Programming Round-Up #2: A MIKVEH Peace Cafe

Director Shirley Serotsky led the audience through an interactive discussion in the theater, using the Peace Cafe format, getting audience members to first talk amongst themselves before she facilitated a collective discussion.

Here’s a glimpse at the Peace Café Menu:

Food for Thought items

Following Hadar Galron’s MIKVEH – on Sunday, May 30

1. According to Jewish Law, the establishment of a mikveh within a community is even more vital to the spiritual continuity of the Jewish people than the building of a synagogue.

Shoshana
Not everyone has to know you’re going to the mikveh.

Miki
You mean it’s tucked away on purpose? So not to be ashamed?! God- that’s hysterical!

Shoshana
Ashamed? God forbid. Family Purity is more important than fasting on Yom Kippur! … Tznius!! … perhaps where you live, there is no room for modesty!

Was Shoshana invested in the spiritual well-being of the women attending her mikveh? Do you think this play advocates for or against the observance of Mikveh? What evidence would you cite to back this belief?

2. The significance of silence is a reoccurring theme in this play.

Shira
With your silence and your lies you’re protecting and defending a criminal ! Even if you didn’t mean to!

Do you agree or disagree with Shira? Is silence a form of complicity? What are the different ways that silence impacts the chatacters in this play?

3. A common critique of feminist theatre is that in celebrating women, it portrays men in a negative way. This play has a very strong male presence, though they exist entirely off stage.

What do you think about the male characters depicted in the story? What is the variety of power dynamics in the relationships depicted in Mikveh?

4.
Tehila
Sing to me! Please… I love your voice—please!

Miki (In no mood to sing)
What’s the matter?

Tehila
A hug—one hug–please, Miki…

Some audiences have shared with us that they didn’t understand where Tehila’s suicide came from; that it was too sudden, or not fully justified. Does it make sense to you that Tehila would choose to end her life? Why or why not?

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Our next (and final) Peace Cafe in conjunction with MIKVEH, happens this Thursday, June 3 at 9:50 pm – following the 7:30 performance of MIKVEH. Join us for a Peace Café in the JCC Cafe area with “A Slim Peace” film-maker, Yael Luttwak

In the Sundance Channel documentary film A SLIM PEACE, a group of Arab and Jewish women share intimate feelings and stories in a weight loss class together. Since the film’s premiere at Tribeca Film Festival (2007) it has inspired numerous Slim Peace Groups in Israel and is looking to begin a similar gathering in the Metro DC area.