Remembering a Rising Star

The Aylah Dan Memorial Fund is established in memory of a gifted theater alumna

Aylah Dan
Aylah Dan

In April 2010, Aylah Dan, a cum laude graduate of Tel Aviv University's Theatre Arts Department, died tragically in a bicycling accident while on a South American tour. She was just 27 years old.

In her memory, her parents Nima and Avraham Dan have established The Aylah Dan Memorial Fund to further the study of theater production at the university. The fund is already receiving contributions through the American Friends of Tel Aviv University website from friends around the world.

"Aylah believed in making the most of life through doing, giving, and excelling," the Dans said on behalf of the family. "Her belief in the power of the theater and in the ability of people to create and make changes motivated Aylah to voluntarily initiate many projects and endlessly explore opportunities to encourage creativity in others."

The memorial fund will endow an annual prize for distinguished students, and finance guest artist workshops in theater production and creativity. The prize will be awarded at an annual ceremony, part of an evening to commemorate Ms. Dan, and will be followed by a performance produced by the Tel Aviv University Theatre Arts Department.

"An exemplary model of a brilliant student"

Prof. Gad Kaynar, Chair of the Department, remembers Aylah Dan as "an exemplary model of a brilliant student, in both theoretical and practical studies. Furthermore, she was a role model of an entrepreneur and social leader in the service of the community, infecting both students and teachers with her zeal and enthusiasm."

Though Ms. Dan saw her greatest professional moments as a producer of the SmallBama and White Night festivals, in which she combined her talents for artistic, administrative and financial management, her engagement in theater at Tel Aviv University reached far beyond her official obligations. She also acted, served as an assistant director, and single-handedly reorganized the costumes depot of TAU's theater department, which had suffered from neglect for years.

"Throughout her years in the department, she spread an aura of goodwill, smiles, optimism and good faith," Prof. Kaynar continued. "She radiated a feeling of love for the theater and human kindness, and was rewarded by the love and friendship of all the students and faculty.

"As an educational figure (even though she did not intend to be), she engraved in the hearts and minds of her friends who follow in her footsteps the seal of her merits," Prof. Kaynar said. "Her loss, and her influence, will be with us forever."

Click to contribute to the Aylah Dan Mamorial Fund.


For more news from American Friends of Tel Aviv University, click here.

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