Inspired by Etty Hillesum’s unshakable spirit, the The Etty Hillesum Israeli Youth Theatre is a nonprofit organization which provides a safe space for youth from underprivileged neighborhoods and backgrounds to pursue their passion for theatre. The youth we serve come from Yaffo-Dalet, where we operate, and surrounding neighborhoods. Our organization seeks to vitalize the local community by bringing together a diverse group of youth reflective of Israeli society, such as Ethiopians, Arabs, Jews, African refugees, and other youth on one stage.
The youth who join our two-year program specialize in one of the three following areas: Acting, Make-up/costume design, and playwriting. The tools learned in theatre training will foster self-expression, confidence, integration in society, social dialogue, empathy, management of conflicts and emotions, listening and teamwork among the participants.
Every year we strive to bring in new youth representative of the multi-cultural community of Tel-Aviv/Jaffa and Israel. With professional training from the best theater professors we show that it is possible for a diverse group of youth to work together to create art on stage.
Together, the youth will be the ones who build, write, act, choose music and take part in every aspect of the production with the assistance of the teachers who work with them throughout the year. At the end of each year the students will produce a show, which will be entirely created by them, from the play script to the costume designs.
Etty Hillesum, at the age of 27, wrote a diary during the Nazi occupation of Holland. Published 40 years after she perished in Auschwitz, her diary is a living testament to her idea of human compassion and need for art and beauty to withstand the many obstacles we all face. With the use of her art and writing, Etty Hillesum was able to face the infinite and horrific hardship forced upon her by the Nazis. Even during the dark hours of the war, Etty changed her world and eased the suffering of others through dialogue, compassion, and unwavering faith in the goodness at heart of the human spirit.
Our Founder, Artistic Director, & Acting Instructor
An Israeli theater director working in Israel, France and Poland. In 2006 when she was 19 years old, she joined Ariane Mnouchkine's theater troupe "Théâtre du Soleil" as an actress. She participated and took part in the creation of "Les éphemeres", which gained enormous success all over the world. After this experience, she started her directing studies in Tel-Aviv, during which she founded, together with the French embassy, a theater group in the Bedouin district of 'Hura' for Bedouin adolescents who normally do not have access to theater. The group provided a secure and enriching artistic environment to young Bedouins at Hura.
In 2010, after finishing her BA in directing Gal was granted a research scholarship from "Wallonie Bruxelles International". She chose to research a Belgian author- Rene Kalisky at the ULB university in Brussels and to promote his plays to the Israeli public. Two years later she decided to put on a theater show in Lublin and five nearby villages wich were once Jewish Shtetls (Jewish towns in pre-war Poland). The play followed Isaac Bashevis's singer's stories and traced her grandparents history before and during the Holocaust.
Back in Paris, Gal finished her Master's degree at the Paris 8 University while working with known European directors and together they put on an anti war performance at Saint Denis (where the university is located) with international students.
After realizing the degrading political situation in the Middle East, Gal decided to found and create her next project in Jaffa, Israel. Today she is the artistic director and founder of The Etty Hillesum Israeli Youth Theatre in Jaffa. The theater is a unique and unprecedented project, which is being founded on the basis of Israeli-French cooperation.
Through this project, teenagers - Jews, Arabs and immigrants who are growing up in a situation which doesn't allow for the pursuit of dreams and activities beyond basic existence, will be given the opportunity to fulfill a dream and experience all aspects of theater. Theater has always been a tool for self-expression, confidence, integration in society, social dialogue, empathy towards others, handling conflicts and emotions, listening and teamwork. These are the tools the Etty Hillesum center wishes to provide to our youth in order to create a real artistic work of sharing and peace in the cohabited city of Jaffa. Renown theater directors from France, Israel and Poland are coming to the theater which is becoming a true and meaningful tool for peace.
