UCL Hebrew & Jewish Studies


Isaac Salkinson’s Ram and Jael

22 November 2017


Isaac Salkinson's Ram and Jael


The UCL Hebrew and Jewish Studies Department presents a student/staff production of Ram and Jael, the first Hebrew version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

The play was translated by Isaac Salkinson, a Lithuanian Jew who had converted to Christianity, and was published in Vienna in 1878. Salkinson’s translation is a product of the nineteenth-century Jewish Enlightenment project to create a modern European-style literature in Hebrew before the language was revived as a vernacular in fin de siècle Palestine. 

Ram and Jael offers a unique and fascinating perspective on global Shakespeare. In this unusual version of the iconic play, characters have biblical names, references to Christianity and Classical mythology have been replaced with Jewish equivalents, and the lines are replete with a rich layering of biblical, rabbinic, and medieval Hebrew textual references.

Never before performed on stage, this production brings Salkinson’s groundbreaking translation to life for the first time.

The performance shown here took place at UCL's Bloomsbury Studio on Tuesday, 28 March 2017.

The production was generously funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.