14 October 2019 12:08
RAD Israel’s Pre-Centenary Celebration
On 5 October, RAD Israel held a pre-100th birthday celebration as, according to the Jewish calendar it was already the new year – 5780! The year the Academy was founded – 1920 – would have been 5680.
The initiative to hold this early event in honour of the RAD centenary came from Rivkah Nathan, the first Israeli to qualify as an RAD Examiner. Rapid detective work uncovered the contact numbers of RAD teachers – past, present and future, who gathered from all over Israel.
A table of memorabilia was filled with the history of the RAD in Israel – Pnina Capon Sohezki, a teacher from Haifa, brought her white Grade two uniform tunic. Liora Bing Heidecker, also from Haifa, brought a short video of the very first Majors exams held in Israel. There was also a historic photograph, showing RAD teachers at a meeting in 1972.
The teachers spoke of their memories of RAD in Israel. They also enjoyed a beautiful cake which was topped with icing models of two exam candidates, one boy and one girl, and two pairs of ribboned ballet shoes. It was so beautiful that no one wanted to slice it up!
The two guests of honour, Wendy Lucking, former principal with the Israel Ballet, and Claire Baylis Nagar, current Artistic Director of the company, told the teachers how they too had studied the RAD syllabus as students and how much they appreciated the Academy’s work. Both Claire and Wendy volunteer as judges for the finals of the RAD Israel Summer School scholarship competition, and the Israel Ballet also donates a scholarship for their own summer school.
Veteran RAD teacher, Miriam Kofman, who is still teaching at the age of 82, was praised by two of her former students who are now RAD teachers.