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Jaffa arts fest celebrates disabled artists with music, theater and more

International Day of Persons with Disabilities will be observed next week by Jaffa’s Nalagaat Center with its Festival for Art that Breaks Boundaries, December 6 through 10.

The non-profit arts center is home to the Nalagaat Theater, offering a stage for those who are deaf, blind or both, along with the BlackOut Dark Restaurant, where the public can experience aspects of life as a blind or deaf person, including the sensation of eating a meal in complete darkness. It also hosts Kapish, where companies and organizations can host events with waiters who are deaf or hearing impaired and communicate through Israeli sign language, as well as workshops.

The five-day festival includes a Rami Kleinstein concert performed in the dark, an audio headphone thriller inspired by Agatha Christie, an evening of music and literature, dance and movement performances, and the Culture of Inclusion Conference on December 9.

The opening event on December 6 is a premiere of the play “It Could be a Man Standing in Snow” by Emanuella Amichai, with subtitles in English.

The 60-minute show combines movement, video and performance and is composed of five individual works performed by five different actors with various special needs.

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The participating actors are Kafr Kassem-native Tayyeb Badwe, who is deaf from birth along with a twin; Russian-born Yaroslav Bernatsky, who attended a school for deaf children; Ariella Toholov, who was visually impaired from birth and now leads an independent life despite being almost completely blind, assisted by her seeing-eye dog Alex; Sol Gabriel-Tal who has an eye disease that has worsened in the last six years; and Mordy Weis, who is deafblind and immigrated to Israel from the US over a decade ago.

A second performance of “It Could be a Man Standing in Snow” will be held on December 13.

More information and tickets are available at the Nalagaat website.

The UN’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities is traditionally marked on December 3.