The Czechoslovak Film Festival August 13 - 31 Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Holon, Herzliya, Sderot

Czechoslovak Film Festival

100 years since the founding of Czechoslovakia. Does this country still exist? Yes, in the cinema!

The Czech Republic and Slovakia celebrate 100 years since the founding of Czechoslovakia and invite the Israeli public to celebrate the anniversary with them. Thirteen films, the best of Czechoslovak cinema, will be screened, ranging from the silent film Erotikon  (1929), one of the first ever erotic films in history, to the latest film, Ice Mother, starring Zuzana Kroner.

Actress Zuzana Kroner, daughter of actor Jozef Kroner, will open the festival with Ice Mother at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque on Monday, August 13 at 7:45 p.m.

Czech Centre Tel Aviv organized the festival in cooperation with the Embassy of the Czech Republic and the Embassy of the Slovak Republic.

During the festival, there will be a tribute to film director Milos Forman. Two of his movies will be screened: Loves of a Blonde and Talent Competition.  There will also be a retrospective of Oscar-winning director Jan Kadar. Five of his films will be screened, the first of which is The Shop on Main Street.

Loves of a Blonde(1965) is one of the three major contributions by Milos Forman to the Czechoslovak New Wave. The other two are Black Peter (1963) and the tragicomedy Firemen’s Ball (1967). In Loves of a Blonde, Forman based the story on a real-life incident. He tried to create a realistic look and feel by filming in a small Czech town with a shoe factory of its own, utilizing a largely non-professional cast, relying on a considerable amount of improvised dialogue and employing documentary-style film techniques. Forman’s casual take on Czechoslovak provincial society is unsentimental but sympathetic. He based a poignant personal story on a real-life situation – the shortage of men in a small town that housed 2,000 young female workers. 

Honorary guest Vaclav Macek, director of the Central European House of Photography, will open the Jan Kadar retrospective on August 14 in Tel Aviv.

The Shop on Main Street(1965) is one of the most celebrated Czechoslovak films. Directed by Jan Kadar and Elmar Klos, the drama won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. Adapted from a novel by Ladislav Grosman (who collaborated on the screenplay), the film represents the peak of Czechoslovak New Wave output. The story takes place in a small town in eastern Slovakia during WW II. The implementation of the Nazis' Nuremberg Laws hits the town hard, with local Jews deported to concentration camps, and their possessions confiscated. Due to the pressure of his greedy wife and thanks to special protection from his brother-in-law, a good-hearted Slovak cabinet-maker is allowed to take over a sewing supplies store owned by elderly Jewish widow Rozalia Lautmannova. But he cannot bear to tell her that her world has irrevocably changed, so he poses as her new helper. The film features superb performances by Jozef Kroner and Ida Kaminska, who received a Special Mention at the Cannes Film Festival in 1965. Although the film was produced at the height of the Communist regime, there are several lines in Yiddish when Rozalia mutters to herself.

On August 19, director Petr Zelenka will introduce his film Lost in Munich at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque.

Lost in Munich (2015) provides a unique opportunity for those (politicians in particular) who like to cite the Munich Agreement of 1938. The Czech issue is satirized by director Petr Zelenka, who is known for his use of black humor. The comedic film is inspired by Lost in La Mancha, a 2002 documentary about Terry Gilliam's unfinished movieThe Man Who Killed Don Quixote. The narrative of Zelenka's film revolves around the making of the movie Lost in Munich, which tells the story of an unsuccessful journalist and a 90-year-old parrot that lived with French prime minister Edouard Daladier and continues to repeat Daladier's quotes related to the Munich Agreement. The failed film production (with the feigned French co-production) is an allegory of the alleged French betrayal in 1938.



Erotikon (1929). This film is a silent melodrama directed by Gustav Machat. One stormy night, a stranger

finds shelter in the stationmaster’s house. The man seduces his host's virtuous daughter. After a tempestuous night together, he abandons her. The director masterfully edits the material, bringing to the screen expressive images of liberated female sexuality.

The roster of the Czechoslovak Film Festival consists mainly of comedies or tragicomedy, which does not appear often. The films were selected by Robert Mikolas, the new director of the Czech Center in Tel Aviv. A foreign correspondent focused on world conflicts, he returns to Israel with a different mission.



Photos provided by  Czech Embassy





 Visit of leading Indian singer in Israel on August 16 for the Raga Mela festival. White NIght of Indian classical music. With Israeli and Indian musicians

The Embassy of India in Israel with the cooperation of the organizers of the 6th Raga Mela Festival announce the upcoming performances of Pandit Uday Bhawalkar In Israel between 15-18.8.2018

This is considered as a historic visit of the torch bearer of classical Indian singing and his group Pandit Uday Bhawalkar in Israel.

