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The Romanian Cultural Institute in Tel Aviv invites you to the online screening of the Romanian film “Freak show. The Movie”, an adaptation from the theatre show created by Florin Piersic Jr. The event is part of the program of the 11th edition of Beer Sheva International Fringe Theatre Festival, which will take place online and live between July 26-29, 2021 on the festival website (international program) and in the Old City and the Beer Sheva Fringe Theatre.

The movie “Freak show. The Movie” will be available for online viewing, from July 27, at 20:00 until July 28, at 20:00, with Hebrew subtitles.

Freak show. The Movie, directed by Florin Piersic Jr. (Romania, 2020, 90 minutes, with Hebrew subtitles)

Tickets: https://www.thefringe.co.il/?CategoryID=376&ArticleID=119

Directed, written and performed by Florin Piersic Jr.
Synopsis: Based on the one-man-show written, directed and played by Florin Piersic Jr. (one of the best performers in Romania), Freak Show.The Movie is a mesmerizing journey through the lives of the different characters imagined by the main (and only) actor. Each story has comic and tragic nuances, peering into the most uncomfortable parts of humanity. The result is a feature film which feels like you're a in a bumper car speeding up and crashing over and over again.


“Freak show. The Movie”, director: Florin Piersic Jr., at the Beer Sheva International Fringe Theatre Festival


Freak show The Movie - film still



Photo courtesy of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Tel Aviv










In 1991 (that seems so last-century, but only 30 years ago), the ambassadors of three countries – Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland – established the so-called Vicegrad group, recalling an historic event stretching back to the mid-1300s.

Now four countries are involved: The Czech Republic, The Slovak Republic, Hungary and Poland. Last week, in a moving ceremony at the Jerusalem Cinematheque, the Ambassador of Poland, His Excellency Marek Magierowski, handed over the presidency of the V4 to His Excellency Levente Benkő, Hungary’s Ambassador to Israel.

 Invitations to the diplomatic community were issued by the cultural attaches of the four embassies, and also by the Ceské Centrum and the Polish Institute.

Guests were treated to a beautiful cocktail reception, followed by screenings of four animated films: A Heligoland Romance, Love, Acid Raw and Yellow.

An unusual diplomatic event on the Israeli scene, hopefully to be repeated more often.


 Photo credit Embassy of Hungary

 Ambassador of the Republic of Poland, Mr. Marek Magierowski and HE the Ambassador of Hungary, Mr. Levente Benkő.



Central Asia Arrives in Tel Aviv with a Yurt Installation by the Embassy of Kazakhstan

For those yearning to resume international travel, the Embassy of Kazakhstan offers the next best thing--a taste of travel abroad brought home. On Thursday evening the embassy inaugurated a traditional Kazakh Yurt, as part of the National Day of Dombra festivities.

Yurts have played a central role in the nomadic lifestyle of Central Asian people for millennia, and are included on the UNESCO list of cultural heritage of humanity. But it is thanks to the embassy of Kazakhstan that a traditional Yurt can now be visited by all, in the heart of Tel Aviv.

Ambassador Satybaldy Burshakov opened the Day of Dombra festivities by discussing the rich heritage that the Yurt stands for: “peace, unity of the nation and family, traditional hospitality and openness.” In a finely embroidered traditional gown, the ambassador noted that the Shanyrak - the top of the yurt, the roof window and the hole for ventilation, can be seen on the National Emblem of the Republic of Kazakhstan.


Discussing the warm ties between Kazakhstan and Israel, the ambassador explained that during Holocaust thousands of Jews found shelter in Kazakhstan and neighboring countries of Central Asia, and then become contributors to scientific and cultural development of Kazakhstan. Leaping forward, Ambassador Burshakov stressed that in the thirty years since independence, “Kazakhstan made a great journey and now it is a dynamic modern state which successfully transitioned from lower-middle-income to upper-middle-income status in less than two decades.”

The evening was truly a cultural and artistic celebration, and guests were delighted to enjoy live musical performances from traditional Kazakh instruments, and with singing as well. Traditional sweets were served as well.

