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Nava Semel 1954-2017

Nava Semel was born in 1954 in Jaffa. Her father, Yitzhak Artzi, was a Zionist activist and politician.

In 1972, she served on the Army Radio as producer and editor of the news magazine.

She holds a master's degree in art history from Tel Aviv University. In the late 1970s she worked as a journalist and art curator. In the early eighties she published her first book, "Songs of Pregnancy and Childhood," which was published in the first series of Poalim Publishers and edited by the poet Natan Yehonatan. In 1985, she published the collection of the stories "Glass Hat," which was the first Hebrew book to deal with the subject of children of Holocaust survivors and coined the term "second generation."

Over more than three decades of writing, she has published 23 books, wrote operas and stage plays, translated and wrote for television. Her works have been translated into many languages ​​and have been produced on stages around the world. In her great work she expressed the memory of the Holocaust and the relationship to the Other.

In the 1980s she wrote the monodrama The Child Behind the Eyes, in which a young mother looks at the world through the eyes of her young son with Down's syndrome. The monodrama, which ran at the Haifa Theater for 11 consecutive seasons, was also performed in New York, Belgium, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy and the Netherlands. In the 1990s it became an English radio drama that won prizes. In the adaptation of the Turkish director Kamel Bachar, the monodrama became a multi-player rock opera that won audience acclaim at the Jaffa International Theater Festival.


At the end of 2017 Nava Semel passed away from cancer. Until her death she was married to Noam Semel. The couple has three children.