Skip Navigation

Israelis You Should Know: Chaim Topol

Name: Chaim Topol

Age: 79

Known for: Topol is an Israeli actor best known for his groundbreaking and long-running role as Tevye the milkman in Fiddler on the Roof.

About him: Chaim Topol was born in Tel Aviv in 1935, and he developed a love of acting from a young age. When he was a teen, he began practicing acting in amateur theatrical plays staged by the Israeli Army. He established his own theatre troupe in Tel Aviv, and in 1961, he contributed to the foundation of the Haifa Municipal Theatre.

Topol began appearing in films in the early 1960s, and one of his first roles was in the 1964 film Sallah Shabati, which earned him the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year.

He then began playing the role of Tevye the milkman in the musical show Fiddler on the Roof at Her Majesty's Theatre. After this show's major success, he starred in the 1971 film version. This performance earned him a Golden Globe Award, and he was also nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. He continued playing Tevye in revivals of Fiddler on the Roof through 2009.

In addition to acting in films and plays, Topol also founded the Jordan River Village, a camp for kids suffering from life-threatening diseases. He still makes regular visits to the camp, which The Fellowship supported last summer during Operation Protective Edge.

Last month, Topol was awarded the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement.

Watch the video above to see Topol as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof.

Tags: Stories , Partnerships and People , Video

Previous Post

Next Post

More than 60 Fellowship supporters join Rabbi Eckstein and Fellowship staff on a tour of Israel, which includes visits to project areas and biblical and historic sites in the Holy Land.

Visit Israel

Here you’ll find an array of useful information on accommodations, transportation, exchanging currency, Israel's climate and customs, and much more. So get the most out of your trip to Israel with the help of The Fellowship.

Read More

About The Fellowship

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) funds humanitarian aid to the needy in Israel and in Jewish communities around the world, promotes prayer and advocacy on behalf of the Jewish state, and provides resources that help build bridges of understanding between Christians and Jews.

Read More