Art & Culture
- Written by Silvia G Golan
*The largest Eurovision Village ever *Free public transportation on Shabbat *Special permits for bars and restaurants to enhance nightlife *Extensive city decorations *A new Tel Aviv tourism website *Activities at community centers and schools *Green Eurovision
In one month, Tel Aviv will host the 64th Eurovision Song Contest, the second most-watched live TV program in the world and the cultural event with the highest ratings and largest international coverage to ever take place in Israel.
Over the last few years, the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo has invested vast resources in developing its facilities and infrastructure in order to become a prime destination for major international conferences and events. These efforts included the recent establishment of the Tel Aviv International Convention Bureau as well as the building of the new pavilion at EXPO Tel Aviv which will host the Eurovision Final and Semifinals.
More specifically in the past months, since Tel Aviv won the bid to host the Eurovision, the Municipality has been working hard in order to create a perfect experience for tourists; from improving the transportation infrastructure to the organization of workshops for hundreds of service providers such as taxi drivers, lifeguards and much more.
Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo: "Eurovision is an opportunity for incredible global exposure. In one month, Tel Aviv will welcome thousands of tourists; will host one-thousand and five hundred journalists; and will be seen by tens of millions of viewers. Netta, in her recent song, talked about two moods: BASSA and SABABA: a bad mood and a good mood. Unlike the song, Tel Aviv has only one mood. We promise, that whomever comes to Tel Aviv in May, will experience one thing: SABABA, SABABA, and more SABABA."
THE LARGEST EUROVISION VILLAGE EVER
The highlight of the Eurovision events in Tel Aviv will be the largest Eurovision Village in the world, overlooking the Mediterranean coastline at Charles Clore Park. The Eurovision Village will be open to the public from May 12-18 from the afternoon until the evening and will showcase performances by Israeli artists such as Static and Ben El, Stephane Legar, and former Eurovision superstars such as Dana International and Izhar Cohen. In addition, the Semi-finals and the Final will be projected on giant screens and visitors will be able to enjoy the sea breeze while sitting at a giant bar overlooking the sea, surrounded by remarkable light compositions, created by the official lighting partner OSRAM.
The annual Tel Aviv Eat Festival will also be happening alongside the Eurovision Village (12-18 May) in a separate and adjacent compound. Visitors will be able to taste some of the most delicious dishes by Tel Aviv’s celebrated chefs. Participating restaurants include Manta Ray, Onza, Messa, The Blue Rooster, and many others.
TEL AVIV WHITE NIGHT
The Tel Aviv White Night will take place on May 16, on the night of the 2nd Semi Final. During the White Night, as the sun goes down, Telavivians and tourists are invited to wander through the many events and exhibitions taking place around the city - from the official Eurovision Village through cultural centers, museums, bars, open spaces, beaches and much more, until the sun rises and shines over the White City. Tel Aviv White Night is one of the biggest events of the year, and the Eurovision week is the ideal time for these celebrations. The events and performances are open to the public, most of them free of charge.
EXPO TEL AVIV
Israel's largest and most technologically-advanced convention center has undergone an 8 million NIS investment over the past few months in order to adhere to the highest standards that the Eurovision demands. Projects included creating a new piazza; hundreds of new signs in English, Hebrew and Arabic; installing hundreds of energy-efficient lighting devices, and more. Currently, over 1500 workers from Israel and from abroad are working around the clock to prepare EXPO to its largest show yet.
ALL ROADS LEAD TO…EXPO TEL AVIV
The Eurovision Song Contest is a huge opportunity for the city to improve its infrastructure for international tourists visiting the city.
During the weekend, the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality will offer free shuttles to Expo Tel Aviv. Two shuttles will pick up ticket holders at the Carmelit Terminal and take them to the Expo along two main routes. At the end of the show, buses will be waiting for ticket holders and will bring them back to their hotels. The information regarding the shuttles will be available in English at all stations and on board all buses.
The railway system will be reinforced and will let visitors get off at the Tel Aviv University station near the Expo. In addition, tourist information centers will be placed 24/7 at Ben Gurion International Airport and at Savidor Central Train Station. "Share-Route" taxis (lines 4 and 5) will allow fast and cheap rides and information regarding regular taxis will be more accessible for international tourists.
CITY BRANDING AND TOURIST EXPERIENCE
In recent months, the Municipality has been working hard in order to create a perfect experience for tourists:
- A new public transportation map will be distributed
- Information signs in English will be placed on the 500 main bus stops in the city.
- A tourist information desk will operate in the arrival hall at Ben Gurion International Airport 24/7.
