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On 4th of September in Mini teater and JCC European Day of Jewish Culture


Jewish languages

From Hebrew to Greek, from Ladino to Aramaic, from Yiddish to Judeo-Arabic, from Jewish-Italian dialects to Russian, Jews, these people, created by a Word, heard at Mount Sinai, have always had a strong - and, in a typically Jewish way, happily contradictory! - relationship with languages.

Did you know that Yiddish is based on German? That Hebrew can be pronounced in many different ways, the most complete being the variety from Yemen? That Jews on the Greek island of Corfu used to speak an ancient Apulian dialect, or that Moroccan Jews brought their dialect, called Haketia, to the Amazon river? That Ethiopian Jews have Ge'ez, and not Hebrew, as a sacred language? And what about the difference between Hebrew and Aramaic?





Special guest of the European day of Jewish culture2016 will be Mrs.


Hava Pinhas-Cohen is the mother of four daughters and a poet, translator, editor of poetry and art books, teacher of creative writing, and lecturer on literature.



Sunday, September 4, 2016


10h -11h – Open door of the JEWISH MUSEUM LJUBLJANA,

Križevniška 3

11h – Being a "Sephardi " Jew today. What does it mean? Lecture by Hava Pinhas Cohen, free entry

17h-18h  Open door of the JEWISH MUSEUM LJUBLJANA,

Križevniška 3

18h – MINI TEATER, Theatre Bernard-Marie Koltes

Theatre performance

Polona Vetrih, Saša Tabaković


The idea, execution and selection of texts: Polona Vetrih and Saša Tabaković

Singing and interpretation of the text: Polona Vetrih as Havele and Saša Tabaković as Mojshele

Musicians: Janez Dovč, Boštjan Gombač, Vasilij Centrih and Goran Krmac

Music selection: Janez Dovč, Polona Vetrih, Saša Tabaković

Scene and costume design: Rosana Knavs

Translations: Klemen Jelinčič Boeta and Polona Vetrih

The author of the monologue I am Fanny Mendelssohn: Polona Vetrih

Production: Cankarjev dom in cooperation with Musical Agency Allegro and Jewish Cultural Centre Ljubljana.

Sponsor: Moro & Kunst, d.o.o.

Sunday, September 4, 2016 at 18.00

Location: Mini teater, Križevniška 1

Duration of the performance without the break is 100 minutes

Tickets: high school students, college students and pensioners 8 €, adults 15 €


The best advisor is our heart,

the best teacher time,

the most beautiful book is the world,

and the best friend the one who helps us find the truth and a way to ourselves.

(Yiddish proverb)


This is exactly what the musical-theatrical recital MI HA IŠ - WHO IS THE MAN is like - beautiful and heartful, with interesting and witty narratives, beautiful psalms and appealing Klezmer music. The performance is a tribute to the Jewish tradition, using diverse shades of emotions, as Primorski dnevnik reported.

When the MI HA IŠ psalm was introduced in the 11th Century, Chief Rabbi accompanied it with the following words: “Let this psalm be found by one whose heart is filled with sadness. Let this song comfort him and offer him new hope in these times of hardship …” And even today MI HA IŠ is still looking for a man. It is looking for the real man, that man, whose hope has been taken away from him and it goes about friendship and interpersonal trust. Since nowadays there are also bad times around us…  

With musical-theatrical evening MI HA IŠ – WHO IS THE MAN we want to make a step forward. With the beauty of Klezmer and Sephardic songs we want to come closer to people and introduce them with songs and witty anecdotes of some of the nicest Jewish customs.


