Etty Hilsom, 27, died writing a diary during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The diary, which was published 40 years after her death in the Auschwitz camp, reflects her ideas about the need for human compassion, art and aesthetics in order to overcome the many obstacles that life presents to us. Through her writing Etty Hilsom was able to cope with the great hardships of life under Nazism. Even in the darkest hours of the Holocaust, Etty did everything in her power to change the world around her, alleviating the suffering of those around her through dialogue, compassion, and an unexplained belief in the good that resides in the human heart.
Despite their difficult backgrounds, our diverse young people have found a sense of home, passion and a tool for life in the theater.
Inspired by the greatness of Etty Hilsom, the Etty Hilsom Youth Theater is a non-profit organization that aims to provide a safe space for youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, where they can realize their love of theater, and receive a mental, physical and intellectual response in a reality that does not always allow. The theater, located in the heart of Jaffa D., contains 470 seats and is a real house, and a warm corner. The youth come from the neighborhoods around Jaffa IV, where the institution is located. The institution seeks to breathe life into the community and place on one stage a group of youth from different backgrounds that reflect the variety of shades of Israeli society, including Jewish and Arab youth, Ethiopians and former USSR, African asylum seekers and more.
The teens join a two-year program and specialize in one of the following three areas: acting, acting or makeup and costume design. The tools acquired as part of theater studies encourage self-expression, self-confidence, social integration, intercultural dialogue, empathy, conflict resolution, emotion regulation, listening and teamwork.
Every year, we strive to bring together a new group of youth who represent the multicultural community of the city of Tel Aviv-Yafo and of the State of Israel as a whole. Through professional theater studies from the best teachers in the field, we set an example for a diverse group of teenagers to work together to create art on stage.
Together, the teens will produce a play on their own, from writing, to choosing the music and building the set, to acting and performance, all with the guidance and support of the teachers who worked with them throughout the year. At the end of each year, students will put on a play that is the product of their own and theirs alone.