Amnon Raviv

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Amnon Raviv
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Born (1958-12-10) December 10, 1958 (age 65)
Alma materUniversity of Haifa
  • medical clown
  • scholar
  • musician
  • theater practitioner

Amnon Raviv (born December 10th, 1958) is a medical clown, scholar, musician and theater practitioner. A pioneer in the field of medical clowning, Raviv is the first practitioner to earn a PhD in the field.[1][2][3][4][5] with his dissertation “Medical Clowning with Patients with Life Threatening and Incurable Diseases” at the University of Haifa. He is the author of the book “Medical Clowning: The Healing Performance”, published and distributed by Seagull Books and the University of Chicago Press[6]. Raviv holds a Master's degree in Advanced Theatre Practice from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London[7] and was an Israeli high-jump champion in his youth.

Medical Clown

In his 20’s, Raviv traveled all around Europe for four years as a street performer. When his mother was hospitalized with cancer, he returned home to support her. During the time he accompanied her to all of the treatments she had to go through, he decided to become a medical clown[8]. In 1995, Raviv began visiting different wards in various medical centers as a medical clown. In 2004 he joined the Dream Doctors Project and worked at the Barzilai Medical Centre in Ashkelon. The hospital is located near the

border of the Gaza Strip and has been subject to ongoing rocket fire over the years. Raviv was the first to work as a medical clown under rocket fire, treating victims of shock and trauma‒ both Israeli and Arab ‒ to prevent or minimize PTSD symptoms[7][9]. Based on these experiences he published an article in TDR, "Still the best medicine, even in a war zone: my work as a medical clown" (2012). Since then, Raviv has been working with dialysis and geriatric patients at the Herzfeld Hospital Rehabilitation Center and in the internal medicine and the oncology departments at the Sheba Medical Center, His research on medical clowning with patients with dementia, entitled “Humor in the Twilight Zone: My Work as a Medical Clown with Patients with Dementia”, was published in the Journal of Holistic Nursing in 2014. In 2014, terminal patients protested the decision of the hospital's management to discontinue Raviv's visits to the ward because of budget issues. Hundreds of the oncology ward's patients wrote letters to the management and to the media[10]. Their ultimately successful protest to keep their medical clown was covered by national media. Raviv has led several important studies in the field, among them: "The medical clown as compared to African ritual healers" that was published in Dramatherapy and "A semiotic analysis of the medical clown’s performance", that was published in Social Semiotics Since 2000, Raviv has been an instructor at the University of Haifa, the Hebrew University and Ben Gurion University. He currently teaches at Tel- Chai College[11], where he was awarded the honor of “Exceptional Lecturer” in 2016/17 in the Drama Therapy Department.

Theater Practitioner

Raviv studied theatre in Tel Aviv and London. He is the co-founder and director-performer of the “Raviv & Pomerantz Dance Theatre”. Between 1982-1990 the company performed several programs in Israel and

Europe. 1982- HaAdam 1984- Mirror 1987- Amor Pesar Dolor[12] 1988- What a Wonderful World 1989- You Came to Me One Weary Day 1989- In the concert of Life Nobody Gets a Program 1990- Shem Mishpacha[13] From October 1984 to April 1985, Raviv was a guest with the Pina Bausch Dance Theatre in Wuppertal, Germany. 1998- performed with "Salvage" a site-specific performance by the Thames, in London. 1999- performer-producer with Dimaa Theatre Company; the performance won the British Festival of Visual Theatre Prize. 2000- Performer-producer with the People Show, in the 21 st Century Misfits, a site-specific performance at Pollard Row, Bethnal Green, London. 2000- Performer-producer with Off the Bone Theatre Company in “The Table” 2007- Director of “The Short Life-Story of A”, with theatre students at the University of Haifa.


Raviv started his musical training at early age at the conservatory of Beer- Sheva. In 1983 he recorded his debut album, “Mirror”, the acclaimed album that was re-released in 2019 by Paradigm Discs London. It is currently among the rarest and most sought-after Israeli L.P.’s in the international avantgarde music community.[14][15][16][17] His second album, “Bekef” was released in 1986. In collaboration with his son, Yam Raviv on, the “Tsartsar Yarock Project” released two albums: Tsartsar Yarock- “Mitkadem Lakatse” (2014) Tsartsar Yarock – “Leabed Kivon” (2018) In 2019 a special radio program about Tsartsar Yarock was broadcast on Radio HaKatze.[18]


  1. "Healing with humor: Israeli medical clown spreads laughter in S. Africa". The Jerusalem Post | Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  2. "No laughing matter". Jewish Life Magazine. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  3. Amiel, Ifat (2016-12-18). "Clown Doctor (In Hebrew)". Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2020-06-22.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. Amiel, Ifat (2018-10-19). "With Humor You Finish Your Life With a Smile (In Hebrew)". Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2020-06-22.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. "באהבה וחיוך מישראל לדרום אפריקה". ynet (in עברית). 2018-09-01. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  6. Medical Clowning.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Not jest for laughs". The Jerusalem Post | Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  8. "Dr Clown". J-Wire. 2018-09-14. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  9. Channel 2 News (9 January 2009). "Medical Clowning in War".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. "למה פוטר הליצן הרפואי היחיד באונקולוגית בשיבא?". ynet (in עברית). 2014-04-27. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  11. "Amnon Raviv". Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  12. Manor, Giora (1988). "Dance in Israel 1987/88" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. "ארכיון פסטיבל עכו". Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  14. Reinhart, Max. "Late Junction". Retrieved 2020-09-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. "Amnon Raviv Mirror". Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  16. "A Reflection of Freedom – The Sound Projector". Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  17. "Down in the Bunker: Free Form Freakout Reviews, Vol. 2". 2019-06-28. Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  18. "KZradio רדיו הקצה - שחרזאדה - אורחים: אמנון וים רביב". KZradio רדיו הקצה (in עברית). Retrieved 2020-09-01.

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