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Santa's Story

SANTA’S STORY – A Remarkable Tale of Tragedy and Triumph

Telfed and Keren Protea are proud to be supporting an exciting new theatrical experience which is coming to Israel in March! 

Following sold out runs in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, New York, London, Helskini, Hürth, Cologne, Melbourne and Sydney, the critically acclaimed production of SANTA’S STORY will take to the stage from 25–27 March 2019 at the Air Force Centre in Herzliya.

Santa Erder was just 17 years old when she, her father, mother and two brothers fled their home town of Hürth in Germany to escape the Nazis’ growing persecution of Jews. They settled in Spain, but as a result of the civil war that raged through that country in 1936, the Erders were forced to head north. Under duress, they split up, facing  countless harrowing experiences before they reached Paris. And then Germany occupied France.

Santa had been corresponding with Jack Pelham, a Polish Jew living in Rhodesia and as a result of this paper romance, was able to leave Europe as the Nazis began their horrific anti-Jewish pogrom in France.  Sadly, which happened so frequently as countries closed their borders to Jewish refugees, she had to leave her family behind. Most of her family perished at Auschwitz.

So began a new life on an unknown continent with a man with whom Santa had only exchanged a few letters. Santa met her husband Jack for the first time on a train in the middle of the night.  She had cold cream on her face and was taken by surprise at his knock on the compartment door.  He had come to check that she had arrived safely in Africa.

When Santa Erder Pelham turned 90, her family persuaded her to chronicle her life story.  Her autobiography was edited by her granddaughter, Gabi Sulcas and later adapted for the stage by Santa’s daughter (and Gabi’s mother), internationally renowned opera singer Aviva Pelham.  Under the direction of award winning director Janice Honeyman, with set and lighting design by Dicky Longhurst and Mannie Manim, this staged autobiography premiered at The Fugard Theatre in Cape Town in 2012 to critical acclaim.

Interspersed with music and songs in Yiddish, French, Spanish, English and Hebrew, Aviva Pelham delivers a compelling and captivating narrative.  She is accompanied by Matthew Reid on clarinet, saxophone and keyboard, Petri Salonen on violin and Nicky Jansen on keyboard, guitar, accordion and flute.

SANTA’S STORY is a theatrical gem that is certain to resonate with everyone who sees it.  Don’t miss this incredible production at the Air Force Centre, Herzliya on 25, 26 and 27 March 2019.

Tickets are available via Smarticket at  The performances on 25 and 26 March are in support of Telfed and Keren Beth Protea.

Early bird discounts of 20% are available until 20 February 2019.

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