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November 13, 1981 - Image 26

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-11-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

3 Friday, November 13, 1981

Youth Aliya Program Provides Offstage 'Career' for Actress

By WENDY ELLIMAN

United Jewish Appeal

JERUSALEM
Shoshana Ravid has played

Shakespeare and Chekhov,
ancient Greek tragedy and
modern Hebrew drama.
A"grande dame" of Is-

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rael's stage and screen, she
has entertained and moved
audiences in public per-
formances across Israel for
more than three decades.
Yet this dynamic, 55-
year-old theatrical star -
always performing, always
in demand, is just as famil-
iar a figure to more private
audiences as well — to
Youth Aliya gatherings
and celebrations, where she
reads from Henrietta
Szold's letters.
To understand why a
classical actress can al-
ways find time for Youth
Aliya, you have to know
something of her back-
ground. She grew up in
the Polish town of Dan-
zig, close to the German
border, the only girl in a
family of five children.
Her father was a Doctor
of Jewish Philosophy

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and History, and her
home was fervently
Zionist.
As the situation of the
Jews in Germany deter-
iorated during the 30s,
Shoshana's parents looked
for ways to save their family
from Hitler. Their eldest
son was sent to Palestine
with Youth Aliya in 1938,
and the next year Shoshana
followed him.
Shoshana's parents and
their three younger boys
spent the war years in a
labor camp in Russia. "My
brothers told me about it la-
ter," she said. "Our mother
would come home
exhausted after a long hard
day in the fields. There
would be no heat and often
no food either - and she
would warm the family by
telling them of a better
world in Eretz Israel, where
we were, and where in every
home there was a big bag of
cookies and the children
could help themselves
whenever they wanted."
From Gan HaShlosha,
the Youth Aliya village that
served as her first Israeli
home, Shoshana and her
class moved to Kfar Giladi
in northern Israel. "The
idea was to decide whether
we wanted to join the kibutz
or to start a new settlement
of our own," she says. "But
on Kfar Giladi I met Leah
Birnberg — and that meet-
ing changed my life."
Leah Birnberg had
studied drama and it was
she who awoke in
Shoshana an urge to act
that she never knew was
in her. "An aunt of mine
had been on the stage,"
she says, "but she disap-
peared in the Holocaust.
Slowly, over about two
years, an ambition to act
took hold of me. I kept it
close as a great secret —
like a first love or a secret
dream. I was totally pos-
sessed by it."
Tel Aviv's Habima Thea-
ter was holding auditions.
Shoshana went along and
was accepted into the com-
pany. "All my dreams came
true," she says. "I met my

Terrorism
Against Jews
Subject of Rally

NEW YORK (JTA) —
Public officials, religious
leaders and members of the
diplomatic corps joined
some 700 other New Yor-
kers at a memorial gather-
ing at the Fifth Avenue
Synagogue in Manhattan
last week to protest acts of
terrorism against Jewish
communities in Western
Europe.
Sponsored by the Jewish
Community Relations
Council (JCRC) of New
York and its 30 member
agencies, 'the program
memorialized the victims of
the Oct. 20 synagogue
bombing in Antwerp, as
well as those maimed and
killed in a series of attacks
on Jewish communal in-
stitutions in Paris, Vienna,
Antwerp, Rome and other
cities during the past 12
months.

beloved husband, Shraga
Friedman, who was a
member of the troupe. I
acted roles that every ac-
tress dreams of. We traveled
all over Israel with our
plays.
"I appeared in films, I
took a scriptwriting course

in the United States ... I
left Habima when we
started a family, but I could
never keep away for long. I
still act regularly — the
theater is in my blood."
Nor can she keep away
from Youth Aliya, which is
just as deeply in her blood.

WSU Press Offers Volume
on Globe Theater Project

In the spring of 1979, a
group of Shakespearean
scholars met at Wayne
State University to explore
the possibility of construct-
ing a replica of the famous
Globe Theater on the De-
troit Riverfront.
That conference has been
documented in "The Third
Globe: Symposium for the
Reconstruction of the Globe
Playhouse, Wayne State
University, 1979" (WSU
Press). The volume was
edited by conference par-
ticipants C. Walter Hodges,
S. Schoenbaum and
Leonard Leone.
Following the sym-
posium, Detroit Mayor
Coleman Young and WSU
President Thomas Bonner
declared a civic commit-
ment to reconstruct the
Globe Theater on the river-
front between the Renais-
sance Center and Belle Isle.
The theater will serve as a

study and research center
for the university and will
include space for museum
exhibitions.

Originally, there were
two Globe playhouses at
the Bankside site in Lon-
don. The first acciden-
tally _burned down in
1613. The second was
built to replace it and
opened its doors to the
public in 1614. It is the
second theater that will
be recreated on the river-
front.

C. Walter Hodges is an
authority on the structure
of Elizabethan playhouses;
S. Schoenbaum is professor
of renaissance studies at the
Universities of Maryland
and author of "Shakes-
peare: The Globe and the
World"; Leonard Leone is
professor of theater arts and
director of the theater de-
partment at WSU.

Germans Elect Town's
Only Jew to City Council

NEW YORK — In what
was either a rebellion
against conformity or a poor
joke, the town of Jever,
West Germany has, accord-
ing to the New York Times,
elected its only Jewish resi-
dent to the city council.
Fritz Levy, a somewhat
eccentric 80-year-old, was
elected last month by a coal-
ition of young adults con-
cerned with the town's
anti-Semitic past and resi-
dents of a home for senior
citizens, located in one of
the voting districts. Levy
says he made the decision to
run for council himself, al-
though the editor and pub-
lisher emeritus of the town
paper, the Jeverisches
Wochenblatt, feel he was
coaxed into it by the youth
center group.
The middle class estab-
lishment in Jever (popula-
tion 12,000) is embarrassed
and upset at Levy's election.
Through the years, Levy,
the only Jew to return to
Jever after World War II,
has been an irritant for the
town's conservative citi-
zens. His house was a mess,
he rode his bicycle on the
sidewalk (not acceptable
behavior in much of
Europe), and occasionally
shouted at women in the
market square.
But Levy has been vic-
timized by the remnants
of anti-Semitism in a
town that, during the
1930s, was a fascist
stronghold in Hitler's
Germany. When Levy
was born in Jever in 1901,
there was a Jewish com-
munity of about 200 in the

town, which then had a
population of 6,000. He
took over the family cat-
tle business before being
sent to the Sac-
hsenhausen concentra-
tion camp.
Levy was released from
the camp and boarded a boat
for Shanghai, where he
spent the remainder of the
war. He worked briefly in
San Francisco before re-
turning to Jever in 1949,
hoping to find two nieces
whom he had lost track of
during the war. He dis-
covered that his mother and
sisters had been killed but
that the nieces were living
safely in Bolivia. He chose
to remain in Jever.
Levy, as the council's old-
est member, will preside
when the governing body
meets to choose a mayor this
month. A prepared text of-
fered to him by the town
manager would have him
promising not to be a clown
and professing his faith in
Jever and democracy. Levy
says he won't have any part
of the plan. "I'm not going to
make myself ridiculous," he
said.

Zionist Challenge

JERUSALEM (ZINS) —
At a recent Zionist seminar
in Herzliya, World Zionist
Organization and Jewish
Agency chairman Arye
Dulzin said, "Every indi-
vidual Zionist must give his
personal answer to the chal-
lenge of aliya and Jewish
education, without which
the Zionist movement will
collapse on its own."

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