What happens when a community is charged with judging one of its own for a nearly impossible-to-prove crime? The SLO Repertory Theatre presents one scenario in its staged reading of New Jerusalem, showing Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 3 at 2 and 7 p.m.
Baruch de Spinoza is a young merchant and the heir of Saul Mortera, the chief rabbi of Amsterdam. But Amsterdam's Sephardic Jews have made a fatal arrangement with the city: They have agreed to police their own community for unorthodox beliefs. When the city accuses Spinoza of atheism, Mortera must summon Baruch to the synagogue to defend himself. Spinoza's best friend, his sister, and the woman he loves are all drawn into the controversy, a historical event that shook up not only the entire Jewish community of Amsterdam, but changed Spinoza's and Mortera's lives—and all of Western thought—irrevocably.
Tickets are $15 per person. Visit slorep.org for more information. Δ