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Stained Glass

Statements on Situation in Israel from our
Founder and Artistic Director

Greetings from Tel Aviv. I am writing from the apartment of my daughter Marta, Niv (my Son-in-Law) and Rafi (my nine-month-old grandson), where I am presently staying. All across Israel, families are gathering in each other’s homes to face this war together. This nation, which has experienced great political divide for months, is uniting to feed soldiers, clothe those who had to run from their homes, provide blood for the wounded, and in so many other ways and means. It is profoundly moving.

While the theatres here in Tel Aviv are shuttered, it is important that the Jewish theatres around the world keep telling our Jewish stories.  Our stories are the foundation upon which we exist, flourish, and remember. Our stories -- whether spiritual, historical or literary -- created and sustained our people for thousands of years. 

A week ago, Shabbos began with a celebration of our Torah, the foundational story of our becoming a people and nation. The next morning, Shabbos morning, I was awoken by the loud, piercing sound of a siren -- the warning that rockets were close to our neighborhood. I quickly put on my sandals and ran to the bombshelter along with everyone else in my apartment building. This story has been repeated too many times this week. The stories of the lives of those kidnapped and killed fill our Facebook pages, along with stories of courage and generosity. This is who we are. A people with stories of tragedy, humanity -- and comedy (lots of dark humor these days).

Hamas wants to erase our people, remove our stories -- we won’t let them.  

So, Theatre Ariel, now -- tonight -- keep telling our Jewish Stories. 

Keep Jewish Storytelling Alive! -- Deborah Baer Mozes, Founding Director


I've spent the weekend thinking about Theatre Ariel's role in this moment, how to be there for our community. I realized that other organizations will hold space for addressing, discussing, praying, aiding and comforting. They've got that covered; it's not our role.

 Our role is to do plays. To entertain, enlighten and educate audiences through Jewish stories. And I believe -- firmly, desperately -- in the power of art, and theatre in particular, to nourish, expand and heal our hearts, minds and souls. I know the power that coming together as a group to lose ourselves in a story can have; how it can help restore us for what awaits us outside the performance space. Art offers -- not an escape from or a time to forget about "the real world" -- but a way to refill ourselves in order to keep going. 

 So we'll be performing this weekend, because that is what we do. And I hope you will join us and experience the power of enjoying a good story in the company of friends and strangers seeking the same nourishment as you. 

That's what I wanted to say to you today. I hope to see you at the Salon performances of The Substance of Fire this weekend or next.  

 In strength and compassion, Jesse Bernstein, Artistic Director

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