The event was also an inauguration of an important literary work--the Book of Words

written by Abai Kunanbayuly, a great Kazakh poet, enlightener, philosopher and public figure of the second half of the XIX century, was translated to Hebrew by the Kazakhstan Embassy on the occasion of the 175 Anniversary of Abai and was presented to the public for the first time. The ambassador thanked translator Polina Brukman and Alla Serebrinskaya, the Director of Beit Nelly Media publishing company for their great contribution to this noble project, and presented certificates from the Minister of Culture and Sports of Kazakhstan Mrs Raimkulova.

Concluding the festivities, Ambassador Burshakov cut the ribbon, and invited Tel Aviv City Council Member Mr. Gal Sharabi to be the first guest to enter the Yurt. 

The Yurt is located in the Tel Aviv Port Park and open to the public 10:00 to 20:00, July 2 to July 10.


Photos courtesy  Embassy of Kazakhstan







 For the first time in the Western Wall Tunnels, following excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Western Wall Heritage Foundation:

Recently developed visitors’ route reveals one of the most magnificent public buildings discovered from Second Temple-period Jerusalem


The Western Wall Heritage Foundation and the Israel Antiquities Authority are enabling the public to view impressive new sections of one of one of the most magnificent public buildings uncovered from the Second Temple period. The discovery – the fruit of archaeological excavations recently conducted in the Western Wall Tunnels – will be part of the new route opened to visitors ahead of Rosh Chodesh Elul and Slichot (Penitential prayers).

Part of the structure, to the west of Wilson’s Arch and the Temple Mount, was discovered and documented by Charles Warren in the nineteenth century, followed by various archaeologists in the twentieth century. Now that its excavation is complete, we know that it contained two identical magnificent chambers with an elaborate fountain between them. The walls of the halls and the fountain were decorated with a sculpted cornice bearing pilasters (flat supporting pillars) topped with Corinthian capitals. The decorative style of the building is typical of opulent Second Temple-period architecture.

Mordechai Soli Eliav, Chairman of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation says, “It is exciting to reveal such a magnificent structure from the Second Temple period while we mourn the destruction of Jerusalem and pray for its restoration. These chambers are part of a new walk through the Western Wall Tunnels, where visitors will view fascinating finds and walk for the first time along the entire route among Second Temple-period remains that illustrate the complexity of Jewish life in Jerusalem between the Hasmonean and the Roman periods.”

According to Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolach, Excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “This is without doubt one of the most magnificent public building from the Second Temple period that has ever been uncovered outside the Temple Mount walls in Jerusalem. It was built in around 20–30 CE. The building, which apparently stood along a street leading up to the Temple Mount, was used for public functions – it may even have been the city council building where important dignitaries were received before entering the Temple compound and the Temple Mount. Visitors to the site can now envisage the opulence of the place: the two side chambers served as ornate reception rooms and between them was a magnificent fountain with water gushing out from lead pipes incorporated in the midst of the Corinthian capitals protruding from the wall. The excavation also uncovered the original massive stone slabs with which the ancient building was paved. The archaeologists believe that the guest rooms, which were also used for dining, contained wooden reclining sofas that have not been preserved.



Reclining dining rooms were common in the Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman worlds from the fifth century BCE to the third–fourth centuries CE. They are known in the archaeological record from private homes, palaces, temples, synagogue complexes and civilian compounds. Dining or feasting while reclining is mentioned as early as the Book of Amos – in the first half of the eighth century BCE – when the prophet rebukes the people of the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel.
In the late Second Temple period, before the Temple’s destruction, extensive changes made throughout the area included alterations to the building, which was divided into three separate chambers. In one of the chambers, a stepped pool was installed that was used as a ritual bath.”

Shachar Puni, architect for the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Conservation Department explains, “The new route provides a better understanding of the complex and important site known as the Western Wall Tunnels, while emphasizing the extent of this magnificent building. It creates a new visitors’ route that passes through the building and leads to the spacious compound at the foot of Wilson’s Arch (one of the bridges leading to the Temple Mount), which was also excavated by the Western Wall Heritage Foundation and the Israel Antiquities Authority. By making the route accessible and opening it to the public, visitors are introduced to one of the most fascinating and impressive sites in the Old City of Jerusalem.”

