Jam Factory Art Center presents a documentary performance dedicated to the case of the jew Mendel Beilis.

August 2022 — now
Mekhanichna st. 5

The Beilis case is a story that tells about the Jew Mendel Beilis accused for murder of a Christian boy, apparently for ceremonial purposes, which took place in 1911-1913 in Kyiv in the days of the Russian Empire.


The Beilis case is a story about the accusation of the Jew Mendel Beilis for the murder of a Christian boy, supposedly for ritual purposes, which unfolded in 1911-1913 years in Kyiv during the Russian Empire. The Jews became the “objective enemy,” according to Hanna Arendt, which was necessary for authoritarian tsarist Russia for propaganda because the empire must fight with someone or oppose someone, to assert its existence. The Tsar spread anti-Semitism to maintain power and keep the country from democratic transformations. Meanwhile, the Jews were subject to territorial restrictions it was allowed to live only in the settlement zone. They also suffered from pogroms (robberies, rapes, murders) this is how this Russian word appeared in other languages. Now, the Russian Empire has identified the Ukrainians as such an enemy. The myth of “blood libel” in the Beilis case is one of the anti-Semitic theses (next to the Jewish world conspiracy and the myth of Jews as rich exploiters), which Russia used to justify its violent actions. Now to hide the mass murders of Ukrainians and justify a “special military operation”, Putin uses the same methods. Today Putin’s Russia is as authoritarian as before the king.

Journalist Bret Stevens, quoting writer Joseph Conrad in a New York Times article, calls the statements of the leaders of Russia “almost sublime contempt for the truth”. For example, the words of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov, regarding the death of the peaceful Ukrainian population: “I tell you that the Kyiv regime is shelling its own citizens”.

Stevens showed that the Ukrainians became a new victim of the earlier authoritarian, and now even fascist Russia. Today they suffer in the same way as the Jews a century ago. He told
stories of his great-grandfathers of the beginning of the 20th century: one suffered from Russian pogroms, and the other was arrested twice. The families of both immigrated to the USA.

Today there are dozens and hundreds of Ukrainians die every day, and millions are forced to flee from Russian aggression, just as the Jews once did:
“This is not the face of strangers. For tens of millions of Americans with relatively recent immigrant roots, they are the faces of our parents or grandparents,” — Stevens writes.
Due to the large-scale anti-Semitism of tsarist Russia at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, several million Jews left the Russian Empire some to other European countries but most of them to the USA.

Personalization of the victims helps to understand the stakes in this war, both Ukrainians now and Jews in Tsarist Russia in the past. The struggle of Ukraine and the struggle for the innocence of Beilis are the struggles for freedom, and so that “almost exalted contempt for the truth” was impossible.

On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a full-scale attack on Ukraine. We made this performance during the war between Russia and Ukraine. Each and everyone with their own wound from the war. The wound that deepens every day.


Project managers – Liuba Ilnytska, Bohdan Hrytsiuk
Directed by Dmytro Levytskyi
Dramaturgy by Lesia Berezdetska
Text by Dmytro Levytskyi, Lesia Berezdetska, Anastasiia Lisovska, Piotr Armianovskyi, Nadiia Kalyniuk, Oksana Leuta. The text uses quotes from Mendel Beilis’s book “The Story of My Sufferings”.
Composer – Mariana Klochko
Artist – Serhii Petliuk
Training – Nina Khyzhna
Light – Sofia Kokuienko
Media – Volodymyr Fanta

Actors: Piotr Armianovskyi, Nadiia Kalyniuk, Oksana Leuta, Anastasiia Lisovska.


Jam Factory Art Center Program and Executive Director – Bozhena Pelenska
Financial and Executive director of Jam Factory Art Center – Tetiana Fedoruk
Technical manager – Levko Pidzharyi
Production manager –  Oleksandra Shutova
Communication manager – Mariia Shvets
Communication intern – Maryna Pertsovych
Financial manager – Liliia Bei
Logistics manager – Sofiia Korotkevych
Graphic designer – Maksym Zakrevskyi
  • Performance is age-restricted to over 16 years (16+).
  • For this performance, you need a smartphone.
  • Performance is a part of the Face to Faith program.

The performance address: st. Mekhanichna 5, Jam Factory Art Center.


Dima Levytskyi
Dima Levytskyi Performance director
Liuba Ilnytska
Liuba Ilnytska Project lead
Bohdan Hrytsiuk
Bohdan Hrytsiuk Project lead
Lesia Berezdetska
Lesia Berezdetska Playwright
Mariana Klochko
Mariana Klochko Composer
Nina Khyzhna
Nina Khyzhna Training
Piotr Armyanovskyi
Piotr Armyanovskyi Actor
Anastasia Lisovska
Anastasia Lisovska Actress
Nadiya Kalynyuk
Nadiya Kalynyuk Actress
Oksana Leuta
Oksana Leuta Actress


Jam Factory Art Center
Jam Factory Art Center

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