Zeke Berlin passed away on April 28th after being blessed to have LIVED life to the fullest for nearly all of his 97 years. After serving in WWII, Zeke earned a B.A. from Temple University went on to Yale University School of Drama for his MFA and earned his Doctorate in Theater at NYU. He acted some, but rapidly advanced to directing. While directing summer stock productions around the country, Zeke directed some of the biggest names in theater.
Despite mastering the art of directing and educating others in the ways of theater, Zeke never lost his thirst for knowledge. He spent a year at Osaka University in Japan researching an all-female acting company. That year endowed him with an enduring respect for Japanese people, culture and cuisine. In fact, while chairing the theater department at Rutgers University/Camden, Zeke went on to stage one of the most memorable performances of the Japanese timeless, classic morality play Rashomon.
Zeke and his beloved wife of 71 years, Sara, complemented their careers in theater and teaching with a zest for travel. While in their eighties, Zeke and Sara traversed the globe – often on walking tours – that took them around Europe, through Mongolia, even to the edge of Antarctica! Most notably, during this penultimate decade of his life, Zeke zip-lined over the Amazon rain forest!
Theatrical, adventurous, Zeke was also devoted to Judaism. For more than twenty years, he lent his directorial and acting skills to the Temple Sinai Players, putting on engaging and message driven skits specially written to bring contemporary flavor to High Holiday readings. Not surprisingly, Zeke often was cast in the role of G-d. As one of his closest cohorts said, "The G-d Zeke portrayed is the G-d whose image I hope I'm made in."
Zeke is survived by his wife Sara (Krasnow) Berlin and extended loving family.
Published by New York Times from Apr. 29 to Apr. 30, 2020.