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Turmoil in Poland Delays Israel Tour of Poland’s Jewish Theater

The turbulent situation in Poland, recently hit by strikes of shipyard workers and miners, has delayed the Israel tour of the Jewish State Theater of Poland which had been scheduled for next month. Szymon Szurmeij, manager and artistic director, and Jerzy Romanski, head of the theater and folklore department of the Polish Artists Agency (Pagart), stressed at a press conference here today that the postponement was only temporary.

The two officials, who arrived in Israel last night to make final arrangements for the tour, said the Polish Jewish Theater would visit Israel next April in the course of a world-wide tour that will take it to the U.S., Canada, Mexico, France, Belgium and Britain.

At another press conference, Stefan Grayek, chairman of the Polish Jewish Association, announced that the internal situation in Poland has also forced the postponement of the visit to Israel by the Polish Minister of Religious Affairs, Jerzy Kovarski. He was due here early in October to chair a session of the Jonosz Korczak International Memorial Committee but requested that this be delayed until the beginning of January. His arrival then is assured, Grayek said.

WILL PERFORM YIDDISH PLAYS

The Polish Jewish Theater, based in Warsaw, consists of 36 artists, seven of them non-Jews. All speak fluent Yiddish. The theater performs three evenings a week and has a junior studio where young actors study their art and learn. Yiddish. When the troupe visits Israel next spring it will perform “The Dybbuk” by Anski, “The Comedian” by Goldfaden, and “Sunset” by the Russian-Jewish writer Isaac Babel. Szurmeil announced that the troupe is also rehearsing a new version of “Tevya, the Milkman” by Sholem Aleichem in which the story of Tevya’s mishaps mirror the hardships of the Jewish nation.

The company has recently performed a play in Warsaw based on K. Ketnik’s story, “The Clock by the Head,” to mark the 35th anniversary of the liberation of Warsaw.

Grayek heads the public committee for the visit of the Polish Jewish Theater to Israel. it includes Deputy Premier Simcha Ehrlich, Jewish Agency chairman Leon Dulzin and other officials.

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