Pandit Uday Bhawalkar glitters as a star in the world of Indian classical music. From an early age he studied with the great masters of the Drupad tradition, brothers Zia Mohiuddin and Zia Fariduddin Dagar. He quickly exhibited his talent and devotion and his star began to set foot in India and beyond.

He has appeared in the prestigious festivals of Indian classical music throughout the subcontinent and abroad including Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Joshi Mahotsav, and Tansen Sangeet Samaroh. He has performed throughout Europe, the US and Canada and has worked with artists from other traditions, including contemporary dancer Astad Deboo, the modern ensemble of Germany, and others.

Uday ji's fascinating style and ability to reach out and communicate with audiences from all backgrounds helped him carve a niche for himself as one of the leading forces in spreading Drupad in the world.

His commitment to teaching, in India, and beyond had earned him a devoted and enthusiastic audience of students committed to pursuing Drupad. He has taught in many institutions in the world such as the Conservatory of Music of Rotterdam, University of Washington, Seattle. The Asian Music Circle in London, and the music company of Drupad, UK.

Uday arrives in Israel with two of his senior students who will accompany him on Tanpura and singing and with Pratap Awad, the gifted Pakhawaj player.

This visit was made possible through the support and cooperation of the Embassy of India and the ICCR - Indian Cultural Relations Association.

Planned events:

15.8 Performance at the Unicorn Club in Pardes Hanna. Audience Entrance 20:00 Start of performance 20:30

16.8 The main show at the Raga Mela Festival in Kfar Shmuel. Performances begin at 20:00 until morning.

17.8 Workshop and performance at the Neve Shechter synagogue in Tel Aviv at 10:30

18.8 An intimate performance at Makom la Ruach in Ein Kerem, Jerusalem. Doors open 20:30 Start of performance 21:00

Links to live performances:

I will be on leave until August 16.

Photos Embassy of India


Dear Friends,
I am happy to share with you a post written by my friend Talma Gotteiner from about the summer activities in the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem’s Tower of David Museum: 3D Tributes

Hi there!

I was delighted to be invited back to the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem to write about some new exhibits. In my previous post, I gave some background on the historical location of this splendid museum. Today, I am happy to dive straight into the current exhibits.

Trip Agenda Options

  • London in Jerusalem: Exhibition -  a tribute to the British Mandate
  • Rock Paper Scissors – a great summer activity for children and a tribute to the artist Karen Sargsyan.
  • The new night show – a tribute to King David

Trip Anchors

London in Jerusalem: Exhibition

When the British Mandate took over Jerusalem in 1917 from the Ottoman Empire, they found a very poor city, rampant with cholera and no sewage system or electrical lighting to speak of. The exhibition in the Tower of David Museum is a second tribute to the British Mandate who not only brought orderliness, but also contributed to the cultural life of the residents. It is a second tribute because their previous exhibition that I wrote about “A General and A Gentleman – Allenby at the Gates of Jerusalem” is still ongoing.

The new exhibition brings to life the famous ‘Fink’s bar’, where you can take a seat and play some interactive games.

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Or you can enter the pseudo-cinema and watch a short film about the old-time favourite cinames of Jerusalem and what they used to play.

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Check out the floor if you want to learn the dance steps of the roaring 1920’s swing or just take a peek at a sample salon that pays tribute to the famous cellist Thelma Yelin (Bentwich), (no relationship) whose invitations for high tea were a well-known practice.

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Rock Paper Scissors

I got a sneak peek at the artist, Karen Sargsyan who will be staying all summer in Jerusalem and will be holding workshops for children at the museum teaching them some paper sculpting techniques. During my preview visit, only one statue was in place. In order to ensure durability in the open-air, it was created from aluminum foil, instead of regular paper, but other statues in his exhibit will be made of paper.

In the photo below, we were welcomed by Efrat Lieber, Director and Chief Curator.

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However, I finally managed to get a good facial, by requesting a selfie.

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Karen Sargsyan is an Armenian born artist who studied in the Rijksakademie in Holland where he lives till this day. His works have been displayed in well recognized museums worldwide including the Tate Modern in London and the Centre Pompidou in Metz.

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Post Visit Note: I returned again with my daughter and her friend to the grand opening of the workshops. We enjoyed the workshop, seeing the full exhibition of statues and the atmosphere in general. I included in my video some of the live music that was played by a band called ‘Poly Zosiball’. I’ve added a photo and video to share with you.

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The King David Night Show

For those who have already seen the night spectacular show that presents the story of Jerusalem, the new ‘King David’ show presents an alternative. The new video art show brings together all the effects that modern technology can bring. It covers a square footage of ~3,850 m2 and uses over 20 laser projectors to light up the citadel.

