- (Hebrew: stage) A Jewish theater company, founded in 1917 inMoscow to produce plays in Hebrew (an earlier company with the samename was formed in 1909 in Bialystok, Poland). The second Habimahgained the support of Maxim Gorki and Konstantin Stanislavsky andbecame affiliated with the Moscow Art Theatre. Its firstdirector was Eugene Vakhtangov (1883 - 1922), a former pupil ofStanislavsky and director of the Moscow Art Theatre; Vakhtangov'smost acclaimed Habimah production (in 1922, the year of his death)was The Dybbuk by Salomon Ansky.
In 1926 Habimah toured Europe and America with Jewish plays,such as Karl Gutzkow's Uriel Acosta, and mainstream classics,such as Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. The group went on to tourPalestine in 1928 and finally settled there in 1932. Habimah was namedas Israel's official National Theatre in 1958 and reorganized in 1970,when it moved into a modern building, which it openedwith a Hebrew production of Thomas Dekker's comedy The Shoemaker'sHoliday. Other notable productions include Naomi Ragen's Women'sMinyan, which premiered in 2002 and ran for six years. Habimah joinedthe Union of the Theatres of Europe in 2006.