Curator: Orly Baher Levy
Arie (Albert) Elias (1921-2015) was born into a Jewish family of ten in Baghdad and from an early age was drawn to the world of acting and theater. In 1941, Elias was the first Jew to be accepted to the Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad, where he graduated from the Department of Drama. During his first years in Israel, Elias had trouble finding work as an actor due to his heavy accent. However he succeeded thanks to his obstinacy and professional perseverance. This vitrine displays a selection of items of clothing that pay tribute to the character of Yehuda the synagogue caretaker, a character who was portrayed by Elias in the halls of the Babylonian Jewry Museum in addition to other venues. These items of clothing are part of a collection of clothes that Arie Elias donated to the Museum collection at the end of his days. Apart from the items of clothing, we chose to display portrait photographs of Elias in the role of Iraqi men, as well as mentions of select films that he appeared in during his career.