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The tribute to King David presents the Biblical stories in a virtual tour that manages to combine renowned works of art by Chagall, Matisse, Michelangelo while drawing inspiration from the Book of Psalms. David himself plays on the flute and lyre. Credit goes to the creators: Skertzo company, France, original music: Alexandre Levy, sound effects: Jean Goudier and curator of the show: Renee Sivan. The show lasts 45 minutes in the open air.

I’m not going to ruin it by sharing a video. Instead, I’ll conclude with my best tower photos.

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A few nearby restaurants include: ‘The Eucalyptus’, ‘Tala Hummus and Falafel’, ‘Rossini’s Restaurant’, ‘Versavee’, ‘Samara Restaurant’, ‘Luciana’, ‘Armenian Tavern’, ‘Rooftop’, ‘Notre Dame Rooftop Cheese and Wine’ and ‘The Spaghettis Kosher Italian Dairy Restaurant’.


A few suggestions include: ‘Gloria Hotel’, ‘Dan Boutique Jerusalem’, ‘David Citadel Hotel’, ‘Mamilla Hotel’, ‘National Hotel Jerusalem’ and ‘Eldan Hotel’.

My Timeline

This trip filled up an evening between 17:30-22:00.

I used the previous map, which was based on a location in the old city (The Western Wall) and a location in the new city (King George Street) so that you can see that the Tower of David Museum is situated between the two parts of the city.

This is what it looks like on the map.




Dear friends,
am happy to share a trip post related to a Lego exhibition in Tel-Aviv, written by my friend Talma Gotteiner from

Hi there!

I was invited to a Lego exhibition last week, courtesy of Gil-ad Tadmit and I am happy to share my impressions with you. For the first time in Israel an international Lego artist by the name of Sean Kenney is exhibiting in Tel Aviv. Kenney holds the rare title of "LEGO Certified Professional", which, apart from Kenney, is held by only 13 international artists. After 10 years in the field of graphics, Kenney decided to expand his horizons and reinvented himself with LEGO blocks and lots of creativity. The exhibition will be held between 26.7.2018-31.8.2018.



Since his international breakthrough as a Lego expert, he has exhibited in numerous countries in North America, Asia, and Europe, has published nine award-winning children's books and has presented his works in the world's leading newspapers: The New York Times, The Washington Post and BBC. Art. " Among other things, his Lego exhibition was awarded at Lonely Planet as "an amazing exhibition". Sean Kenney currently lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.


 The exhibition in Israel, is displaying a collection of about 25 exhibits, chosen from a wide variety of subjects, including entertaining works for children, an architectural model of Times Square in New York and the famous work of GROWING IDEAS: a large tree model that took around 18 months to design and is made up of 380,000 Lego blocks.




 The exhibition will be divided into interactive areas for the whole family:


  • A robotic activity zone containing ~40 operating stations that is recommended for ages 7 and up.
  • A technical complex that includes a collection of tools and vehicles of all times. The collection includes extremely rare models, Adult Fan of Lego (AFOL) models with operational points for the visitors and challenging routes for Jeeps.
  • A robotic Lego Mindstorm complex - the largest interactive city collection in Israel. With the participation of LEGO artists from Israel and abroad.
  • A virtual reality zone where viewers will be able to travel within the Lego City collection in 3D.
  • A Lego shop with rare Lego models at special prices. After the exhibition, visitors will be able to purchase the artist's LEGO exhibits. Such as LEGO lamps, LEGO bikes, LEGO images and more. In addition, the exhibits will be sold from the miniature LEGO exhibition.


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When: 26.7.2018-31.8.2018


Where: Federation Hall, Hangar 11, Tel Aviv Port


Open: Sunday - Thursday: 08:30-20:00, Fridays: 08:30-16:00, Saturdays: 08: 30-19:30


Phone: 3942* (


Price: 69 NIS per ticket, 250 NIS for a family card of 4 – children up to the age of 2 are free of charge. You can find offers through the various companies as well.





Dear friends,
am happy to share a trip post related to the much overlooked Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem, written by my friend Talma Gotteiner from


I was invited to a launch of a new map of the old city’s Jewish Quarter that is intended to raise the awareness of both tourists and Israelis to the historic gems and attractions within. In parallel, the city is launching a new touristic discount city-card called ‘JTicket’, which I will describe below. Following the launch ceremony, I visited some of the locations and am happy to share them with you.


To order the Jticket and the new Jewish Quarter map in advance email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call *4987.


