Finkel, Shimon

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FINKEL, SHIMON (1905–1999), actor. Finkel was born in Grodno, Belorussia. He appeared on the local stage as a boy and later joined a Yiddish theatrical group. In 1922 he proceeded to Berlin, where he was accepted in the Max Reinhardt School of Dramatic Art. In 1923 he joined a group of actors who came from Ereẓ Israel to complete their studies in Berlin, with the aim of establishing a Hebrew theater in Ereẓ Israel. His first appearance in Hebrew was as Daniel in Menahem Gnessin's production of Belshazzar in Berlin in 1924. Emigrating to Ereẓ Israel in that year, he appeared invarious productions of the Israel theater founded at the end of the year, and in 1927 joined Habimah, his first appearance being as Menashe in The Dybbuk. He toured in many countries and represented the Israel theater at various congresses of the International Theatrical Institute (iti). In 1961–62 and 1971–75 he was artistic director of Habimah. In all, he wrote 11 books about the theater. He was awarded the Israel Prize for arts in 1969.