Who is Persian, Tunisian, American and Israeli but can play any nationality on stage? The answer is actress, producer, event planner and activist Sivan Hadari.
Born in Brooklyn, Hadari moved to Tel Aviv at the age of 12, where she volunteered with the IDF working with underprivileged children. In 2006, Hadari, who has studied acting since the first grade, moved back to New York to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
In 2008, Hadari founded Isramerica, a nonprofit comprised of emerging Israeli and Jewish-American artists who celebrate their Jewish heritage and spread a positive image of Israel through art.
Now, living in the West Village, in the heart of New York bohemia, Hadari works not only as Isramerica’s artistic director but also as project manager and marketing consultant for the Kings Bay Y in North Williamsburg. In addition, she serves on the boards of the Jewish International Connection in New York (JICNY), a nonprofit that offers programming for Jews who have relocated to New York, and Moatza Mekomit, an Israeli-American Leadership committee. She also runs a workshop for individuals with dual identities and “tridentities.”
When Hadari was acting in a play called “Sex In The Holy Land,” in which she played eight different characters, she noticed the theater was half empty. “I’m a problem solver,” said Hadari, who proceeded to launch a marketing campaign that resulted in the theater having to turn people away at the door.
Raised Orthodox, Hadari chose to switch to a secular education for high school and now calls herself a “Jewlebrtiy” or “Jewaholic.” Even though she has moved away from the Chabad lifestyle in which she was raised, Hadari remains deeply tied to Judaism, noting that she feels “fulfilled by doing things that support Jewish causes or Israel.”
In 2012, Hidari implemented programming for the Chavaya Fellowship, an international social awareness fellowship for young professionals and artists living in New York, Israel and Germany. Her next big project will be Israel Rockfest, a summer block party showcasing Israeli and Jewish American bands, on June 18th.
A memorable embrace: Orthodox rap star Matisyahu once recognized and hugged Hadari backstage at Terminal 5.
Fin fan: Hadari’s favorite television show is Shark Tank.