Photo: Yaniv Berman, Israel Antiquities Authority

- Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolach, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

 -Remains of the magnificent 2000-year-old building recently excavated and due to be opened to the public.

Video in English https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRFE-GfDzpY







President Rivlin, broadcasted a videotaped greeting the winners of the B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem Award for Journalism recognizing excellence in Diaspora reportage for 2021 

Professor Yedidia Z. Stern, president of the Jewish People Policy Institute, delivered the keynote address, entitled "The Israeli Identity Crisis", at the B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem Award for Journalism Recognizing Excellence in Diaspora Reportage for 2021.

The ceremony took place on Thursday, July 1 at the Konrad Adenauer Conference Center, Mishkenot Sha'ananim in Jerusalem.

In a video recording,  President of the State, Reuven Rivlin, congratulated the winners of the important award and emphasized  his special connection to B'nai B'rith thanks to his father, Prof. Yosef Yoel Rivlin, served as  President of the B'nai B'rith Israel.

Nachman Shai, Israel’s recently-appointed Minister of Diaspora Affairs, delivered a speech via Zoom—one of his first speeches in his new position. He stated that The Ministry of Diaspora Affairs

has three main tasks in strengthening the connection between Israel and the Diaspora: increasing solidarity, mutual commitment and a pluralistic approach to all streams of Judaism. Minister Shai stressed that no stream has a monopoly on authentic Judaism.

Alan Schneider, Director of B'nai B'rith World Center in Jerusalem, stated that the award is widely recognized as the most prestigious prize in the Israeli media industry for Diaspora reportage and was established to help strengthen the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora.

Referencing findings in a recently-released Pew Research Center survey of Jewish Americans, Schneider pointed to evidence of a growing distancing of American Jews from Israel – the major challenge to Israel-Diaspora relations in the future.

Winners of the Award for 2021 are: Nurit Canetti, anchorwoman, editor-in-chief and producer of Galey Zahal—IDF Army Public Radio (broadcast media category) and Dan Lavie, Diaspora Affairs correspondent of Yisrael Hayom (print media category).



In addition, Greer Fay Cashman, who has appeared in the Jerusalem Post for more than 45 years, received a Lifetime Achievement Award. She is the author of the popular “Grapevine” column and the newspaper’s correspondent at the Office of the President of Israel.

A special citation for Fostering Israel-Diaspora Relations through the Arts was presented to famous singer, songwriter and author, Danny Sanderson. The citation was established in 2014 and has been presented to Nurit Hirsh, David D’Or, Idan Raichel,

David Broza, Yehoram Gaon and the Shalva Band.

Since its establishment in 1992, the B’nai B’rith World Center Award for Journalism has recognized excellence in reporting on contemporary Diaspora Jewish communities and on the state of Israel-Diaspora relations in the Israeli print, broadcast and online media.

The award highlights the important contributions the media can make toward strengthening the relationship between Israel and world Jewry by encouraging quality reporting on Diaspora communities and Israel-Diaspora relations.

The distinguished members of the award jury are: Ya'akov Ahimeir, past editor and anchor, Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation and Lifetime Achievement Award winner for 2016; Professor Yehudith Auerbach, School of Communication, Bar Ilan University;

Professor Sergio DellaPergola, The Institute of Contemporary Jewry, Hebrew University; Sallai Meridor, former Israeli ambassador to the United States and former chairman of the Zionist Executive and Jewish Agency for Israel;

Professor Gabriela Shalev, Higher Academic Council, Ono Academic College and former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations; journalist Yair Sheleg; Asher Weill, publisher and editor of “Ariel” The Israel Review of Arts and Letters (1981-2003).


Grupal Photo Courtesy: Bruno Sharvit.

From right to left (bottom line): Dan Lavie, Greer Fay Cashman, Danny Sanderson, Nurit Canetti, Alan Schneider.

In the top row from right to left: Asher Weill, Professor Gabriela Shalev, Dr Hadas Hacohen, Professor Yedidia Z. Stern, Professor Yehudith Auerbach and journalist Yair Sheleg.

 Photo of Greer Fay Cashman  by Silvia G. Golan