- Hundreds of volunteers were recruited to assist tourists during the Eurovision week.
- A free pocket guide for tourists and a brand new website will include all the info tourists may need.
- Thousands of flowers were planted in the colors of the Eurovision logo around the city.
- 15 pop-up information booths will be spread across strategic spots in the city.
- The lifeguard tower located near the Eurovision Village will be customized especially for the Eurovision.
A GREEN CELEBRATION
The Eurovision Song Contest is a fantastic opportunity to set new green standards and make events in Tel Aviv more ecological. The Municipality has formulated guidelines for the main Eurovision areas concerning waste reduction, efficient energy use, and eco-friendly activities.
During the "Tel Aviv Eat" Festival, the Municipality will encourage chefs to produce "green" dishes, especially vegetarian and vegan, based on local and fresh ingredients and leftovers will be donated to “Leket Israel” – a local charity that specializes in food rescue.
A SEA OF POSSIBILITIES
Throughout the Eurovision week, the beaches will be animated with music events, sporting activities and live screenings of the Eurovision shows. Old Jaffa will host an interactive orchestra installation and in Jaffa Port, a huge radio will play Eurovision classics from previous years. Tel Aviv Port will host a huge Shabbat service, a Dana International exhibition, a vinyl record library and a closing musical show with Anne-Marie David, Loreen and Carola - three Eurovision legends. Amiad Center at Jaffa Flea Market will open DiverCity – an exhibition inspired by Eurovision songs.
WELCOME TO THE NONSTOP CITY
The Municipality has decided to implement a number of temporary policies for business owners and visitors so that they can extend their hours of work and continue to entertain guests even during the late hours of the night.
Bars and restaurants will be allowed to set up large screens to open areas and broadcast the shows. In addition, they will be able to play music until midnight. Together with business owners in the city, The Municipality is promoting the "Tel Aviv for 10 Shekels" campaign – during which visitors will be able to purchase drinks and food for only ten shekels throughout businesses around the city.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE CONNECTIONS
The Municipality will host the "Kehilavision" ("Eurovision in the Community"): The city’s community centers will each represent a different participating country and will organize a variety of events that will present the country and its culture.
LET US SHOW YOU TEL AVIV
The Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality has recruited hundreds of volunteers who will be placed all over the city. The team of volunteers will provide guidance, information and a friendly welcome to tourists and will represent the best that Tel Aviv has to offer
Photos Silvia G. Golan
- Written by Talma Gotteiner
Dori Csengeri: Gorgeous Jewelry
Dori Csengeri is an renown artist from Tel-Aviv with offices in the US and Europe. She is a textile designer by trade who creates haute couture jewelry pieces and collaborates regularly with Swarovski for its trend collections.
Dori Csengeri's new summer collection brings subversive and individualistic creativity of design, inspired by the Tel-Aviv city landscape and its environment, the sun, the sea and its unique local culture.
All these come together in a luxurious collection full of bright colors and personal statement, allowing Dori Csengeri to invent herself anew and create jewelry with her singular, stimulating and elegant touch.
The NORA assembly is based on dramatic plays between black and white geometrical shapes, reminiscent of luxurious European marble floors. The color placement is asymmetrical and therefore creates a distinctive look that cannot be ignored and striking style.
The KIRA collection was created during a search for ethnic artistic roots. Dori Csengeri combined fabric buttons of variable shades with handmade needlework. The bold red, green, yellow and black colors create a beautiful feminine atmosphere.
The BROOKE assembly combines Israeli feminine boldness with a blue-turquoise look that stands out against the ageless jeans. It is a light daywear collection and suitable for a wide range of personal styles: casual, elegant, luxurious and more.
The AYANNA collection is inspired by the freedom and wild safari and combines leapord prints and sandy colors with leather applications. The addition of sparkling crystals in turquoise, green and gold shades complement the collection and make it a dashing work of art.
The ROMY & TAYLOR assembly is a combination of two opulent collections made of original and complimentary compositions. The integrated collection projects harmony and lightness, making it perfect for the summer evenings, using circular sleek shapes and contrasting materials such as Swarovski stones and seashells.
About the artist:
For contact information, please refer to the original article at:
Photos by Silvia G. Golan
- Written by Silvia
Over the years, archaeological excavations in the Old City and its surroundings have become an inspiring national endeavor and have generated enormous public interest in Israel and around the world. The Jewish Quarter Reconstruction and Development Company, headed by CEO Herzl Ben-Ari, is working to renovate the Jewish Quarter and make these incredible findings accessible to visitors from around the world.
