Independence Day ceremony.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Actor and director Ze'ev Revach and Israel Prize winner and actress Leah Koenig will light a torch together at Israel's 70th Independence Day Ceremony on Mount Herzl, Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev announced Saturday night.
Regev said the two artists provided an expression of “the beauty of Israeli culture” from both the East and West, as Revach is of Mizrahi descent from Morocco and Koenig of Ashkenazi descent from Poland.
“Leah Koenig is an Israel Prize laureate and an actress of the HaBima National Theater, which is marking its 100th anniversary this year. She is one of the architects of the world of acting in Israel. Koenig belongs to the generation of giants of our national theater,” the Sports and Culture Ministry said of its decision.
Regev said of the decision, “I was happy to tell Leah, the beautiful and multifaceted face of the Israeli theater world about choosing her to jointly light the torch with the talented artist and conqueror of the stage Ze'ev Revach, for the glory of the State of Israel and Israeli culture.”
She added: "Lea gives it all on stage. The roles, which she played for over twenty years, are engraved on our national stage.”
In its decision, the Sports and Culture Ministry hailed Revach as “the soul of Israeli culture, an actor, producer, scriptwriter, comedian and director, whose works in film and theater are engraved in the pantheon of our people. Revach has accompanied the screens and stages of our lives in this country for over a generation.
“In his unique artistic way, and through 'HaChacham Hannuka,' 'Sallah Shabati' and other immortal characters that he played, Ze'ev Revach expresses his infinite virtuosity to embroider the stories of our lives, to make people laugh and feel,” the ministry statement read.
Regev also hailed the decision and praised Revach, who she called “thrilling, captivating and funny to the point of tears.”
“Zevik, who grew up on the blessings of Israel and breathed Zionism from the dawn of his birth, symbolizes the wonderful ability of art, its versatility, to penetrate the hearts of the masses in Israel,” she said. “Many quotations from his various roles in the cinema and on stage are engraved in the public lexicon of all of us and constitute an inseparable part of our slang.”
She added: “The people love you and wish you many more years of providing smiles and laughs on our faces. In the story of your life and the roles that you have played over the years, reflected are the stories of the pioneering Aliya from North Africa, of inexhaustible cultural wealth and authentic Israeli creativity that connects and is connected to the people, whose origins are rooted deep in Sderot, in the markets, and in the squares in Israel.”
Revach and Koenig will join iconic Israeli singer Shlomo Artzi, who last week the culture ministry announced will light a torch at the ceremony.
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