Zelda Harris
Zelda Harris
Five on the 100 aliyah from UK list!

Facing the truth and shining a light!

Last evening along with family members of differing ages, I attended a theatre performance at the Western Galilee College of Education in Akko, a beautiful and historic town in Northern Israel. Every year students at this unique college put on a theatrical production based on the concept of Community and Educational Theatre.
I like to call it the -“Theatre of Life”.

Students come from diverse backgrounds and also a range of ages. Their own life experiences and opinions are given total expression. I always wish that I had been afforded an experience like this. I went to a very special girls school in the UK where we were taught that no human being is beneath you! That you should look into the eyes of the person who cleans your home or whatever service they perform. One human being is not above the other.

However this is not the same for everyone. Whether one has a motor bike or only a bicycle and sometimes not even that, should not be the criteria for the type of human being with whom you share a desk at school or kick or throw a ball in the school yard.
This theatre experience also takes into account the political and racial tensions that we in this tiny country, which could be called a melting-pot, have to face almost every day.

In a way this is what gives Israel its uniqueness. In the early days one could identify and distinguish difference by the colour of skin or facial features and the colour of ones eyes. Today here some of the children of Hassidim who were commonly identified by their black clothes and beards who have blonde and blue eyed children. When I was evacuated with my mother during WW2 and stayed near the base where my father served, our next door neighbour who had a daughter around my age but kept her distance, asked my mother. “How come you married a Jew? “My mother was fair skinned and had blonde hair!

I was the only Jewish girl in my school. The headmistress called my mother to be at an interview with me and announced “I understand that you are Jewish. You will be fine because we just had some German Jewish girls here and they were very happy!”
So it is heartwarming to see young and not so young people performing together in harmony with mutual respect and yet facing the acute problems of our time.
As is every year this is a heartwarming theatre experience and should not be missed.

About the Author
Zelda Harris first came to Israel 1949, aged 18. After living through the hardships of the nascent state, she returned to England in 1966. She was a founding member of the Women's Campaign for Soviet Jewry. In 1978, she returned with her family to Israel and has been active in various spheres of Israeli Society since. Together with the late Chaim Herzog, she founded CCC for Electoral Reform, was the Director of BIPAC in Israel, and a co-founder of Metuna, the Organisation for Road Safety, which received the Speaker of Knesset Quality of Life Award for saving lives on the roads and prevention of serious injury. She is now a peace activist, blogger for Times of Israel and is writing her life story.
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