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Culture

Tel Aviv Non Stop

The “Jüdische Kulturtage” is well established as one of Berlin’s many exciting festivals. Celebrating Jewish Culture, this festival seeks to build bridges between Jews and Non-Jews, Germans and Israelis.

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Waiting for an autograph? Author Stefan Heym and Israeli writer Joshua Sobol (right)

Tel Aviv Non Stop - true to its name, the festival kicked off with a performance by one of Israel’s oldest and most important theatres, the Cameri Theatre from Tel Aviv.

Along with many other VIPs, Berlin's newly elected mayor, Klaus Wowereit attended the opening of "Tel Aviv Nonstop", a cultural event packed with surprises.

The Cameri Theatre presented "Requiem", an homage to the writer, Hanoch Levin. The play is about life's confusions, missed opportunities and people who dream of a little happiness. Although the play is traditional, it still addresses current questions.

Another Israeli play, Joshua Sobol's "Ghetto", also premièred at the same venue in 1984.

The subject of the play –the collaboration between the Jews and the Nazis was taboo at the time, especially in Israel, where Sobol was criticised, and accused of defaming the country.

Now Joseph Sobol is in Berlin again, as a guest of the Jewish Culture Festival. The writer, who has been involved in discussions about Israel for years, presented his first novel, "Silence" at the Jewish Culture Festival.

"Silence" is a retrospective of an 80 year-old man, who has voluntarily remained silent for most of his life - a reaction which occurred when he was circumcised as a child, an act which coincided with the beginning of World War II.

The book describes life in a small village at the time when the Israeli state was established.

German actor Otto Sander read from his novel at an evening performance last week, one of the first of numerous festival events.

Apart from books and plays, the festival has a lot more to offer. The Jerusalem String Quartett is in Berlin for concerts, as well as the Jazz group Shesbesh and pop queen Yehudit Ravitz. Various Berlin cinemas are showing Israeli films and fashion is being shown at the Jewish Community.

And for night birds, DJane Shimrit Marom will be playing the hottest in Israeli hits at Fever - The Night of
Sound & Music.

The Jewish Culture festival lasts until November 24.