the Norwegian born Jewish actress, musician, director and playwright had her formal training in performing arts in Tel-Aviv and New York, and has been working as a performing artist since 1981.
She began her career in „Habima”, Israel’s national theatre, and „Nationaltheatret” in Norway.
Her first Yiddish performance was in Oslo in 1983, and after several years as a member of diverse Oslo ensembles, she started to perform in her own monodramas co-written with the Norwegian stage director Ellen Foyn Bruun.
In 1990, she founded the production company „Teater Dybbuk – Oslo”, and for the last 20 years she has toured internationally with her own concerts and plays. Bente is also repeatedly called upon to perform in connection with official commemorations paying homage to the victims of the Holocaust. For her artistic contribution, she has been awarded a Lifelong Stipend for Artists by the Norwegian Art Council.
In 2001, she moved with her family to Wroclaw, Poland, and founded there The Bente Kahan Foundation (FBK).
The foundation has been leading the restoration project of The White Stork Synagogue (completed in 2010) and established there a Center for Jewish Culture and Education. Besides being a prayer house for Jewish High Holidays, the building has become a prestigious venue for concerts, theatre performances and exhibitions, a place where tolerance and diversity is part of the program.
Bente Kahan has received numerous prestigious awards for her work in Poland, including the Wroclaw Mayor’s Award (2006), Ambassador of Wroclaw (2010) the German-Polish Silesian Culture Award (2010) and the Presidents Commander Medal (2013).
In September 2013, Bente Kahan received the Order of the Cavalier Cross of Restored Poland for her outstanding artistic achievements, for her efforts on behalf of intercultural dialogue and understanding and for rescuing the heritage of Lower Silesia.
To know more about The Bente Kahan Foundation and Wroclaw Center for Jewish Culture and Education check: www.fbk.org.pl
Buy Bente Kahan’s CD’s at www.tylkomuzyka.pl
Bente Kahan – see longer version of biography