1. Wailing wall – HaKotel HaMaaravi

2. Song of Songs – Šir Haširim, Salomonʼs Song of Songs


4. Polona Vetrih: Glass, half full – I am Fanny Mendelssohn

5. Eli, Eli – My God, my God

6. Tumbalalaika – Play loud, balalaika!

7. Danilo Kiš: The man is like a potato

8. Margaritkalach – Daisies

9. Danilo Kiš: Garden, the ashes – a memory of a father

10. Beltz – Small town Beltz: Where did the town go, the town, where I spent all my youth?

11. Klezmer – traditional music of Eastern European Jews

12. Atzlano Kafar Todrah – At us in our village Todrah

13. Isaak Bashevis Singer: Tale of pearls

14. Katrinke: Lajna – Barrel Organ, my old friend in good and bad

15. Isaak Bashevis Singer: A small goat, named Zlatek

16. Yidl Mitn Fidl – Fiddler Yidl: Why the goat does not bleats by the sounds of my violin?

17. Ephraim Kishon: Salomonʼs ruling

18. Balada Al Sus – Ballad about a horse

19. Ephraim Kishon: Destructive assessment

20. Lemonchiki – Lemons Oy, if only the money was growing on my garden as the Lemons grow

21. Anecdotes about Havele and Mojshel

22. Ana Bekoah: Request – Prayer Song Kabale


Polona Vetrih

Theatre actress Polona Vetrih is well known, recognized, and popular Slovenian theatre artist. Her name is related to countless successful projects. After she graduated at the Academy of theatre, radio, film and television, she studied at London Academy for Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), where on the graduation ceremony she was proclaimed as the most charming actress and one of the most talented students. After returning from London she became a member of SNG Drama in Ljubljana, where she still works today.

In 1995 Cankarjev dom prepared monodrama Alma by Uršula Cetinski which Polona Vetrih brilliantly played in this central cultural centre, as well as several times abroad. She was particularly successful in the comedy by Bernard Slade Same time, Next Year (Ob letu osorej).

The artist also performed in other, extremely successful productions: for 10 years play Presidents (Werner Schwab) was performed in SNG Drama, Festival Ljubljana was a producer of the hit, mono acting comedy Blagi pokojniki, dragi možje (Aldo Nicolaj), and performance Shirley Valentine (Willy Russell), produced by Teater komedija BTC, was shown multiple times all across Slovenia.

Polona Vetrih was a host performed in theatres in Vienna, Prague, Geneva, Frankfurt, Bologna, Londonʼs West End, New York, and Tel Aviv. She also performs on a high art and professional level in English language.

Saša Tabaković

He was born in 1981 in Ljubljana, attended high school (gimnazija) and middle music school (direction accordion and singing), then enrolled to the acting studies at AGRFT. During the studies he received two awards; zlatolaska (awarded by the Academyʼs students to other students) and university Prešernova award for the role of the Goldberg in the graduate performance A Birthday Party (Zabava za rojstni dan) by H. Pinter.

In his creative period he brought back to life more than twenty-five theatre roles in SNG Nova Gorica, Ljubljana City Theatre, and SNG Drama, where, since 2005, he is a permanent member of the ensemble. Besides dramatic theatre, he also appeared in several short films and three feature films, among which the most famous is certainly Beneath Her Window (Pod njenim oknom), directedby Metod Pevec. He also participates in semi-documentary shows Secrets of Music (Skrivnosti glasbe), produced byEditorial board for serious music and ballet RTV Slovenia. His love for music he is further upgrading with ethno group Damar which is mainly concentrating on the musical traditions of Balkan nations.

Janez Dovč

Accordionist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and a physicist with a diploma Janez Dovč (*1980) as a musician, composer, and producer works with several ethno, classical pop, and jazz solo singers (Boštjan Gombač, Goran Krmac, Irena Preda, Vasko Atanasovski, Zoran Predin, Robert Pikl, Rudi Bučar, Brina Vogelnik, Kaja Draksler, Simone Zanchini, Una Palliser, Arvid Engegard, Neil Innes, Emilia Martensson ...), orchestras (Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra - Orkester Slovenske filharmonije, The Symphony Orchestra RTVS - Simfonični orkester RTVS, Sounds of Slovenia), and creators of various studio, stage, and theatre projects (Carmina Slovenica, Lojze Krajnčan, Izidor Leitinger, The Fool Cool Orchestra, SNG Drama …).

Boštjan Gombač

He is well known Slovenian multi-instrumentalist and composer of theatre, film, and television music, while also familiar with theatre. Already during his studies of clarinet under the mentorship of professor Jože Kotar at the Academy of music in Ljubljana he has been an enthusiast for various music genres. Music path had taken him around the world when he was just a teenager and opened new horizons in musical expressions for him.  He is saying himself that while creating, the sound is his biggest inspiration and guidance. The more unusual it gets, the bigger challenge, chances of expression and joy to work it provides. We can follow his work for the past ten on approximately ninety sound recordings which cover everything from ethno to serious music. He is master of woodwind instruments, like clarinet, tin whistle, and ocarina, while he also plays the musical saw, bodhran, theremin, and several other unusual instruments that we can rarely trace on the concert stages.  With the music group Terra Folk he received multiple music awards and recognitions, among other audience award of the Radio BBC3 (World Music Awards) and he is also cooperating with music groups like Katalena, Bast, Bachology Quartet, Los Hermanos Muy Simpaticos.

