The Jew And The Carrot

Dining in the Dark at Nalaga'at

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Courtesy of Nalaga'at

One doesn’t usually expect restaurant patrons to eat high-end cuisine with their hands. But that is precisely what guests will be encouraged to do when they dine in total darkness at a special pop-up restaurant called BlackOut in New York later this month.

Not only will the restaurant be pitch black, but its waiters will all be blind. The special dining opportunity is part of a temporary transplant, of Israel’s Nalaga’at Center (the name means “please touch”). The one-of-a-kind experience offers sighted and hearing people a taste of what it is like to live with a loss of some of their senses.

The other aspects of Nalaga’at are a stage production called “Not By Bread Alone” performed by deaf-blind actors, and a café called Kapish staffed by deaf waiters. “We are essentially recreating the Nalaga’at Center, located at the Jaffa port, in New York,” explained Adina Tal, Nalaga’at’s founder and artistic director, by phone. “We did the same thing in London a couple of years ago, and it was very successful.”

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