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Yiddish Theatre

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Performances and Conference: Theatre in a Multicultural Society Jerusalem 7th-9th January 2008
By Yehouda Moraly,

Theatre in a multicultural society: dialogues with artists Jerusalem 7th-9th January 2008

Besides the large main-stream theatres which play a central role in Israeli culture, there are many small theatre companies which represent different ethnic and social groups within Israeli society.

For 3 days, the conference will give a platform to these unique voices:

  • Yiddish Theatre
  • Judeo-Spanish Theatre
  • Religious Theatre
  • Arabic Theatre
  • Druze Theatre
  • Bedouin Theatre 
  • Theatre created by immigrants in a number of languages.

    These events will take place in Jerusalem on

    7th January 2008

    At 20:00 at The Laboratory Theatre
    Derekh Hebron, 28, Jerusalem,
    Tel: 02 629 20 00.  web : http://www.maabada.org.il/index.php

    8th January 2008

    From 10:00 to 14:00 at Beit Meyersdorf Faculty Club
    Hebrew University, Mount Scopus,
    Faculty of Humanities,
    Tel: 02 588 22 44.

    From 14:00 to 19:00 at The Israel Theatre Archives,
    Faculty of Humanities Gush 7,
    Hebrew University, Mount Scopus,
    Tel: 02 588 39 86.

    9th January
    From 10:00 to 17:30 at Beit Meyersdorf Faculty Club
    Faculty of Humanities, Gush 7
    Hebrew University, Mount Scopus,
    Tel: 02 588 22 44.

    From 20:30 Young Yiddish,
    52 Yirmiyahu Street, Jerusalem,
    Tel: 02-5001395.

    A theatrical performance, starring Estie Svidensky, Mikhal Govrine and Mendy Cahana will take place at the Young Yiddish Theatre as a tribute to the memory of Abraham Goldfaden, the father of Yiddish Theatre on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his death (9th January 1908).

    Monday, January 7


    The Unbearable Lightness of Being Together/The Lab

    20:00 – 23:00 – A marathon of plays on the subject of cultural encounters, performed by students from the Hebrew University’s Theater Studies department.

    Tuesday, January 8

    Multicultural Theater in Israel/Maiersdorf Faculty Club
    10:00-10:30 – Registration
    10:30 – 11:00 – Greetings

    11:00 – 12:30 – First Session/Maiersdorf Faculty Club
    Arab Theater in Israel
    Chair: Prof. Yehuda Moraly

    Dr. Masud Hamdan
    Landmarks in Palestinian visual expression in the Israeli civil arena – a historical review
    Panel and Practical Examples
    Moderator: Dr. Jeanette R. Malkin
    Participants: Salwa Nakara, Fouad Awad, Riad Masarwi
    An excerpt from the play Cappuccino in Ramallah

    12:30 – 12:40 – Coffee Break

    12:40 – 13:20 – North to South
    Panel and Practical Examples
    Moderator: Ms. Leah Gilula
    Participants: representatives from the Shuruk Theater (Pki’in) and the Negev Jewish\Bedouin Theater

    13:20 – 14:00 – Lunch Break

    14:00 – 16:30 – Second Session / The Yisra’el Gur Theater Archive and Museum
    Theater in Yiddish and Ladino
    Commemorating 100 years since the passing of Abraham Goldfaden
    In cooperation with the Young Yiddish Center
    Chair: Prof. Therese Malachy

    Ladino Theater
    Prof. Isaac Benabu talks with Matilda Cohen-Serano
    Excerpt from the Spanish musical From Generation to Generation

    Yiddish Theater
    Prof. Dwora Gilula
    Goldfaden’s ‘The Witch’ in Hebrew Apparel
    Prof. Yehuda Moraly
    Abraham Goldfaden – Broadway’s Secret Grandpa

    Panel and Practical Examples
    Moderator: Dr. Shelly Zer-Zion
    Participants: Ruth Levin, Mendy Kahan, Esti Svidensky, Michael Teplitzky, Benny Mer
    Excerpt from the play I Forgot the Point

    16:30 – 17:00 – Coffee Break

    17:00 – 19:00 – Third Session / The Yisra’el Gur Theater Archive and Museum
    Jewish Religious Theater in Israel
    Chair: Dr. Olga Levitan

    Dr.Reina Rutlinger-Reiner
    The Religious Public’s Genre – An Alternative to Mainstream Theater?
    Panel and Practical Examples
    Moderator: Mrs. Rivka Manovich
    Participants: Gilad Alfasi, Yitshak Nativ, Roi Rashkes, Veronica Gottlieb, Noa Ariel
    Excerpt from the play For the Sake of Designation

    Wednesday, January 9

    Inter-cultural Meetings in Israeli Theater/Maiersdorf Faculty Club

    10:30 – 12:30 – First Session/ Maiersdorf Faculty Club
    Coexistence in Israeli Theater – Between Fringe and Mainstream
    Chair: Dr. Dafna Ben Shaul

    Dr. Anat Gesser
    Are contemporary theater productions an effective means towards encouraging peace and tolerance between Jews and Palestinians? – Results of a 2005-2007 study
    Panel and Practical Examples
    Moderator: Shai Bar Yaacov
    Participants: Taher Najib, Tamir Greenberg, Yuval Meskin, Khawlah Haj-Dibsi

    12:30 – 12:45 – Coffee Break

    12:45 – 14:30 - Second Session/ Maiersdorf Faculty Club
    Coexistence in Israeli Theater – Past, Present, Future
    Chair: Prof. Isaac Benabu

    Panel and Practical Examples
    Moderetor: Shai Bar Yaacov
    Participants: Igal Ezraty, Jashan Adiv, Moni Josef, Haled Abu Ali
    Excerpts from performance pieces created with the support of the Billy Crystal Project for Peace Through the Performing Arts (Students from the Theater Arts Department, Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

    14:30 – 15:30 – Lunch Break

    15:30 – 17:30 – Third Session/Maiersdorf Faculty Club
    Artists Cross Cultures: Languages Speaking the Theatrical Language
    Chair: Dr. Jeanette R. Malkin

    Panel and Practical Examples
    Moderator: Dr. Dorit Yerushalmi
    Participants: Ronit Ivgy, Alemu Tesefahun, Shannon Kisch, Dima Ross, Rachel Kovner, Sasha Chazin
    Excerpt from Moliere’s The Miser in Moroccan

    20:30 – Goldfaden’s Golden Thread –
    An evening commemorating 100 years since the passing of the father of Yiddish theater.

    Programme committee: prof. Yehuda Moraly, Dr. Olga Levitan, Irith Fogel, Shai Bar Yaacov, Keren Cohen.

    This event was made possible by the generous help of the Frederick Loewe Foundation ,the Billy Crystal Project for Peace through the Performing Arts and the Ministry of Culure.

We will be pleased to welcome all theatre-lovers to the conference.

Prof. Yehouda Moraly,

Theater Department Hebrew University Jerusalem


Related Links:

  • The Golden Epoch of Yiddish Theatre in America
  • Forging a hero for a Jewish stage: Goldfadn's Bar Kokhba
  • Read additional reviews on Yiddish Theatre
  • The Development of Israeli Theatre
  • The Hebrew Theater: Between the War and the Holocaust

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