A native of Morocco, Annie grew and shaped her aesthetic and artistic identity in Paris. All her life she has been fascinated by the world of art and culture. Nowadays, Annie dedicates her life with passion and audaciousness to sculpture and cherishes a real passion for contemporary art.
The meeting with Gal Hurvitz in Paris in 2012 became a decisive encounter for Annie in her life and was the starting point of building and developing one of her biggest dreams: opening an association for the benefit of youth from difficult backgrounds.
Today Annie is a co-founder of the "Voice of Youth" association and a member of the Board while pursuing her dream of introducing youth to theater and reading. Annie believes that stage is the royal way to give birth to secret emotions, reveal hidden talents and redesign life.
Actor, director and creator in the independant theater.
Graduated with a degree in acting at the theater department at Tel Aviv University. Artistic director and co-founder of Scapino Theatre Company.
Specializes in body language, mime, masks, commedia dell'arte and the study of the mechanism comedy. Acted, directed and wrote plays in centers of Fringe and street performances at many festivals in Israel and abroad.
Teaches directing and acting (Yoram Lowenstein, Kibbutzim College of Education, road and other schools) and teaches physical expression mime, masks, commedia dell'arte and comedy mechanism in high schools.
Combines Masks work with groups with special needs. Lecturer and animator of workshops about masks, body language and commedia dell'arte in business companies and various enrichment frameworks.
Voice & Singing Interpretation Instructor
Singer, actress, and songwriter.
Studied at the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in Ramat HaSharon. Participated in improvisational workshops in Israel and the UK sponsored by the BIArts, British Council, and studied at the Body Theatre School after receiving a scholarship from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation.
Represented Israel at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest along with Jewish Israeli singer Achinoam Nini.
Star on Israeli sitcom "Arab Labor" along with the TV drama "Noah's Ark," and appeared in the film "The Bubble."
Sang the theme songs for the films "Forgiveness" and "Lemon Tree."
Starred as Eliza Doolittle in the Israeli Opera production of "My Fair Lady" at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center.
She also participated in the Israeli children's song festival "Festigal", performing the song Take the Journey. In 2005, ‘Awaḍ collaborated with The Idan Raichel Project on the song Azini (Comfort Me) on Idan Raichel's second album "Mi'ma'amakim."
Performed with Israeli heavy metal band, Orphaned Land, on their fifth album, All is One, replacing their long time female vocalist, Shlomit Levy.
On November 19, 2009, ‘Awaḍ and Noa were awarded the Haviva Reik Peace Prize from Givat Haviva, to honor their commitment to peace and dialogue between Jews and Arabs
Physical Theater instructor
Ronen graduated from Seminar Hakibutzim theater school and immediately started performing and directing in major theaters such as Habima, Akko festival, Bat Yam festival and more.
Among his shows: Aluminium, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and many others. For the last 15 years Ronen is a leading teacher of clowning and pantomime all over Israel.
Teacher & Director
Acting Classes Instructor
He is an actor, director, translator and a theater instructor. He plays and directs in the Micro theater, the Incubator, Malinki and more.
He teaches at the Nissan Nativ Studio and Jerusalem, Aspaklaria studio, the Hebrew University and at the Martef theater- a theater school for adolescents at risk in Jerusalem. He sees his true destiny in teaching theater to youth. He is married and a father.
Actor, director, acting teacher, artistic director of the La Panim theatre.
As an actor he has participated in over 30 productions including 'Rosenblatt Express' in Habima theater, 'The Jester' in the Cameri theater, 'The Loneliness Collectors' in the Haifa theater, 'The Suitcase Packers' in the Khan theater, and more.
Ariel appeared in movies and television shows including 'Guy Uni" which was awarded best picture in the Peking festival. He directed three fringe productions and 11 youth plays and started the first Russian playback group in Israel.
Lead voice actor on the animated show 'Talking Tom'. Resident director at the Green Village youth institute.
Teacher and director at the the youth ensemble of Jaffa.