the explosive new play that challenges us to define sincere conversion

Directed by Yael Valier

In English at the Eshkol Pais, Beit Shemesh, December 4, at 19:00.

The performance is followed by a discussion with Rabbi Yosef Wolicki on family dynamics and how they impact the conversion process. Rabbi Wolicki will be joined by the playwright, herself a convert, who will talk about the experiences that led her to write the play.

For more details about Rabbi Wolicki and other post-performance scholars, click here

In a Stranger's Grave tells the story of Esther, a young woman plunged into crisis when she learns about the death of her mother and the local Burial Society's shocking revelation and decision. Esther and her family ultimately disagree about how to dignify her mother and, by extension, themselves, and Esther is left to battle alone. Whether she is courageously stalwart or merely crazy is in the eye of the beholder.


I chose to produce Jerusalemite playwright Miriam Metzinger's challenging new play, In a Stranger's Grave, because it asks questions critical and current to Israeli society and to the Jewish Diaspora. Through the disturbing story of one family in crisis, the play brings a nuanced and sophisticated approach to questions that trouble us: Can anyone but the convert judge the sincerity of her conversion? Can Jewish status be annulled? Does the pain of the individual trump the needs of the community? Must a society take risks that could lead to the erosion of its own values? When is it right

to turn our backs, and when is it a moral crime to do so?


I greatly look forward to bringing this play to the stage and to inviting audiences to join me and my guest scholars in debating the issues after every performance. 


Yael Valier

Creative Director



The performance on December 4th is in English at the Eshkol Pais, Beit Shemesh

For directions and contact info, click here. 



Miriam Metzinger is a playwright, actress, and singer based in Jerusalem. Her first play, Lapse, was produced at Franklin College and Oxford University and was awarded a High Commendation rating at the Oxford Cuppers Theater Festival. Her second play, Low Ceiling, was produced at the Burton Taylor Theater in Oxford, U.K. and at Kenyon College. The Women of Lemonfield was given a staged reading at H.B. Studio New York. She also writes fiction; The Invisible Chassidishe Maidel was published in the Kenyon Review in 2014. Metzinger has also written a book of essays, Halfway Down the Stairs, and The Law in Indiana, a biographical novella. She was awarded the John Crowe Ransom Award for Poetry at Kenyon College. Her latest play, In a Stranger's Grave, sold out every performance during its recent run at Jerusalem's Khan Theater. Miriam is a convert to Judaism.

Scenes from current and previous productions

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