sunday, June 1 | 1:00pm (Kiddy-Stars)
Sunday, June 1 | 3:00pm (T(w)een-Stars)


$15* Member/Student/Senior

$18* General Admission

To purchase tickets, visit
or call the box office at 1-800-494-TIXS.

*Fee for Box Office: $1 per ticket and $.50 per order

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Join us for our 14th Annual

New Jersey Jewish Film Festival


March 29 - April 6, 2014


Saturday, February 22, 7:30pm


Maurice Levin Theater                                                                                                                    Leon & Toby Cooperman JCC                                                                                                                West Orange, NJ

Get Tickets

Sponsorships include tickets:

  • 1 ticket at the $275 level
  • 2 tickets at the $525 level and up

Tickets ($20 each) will be released to the public in February.  Become a sponsor today and guarantee your admissions!

Find Out More


By Phone: 973-530-3417


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Art Galleries

Gaelen Gallery East

JCC MetroWest | Leon & Toby Cooperman JCC
760 Northfield Avenue
West Orange, NJ 07052

Gallery Hours

Monday-Thursday: 9:00am-9:00pm 
Friday: 9:00am-6:00pm
Saturday: CLOSED
Sunday: 9:00am-6:00pm

If the gallery doors are locked, please ask the receptionist at the front desk to contact maintenance in order to have them opened.

For information, please contact Lisa Suss at 973-530-3413 ( ).

Click here to be added to the Center for the Arts mailing list.

Gaelen Award Winners
Wei Biao Yan and Jennifer Levine
May 4–June 22

Arts Lobby and
Roland Exhibition Corridor

Margie Samuels • Watercolors

May 4–June 22


Gaelen Gallery West

Lautenberg Family Center
901 Route 10 East
Whippany, NJ 07981

Love Your Momma, Jennifer Levine

Gaelen Juried Art Show and Sale
May 18–June 22
RECEPTION: Sunday, May 18 | 1:00–3:00pm

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Maurice Levin Theater

MetroWest Children's Music Series (Appropriate for Ages 2-10) 


New Year Rockin’ Party


Mr. Ray!


Monday, December 30 • 11:00am

Mr. RAY (Ray Andersen) honed his skills jamming with Bruce Springsteen,
playing guitar and keyboards for Meat Loaf, and writing and singing his tunes in Blue Van Gogh, an indie band with his wife. He has released three albums and two DVDs over the past decade. His songs are all over Blues Clues, Radio Disney, and XM Kids, to name a few. This rocking family-friendly show shouldn’t be missed. Simply put: “It’s music for the kid in ALL of us!”

Tickets: $13 Member/Student/Senior • $16 General Public

Box office: 1-800-494-TIXS │
Fee for Box Office: $1 per ticket and $.50 per order


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Citation of Excellence

JCC MetroWest Gaelen Center for the Arts has been named a 2012 Recipient of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts Citation of Excellence.

Granted for excellence in artistic quality, programming, and public service in the arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts Citation of Excellence is the organization's most prestigious mark of distinction. The New Jersey State Council on the Arts is a division of the NJ Department of State working to improve the quality of life in NJ by helping the arts flourish. For more information about the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, visit

Join us at JCC MetroWest for the 2012-13 Arts Season at the Gaelen Center for the Arts!

Find your creative side - sign up for a class in the School of the Arts. Take a stroll through one of the Gaelen Galleries. Watch for the New Jersey Jewish Film Festival Extra! programming in November and February. For more information on Gaelen Center for the Arts programming, visit us at


New Jersey State Council on the Arts (NJSCA)

Created as an agency of state government, the NJSCA operates as a division within the Department of State. Its purpose is to encourage and give financial support to artists, arts organizations, and projects throughout New Jersey. NJSCA support brings the benefits of the arts to audiences exceeding 18 million annually.

The NJSCA receives funding through direct appropriations from the State of New Jersey and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

In addition to direct funding to arts organizations and projects, the NJSCA supports activities and events carried out by nonprofit organizations and artists whose combined efforts move nearly a billion dollars through our state's economy every year.

The NJSCA works closely with a growing array of partners involved in arts education, community cultural planning, urban revitalization, communications and broadcasting, transportation, travel and tourism, social services and economic development.


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    Adler Aphasia Center
  • Leon & Toby Cooperman JCC

    Ross Family Campus

    760 Northfield Avenue

    West Orange