About the theatre
Aspaklaria Jewish Theatre and Acting School was founded in 2001 by Rabbi Hagay Lober in Jerusalem, to offer quality Jewish theatrical content to Israeli audiences. It has flourished and grown since then, receiving recognition and repertory status from the Israeli Ministry of Culture. It is currently Israel's only repertory theatre company dedicated wholly to Jewish themes and culture, and has toured throughout Israel and the world.
Our artistic mandate is twofold: first, we create solely Jewish content, meaning that all of our plays will have a direct link to Jewish history, heritage, folklore, customs and culture. Second, we adhere to Halachic law, creating a theatre which is modest and suitable even for the strictest of Jewish adherents. We believe everyone should be able to enjoy Jewish culture, and strive to make sure that everyone can.
We are a touring theatre, which means that rather than setting up shop in one specific space, we will come to your venue, set up and perform there for your enjoyment. We find that we can reach more audiences this way; audiences who otherwise might not have been able to enjoy our work.
Following several successful tours around the world, and in North America in particular, we discovered a need here for quality Jewish theatre, and have now decided to found our North American branch here in Toronto. Our aim is to set our base of operations in the Greater Toronto Area, then to tour across Canada, and finally to serve all of North America, bringing our brand of Jewish culture into the hearts of communities far and wide.
Artistic director: Joseph Fackenheim
Joseph Fackenheim has been onstage since he was fifteen. A graduate of Nissan Nativ Acting Studio in Jerusalem, Joseph spent many years acting in Israel before moving to London to complete his M.A. in classical acting at the Central School of Speech and drama. He is an accomplished actor, writer, translator and producer.
The son of Rabbi Prof. Emil Fackenheim, Joseph feels a powerful connection to his Jewish upbringing, both as an Israeli and as a Canadian Jew, and is overjoyed to be named the first artistic Director of Aspaklaria Theatre's North American Branch. He sees this new beginning as an opportunity to explore and proliferate Jewish and Israeli culture, combining his fascination with his heritage with his love for the stage.
Production manager: Tal Shaish-Fackenheim
Tal studied acting at Nissan Nativ Acting Studio in Jerusalem. She spent many years onstage and on Israeli TV, as well as managing and performing in her own children's theatre, before deciding to complete her MA in organizational consulting at Bar Ilan University in Israel. She feels a deep connection to her Israeli roots, and is excited to be part of the theatre, to bring Israeli culture to new audiences in North America and worldwide.
General Manager: Rabbi Hagay Lober
Hagay is a Rabbi, actor, director and playwright. He was ordained at Merkaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem following eleven years of study, and later studied acting at Maale' Film School in Jerusalem. Hagay founded Aspaklaria Theatre in Israel fifteen years ago, and it is Israel's only repertory theatre company which deals wholly with Jewish themes and culture. The theatre has performed extensively in Israel and throughout the world, and Hagay has written, directed and performed in dozens of plays throughout it's existence. Following several successful tours in the U.S. and Canada, Hagay is excited to finally establish a permanent home for his theatre in North America.