Nissim Aloni (Hebrew: נסים אלוני‎, 24 August 1926 – 13 June 1998) was an Israeli playwright and translator.

Nissim Aloni
נסים אלוני
ניסים וחזקי בחזרות החולה המדומה 92 בקאמרי.jpg
Born24 August 1926
Died13 June 1998(1998-06-13) (aged 71)
Tel Aviv, Israel
Alma materThe Hebrew University of Jerusalem
OccupationPlaywright and translator
Spouse(s)Elana Eden (m. 1962; div. 1965)


Aloni was born Nissim Levi to poor Bulgarian Jewish immigrant parents in Mandate Palestine. His family lived in Florentin, a low-income neighborhood in south Tel Aviv, which later became an inspiration for his work.[1]

After graduating from high school, Aloni enlisted in the Notrut, a Jewish militia operating as an auxiliary police alongside the British. He wrote for the weekly BaMahane, and fought in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Following his military service, he was appointed to the editorial board of the periodical B'Ayin and served as literary editor of Ashmoret. He studied history and French at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.[1]

In his later years, a stroke left him severely handicapped.[1] He died on 13 June 1998 at a hospital in Tel Aviv.[1][2]

Literary careerEdit

In 1953, his first play, Most Cruel the King, was produced at the national Habima Theater, creating a stir amongst theatre goers. The play focuses on the figure of Jeroboam. In 1961, Habima produced his play "The King's Clothes", which established him as one of the country's leading playwrights. In 1963, Aloni teamed up with Yossi Banai and Avner Hezkyahu to create the "Seasons Theater", for which Aloni wrote and produced the play The American Princess. From that point onward, Aloni produced all his plays. He also began writing skits for the comedy troupe Hagashash Hachiver, and produced some of their programs, such as Cinema Gashash and Cantata for Shawarma.

Many of his plays involve royalty, such as The King's Clothes, The American Princess, The Bride and the Hunter of Butterflies (adapted for television by Ram Loevy), Edi King. His other plays include The Gypsies of Jaffa, The Revolution and the Chicken, Lukas the Coward, The Raucous Dying, Napoleon Dead or Alive.

Aloni highly esteemed the actress Hanna Rovina, and wrote a play, Aunt Liza, specifically for her to act the lead part.

He has also published a collection of prose, Notes of a Stray Cat.

Awards and critical acclaimEdit

Works outside of IsraelEdit

"The American Princess" was translated from Hebrew to Swedish by Viveka Heiman and then from Swedish to Norwegian by Jens Bjorneboe. It was produced by Oslo city theater Den Nye Theater, Directed by Izzy Abrahami. Abrahami convinced the Israeli consul in Oslo to invite Aloni to the premier. Nissim Aloni came and was thrilled to sit next to the Norwegian King. Nissim brought to Izzy Abrahami an original painting by Yosl Bergner as a big hug and since then they became the best of friends.


In November 2009, a street was named for him in Tel Aviv.[5]

Published worksEdit


  • Nesikhah ha-Ameriḳaʾit (Tel Aviv, 1963) translated as "The American princess" by Richard Flantz (ISBN 965-255-011-6)
  • Akhzar mi-kol ha-melekh (Cruel from all King) (Tel Aviv, 1968)
  • Edi King, a play in two acts (Tel Aviv, 1975)
  • Ha-Kalah ṿe-tsayad ha-parparim (The Bride and the Butterfly Hunter) (Tel Aviv, 1980)
  • Napolyon, ḥai o met! (Napoleon Alive or Dead) (Tel Aviv, 1993)
  • Dodah Lizah (Aunt Liza) (Tel Aviv, 2000)
  • Ha-Tsoʻanim shel Yafo (The Gypsies of Jaffa) (Tel Aviv, 2000)
  • Bigde ha-melekh (The Emperor's Clothes) (Tel Aviv, 2004)


  • Reshimot shel ḥatul reḥov (Lists of Feral Cat) (Tel Aviv, 1996)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Nissim Aloni – Curriculum Vitae". Ben-Gurion University of Negev – Hebrew Literacy Archives. 27 January 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  2. ^ "Nissim Aloni, 72, Author and Playwright". New York Times. 21 June 1998. pp. 35 (section 1, NY edition_. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  3. ^ "List of Bialik Prize recipients 1933–2004 (in Hebrew), Tel Aviv Municipality website" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 17, 2007.
  4. ^ "Israel Prize Official Site – Recipients in 1996 (in Hebrew)".
  5. ^ Tel Aviv to name street after playwright Aloni

Further readingEdit

  • ʻAl melakhim, śaḥḳanim ṿe-tsoʻanim : meḥḳarim be-yetsirato ha-teʾaṭronit shel Nisim Aloni edited by Nurit Yaʻari.

External linksEdit

  • Nissim Aloni at the Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature