Yehudit Ornstein

December 11, 1911–April 12, 2008

by Gaby Aldor

Yehudit Ornstein, who with her twin sister Shoshana Ornstein formed the famous Ornstein dancing duo, devoted a lifetime to Israeli dance.
Institution: Dance Library of Israel, Tel Aviv
In Brief

Dancer and choreographer Yehudit Ornstein immigrated to Palestine from Vienna in 1921, with her mother Margalit Ornstein, an Israeli dance pioneer, and her twin sister Shoshana. With her sister she formed the duo Ha’ahayot Ornstein and performed works choreographed by their mother. Ornstein helped establish a dance company, performed as a soloist in her own dances, and later choreographed full performance dances for large ensembles. She also choreographed for the Ha-Ohel Theater, the Cameri, and the Israel Opera. Orenstein prepared numerous kibbutz festivities and organized folk dance festivals in Haifa.

Article

A dancer and choreographer, Yehudit Ornstein immigrated to Palestine from Vienna in 1921, together with her mother Margalit Ornstein and her twin sister Shoshana. The sisters, who formed a duo, Ha’ahayot Ornstein, danced in the spirit of the German expressionist “Freitanz,” (Free Dance) performing works choreographed by their mother and dealing with universal themes, such as “Youth,” to music by Robert Schumann, Valse and Nocturne to Chopin and The Rivals to music by Rachmaninoff. Later they themselves created dances on Israeli and Biblical themes, such as The Girl of Cana’an and Cain and Abel.

Ornstein was considered the more technically sound of the twins and her more introvert or intellectual manner served as a good counterpart to her sister in the inspired duo. She established a dance company with studio producer Aliza Terry and Judith Herman and later with Oded Tiram, who performed MemorialInvitation to the DanceEccentric Dance and other works. Ornstein also performed as a soloist in her own dances and later choreographed full performance dances for large ensembles: CarnavalLit. (Greek) "dispersion." The Jewish community, and its areas of residence, outside Erez Israel.Diaspora, and The Flag. She also choreographed for the Ha-Ohel Theater, the Cameri and the Israel Opera. Orenstein prepared numerous A voluntary collective community, mainly agricultural, in which there is no private wealth and which is responsible for all the needs of its members and their families.kibbutz festivities and organized folk dance festivals in Haifa. She taught at the Wingate Institute for Physical Education, pioneered dance studios in high schools, and was among the founders of the Dancers Union. She wrote dance criticism in the newspapers La-MerhavHaaretz, and Davar and continued teaching until her late seventies.

After divorcing her first husband, the Ha-Ohel actor Poolan, Ornstein married Shlomo Ben David, a graphic artist and photographer, by whom she had a daughter, Naomi, herself a dancer and poet, and a son, Arnon, an artist. After marrying her first violin teacher, Samuel Pevsner, Ornstein lived in New York City. She died on April 12, 2008.

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How to cite this page

Aldor, Gaby. "Yehudit Ornstein." Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women. 27 February 2009. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on May 21, 2024) <http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/ornstein-yehudit>.