ABRAHAM’S DAUGHTERS by Emma Goldman-Sherman


Although Abraham is a Jew from Flushing, and he only has one daughter, Maxine, and her only daughter Racie is a lesbian, Abraham still believes he’ll be the Father of Nations. He moves to Tel Aviv in search of his first love, Haajar. When he discovers Haajar’s daughter has five Palestinian Muslim sons, he goes to Nablus in the midst of the first Intifada to claim them as his own. Abraham’s Daughters is a mythic play about colonialism and identity. 1 man, 4 women, 90 min, unit set.



ABRAHAM – A man in his early 70s. Jewish-American from Queens.

MAXINE – A woman, early 40s. Jewish-American.

HUDA – A woman, 44, but may seem older than that. Palestinian Muslim. Wears a thob and hijab.

RACIE – Maxine’s daughter. 18. American Jew from Long Island. Lesbian.

AMEL – Huda’s daughter. 19. Palestinian Muslim from a refugee camp in Nablus. Wears a hijab with American-style clothing (jeans, Keds-like sneakers). Amel is pronounced M.L.



This play is available for a world premiere. There is a podcast from The Parsnip Ship here https://www.theparsnipship.com/#listen-now

The play was read as part of The Lady Liberty Festival to Combat Islamophobia in NYC at Urban Stages in 2016 and also read as part of Intersections International’s Arts Festival that same year.

In 2019, Abraham’s Daughters was a staged reading presented as part of the International Human Rights Arts Festival at The Wild Project.




John Robert Tillotson:
Abraham’s Daughters tells a very contemporary story detailing a very difficult, timely subject. What struck me most was the terrific acting opportunities its roles present. Each character is fully realized as they make discoveries about their lives as well as the lives of relatives they are newly connected to. It’s a wonderful, moving, heart-breaking ensemble play.
Dave Osmundsen:
I listened to this play on the Parsnip Ship podcast. What a tender, touching, human play! Goldman-Sherman writes her characters with such care that you walk away understanding each and every one of them. Although it’s a heavily political play, it also talks about intimate themes such as family, identity, and one’s relationship with the past on a macro and micro scale. A heartfelt call for unity, “Abraham’s Daughters” is the kind of play that will make you want to be a better person.
Melissa Bell:
Funny, moving, poignant. I had the pleasure of attending the recording of ABRAHAM’S DAUGHTERS for Parsnip Ship podcast. The humor in the play aids us in accepting and processing the daily horror faced by residents of Israeli-occupied territories in Palestine. A beautiful work about the founding and displacing of nations, with complex characters, set within the context of a family. If you want to give your audience something to discuss, this is the play.
Gabriella Steinberg:
This is a rich drama based on the writer’s experience in Palestine about the price of legacy and the myths, and truths, we cling to in order to protect our identities. While the play is a period piece decidedly set in 1993, the timeliness of the conversations in the play (about facing hard truths about power, and about the issues surrounding homeland and safety) carry over into productions of the play today. It’s wonderful to hear Palestinian voices written with a deep respect for their perspective, and this play is a loving tribute to that respect.
Michael Wells-Oakes:
This remarkable play tells of Abraham Abramowitz’s two families, one from Queens NY, one living in a refugee camp in Nablus. The coming together of Abraham’s daughter, Maxine and her daughter Racie with his Palestinian daughter, Huda and daughter Amel, unfolds in the universe of the first Intifada. Their struggles are full of need, desire, contradiction. Abraham’s identification with the biblical Patriarch and promise to be father of Nations, leads to the play’s heart-wrenching climax. Challenging and deeply human, ABRAHAM’s DAUGHTERS does what good theater must – – touch, illuminate, change its audience. Highly recommended.
Suzanne Willett:
A deeply personal lens into the tragedy that is the complicated history of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Goldman-Sherman seamlessly weaves concepts of legacy, separation and power into the history of the Lipschitz family. A brave play that demands a reconsideration of the conflict in the Middle-East.
Nelson Diaz-Marcano:
An examination of a conflict through the eyes of a family caught in the middle of it. History and ideals clash as a man tries to understand his role in the ever changing world and what love ultimately means. Expertly written, this play would be a harrowing experience on stage.
Cheryl Bear:
Beautifully written, the story of two halves of one family struggling to decide to come together or fervently resist. Split between an eager desire for understanding or a refusal to change one’s point of view and hear the other side out of fear that ones reality will be altered or that something may be taken away. Heart wrenching and poetically composed, a brilliant piece of theatre. Yes, this needs to be seen. Excellent.
David Sard:
An incredibly intense and well-crafted play, full of the warmth and the agony of Palestinian – Israeli relations. Needs to be seen.


Approximately 90 minutes



Preview available here

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