Simon Barazin is an architect and interior decorator whose renovation of the 20-year old Barzilay Café in Tel Aviv’s Hashmal Garden district has elevated the standard coffee shop to a new level of design aesthetics, visually redolent of Donald Judd’s geometric sculptures and Dan Flavin’s light works. Installing specially treated glass windows that optimize the changing qualities of the natural light flooding the cafe throughout the day, Barazin reconfigured its three spaces—kitchen, roasting room and seating area—to exploit the reflective surfaces of made-to-order seating, brightly colored illuminated tables and gleaming metal countertops, for a Barzilay experience that is artsy, fun and inviting. Glass partitions allow for customers in the main room to see and smell the coffee being roasted.
The owner of his own firm specializing in design and spacial experience, Mr. Barazin studied at Israel’s famous Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, where he is now a teacher.
This month, Theater J, part of the Edlavitch Jewish Community Center in Washington, D.C. has enabled audiences across the country to register and enjoy free dramatic readings of new English versions of two early 20th century Yiddish plays at https://theaterj.org/yiddish-theater-lab/.
A finalist for the 2019 O’Neill Theater Center Festival in Waterford, Connecticut, Alix Sobler’s Miriam, is a reworking of Miryam, Peretz Hirschbein’s 1905 drama about a prostitute—a frequent subject for the Yiddish stage, strongly influenced by European Realist theater in that era—originally published in Hebrew. Known as the “Yiddish Chekov,” the prolific Hirschbein (1880-1948) is best remembered for his classic Green Fields. Featuring an all-female cast, it focuses on the lives of three women, who forge a bond as they reveal their unfortunate histories and look forward to a better life. Laley Lippard directs actresses Felicia Curry, Diane Figueroa Edidi and Kimberly Gilbert. Miriam can be seen live via Zoom on Sunday, June 7, at 5:00 pm, and will available from Monday, June 8 until midnight, Wednesday, June 10.
Allen Lewis Rickman has translated and adapted One of Those (1912) by Polish poet, playwright and author Paula Prilutski (1876-19??), which will air on Thursday, June 18 at 5:30 and will be streamed until midnight, Sunday, June 21. Its premiere performance in Warsaw was mounted by the legendary actress-manager Esther-Rokhl Kaminska, mother of Ida. Despite its grim narrative, this proto-feminist story of Judith, a rebellious young woman who suffers the dire consequences of her actions, is supposed to be very funny. Kevin Place will direct an ensemble, tba.
Alix Sobler’s play Sheltered won the 2018 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition. A graduate of Brown University, she received her MFA in playwriting from Columbia University in 2017. Playwright, director and actor Allen Lewis Rickman has adapted, directed and written Yiddish supertitle translations for New York’s Folksbiene and New Yiddish Rep.
Cheryl Kempler is an art and music specialist who works in the B'nai B'rith International Curatorial Office and writes about history and Jewish culture for B’nai B’rith Magazine. To view some of her additional content, click here.
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