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February 02, 2012 - Image 36

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-02-02

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arts & entertainment

Unmasking Judeophobia

Film tackles today's anti-Semitism.

Masha Rifkin

While Germany faced years of re-
education and condemnation following
its loss in the war, the Arab world did
nti-Semitism — from its
not, said political scientist and author
roots in antiquity to the
Matthias Kuntzel.
This racism, the film
and European countries
argues, was therefore
where it once again
nurtured over the years
rears its ugly head — is
and has recently seeped
tackled in the new film
into Europe through the
Unmasked: Judeophobia
Muslim immigration,
— The Threat to
spelling dire consequenc-
es for its Jewish popula-
The film, made by
Doc Emet Productions,
France, with the larg-
the same produc-
Jewish community in
tion company behind
has been hit with
Gloria Z.
The Case for Israel,
of the violence.
will be shown at the
During the second inti-
Berman Center for the
fada in early 2000, more
Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. Monday,
than 500 violent attacks against Jews
Feb. 6, followed by a discussion with
were recorded in the country.
film producer-director Gloria Z.
The government has had a disap-
pointing response.
"I made this movie because I felt
"A very strange phenomenon
it really needed to be made said
occurred:' said Professor Shmuel
Greenfield in an interview with
Trigano of Paris University.
JointMedia News Service. "In the U.S.,
"There was a total blackout on these
we don't have our thumb on the pulse
attacks by government offices, by Jewish
of what's happening in Europe or
institutions, by media and so on. When
Muslim and Arab countries
we tried to alert French public opinion,
In the film, an impressive roster of
we were called anti-Arab racists; the
political analysts, professors and legal
government did not want to define these
experts, among them Alan Dershowitz, attacks as anti-Semitic. Here you have an
Natan Sharansky, Bret Stephens and U.S. ideological problem because Arabs and
Sen. Joe Lieberman, follow the birth and Muslims are seen as innocent colonized
development of anti-Semitism, includ- people, so they can't be racise
ing its modern manifestations.
According to the film, the problem is
"I selected the commentators for
apparent in other EU countries as well.
their scholarship and expertise in the
British Jews, feeling vulnerable to
issues that relate to the resurgence of
attack due to the unresponsiveness
lethal anti-Semitism:" Greenfield said.
of the British government, created an
"That's one of the things that is so
independent security organization
important about the film, its level of
known as the Community Security
expertise and integrity."
One startling fact experts recount is
While the frequency of violence is
the depth of the connection between
considerably less in the U.S., the film
early Islamism and Nazi Germany.
continues to discuss the prevalence
It is common knowledge, perhaps,
of different forms of anti-Semitism,
that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem,
including intimidation and censorship,
Haj Amin al-Husseini, supported and
on university campuses and in the
corroborated Hitler's ideals. According
United Nations.
to University of Maryland Professor
"When we have situations when a
Jeffrey Herf, the relationship was also
young woman is standing at a train
forged in the other direction. Part of the station in Paris with her babies and is
German strategy from 1938-1945 was
attacked by Muslim gangs who think
to extend Nazi propaganda to the Arab
she's Jewish and rip her clothes off to
world and North Africa through regular carve a swastika in her body:' it is time
radio broadcasts in Arabic.
to wake up, Greenfield said. ❑

Aaron Alpern and Diane Hill take the leads in Two Muses' production of
Same Time, Next Year.

Two Muses theater company presents
two plays that celebrate love.

Suzanne Chessler

Contributing Writer


aron Alpern of Ann Arbor
is helping to launch the pre-
miere season of a new, non-
profit theater company — Two Muses.
Alpern, appearing Feb. 3-19 in
Bernard Slade's Tony-nominated Same
Time, Next Year at the Barnes and
Noble Booksellers Theatre Space in
West Bloomfield, is in one of two pro-
ductions that celebrate enduring love.
Three performances of the second
production, Love Letters, with three
different couples, take place Feb. 7, 12
and 14.
The theater company, started
by Diane Hill and Barbie Amann
Weisserman, both of Farmington
Hills, reflects the diverse theater inter-
ests and projects shared by the two
women. While Hill directs and acts,
Weisserman designs and acts.
In Same Time, Next Year, "I play a
happily married man who happens to
fall in love with a young woman when
he's on a business trip," says Alpern,
50, who has worked at Meadow Brook
Theatre, Performance Network and the
Jewish Ensemble Theatre as well as
regional theaters around the country.
"Things transpire in such a way that
they manage to meet once a year every
year for the next 24 years of their lives,
and the play chronicles the changes in
their own lives and also in society"
Directed by Nancy Kammer, the
two-person theater piece also spot-
lights Hill.
"I had the pleasure of working with
both Diane and Nancy at Meadow

Brook:' says Alpern, who earned his
bachelor's degree from the University
of Michigan and his master's in acting
from the California Institute of the
"This play presents a unique chal-
lenge in that we're portraying a rela-
tionship that is changing over many
years along with the arc of each char-
acter's life. We don't get that sort of an
opportunity in most plays."
Alpern, who spent many years
working in theater in Chicago, was
active with Ann Arbor's Beth Israel
Congregation when he was growing
up. He and his wife, Rebecca Covey,
appeared in Denial at JET.
Three real-life couples from differ-
ent generations appear in separate
shows of A.R. Gurney's Pulitzer Prize-
nominated Love Letters, directed by
Yolanda Fleischer. They are Robyn
Lipnicki Mewha and Rusty Mewha
of Plymouth (third-generation cast)
on Feb. 7, Karen Sheridan and Sam
Pollak of Oak Park (second-generation
cast) on Feb. 12 and Mary Bremer
Beer and Arthur Beer of Warren (first-
generation cast) on Feb. 14. The play is
about two childhood friends who stay
connected for more than 50 years by
corresponding, continuing the theme
of relationships over time.
"I think the beauty of Love Letters
lies in the love that moves through
a lifetime no matter what paths are
taken:' says Fleischer, retired associate
professor of theater at the University
of Detroit Mercy and longtime
director in local theater companies.
"Love endures; love changes, but love

Same Time, Next Year runs Feb. 3-19 at the Barnes and Noble
Booksellers Theatre Space, 6800 Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield.
Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Wednesdays
and Sundays. $15-$20. Love Letters will be staged 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb.
7; 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb.12; and 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb.14. $10-$15. (248)
850-9919; www.twomusestheatre.org .


February 2 • 2012


Susan Wilson/Doc Emet Productions

JointMedia News Service

Unmasked: Judeophobia, the Threat to Civilization screens at 7:30 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 6, at the Berman Center for the Performing Arts, Jewish
Community Center, 6600 W. Maple Road, West Bloomfield, followed
by a discussion with producer-director Gloria Greenfield. $7/free for
students. (248) 661-1900; http://bermancenter.jccdet.org/ticketing.

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