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Returning to nature  19.10.20-30.11.20

A new contemporary art exhibition at the University Botanical Garden in Jerusalem

Participating artists (in order A-B): Eitan Ben Moshe, Yaakov Dorchin, Maya Dunietz, Tsibi Geva, Eli Gur Arie,

Menashe Kadishman, Dani Karavan, Sigalit Landau, Ella Littwitz, Saher Miari, Moshe Roas, Yehudit Sasportas, Yaara Zach, Guy Zagursky.

Curator: Hadas Maor


'Returning to Nature' is a new contemporary art exhibition that opened with the approval of the re-opening of the Botanical Garden on 19/10/2020, at the initiative of the University Botanical Garden in Jerusalem and in collaboration with the Outset Fund for Contemporary Art.

In light of the current period and the corona crisis, the possibilities of spending time in open spaces become particularly important. The botanical garden, which covers 120 dunams, is the largest garden in Israel and the only one of its kind in the Middle East. Therefore, the general public can walk around the garden freely and without fear.  Spending time in nature allows observation, and provides relaxation, peace and balance for the soul.



The new exhibition, curated by Hadas Maor, includes about 15 large sculptures by leading contemporary artists that have been specially adapted to the display conditions in the garden. Among the artwork there are iconic works by artists such as Menashe Kadishman and Dani Karavan, works by established artists such as Tsibi Geva, Yehudit Sasports and Sigalit Landau, and works by younger artists such as Ella Littwitz, Yaara Zach, Saher Miari, Moshe Roas and more.


Hadas Maor the curator commented: "Following the eruption of the corona, institutions and cultural centers around the world were forced to stop their activities, and the fact that the exhibition at the Botanical Garden was formed during this period, despite the huge uncertainty about its very existence, is particularly noteworthy to me. This initiative values cultural action and real support for the local art field, both from the botanical garden and from the Outset Fund for Contemporary Art."


Maor also notes "the title of the project indicates a return to the outside after a long period of closure due to the outbreak of the corona virus, but also a dimension of return to nature present in the local sculptural language. In this context, the project reveals constant movement between works that rely on the use of defined outlines and heavy materials like iron or bronze, and works that use synthetic materials like rubber, latex or polyester as well as softened and rounded forms.."


There are also two new works which were produced especially for the exhibition and in accordance with the garden space: one of the works is a new sound work by Maya Dunietz, which responds directly to the sounds of the garden. The other, is the first presentation in Israel of a chapter from the Liquid Desert project by Yehudit Sasportas, the first part of which was shown in Germany in January 2019.


The placement of the various works will be spread throughout the gardens in visible and hidden spaces, and will create a circular walking path where the plants, as well as the sculptures, are discovered by the visitor while in motion. Some of the works have a formal, material and narrative dialogue with the plants around them, and others retain their foreignness. Together the various works will present a rich and layered prism of local sculptural work.


A virtual tour of the exhibition

Taking into account the current COVID-19 crisis and allowing for those in isolation to experience the exhibition, an excellent virtual tour and free educational resources online have been built.  This also allows for those outside of Israel to enjoy this collaboration of Israeli artists exhibiting in nature and thus enable an international reach of a universally relevant issue. 


Educational programs

In parallel with the exhibition, a detailed program of educational activities for groups and schools has been created. Combining educational content in the exhibition and promoting the discourse around art in the open space, this allows us to strengthen the necessary connection between nature, a healthy and sustainable lifestyle and art. It is important to note that the botanical kindergarten works with over 250 schools and kindergartens from all over Jerusalem guiding the teaching staff in the agricultural as well as the pedagogical aspect. Building educational gardens encourages children and their families to grow food, recognize and preserve extinct species and work the land.


Hannah Randall, Executive Director – Strategic Development: "I am proud and excited to add “outdoor museum” to our repertoire at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens; this has been a goal of ours for quite some time. During this pandemic it became clearer that there was and is a need to bring artwork and culture outside. Thanks to Outset Contemporary Art Fund, the Jerusalem Municipality, the Jerusalem Foundation and a number of art collectors and supporters, we were able to move fast enough during the lockdown to create a responsive and exceptional experience.  This exhibition marks the first of many such collaborations and artistic initiatives that connect art, culture and nature.


Opening hours: Sunday to Saturday 09:00 - 18:00

Admission to the exhibition is included in the price of admission to the garden

Entrance fee 35 NIS for an adult, free Jerusalem children, 28 NIS for Jerusalem card holders

Guided tours and activities in the exhibition will take place later


For more details, Givat Ram Botanical Garden 02-6794012

Exhibition site and catalogue www.jbgculture.com


Photos Elad Sarig







The Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra's Vocal Fantasy Festival, October 27-31, to be presented on line


Undaunted by the restrictions of the current corona virus situation, the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra is opening its 2020-2021 concert season with yet another Vocal Fantasy Festival. Traditionally a summer event, this year’s festival will be taking place in the Autumn and will be presented online. Taking place from October 27th to 31st, the festival, directed by JBO founder, harpsichordist and conductor David Shemer, will offer five days of concerts, master classes and talks that will be transmitted live from various Jerusalem locations. All the programs will have the human voice as their main focus.


