Hundreds Attend First Ever Habima Performance in Kiryat Arba

"We came to see theater, not talk politics," stated one resident.

17.11.16, 05:39
(Photo: A scene from the performance. Credit: Miri Regev Facebook page.)
Approximately 400 people attended the first ever performance of Habima, Israel's national theater company in Kiryat Arba on November 10, 2016. The performance was held at the Kiryat Arba Performing Arts Center which opened in 2011. Kiryat Arba is a community of over 7,000, located adjacent to Hebron in the Judea region.
Elected officials who attended the event included Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev who introduced the performance, and Member of Knesset Yehudah Glick. Regev posted on her Facebook page, "they told me it won't happen. Government-funded cultural institutions in Judea and Samaria? But today I got in the car and drove from Tel Aviv to the city of the forefathers and mothers and I saw it with my own eyes. This is a simple story. Very simple. Habima actors on the stage in front of a packed house for original Israeli culture. Well done, Habima. Well done, Kiryat Arba. Together we made history."
She was quoted in Israel Hayom news as having said, "revoking the right of our dear residents of Judea and Samaria from enjoying Israeli culture and creativity -- that is a violation of equality."
Israel National News reported that MK Glick came to the performance accompanied by a guest, Muhammed Jaber, an Arab-Muslim resident of Hebron. Jaber was once a member of the terrorist organization, but now he is a peace activist who opposes violence.
Glick stated, "our job in the future will be to extend Israeli sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria. It will require us - Jews and Arabs - to learn to live together. It will mean a two-sided struggle-fighting an uncompromising battle against violent extremist factors while at the same time striving to live together and strengthen the moderate elements."
Habima performed a stage version of A Simple Story by S. Y. Agnon, Israel's first Nobel laureate. The tale written in 1935 deals with the wedding of a young Jewish couple and their families in an Eastern European shtetl. The theater troupe was founded in 1912 in Bialystok and is today headquartered in Tel Aviv, where it is considered a bastion of liberal ideals.
In 2007, Habima collaborated in a play entitled "Hebron" which dealt with Israeli-Arab political strife. Protesters decried the play as slandererous against the IDF.
The executive director of Habima Odeliah Friedman, stated, "it is not the role of the National Theater to condemn or engage in boycotts against any sector of the population. The purpose of the National Theater is to provide quality culture for all citizens of Israel, and just as it has done so in the past, so too will it do so in the future."
Naharnet news quoted Kiryat Arba resident Yudith Weinstein, as stating "there is rarely anything cultural happening here, but we also want to be able to go to the show near us. Tel Aviv is far away and we do not care that this company is considered leftist, we came to see theater, not talk politics."
The play is scheduled to be performed in the city of Ariel, also in the Judea district, in March.
For preliminary article on Habima performance click here.
To visit Hebron:
United States contact info:
1760 Ocean Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11230

In Israel contact the offices of the Jewish Community of Hebron at:

Join the Hebron Fund for Parshat Chayei Sarah on Thanksgiving!
* Rare Visit to Mamre Archaeological Site
Parshat Chayei Sarah to Attract Masses to Hebron on Shabbat
(Photo below: A scene from a performance of A Simple Story. Credit: HaBimah website.)
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