To the authors of Fiddler, Israel seemed like the logical place for the show’s first foreign production, but it seemed like a far less logical fit to Israelis in the mid-1960s, when the American musical brought Tevye onto a stage in Jaffa in a production that was quite lavish for
Israeli theater of the day. The project of creating a national Israeli identity had often involved a rejection of Eastern European Yiddishkayt in favor of a putatively more robust, brawny, and self-sovereign image. Fiddler‘s blockbuster success there was more than a surprise: it was, via a Broadway musical of all things, a way for the new generation of Jewish Israelis to approach a disdained heritage. It has been a favorite part of the repertoire since. A revival at Tel Aviv’s Cameri theater featuring Natan Datner has been on the boards since 2008. Now, Israel offers an official stamp of approval with these commemerative postage stamps, based on drawings by the country’s most famous Tevye, Chaim Topol.