Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Lights, Camera, Action!

Michal Eisikowitz

When Ronit Polin was asked to produce a play and video it, she jumped at a chance — and spearheaded a new genre of Jewish entertainment.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

takes in jerusalemA familiar name to frum women worldwide, Ronit Polin is a bubbling wellspring of talent and energy who revolutionized the world of religious entertainment when she released the very first frum, US-based film. A beloved teacher and counselor, the dynamic scriptwriter, drama coach, and director first became famous for her plays —including Hate Not Thy Brother, Face 2 Face, and Special Effect — which were later reproduced in schools and camps across the world.

But Ronit’s exciting career had humble beginnings. She traces it to a bedroom in her hometown of Philadelphia, where ten wide-eyed, pajama-clad babysitting charges waited for a story — their reward for bedtime obedience. Captivating her diminutive audience was a matter of survival — but Ronit did more than survive, her innate penchant for storytelling emerging in glorious color.

“As the suspense built up, the kids’ mouths would slowly drop open,” she remembers. “They’d clutch onto each other for dear life — and I couldn’t get enough! It was my first exposure to the power of a story.”

Upon graduating high school, Ronit accepted a teaching position at Bais Yaakov of Boro Park that she’d fill for the next 10 years. While teaching English to her eager pupils — Ronit’s newest captive audience — the vivacious educator simultaneously occupied the other end of the classroom, earning her BA in psychology and education from Touro College, and ultimately, her master’s in school psychology. “I felt that some of my students were falling through the cracks, and I wanted to do more for them,” she says of her career choice.

But despite her full-time schedule of teaching and studying, when Ronit was asked to write a high-school script, she embraced the challenge — and unknowingly rekindled the thespian passion within.

 

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p><span style="color: #333333;">To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or <a style="text-decoration: underline;" href="http://www.mishpacha.com/subscribe">sign up for a weekly subscription</a>.</span></p>

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you