Orna Porat (1957)
|Native name||אורנה פורת|
June 6, 1924
|Religion||Jewish (originally Christian)|
Irene Klein (later Orna Porat) was born in Cologne, Germany, in 1924. Her father, Willi, was a Catholic, and her mother, Elise, a Protestant, but she chose atheism and socialism in her youth. In 1934 her family moved to Porz, where she attended high school. During these years she was a member of the Hitler Youth, although her family opposed this affiliation.
She attended drama school and began her stage career at a repertory theater in Schleswig.
Porat met her husband, Joseph Proter, in Schleswig. He was an officer from the British Mandate of Palestine in the Jewish Brigade of the British Army. In 1946, she moved to Palestine with Proter, and married him (in a civil ceremony). She converted to Judaism later, in 1957, and they held a Jewish ceremony before adopting two children.
In the early 1960s, she spent three years in France and England studying children’s theater. Upon her return to Israel she founded a children’s theater, under the wing of the Cameri. In 1970, the children’s theater became independent. Porat directed several productions. She retired from managing the Children’s Theater after nineteen years.
Awards and recognition
- Porat won the Kinor David prize, awarded by Yedioth Ahronoth, on three occasions; in 1970, 1974, and 1980.
- In 1979, she received the Israel prize for her lifetime achievement in theater. 
- In 1997, she received the Israel Theater Lifetime Achievement award.
- In 2005, she won the EMET Prize for science, art, and culture, awarded by the prime minister of Israel.
- Other awards received by her include the Brenner Prize.