Long-time ‘Post’ theater critic Naomi Dudai dies at 95

Glasgow native arrived in Israel in 1947, and wrote about the stage for decades.

The Jerusalem Post (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The Jerusalem Post
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Naomi Dudai, who for 25 years was the theater critic of The Jerusalem Post, died at age 95 on Friday.
Born in Glasgow, she met her future husband, Ukrainian-born Arieh Dudai, in London where he was studying architecture.
He had migrated to what was then Palestine some years earlier.
When news of heavy fighting in pre-state Israel reached London, he said he had to go home and join in the defense effort.
So with minimal planning, they got married and she came with him, arriving in 1947.
She was always interested in writing, and penned a novel. She wrote plays, one of which was produced by the BBC, but she had never given much thought to journalism.
Arieh Dudai worked as an urban planner and in 1970 the Dudais and their two daughters went to Singapore where they spent two years while Arieh headed the planning team for Singapore 2000.
On their return to Israel, Naomi began writing for Ariel, the cultural magazine produced by the Foreign Ministry. Her focus was primarily about dance and theater.
She discovered that she enjoyed journalism, and at age 60 presented herself to the editors of the Post, offering to write theater reviews.
She kept writing for the paper till she was 85.
She loved to travel and went all over the country to see plays and to report on drama festivals. She also went to festivals in Italy and France and the Edinburgh Festival was a must.
She did not write for any Hebrew publications, because according to one of her daughters, her Hebrew wasn’t good enough. She was always very Scottish, and the language spoken at home was always English.
She is survived by her daughters Lyvia and Ofra.