Monthly Archives: May 2015

Review: On her third helping of The Merchant of Venice, Judi Herman has a discomfiting but enthralling evening

The Merchant of Venice production photos_ 2015_Photo by Hugo Glendinning (c) RSC _MER_157

Don’t let the buggers grind you down. Try to come over as laid back. They wear a strange eclectic mix of what they see as achingly trendy, or sharp city wear, set off with flamboyant footwear in bright – too bright – poster colours. So wear a dingy blouson over an old cardigan and keep your dignity, simply wipe off their spit when they show their contempt for you. This could be what’s going through Shylock’s mind in Makram J Khoury’s finely calibrated performance, which positively radiates a relaxed gravitas.

Continue reading

Greetings from Israel! Raphael Gee reports on Limmud Tel Aviv

The Two Rafis - Raphael Gee (R) and Rafi Zarum (L) at Limmud Tel Aviv, 2015
The two Rafis: Raphael with Rafi Zarum, the dean of the London School of Jewish Studies, who presented sessions on James Bond and 7 levels of laziness

“Just back from the two-day inaugural Limmud Tel Aviv. I am not certain how many attended but those who did were a mixture of Israelis and olim from many countries including the UK, France, Italy, Turkey, the USA, South Africa and Australia. There were sessions in both Hebrew and English. Of the English sessions, topics included leadership, a talk by a retired Israeli intelligence agent (his name was not given but when he got up to speak, I recognised him from previous UK Limmud conferences, so his cover was effectively blown), Nidda (Jewish family law), Israeli innovation for developing countries, water co-operation and Jewish origins of value investing.

“There were also some journalists from the Jerusalem Post and The Media Line. Another journalist present but not in a professional capacity was Gabriela Pomeroy who has worked at the Jewish Chronicle and Financial Times and is now on maternity leave from the BBC World Service. She brought her six-month-old son Noah along too! Cementing Limmud’s consistent dedication to Jewish learning ‘in all its variety’.”

By Raphael Gee

For future Limmuds, visit their Tel Aviv or UK websites.

Review: The Merchant of Venice – The Globe offers a full-blooded production of a problem play

Shylock

The Merchant of Venice may be considered the most problematical of Shakespeare’s problem plays, especially in the current climate of a perceived threat of heightened antisemitism, but there’s more than one Yiddish version of the story, including M. Zamler’s 1929 novel with a brand new title, Shaylock (Der Soyher fun Venedig). Tellingly it is billed as based on Shakespeare’s tragedy.

Continue reading

Geraldine Auerbach reports on the tragic death of two giant figures in Britain’s Jewish music scene

Ronald and Miriam Senator, died 30/04/15. Photos © www.complete-music.co.uk and Brickman Family via www.timesunion.com
© Complete Music and the Brickman family via Times Union

Composer Ronald Senator and his wife, pianist Miriam Brickman, tragically died in a fire in their home in Yonkers, New York on Thursday 30 April. Geraldine Auerbach, the founder of the Jewish Music Institute in London, explains how important they were in the world of Jewish music in Britain.

Continue reading