The central work of the festival will be the Israeli premiere of one of Handel’s early works (composed before the composer was 20) - the St. John Passion, in a performance directed by David Shemer, with singers Yeela Avital, Liron Givoni, Alon Harari, Hillel Sherman, Doron Florentin and Noam Levenstein. In another program - “Handel’s Divas” - Meitar Opera Studio singers Inbal Brill and Karina Radzion will be joined by actor Itzik Cohen-Patilon to deliver the amusing story of the rivalry between Handel and Giovanni Bononcini, as well as that of two Italian prima donnas performing in London in opera productions of both composers.


In “From Johann to Hans”, we will hear soprano Yeela Avital, recorder-player Inbar Solomon and other musicians performing chorales and other works of Bach in the unique arrangements by the Jewish-Peruvian composer Hans Lewitus, in addition to works of the Spanish Renaissance and music from South America. The Guy Ben Hinom Choir will join JBO players in “Collection”, a program of original music led by JBO 1st ‘cellist Orit Messer-Jacobi. This concert will also include instrumental works of the Italian Renaissance. The 2020 Choral Fantasy Festival will sign out with a concert of music of late French Baroque works, in which JBO 1st violinist Noam Schuss will lead her fellow musicians and soprano Daniela Skorka in instrumental- and vocal works of the sophisticated musical repertoire performed at the court of Louis XIV, here represented by François Couperin and Louis-Nicolas Clérambault..


Ticket reservations: https://www.goshow.co.il/pages/minisite/143 














ECOWEEK ONLINE CHALLENGE : The 15 Year Anniversary Edition  October 2 – 4, 2020

 NGO ECOWEEK is celebrating its 15-year anniversary

with an online challenge that will inspire, challenge and innovate - 

with lectures, design workshops and a virtual exhibition!


With activity in 17 countries, and a network in 56 countries

ECOWEEK brings together young professionals for innovation and sustainable design,

green buildings, Placemaking, Emergency + Social Architecture, and Circular Economy. Join us!


This October ECOWEEK holds its second online event as a response to COVID-19 travel restrictions and the need to intensify environmental awareness and sustainable practices towards the European 2030 targets to avert the climate crisis.

With keynote speaker award-winning French architect Nicola Delon (Encore Heureux Architectes), and 15 experts from 16 countries experts on policy, design, circular economy, biodiversity and more - organized in part with the European network of cultural institutes EUNIC-Tel Aviv. With 48-hour design workshops and a unique virtual exhibition that will inspire with ideas generated in 200 ECOWEEK design workshops in 17 countries.This may be one of the most exciting, engaging and inspiring ECOWEEK events!


ECOWEEK is proud to host architect Maria Carmela Frate focusing her work on planning and managing architectural heritage and performing didactic work at the Workshop of History of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Perugia, Italy. Frate is the author of many publications, and is a member in European projects under Horizon 2020 such as BIMMOIS.

Maria Carmela Frate’s lecture titled ‘The Paradigm of Sustainability in buildings’ will take place on Friday 2 October at 16:00 (UTC/GMT+3). The lecture will be livestreamed online. The lecture is free admission. Registration required at http://ecoweek.online/


ECOWEEK is a non-profit organization, established in 2005 by architect and social entrepreneur Elias Messinas, with the passion to change peoples’ habits and the mission to raise environmental awareness and to promote sustainability. Based in Greece and Israel, for 15 years ECOWEEK has been engaging, training and empowering more than 4000 students and professionals from 56 countries with inspiring speakers and challenging design workshops. ECOWEEK has become for many young professionals a unique experience and a turning point to their growth and career. 

Whether in virtual or physical platforms, at ECOWEEK students design and implement innovative ideas and develop their thinking in sustainability. Many ideas are implemented in cities around the world. Together we will continue to make an impact! Join us for this special ECOWEEK 15-year anniversary challenge!

ECOWEEK Organizing Team: Elias Messinas, Despoina Kouinoglou, Pavlos Symianakis, Sofia Passia, Vicky Panagiotidou, Eleni Mantika, Nafsica Mouti, Margarita Kyanidou, Ina Patsali, and Theodora Passia.


ECOWEEK 2020 Website & Registration : http://ecoweek.online/

Contact : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 







Over 70,000 people took part in the “Science Games at the President’s Sukkah” online broadcast on social media and apps

The tradition of the President's Sukkah at Beit HaNasi, open to visitors during the Sukkot holiday, was continued despite the restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic, when President of Israel Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin opened his sukkah to visitors this morning for the seventh and last time. This year’s sukkah was online, with the title of “Science Games at the President’s Sukkah” and held in cooperation with the Ministry of Science and Technology and Minister Yizhar Shai this morning, Tuesday 6 October 2020 / 18 Tishrei.

