Who’s a Jew?

By Jean-Claude Grumberg. Hebrew by Rami Baruch. Directed by Amir Wolf. Cameri Theater, January 29.

RAMI BARUCH and Shlomo Vishinsky in ‘Who’s a Jew?’ (photo credit: OR DANON)
RAMI BARUCH and Shlomo Vishinsky in ‘Who’s a Jew?’
(photo credit: OR DANON)
Here’s all you ever wanted to know about being a Jew, belief versus atheism, the “occupation,” the Jewish-Palestinian conflict, the difference between a Jew and a non-Jew, and more, all wrapped up in a smart, gloriously funny, marvelously French comedy.
To top that, Who’s a Jew? also has Rami Baruch as the Jewish neighbor, a playwright, and Shlomo Vishinsky as his Catholic counterpart, retired, who’s quizzing his neighbor on behalf of his wife (she gets all her info from the Internet), not that he cares one way or the other, of course.
Their encounters take place in the stairwell of their unpretentious Parisian apartment house, deftly designed by Shiran Levi, who also did the costumes, as unremarkable as the apartment, of course. Amir Castro and Rotem Alro’i did the apt lighting.
At first, neighbor Jew runs rings around neighbor Catholic, but gradually the boot gets transferred to the other foot, and then... but why spoil the fun?
To say that Baruch (in a curly wig) and Vishinsky are a perfect foil one for the other, to say that they hold the audience in the palms of their hands, to say that every line that comes out of their mouths is honed to brilliance, is no more than the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Laughter, they say, is the best medicine, and we’re in dire need. Who’s a Jew? provides a 90-minute welcome alternative to the reality surrounding us.