Kiryat Arba cultural center
Kiryat Arba cultural center Israel News photo: PR

Some of Israel’s leading actors performed on Wednesday evening, for the first time, at the cultural center in Kiryat Arba.

Among the actors who performed were veteran actress Miriam Zohar, who won the Israel Prize for acting in 1987, as well as actor Ilan Dar, who has appeared in dozens of Israeli plays and television series, and has won several acting prizes.

The actors performed at the cultural center as part of a partnership between the center and the Beit Lessin Theater in Tel Aviv. This partnership will see some of the best shows which are put on at Beit Lessin brought to Kiryat Arba. Wednesday evening was the first time a Beit Lessin show was put on in Kiryat Arba.

The Kiryat Arba cultural center, which officially opened in September, will host productions from Israel’s largest theaters as well as plays, musical performances, dance performances, community events and more.

The center has announced plans to present several of Israel’s greatest shows, including “Tuesdays with Morrie,” a co-production by the Cameri Theatre in Tel Aviv and the Haifa Theatre, the Cameri’s “Pollard” about the story of Jonathan Pollard, several children’s shows as well.

The opening of the theater did not come without some controversy after Rami Baruch, who plays the role of Jonathan Pollard in the Cameri Theater’s production,” refused to take part in the show’s debut in Kiryat Arba.

Baruch said his contract only obligates him to perform within Israel's 1949 Armistice Lines, also known as the Green Line.

“Kiryat Arba is not Ariel,” the actor said. “I made a decision, understanding that it could lead to financial ramifications and counter boycotts.  Kiryat Arba is where Baruch Goldstein and [Rabbi Meir] Kahane came from, and I asked myself what is my place in this whole story.”

Dr. Baruch Goldstein gunned down 29 Muslims and wounded dozens of others during prayers at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron in 1994.

Rabbi Meir Kahane, a former Member of Knesset, was the first victim of Islamic terrorism on U.S. soil; he was gunned down at a hotel in New York in 1990 by Egyptian terrorist El Sayyid Nosair. Kahane was controversial for his contention that Israel's Arab population would someday constitute a demographic threat to the Jewish existence of the state through the principle of a Western democracy, particularly if that Arab population were unwilling to acknowledge Israel as a Jewish State.