Art · Living in Otef Azza · Now we're Nofei Habsor (prev. Ma'ale Habsor and Habsor) High School

Art Exhibit, Ma’ale Habsor/Habsor Schools, combined 12th grade final project

Annual 12th Grade Art Exhibit: Art majors of Ma’ale Habor and Habsor High Schools.

Every year, the Ma’ale Habsor art department exhibits final projects in two beloved studios – one for paintings and the other for sculptures & other installations. This year with the building of the new combined school, our art studios have shifted to the campus of  Habsor High School.

I attended the opening of the exhibit, this past Saturday, the 21st of March. We expected signs and arrows but had to search for the Show. Finally, we found one well-lit path leading to a dramatic entrance. We crossed over a floor of upturned plastic water bottles, framed by a flowing effect of streaming water.

Here is a partial shot of Shira Florentine’s work:

Melany&Shira with Shira's work
Melany&Shira with Shira's work

Leaving this building, we went on a search for more student’ work. The path was not so well-lit this time. I hit a few dead-ends until I found someone to ask and  others to follow. We were a collection of slow pilgrims, clutching to one another as we made our way through the school’s main plaza over to the darkened side of the school. Clutching to wisps of light and hoping to hear sounds of ‘art’, we kept on.

Then, we arrived at a table laden with drink, cake and cookies! Tell-tale signs of Art Exhibit, we knew we were on the right trail. Sure enough, we found a few more buildings housing treasures.   

Galit's cut-out 1
Galit's cut-out 1Galit's cut-out2Galit's cut-out3
I liked Galit’s cut-outs very much. They used the space as well as using the mind – reality and imagination intertwined in a minimalist way. (Galit Fleissh)
Dana - life during tough situations
Dana - life during tough situations.


Dana Lev, a student from Kibbutz Magen works in the Children’s House and spent most of the January “operation” comforting the little kids and using art to help them express themselves.This piece also helped her digest the experience.

Melany's work
Melany’s work

Melany Rosemberg

lives on Kibbutz Gvulot, a place that was relatively quiet during the ‘operation’ but this piece illustrates that feeling of an oasis amongst the headlines and booms. Works for me.

Bat Chen's installation with video clip
Bat Chen's installation with video clip
Bat-Chen Shalev presented a welcoming dinner table with candles and chairs. The viewer stands at one end of the table, viewing the dinner prayer ceremony in progress on the video.We watch a family around the table, a religious family, chanting prayers, continual prayers.The secular audience stands, silently watching.
Guy Livnat's work
No art exhibit is complete with photographs (Lee Idises)or dragons (Guy Livnat).
Noa Ben Barak
Lee Idises
Lee’s work.
The show is open until the end of this week. If you’re in the area, drop in to Habsor School, Moshav Tzohar, Eshkol Municipality.
Here’s a link to the School site where you can see more artwork:
The students’ names are written in Hebrew, so just click onto each one to have a closer look. Bat-Chen’s is first and was photographed in daylight.
Have a good week. It’s good to talk art – politics is beyond words, these days.
Creativity is the answer · Living in Otef Azza · Theatre · Youth Making a Difference

The Mustache Theatre! “Tzeva Adom” (Red Alert)

Tzeva Adom!

"Tzeva Adom" Red Alert!
"Tzeva Adom" Red Alert!

What can a bunch of kids do when the cry of ‘Tzeva Adom’ becomes part of the vernacular? What can a bunch of creative kids, who belong to the Mustache Theatre Group, do when they’re looking for a subject for their latest stage performance? What can these same kids do when their youth club is the target of a qassam and they need to find the strength to go on?

They can write a play! And that’s how “Tzeva Adom” came into being. Melany Rosemberg, a member of the group for a few years, told me her experiences.

Judih: Can you tell me about your experiences with Tzeva Adom?

Melany: “I live on a kibbutz, Gevulot, which so far hasn’t had any qassams, (knock on wood) but I deeply felt the fear of other kids who had experienced qassams falling near their homes.  I felt their fear. You can’t help but feel it – because we work on a psychological level in our group. I wanted to help them.

Judih: How did the play start?

Melany: “A qassam fell on our workshop. Not when we were there, but still, it was shocking. That’s how the whole play idea started. All of us, for the first time, shared the feeling of a qassam landing in our lives. We didn’t know what to do at first. I mean we cried.  It was such a shock, but then we decided we had to use drama to overcome the feelings we had. So we began to work on the play”

Judih: Is the play still being performed?

Melany: The play is going to be performed. I’m not sure when. But, we still meet every Monday afternoon to work on drama.

A quote from the play, from a monologue by Osnat:

It happened the same morning.

It’ll stay with me all my life.

The ‘Red Alert’ that i heard suddenly

Got me panicked and I didn’t know what to do…

Writing the Script

Ofer Sela, Israeli playwright, who has worked with the Mustache Theatre Group before, put together a skeleton of vignettes of daily life in this Otef Azza region. Along with this, the kids in the The Mustache Theatre added their own touches. A few wrote and performed their own monologues, others wrote brief sketches of things that typify life here, these days.

I spoke to Yuval Revia, an artist and a natural on stage, about his particular contribution to the performance. He wrote a piece about a kid’s birthday party. To the dismay of the young birthday boy, his relatives were afraid to step foot in the qassam-threatened area, and the only guest who actually showed up was a neighbour who dared to appear at his home in full padding and helmet. She managed to enjoy a super brief stay till she had to escape back to the safety of her family.

The little boy’s ice-cream reward for turning a year older didn’t really make a dent in the fact that people think three times before coming to family gatherings. But the laughter was apparent in the comic getup of the guest. What can you do? Life goes on no matter how inane.

Members of the Mustache Youth Theatre troupe include:

  • Aviv Zanzuri
  • Osnat Almog
  • Ioav Mishkyn
  • Yuval Revia
  • Yotam Labban
  • Ya’ara Messika
  • Carmel Israel
  • Liran Morad
  • Miri Sosnu Baski
  • Melany Rosemberg
  • Idan Aharon
  • Tzach Elbaz
  • Rahel Cohen
  • and Shahaf Simon

The Mustache Theatre is a theatre workshop for kids of Junior High and High School level from Ma’ale Habsor Comprehensive School together with Habsor Comprehensive School. The workshop addresses the very real talent of students in the area and offers a deeply needed mode of artistic expression. Many of the actors have other artistic skills, whether in the plastic arts, music or in writing.

The Mustache Theatre youth group has been in existence for a number of years.  This year’s production of Tzeva Adom was directed by Ya’acov Amsalem. Choreography was done by Osnat Kashi, music provided by David Valdman, costumes by Smadar Boaron. Production: The Only Team for Teenagers

The show “Tzeva Adom” has been touring all over Israel. Minimalism is the key. Props include a few chairs, a table. Visuals are screened onstage. Costumed in the colours red, black and white, the figures make dramatic impressions on a fairly bare stage. This is a play that can raise an audience’s awareness as to how absurd  life is, living together with the Red Alert. Yet, life goes on. Life goes on with humour, satire, and talking about things out loud.

If you get a chance, go see it.

I’ll add some contact info to this spot. Stay tuned.

Quote from the promo for the play:

Life in the shadow of qassams, a group of kids show us daily life as it is, compared to what we’re told by newspapers. We look at the personal experiences as well as social life in Otef Azza. Songs and choreography, dramatic vignettes all make up this performance, something which communicates it all to the audience while offering these kids another way to deal with reality. Length of show: 60 minutes.