- A Rooftop Breakfast at the new Ibis Styles Hotel
- Plugat HaKotel Museum (i.e. The Museum of the Western Wall Platoon)
- The Burnt House
- Tiferet Israel Synagogue: Under Restoration
- The Western Wall Elevator: Under Construction
- "Chavayat Hatanach" or The Bible Experience
- Lunch stopover at Hummus Haviv
- The Menachem Begin Heritage Center
A Rooftop Breakfast at the new Ibis Styles Hotel
The Ibis Styles Hotel is the second hotel after Ibis Red to have opened in Jerusalem belonging to the international IBIS hotel brand that is part of the Accor International Hotel chain. The new hotel has a spectacular location. It is located in the middle of the pedestrian mall on 4 Ben Yehuda St. near Zion Square, a few minutes' walks from the Old City, the light rail, Mahane Yehuda market and a variety of tourist attractions in Jerusalem.
The hotel design, led by Aryeh Dvilansky Architects was inspired by the nearby Mahaneh Yehuda Market and is full of cheerful, colorful illustrations. The new Ibis Styles is set in a historic building and has 104 different rooms including standard rooms and family rooms, mini-suites, and rooms with balconies. Children receive a gift kit at check-in and have a children's menu.
On the 8th floor of the hotel, guests can enjoy a restaurant and bar with scenic views, where a large breakfast buffet is served daily from 6:30 to 10:00. You can enjoy the breakfast buffet separately from the accommodation. Every day between 18:30 and 19:30 the hotel has a happy hour in the restaurant. The restaurant itself will be open for three meals after Passover. All meals at the hotel are kosher.
Plugat HaKotel Museum (i.e. The Museum of the Western Wall Platoon)
Around 80 years after it was closed by the British, the Museum of the Western Wall Platoon was opened last year to the public. The museum tells the heroic story of the young members of the Betar revisionist movement who decided to stay in the Old City.
The museum is located inside the original house that was used by the platoon for residential purposes. It tells the story of the young men and women who went to work in the mornings and trained at night in an effort to guard the safety of the Jews who used to pray at the Western Wall. The presentation is about 35 minutes long and tells about their life under the British rule and about one of the most famous heroic activities that they undertook on the Yom Kippur of 1928.
Registration is through the Begin Heritage Center's office.
The Burnt House
The burnt house is the familiar name of an archeological site that is one of the homes of a wealthy Jerusalemite dating back to the period of the Second Temple around the destruction in 70 CE.
The visit includes a view of the house and some of the archeological findings as well as a spectacular film that carries you back in time to the events preceding the fall of the Second Temple. The burnt house has already completed its renovation and the film has been translated into Chinese, Spanish, English, French, and Russian.
Tiferet Israel Synagogue - Under Restoration
One of the landmarks of the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem until its destruction in 1948 was the Tiferet Israel Synagogue. Archaeological excavations began about four years and only recently the restoration work has begun. In the first stage, the construction work is focused on three underground floors that go down ten meters below street level. Once these three levels are complete, the Tiferet Israel synagogue will be restored and is expected to reach a height of 25 meters high.
The Western Wall Elevator - Under Construction
Between the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall plaza in Jerusalem are several staircases that limit access to people with disabilities. The Western Wall Elevator project is designed to create a convenient and accessible passage for the entire population. The project covers a total area of about 2,000 square meters and the cost is estimated at 57 million NIS.
"Chavayat Hatanach" or The Bible Experience
The Tourism Department of the Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter, in cooperation with the Bible Experience, is launching an interactive game in the Jewish Quarter. The game presents a series of challenges and riddles that lead you through hidden underground passages and excavations in the Jewish Quarter. It takes about an hour and a half and is conducted with tablets and laminated reality technology that generate a fun modern tourist experience.
Lunch at Hummus Haviv
Hummus Haviv is named after the owner Tzach Haviv, an entrepreneur who has managed two other businesses in the Jewish Quarter and the center of Jerusalem. It is the first hummus restaurant that opened in the Jewish quarter in Sept.2018. The kosher certificate is provided by Rabbi Rubin and with which the restaurant is able to serve tourists as well as some of the ultra-Orthodox residents alike.
The restaurant serves vegetarian/vegan food based on fresh raw materials daily with no preservatives. The hummus is served hot and ground thinly, based on a personal recipe together with gluten free green falafel, homemade fries and Chef Moshe's "Father's Shakshuka" that is unique in its intense flavor. The pita bread is freshly baked at the restaurant. The menu also includes soups, a rice and lentil dish called "Majadra", cooked vegetables and salads to complete the meal. The atmosphere is updated even though the building is preserved as an authentic building of the Quarter and seats up to 40 people.
