The Forbidden Conversation

A new autobiographical one-man performance exploring the difficulty of having a conversation about Israel in the American Jewish community. 

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Actor and Photographer Gili Getz presents a deeply personal one-man performance that explores the challenges of having a conversation about Israel in the American Jewish community.

At a time when, for American Jews, talking about Israel is so fraught and contentious Gili Getz’s Forbidden Conversation actually facilitates the conversation. His deft, rich and gripping portrayal of the difficulties in discussing Israel promises to make such discussions more likely, more civil and more productive.
— Professor Steven M. Cohen - Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Powerful play! A well-constructed experience for opening up the “forbidden conversation
— Rabbi Reuven Greenvald, Director of Israel Engagement, URJ
As Israel becomes an increasingly divisive issue among American Jews, conversations about Israel now frequently degenerate into bitter arguments and angry accusations. In his powerful and poignant play “The Forbidden Conversation” Gili Getz addresses this issue head-on, with candor, wit, and passion. Anyone who has argued about Israel, or simply struggled to talk about it, will surely relate to and be moved by Gili’s experience
— Professor Dov Waxman - Northeastern University - the author of Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel
His deliverance of the performance was artful and moving, as he layered in poetic repetition, onomatopoeia and emotion... He created essentially an open forum, asking audience members to come forth with their own experiences having these difficult conversations about Israel
— The Daily Campus
Thank you to Gili Getz, Hillel student life staff and the many Jewish Bruins who showed up for this special event last week in an ongoing endeavor to hold space for multitudes of opinions and ease tension through active engagement and conversation.
— Hillel at UCLA
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to weigh on our local and national community, and Getz’s performance opened up a forum that began to free the tension students experience.
— The Davidsonian
the conversation continued in class with thoughts, questions, emotions. If you can bring Gili to perform at your institution, do it!
— Jeremy Pressman Associate Professor of Political Science, Director of Middle East Studies - UConn

 

About the play

While visiting Israel during the last Gaza war in 2014, Gili experienced difficulty talking about the path Israel is on with his father for the first time in his life. Finding himself in a forbidden conversation with his dad, and worried that it might strain their relationship, Gili embarked on a journey to understand the most complex, sensitive and contentious topic in the Jewish community — Israel. Having come of age politically while serving as a military photographer during the turbulent Oslo accords and the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, Gili turned to photography, hoping it would help him once again make sense of a painful political argument. The result is “The Forbidden Conversation,” developed during the artist fellowship LABA (Laboratory for Jewish culture) at the 14th Street Y, and premiered at the Center For Jewish History in the spring of 2016..

 

The performance is followed by an open discussion about the challenging conversations we have with family, friends and our community concerning the future of Israel, the American Jewish community and ways to process fundamental differences and disagreements.

Share your love and pride, your disappointment and shame. All opinions are welcome.

 In conversation with Rabbi Shira Koch Epstein

 In conversation with Rabbi Shira Koch Epstein

Bio:
Gili Getz graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (NY), where he received the Kirk Douglas Scholarship and was a member of the Academy Company. He has performed in New York and Los Angeles in: Off-Off Broadway R.U.R. (as Gall), Off Broadway Retzach (as Flushed), Skin & Teeth (as Orion), for which he was nominated for Best Actor in a Drama (Artistic Director’s Award), Astroglide/That’s What (as Man), which he also wrote, The Broadway Play (as Lieutenant), Garbo’s Cuban Lover (as Thalberg), and in the New York premiere of Steel Tower. Gili performed at the Roxy Regional Theatre (TN) in Of Mice and Men (as George), Hamlet and the Bea[u]tiful in the Extreme. He has directed and acted in the critically acclaimed production of The Forgotten Carols for the past eight years.

Gili’s career as a photographer began as a photojournalist in the Israeli military. His photos covering Jewish-American politics have been published in Yedioth Ahronoth, Haaretz, The Jewish Week, The Jewish Daily Forward, Times of Israel, JTA, and Tikkun Magazine. His work is published by Princeton University Press in the new book "Trouble in the Tribe" by Professor Dov Waxman. Gili was the editor of the Israeli news site Ynet US.

For more information or to book:
Email: giligetz@gmail.com