The Billy Crystal Foundation: Peace through the Performing Arts
The Billy Crystal Foundation: Peace through the Performing Arts is a program dedicated to seeking ways to promote peaceful coexistence between the country’s Jewish and Arab citizens. The program was established thanks to the generous contribution of the renowned Jewish-American actor, Billy Crystal. Theatre artists and university students, both Jews and Arabs, participate in this program, which offers a wide range of workshops aimed at creating a social and cultural bridge, as well as attempting to create understanding and identification with the 'other' through theatre work. The program provides financial assistance for students interested in creating projects that deal with Jewish-Arab coexistence and relationships.
The foundation supports the department’s theatre therapy section, artist classes with central, activist figures in Israeli and international theatre, and study days dedicated to theatre as “Tikkun Olam” (Repairing the world). The following are among the recent, special projects of this program, whose significance extended beyond the university campus: the site-specific performance “identity-place” which was presented at the Jerusalem Art Festival by the student performer Ilham Mahamid and directed by the artist Emanuella Amichai (2015); performances held on the Hebrew University-Mt. Scopus Campus on Arab Culture Day; the bilingual workshop in Hebrew and Arabic conducted by the voice performance artist Dr. Joseph Sprinzak, the results of which were presented to the acclaimed British actress, Dame Helen Mirren, on a visit to the department (2016).
The Frederick Loewe Foundation
The Frederick Loewe program for art and research in musical theatre emphasizes the musical aspects of theatre. Thanks to the generous endowment of the Frederick Loewe Foundation, named after the composer of the musical My Fair Lady (among many others), the department is able to conduct classes and workshops dedicated to musical theatre, including opera, cabaret, musicals and theatre-music relationships. The foundation also supports study workshops and musical theatre and dance theatre productions that are presented in the department each year. Throughout the years numerous master classes have been conducted with the participation of central artists in Israeli theatre, including the composer Josef Bardanashvili; Yonatan Levi, who directs experimental musicals; the Ruth Kanner Theatre Group; the performer Naomi Yoeli; and others. The Foundation has also supported international academic conferences dedicated to music in the theatre arts.