He had already performed with several recognized people of Slovenian popular and serious music as well as with multiple foreign musicians, like Neil Innes, Tommy Emmanuel, The Cat Empire, John McSherry, Arvid Engegard, Susanne Lundeng, Knut Eric Sundquist, Marc Ribot, Greg Cohen, Theodosii Spassov, and Josipa Lisac.

Vasilij Centrih

He started his non-typical music path in his high school years in Celje with co-foundation of successful quartet Akord from Celje, where he devoted himself to tango, Hungarian czardas, Klezmer music, Russian romance, music of wider Balkans, and Slovenian folk music. For several years he has been playing in various orchestras, he has been especially cooperating with Youth Symphony and String Orchestra from Celje as a concert master and a soloist. Besides cooperation with various music groups (Amala, Simbolični orkester, Katja Šulc bend, Brizani project, Sedef, Sounds of Slovenia, Baraka), theatre performances (Syrup of luck - Sirup sreče, Evening with Mila Kačič - Večer z Milo Kačič) and in a movie Bullets avoid the fool(Norega se metek ogne), he has been an active member of the groups Jararaja and Aritmija during the past ten years. The first is reviving Slovenian folk traditions and the other revives music from the Balkans. After his training with the jazz violin professor, Max Grosch at the Carinthian State Conservatorium, he founded jazz Vasilij Centrih Trio: Tribute to Rite of Strings in gypsy swing duo Jasmine Café.

Goran Krmac

He is tuba player who inspires musicians and listeners all across Europe and all around the world. We can hear his instrument where we can usually hear bass guitar or double bass. He gives special tone to the groups he works with and at the same time maintains the role of the bass player. The foundation, on which he stands, is growing and dances with his music. In this role he has so far proven himself with multiple leading international musicians and was, anywhere he went, awarded with praises and invitations for further cooperation. In projects, which he is being part of, he is more and more often overtaking roles of the composer and arranger. 

Hava Pinhas-Cohen

Hava Pinhas-Cohen is the mother of four daughters and a poet, translator, editor of poetry and art books, teacher of creative writing, and lecturer on literature.

Hava studied literature and art history, receiving her B.A. and M.A. from the Hebrew University.  She is presently writing her doctoral thesis on the literatures of the Jews at Bar Ilan University with a President’s Fellowship.

From 1989 to 2008, she edited Dimui, an interdisciplinary literary and art magazine which she founded and which fostered a generation of poets and writers writing from an Israeli-Jewish consciousness, who expanded and continue to expand the Jewish canon.  In 2007, she founded the “Kissufim” Jerusalem conference for Jewish writers and poets, of which she is the artistic director.

To date she has published ten books of poetry and a book of dialogues on poetry and art with the poet Israel Eliraz.  Keshev published her most recent poetry collection, Another Journey with a Black Raven and Saint Claire, in 2015.

Matanel schedules a collection of short stories, “I, the Man,” for publication in Hebrew and French in 2015.

A translation of poems by Robert Pinsky' under the title “Kisufim" edited by Michael Kramer, was published by Mishkenot Shaananim, Jerusalem, in 2013.

A collection of her poems translated into Dutch, Door het vlees stroomt het verlangenwas published by Amphora Books.

A book on which she collaborated with the artist Andi Arnovitz, Mother’s Prayer Before Dawn, was included in the collection of the Library of Congress of the United States.

Bridging the Divide,a collection of her poems translated into English by Sharon Hart-Green, was published by Syracuse University Press in 2015.

Among the prizes she has received to date are the Yeruham Luria Prize (1989), the Prime Minister’s Prize in 1995, the prize of the Hebrew Writers Association in Israel for the year 1998 for her book The Songs of Orphea,

An Artist Fellowship for 2003 at the Oxford Center for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, President's Fellowship at the University of Bar Ilan, the Ramat Gan Poetry Prize for 2013, the Meir Ariel Prize for Hebrew Literature from the city of Rishon LeTzion for 2015.


All the events except the evening performance are free of charge. Tickects for the performance Mi-ha-iš are available at, Petrol gass stations or during office hours of Mini teater.