Zaharira Harifai

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Zaharira Harifai, Photograph by Peter Merom, 1960s

Zaharira Harifai (Hebrew: זהרירה חריפאי‎; December 12, 1929 – January 2, 2013) was an Israeli film, stage, and television actress and recipient of the Israel Prize in Theater, which she was awarded in 2003.[1][2] The Jerusalem Post called her "one of Israel's most celebrated actresses."[2]

She was born and raised in Jaffa.[1] Her father, Haim Leib Harifai, immigrated from Russia in 1924. He became a journalist, but died when Harifai was four years old.[1] Harifai graduated from Mikveh Yisrael agricultural school in 1946 and then became a member of the first brigade of the Palmach battalion. She studied acting and theater at the "Hadramati" school, the drama school of the Cameri Theater.[1][2] She joined the ensemble of the Cameri Theater in 1968 and remained at the theater until her death in 2013.[2]

In 2003, Harifai was awarded the Israel Prize for Theater.[2] She won the Best Actress in Theater award in 2011 for her role in the Anat Gov play, Happy End.[1]


Zaharira Harifai died from cancer at the age of 83 in Tel Aviv.[1] A memorial was held at the Cameri Theater.[1] She was buried at the Kibbutz Givat HaShlosha cemetery.[2] Harifai was survived by her husband, writer Shlomo Shva, daughter Aya Shva, a director and actress, and two grandchildren.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Yudilovitch, Merav (2013-01-02). "Actress Zaharira Harifai dies". Ynetnews. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Yudilovitch, Merav (2013-01-03). "Zaharira Harifai, stage giant, dies at 83". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2013-01-03.

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