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Israelis You Should Know: Orna Porat

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Name: Orna Porat

Life: June 6, 1924 - August 6, 2015

Known for: Orna Porat was an Israeli theater actress who was especially influential in children's theater.

About her: Born Irene Klein in Germany, after World War II, she married a member of the Jewish Brigade and made aliyah to what was then still British-Mandate Palestine.

Changing her name to the more Israeli-sounding Orna Porat, she joined Israel's Cameri Theater. Acting there, she also joined the theater's board in 1958, a position she would keep until 1984.

Studying children's theater in France and England, Porat would use what she learned and her own talents to found the Orna Porat Children's Theater. After managing and directing this theater, she retired after 19 years. Ms. Porat also helped establish ASSITEJ, an international children's theater association.

For all that she brought to Israeli theater - particularly for the children of Israel - Orna Porat received numerous awards, including: the Kinor David Prize (in 1970, 1974, and 1980), the Israel Prize in 1979, the Israel Theater Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997, and in 2005 the EMET Prize from the Prime Minister for her contributions to science, art, and culture.

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