Michal Govrin

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Michal Govrin
Michal Govrin
Michal Govrin
Born (1950-11-24)24 November 1950
Occupation Writer, poet, theater Director
Language Hebrew, French, English
Nationality Israel

Michal Govrin (24 November 1950) is an Israeli author, poet and theater director.[1]


Michal Govrin was born and raised in Tel Aviv, her father was part of the third aliyah and from the founders of the Kibbutz Tel Yosef, her mother was a holocaust survivor. Graduated in a municipal high school in Tel Aviv. Govrin has served in the IDF as a military reporter. At the Tel Aviv University she completed her undergraduate studies at the Comparative literature and Theater departments. In 1976 she completed her Ph.D from Paris University VIII in theater and religious studies. Her research 'Contemporary Sacred Theater, Theory and Practice', examines the theatrical aspects of Jewish mystical practices in Hasidic practices along with a study of the theater of Jerzy Grotowski and Peter Brook.

Govrin has published multiple fiction and poetry books. The books that have been awarded a number of prizes were translated into several languages. In 2010 Govrin was chosen by The French Salon du Livere for one of the thirty authors that have left a mark on world literature. In 2013 she was awarded by the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres the title 'chavelier'.[2][3]

Govrin has directed plays in all the big theaters in Israel and was one of the founders of the Experimental Jewish Theater.

Govrin teaches at the Tel Aviv University, was the head of the Theater Department at Emmuna College, and taught, at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at the School of Visual Theater. She was a Writer in Residence at University of Rutgers and gave an annual guest lecture at the Architecture School of Cooper Union in New York. Govrin lectures to open audiences around the world, in conferences, and in Media. In the year 2012, she was anointed Professorship.

As part of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute,[4] Govrin founded in 2013 and was a director of a multidisciplinary research group 'Transmitted Memory and Fiction'. The group was committed to working out the essence of the holocaust memory in an age when living survivors are no longer the memory carriers. In 2015 a concluding n exhibition: 'What is the memory? Seventy years later' was displayed at the Polonsky Academy at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem, along with a symposium and the production of a movie. Parallel to this project Govrin has founded and was the head of a team of historians, thinkers and community leaders that composed a ground-breaking ceremony - the "Gathering": an "Haggadah" for the holocaust memorial day. The gathering put forward the double attitude of "The responsibility to remember / Remember responsibly". In 2015 there were 10 experimental gatherings. In 2016, the ceremony was enacted abundantly in synagogues, communities, and private homes across Israel.[5][6]


Body of Prayer[edit]

The book is composed of three parts, written by David Shapiro, Jacques Derrida and Michal Govrin. The three are writing as Secular-Religious or Religious-Secular people about the nature and Praxis of 'praying'. The book is concerned primarily with mapping the central issues surrounding the act of praying and offers, instead of 'relieving' those issues, to embrace these issues as a vital part of the praying experience itself. The book also offers a more existential notion of prayer, as something that is embedded in the act of living, deeply rooted in our 'bodies' and in the female act of 'childbirth'.

The Name[edit]

The Name is a novel written by Michal Govrin. The plot of the book traces a young woman named Amalia, a daughter to holocaust survivor and named after his first wife who was murdered in the holocaust.

The book was awarded the Koret Jewish Book award and the Kugel award and was translated from Hebrew to English and Russian. The book received positive reviews at its publication.[7][8]


Govrin is married to the Jewish French Mathematician Professor Haim Brezis, whom she met in the year 1978 in Jerusalem as Brezis visited the city, and actually was looking for Govrin, following an article she wrote about her journey to Poland. The couple has two daughters. Govrin lives in the Rehaviah neighborhood of Jerusalem. Her uncle Akiva Govrin served as one of Israel ministers, and member of the Knesset.


  1. ^ "Govrin, Michal". worldcat.org. Retrieved September 20, 2016. 
  2. ^ "The Deborah Harris Agency". 
  3. ^ Sela, Mia. "5 Israeli authors will receive an award from the French Government". Haaretz. 
  4. ^ "Van Leer Jerusalem Institute". 
  5. ^ Govrin, Michal. "C.V." (PDF). Michal Goverin's Official Website. 
  6. ^ Biography is translated from the existing Hebrew Wikipedia article at he:מיכל גוברין; see its history for attribution.
  7. ^ "The Name". KIRKUS Reviews. 
  8. ^ Barbara, Hoffert (1998). "The Name - Book Review". Library Journal. 

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