Trip Agenda Options

  • The Hurva Synagogue and Plaza
  • Heroes on the Way to You - a multi-sensory experience through virtual reality glasses
  • Bible Heritage Center - Karaite Community
  • Live the Bible
  • The Jticket


Trip Anchors


The Hurva Synagogue and Plaza


The map launch of the Jewish Quarter on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel, was conducted at the Hurva Plaza, the center of the Jewish Quarter by the Minister of Construction and Housing, Yoav Galant (top tier and center in my photo and in the map reveal photo), in cooperation with the Society for the Rehabilitation and Development of the Jewish Quarter, headed by Chairman Moti Rinkov (low tier in my photo) and the Israel Mapping Center (middle tier on the left: Ronen Regev, Director General of the Survey of Israel and on the right, Herzl Ben-Ari, General Manager of the Jewish Quarter Development Company).


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The new map presents the Old City of Jerusalem in a special manner using an ortho-photo – a combination of an aerial photograph with a street map. On one side, is a map of the entire Old City and on the other - a map of the Jewish Quarter. On the margins of the map there is a lot of information about the tourist attractions and the main sites in the Jewish Quarter as well as a detailed index of sites and streets. The main tourist routes and sites were marked and, for the first time, all the underground attractions in the Quarter were highlighted. Another new feature is that the map integrates barcodes that can be scanned by smart phones, enabling visitors to hear and read information about the sites they visit.  Among other things, one can find rare historical pictures of Jerusalem, as well as the possibility of connecting to the Wall cameras live, Segway tours and more.


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Visitors to the Hurva Synagogue are offered free explanatory notes in Hebrew, English, French, Russian and Spanish and a children's version.

The breathtaking tour includes the renovated Hurva Synagogue, that has a spectacular 360-degree view of all of Jerusalem from the top of its dome and a visit to the archeological floor of the synagogue. In addition to the synagogue, visitors to the Jewish Quarter will enjoy the huge gold lamp that was transferred from the plaza above the Western Wall to the Hurva plaza following the work on the Western Wall elevator.


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A walk in Jerusalem is always a delight. The ‘Jerusalem Festival of Lights’, was taking place during this visit and I got some incredible night photos as well. Do you recognize the big building?


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Heroes on the Way to You


A new technological project in the Jewish Quarter brings the Bible to the year 2018, with technology that allows visitors to experience the Bible stories - to be in the pit with Joseph and to fight Goliath together with David. Using virtual reality (vive-vr), the participant meets heroes from the Bible.


The attraction begins with a number of group challenges suitable for families of varying ages such as an interactive tablet monopoly, a trivia game, and even tefillin games that can be seen on a large screen, followed by a variety of virtual reality games in which each person plays by himself in the Biblical story settings.


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Bible Heritage Center - Karaite Community


The Karaites reminded me of the Samaritans whom I wrote about recently, in that they also believe only in the written Torah without the oral rabbinical interpretation. However, there are a number of differences in ancestry and history that impacted their beliefs and practices that make them a unique ethnoreligious group.


The Heritage Center in the Jewish Quarter is built on three levels surrounding their synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in the world. The tour begins with a short film about the Karaite community, continues through a museum that provides a more in-depth explanation.


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Live the Bible


This new family attraction in the Jewish Quarter provides you with a special and unforgettable souvenir. With the help of accessories, costumes, backgrounds and advanced technology, you enter into the magical world of the biblical period and become a central part of the story, the best part of which, is that you get to take home a colorful keepsake of your visit to Israel.


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The JTicket


The company for the rehabilitation and development of the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem initiated the JTICKET - a combination discount ticket of the attractions and sites in the Old City.


The ticket enables you to choose entry into five sites/attractions available from a list of over twenty including the ones mentioned above and other major sites for example: The Burnt House, the Four Sephardic Synagogues, the Walls Promenade (Northern or Southern), the archeological park Davidson Center, the Western Wall Railway (one way), the Menachem Begin Heritage Center and much more.


Tickets can be purchased at the tourist attractions in the quarter and are usable for a month. Each ticket allows single entry to each site or attraction. I don’t put prices on my website since I don’t update them, but the combination JTicket offers a valuable deal and you should ask about it at the ticket booth.



A few nearby restaurants include: The Quarter Cafe’, ‘Between the Arches’, ‘Holy Café’, ‘Friends Restaurant’, ‘Burgers Bar’, ‘Keshet HaHurva Café Restaurant’ and ‘B’Shaarayich’.




A few nearby suggestions include: ‘The Sepharadic House’, ‘New Victoria Hotel Jerusalem’, ’Dan Panorama Jerusalem’, ‘Dan Boutique Jerusalem’, ‘Mamilla Hotel’ and ‘Notre Dame Guest House’.


My Timeline


This trip filled up a day.

This is what it looks like on the map:



As mentioned above, to order the Jticket and the new Jewish Quarter map in advance call *4987 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..