Hungarian saga kicks off storytelling festival

Lynn Saul

The Jewish History Museum’s Jewish Storytelling Festival will begin with Lynn Saul’s discussion of her book, “Learning to Say Satoraljaujhely,” on Sunday, Feb. 27 at 2 p.m.

This collection of poetry, short stories, memoir, and family and contemporary photographs reflects 200 years of Hungarian Jewish history, from the early 19th century to the present. The men are farmers, merchants, gamblers – and one is the billiards champion of Hungary. The women react to their circumstances and strike out on their own. Historical events covered include the short-lived 1848 Hungarian revolution, the 1882-83 Tiszaeszlar blood libel trial, post-World War I Trianon treaty, the Holocaust, and Hungary’s transition out of communism and into the global era.

Saul teaches writing and humanities at Pima Community College and leads community and synagogue-based writing workshops. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Arizona and has published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies.

Next on the festival schedule is “Saving Syd Cohen’s Home Plate” with Mike Anderson on Sunday, March 6, at 2 p.m. Cohen was the last pitcher to give up a home run to Babe Ruth before he was traded by the Yankees. He played with the Bisbee Bees before going on to play three seasons in the major leagues. Anderson is the founding member of the Friends of Warren Ballpark in Bisbee, Ariz., and a player on the Bisbee Black Sox vintage baseball team.

On March 13, the 2 p.m. program will be “Egg Cream Sunday,” featuring the video “The Bums” about the Brooklyn Dodgers, followed by egg creams and a chance to share memories of life in New York’s five boroughs.

The final program will be “A Love of Ric Rac: The Story of Faye Creations,” on Sunday, March 20 at 2 p.m., with storytellers Alan and Phillip Cohen chronicling their mother’s business, which started in a Tucson trailer home and grew to became an international fashion manufacturer. Several original Faye Creations styles will be on exhibit.

All Storytelling Festival events will be held at the museum, 564 S. Stone Ave. Tickets are $10 per event ($5 for children 12 and under) or $35 for the series ($15 for children). Tickets may be ordered by e-mail at jhmtickets@gmail.com or by phone at 670-9073.