New play grapples with issue of sexual abuse by clergy

Jerusalem theater group BaMatMaBat is no stranger to controversy. In fact, the group's co-founder Talia Weiss says controversial issues are what they look for. "We use our stage as a platform for change," she says. While issues such as violence against women have already been tackled, BaMatMaBat is turning its attention to abuse by the clergy. To that end, the English-language theater company has announced its upcoming production of Doubt, a Parable. Set in 1964, the drama tells the story of the principal of a Catholic school who takes matters into her own hands when she suspects a young priest of improper relations with one of his male students. The play explores issues of truth vs. uncertainty, as well as how sexual abuse is dealt with in a religious community. "I wanted to explore the issue of clergy sexual abuse, as it's an increasingly relevant issue to the Jewish community," says DeDe Komisar, co-founder and director of the play. "It's also a personal issue for me, as my father is a survivor of clergy abuse," she explains. "For over a year, he's been doing a series of investigative articles on the subject and has uncovered a dozen cases in Baltimore alone. The Jewish community is learning that we are prey to the same issues of leaders abusing their power that are faced by the Catholic church and other religious communities. These issues are not new, but after years of repression and silence, they're coming out and leaders are beginning to deal with them." Doubt, a Parable runs from June 3-12. For details, call 0526-416250.