Herzl headlines this month

November 2, 2017 by Hayley Hadassin
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Herzl – The Dream That Came True, is a one man show performed by well-known Israeli actor Amichai Pardo of the renowned Israeli Orna Porat Children’s Theatre.

Pardo entertains…and teaches

Pardo visited Jewish day schools and communities in Sydney last week, will be in Melbourne this week and then Perth to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the first Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland.

The show is presented in Australia by the Zionist Federation of Australia in partnership with the Education Department of the World Zionist Organisation. The play takes the audience through an experience which describes the life story of the founder of the Zionist Movement.

Throughout the play, the audience encounters Herzl as a boy, a teenager, and as the journalist who arrived to Paris and was present during the Dreyfus Trial; sobering events which eventually left an imprint on the young Herzl. The audience follows Herzl, from this point on, until his death and through his uncompromising struggle to establish the Zionist Movement, with achievements in the international political arena which eventually led to the establishment of a state for the Jews in the Land of Israel.

Pardo performs the show for primary age students; they are the same age as Herzl in the play’s opening act. It is an intentional method to immediately engage the audience and encourage them to identify and recognise that leadership begins at a very young age. Amichai believes: – “It can be a model for them, so they too can influence society. We added the sentence to the play – ‘you hear that- never give up!’ Dreams. As a child don’t give up your personal dreams, Take the torch. Pass it on. The message is ‘It is not enough to simply found a state, what matters is, what kind of a state you are founding” and now it is your turn!’ It is your turn to help the state of Israel be a better place and a model for the rest of the world.”

In a hectic “season” of 20 performances in under 2 weeks (which is a feat in itself), Pardo engages Australian youth in the foundations of Zionism, its history and development with great humour. The play is about reinforcing the Zionist vision, the aspiration to make Israel a better country and does so by breaking barriers between the audience and actor in what is a creative and original theater production.

For Amichai performing as Herzl is not just a history lesson it is a way of reaching children to talk about the future. He says: – “It is about making them consider their future as individuals, as part of the Jewish community, as part of the Jewish people and the Jewish state.”

Pardo believes the story of Herzl is sometimes understood better in the Diaspora as Herzl himself didn’t live in Israel, yet had such a profound impact on its’ inception.

Dr Danny Lamm, ZFA President: – “The ZFA are thrilled to bring Amichai Pardo, such a well-known and respected actor from Israel to Australia to promote Zionism in such a fun, educational and engaging forum.”

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