Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Orna Porat, Grande Dame of Israeli Theater, Dies at 91

Porat passed away Thursday in her home, i24 News reported.

Porat won the prestigious Israel Prize in 1979 for a lifetime of achievement in theater as well as Yedioth Ahronoth’s Kinor David prize in 1970, 1974 and 1980.

Born in Germany as Irene Klein, she moved to pre-state Israel with her Jewish husband in 1947. In Germany, she had studied acting from 1940-1942 and eventually began working at a theater in Schleswig.

Porat’s husband, Yossef, was an employee of Israel’s foreign intelligence service, the Mossad. He passed away in 1996.

During her time at the Cameri Theater of Tel Aviv, where she began performing in 1948, Porat created and managed its children’s theater from 1965-1970. After it closed, she created another, the Orna Porat Theater for Children and Youth.

The Cameri arranged for her body to be placed in a coffin on its main stage on Friday, before she will be brought for burial in Hadid, a moshav located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Israel’s former President Shimon Peres sent a letter of condolence to Porat’s family, saying she was “a cultural giant – she introduces theater to the Israeli society, especially the young generation” and “educated our children and grandchildren to love the theater.”

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.