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

What to throw away and what to keep?

After a somewhat colorful, and multi faceted life life one finds that one has accumulated a wealth of papers and notes autographed books and more.

“Women are multifaceted — they juggle different activities, play diverse roles and carry loads of expectations. They live their life to the fullest and fulfill their choices with confidence and style. We know that women express themselves through what they wear at work and home. “quote

I do not know if its only women who collect and so develop an emotional attachment to chattels, souvenirs or possibly some men?

So although books are a source of pride and have sentimental attachments, they are not exactly antiques or works of art. Neither are theatre programmes.

I am in a quandary as to what to do about them? I cannot bring myself to throw them out and hope that our local library in Tel Aviv, will be willing to take a few, as they only seem to have a sparse selection of books in English.

It’s amazing really that so much has been almost dismissed in our modern society. The touch, feel or smell of an old tome is almost sensuous, especially if one also knows the writer personally. Reading a book in bed or on a couch is an intimate experience. Closing the pages after an absorbing chapter is a moment to either want more or, to put the book aside to enjoy later on. Can you cuddle a computer or a Kindle?

Poetry too for English natives( am only aware of my own background)is what we grew up with in school. I also performed poems when I first went to study drama in my early teens. I remember a poem..it started with a recollection of putting a sea shell to my ear….

When I performed it for my teacher I closed my eyes and she yelled “Don’t close your eyes whilst you are performing.” You are cutting out your audience.”

Then later I took a lead role in amateur dramatics. It was a synagogue group and I knew a friend of the director of the play, Michael Coveney. He suggested that I go to the audition. I got the role, but little did I know then, that Michael would later become one of Britain’s major Stage Directors.

Years later when I conducted a tour of Israeli theatre for British Theatre Critics, his name cropped up.

You may have guessed that I love theatre. My closest girl friend and I went to performances in the West End of London every Saturday, throughout the War years. The slogan at the Windmill Theatre which housed the most famous show “The Windmill Follies” was “We never closed”

My husband too loved musicals and as a teen ager also directed shul performances. So I am proud and happy that my eldest son has made his choice of career in an area where all of us need to know and appreciate the other for what and who we are, citizens on and in this small land which we all love, not only for historical reasons.

Theatre, can be play acting but Community Theatre is for me the theatre of life and that is truly full of surprises.

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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