The broadcast was anchored by Dudu Erez and Shira Levi, with the participation of special guests from the world of science, space and technology, including Nobel Prize laureates, sicentists and researchers, the members of the Israeli National Youth Robotics Team, members of the Horizon community, pupils from TELEM (students build satellites) and singer Agam Buhbut performed during the broadcast. Among the activities, young viewers took part in cracking scientific codes, home experiments in science, space and technology and trivia quizzes during the broadcast via a dedicated website, video calls, Zoom and social media platforms.

“I am so happy that you are my Ushpizim, guests in my Sukkah, despite the fact that you are visiting from afar, in line with the instructions,” said the president to the participants during the broadcast.

He added, ““We pray ‘and cover us with your sukkah of peace, over all Israel and Jerusalem’.  Indeed, at this time, a covering of peace is a particularly important blessing.  Only when we are together, supporting each other, can we overcome challenges like the one the virus presents. That is something we are learning as a people in these complex times. But our Sukkah, here at Beit HaNasi is not just a covering of peace, it is one of science. Those who visit our sukkah will enjoy particularly exciting activities and experiences! It is true that at Sukkot, and over the last few weeks in general, you haven’t been going to school, but it is always fun to learn new things, to expand your knowledge and perhaps even to give us interesting new ideas about how to build a sukkah or to celebrate this beautiful festival in an scientific and unique way.”

Minister of Science and Technology Yizhar Shai thanked the president for his collaboration and said, “We are living through challenging times when we cannot perform the mitzvot of the festival by being hosted in friends’ and family’s sukkot. The virus may require us to socially distance, but the wonders of technology allow us to continue the tradition and come together for a shared celebration at the house of the people, Beit HaNasi. It is only appropriate that when we are dealing with an invisible, cross-border threat, we make Israeli science and scientists who are at the forefront of fighting the virus, the focus of our festivities. It is a great honor for the Ministry of Science and Technology and for me to be the president’s guests and we would be delighted if all Israel joins us on Tuesday for a celebration of scientific and technological inspiration.”

For further activities, available until the end of Sukkot, please visit: www.sukkot-president-science.co.il

The broadcast is available on Beit HaNasi’s Facebook and YouTube channels.



Photo courtesy of Beit HaNasi







The Romanian Cultural Institute (RCI) in Tel Aviv is organizing, on September 24th, 2020, starting with 18:00 hours, in a new edition of the "Romanian Cafe" online, held via live streaming on the official Facebook page of RCI Tel Aviv –   https: //www.facebook.com/icr.telaviv/ , an event dedicated to the Jewish cultural heritage in Mediaș and the attempts to capitalize on this legacy, called “Mediaș Synagogue – a page of history”.


Moderated by Martin Salamon, director of RCI Tel Aviv, the event, held in English, will include journalist Iosif Klein Medeșan, together with Julie Dawson and Alexanda Toma, representatives of the Fanny Bäumel Association / The House by the Synagogue in Mediaș, and will address topics such as: the history of the Jewish community in Mediaș and its most important members throughout time, the efforts to preserve the Jewish heritage undertaken by the House by the Synagogue, as well as its efforts to raise public awareness regarding the matter. Photo and video materials from the restoration process will be shown during the event. Furthermore, the event is a good opportunity for the members of the community of Mediaș-born Israelis to find out more details about the restoration of the Synagogue and to offer their support.


The Mediaș Synagogue has slowly came back to life, due to a project aiming to preserve and digitize the archives of the former Jewish community, and to the valuable support of the Mediaș inhabitants. Thus, in May 2014, the team from The House by the Synagogue started a project meant to preserve the archive, a first step towards bringing the Synagogue back into the life of the city as a museum, community center and cultural space. The first projects carried out by The House by the Synagogue team, between 2014-2017, were administered by the Mihai Eminescu Trust Foundation and aimed at preserving the Jewish heritage of the Mediaș Synagogue.


The project "TRACES - Transmission of contentious heritage through the arts" took place between 2016 and 2019 and was funded by the European Commission, under the Horizon 2020 Research and Initiative Program. In parallel with these projects, workshops for students and pupils, both from the local community but also in national camps, were organized, as well as cultural events for the Mediaș community. Another project carried out was “The Future of Memory. Learning about the past for a better future”, a project initiated by the UMA ED Bucharest Association.

Born in Mediaș, Iosif Klein Medeșan is a well-known journalist who has worked for Voice of America, the BBC and Free Europe. In Romania, he worked, among others, on Național TV, and newspapers Puterea and România liberă.

Julie Dawson is the initiator of The House by the Synagogue’s projects, project director, researcher and archivist. Also she is the primary researcher for the Leo Baeck Institute’s long-term JBAT project.

Alexandra Toma has been involved with activities at the Medias Synagogue since 2014, first as a volunteer, then as the project manager assistant and is currently working as project manager for activities and events organized in the space.

Institutul Cultural Român de la Tel Aviv
B-dul Shaul Hamelech nr. 8, 64733
Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel.: +972-3-696 17 46,
+972-3-691 12 05
Fax: +972-3-691 12 04
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Photo The Romanian Cultural Institute (RCI) in Tel Aviv