The Menachem Begin Heritage Center (Tripadvisor)
The Menachem Begin Museum is a building dedicated to the 6th Prime Minister of Israel. The multi-sensory audiovisual experience includes rare films, interactive touch screens and a whole set of reconstructions and original items to take you through a journey into the life of one of the most prominent leaders in the country's history.
The museum is divided into four major periods of his life. The first period starts with Begin's childhood in Europe including his arrest for Zionist activity.
The second period is dedicated to his command of the Etzel and describes some of the main activities of the Irgun.
The third is dedicated to his political years in the opposition and the fourth focuses on his achievements as Prime Minister - the peace treaty with Egypt, the Nobel Peace Prize, the bombing of the nuclear reactor in Iraq, and more ...
The museum is an experience for the whole family and is done only by guided tour. The tour takes about 75 minutes with a waiting period of half an hour in-between tours. The museum conducts the guided tours in Hebrew and English, but you can also receive headphones for Spanish, French, Russian and Arabic.
In addition to the tour about Menachem Begin within the building, visitors are invited to enter the archeological park that lies within the museum's compound. The park is part of a necropolis of burial complexes that dates back to the First Temple period, the days of the Kings of Judah. Other findings include remains of a Byzantine church, rock-hewn shaft tombs from the Roman period and burial ground of the 10th Roman legion. The most fascinating find is a burial cave from the First Temple period in which an exciting discovery was made - a silver cylinder bearing the familiar verse from the Birkat Kohanim: "May the Lord bless you and preserve you." This finding is the oldest biblical text to date.
The park has recently been renovated with appropriate signs and walking paths that connect it to a sequence of parks between Bloomfield Garden and the Biblical Hill. Admission to the park is free between 10:00-18:00, Sunday - Thursday, even after museum hours, but requires advance notice.
For contact details to each of the sites, you are welcome to enter the full article on:
Photos by Silvia G. Golan
- Written by Talma Gotteiner
A New Artists' Colony in Pardes Hanna-Karkur
There is a new gorgeous complex in Pardes Hanna-Karkur called in Hebrew, "Urvot Haomanim", which translates into "The Artists' Stables". As its name suggests, a number of artists took over a set of abandoned stables and turned them into a little boulevard of boutiques.
- Visiting the shops
- Taking an alternative therapy session
- Painting at Alina's studio
- Taking a Yoga class or Seeing a show at the Unicorn Club
- Enjoying a live music concert over lunch
Visiting the Shops
The stable shops have turned into beautiful boutiques that offer a wide variety of arts and crafts. To name a few, there are:
Abracadabra - This magical shop is a Macrame studio belonging to designers and artists, Racheli and Yona. You can find beautiful macrame covered lamp shades, curtains, accessories, and threads for purchase and can even register for one of the macrame workshops.
Arsalim - A creative hammock studio designed by Shirli Nawi. The studio offers hammocks of all sizes starting from a crib hammock.
Atelier - A studio of hand-painted tiles. The studio works with public builders, architects, and private renovators. In addition to the tiles, it offers beautiful accessories, carpets, cushions, paintings and other handcrafts from Israel and abroad.
BioFeellia Botanic Collections - The studio is a botanical sculpture studio managed by Sol Keren. It offers specially designed plant arrangements and other atmosphere products that correspond with nature.
Dafna and Dan - This colorful studio immediately attracts the eye with it's a bright display of ceramics, paintings and sculptures by Dafna Kastenboym and Dan Shamir.
Hadas Mor - A designer lingerie boutique. Hadas comes from a diverse cultural background. She lived in Paris for many years where she worked at Kenzo. Her tasteful style honors the feminine body.
LaRosh - "LaRosh", or in Hebrew "The Head" is a mix of a boutique hat shop and a barber shop managed by Amalia Dan, the hatmaker and her partner Shlomi, the barber. Amalia studied at Rakefet Levy's school followed by a few years in New York. In NY she found learnt the almost extinct secrets of the hatmaking profession in a hat studio that was founded in the early 1920s on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
Naveenew - A men's fashion boutique.
Royal Gypsy - A designer clothes boutique. Michal Monka's dresses are flattering, magnificent and full of chic and beauty. The dresses are embroidered with sacred symbols from different cultures and can be paired with exquisite jewelry. Each dress is accompanied by a certificate, that explains the symbol woven on it and the energy stored within it.
Taking an alternative therapy session
In the artists' colony, there is a small clinic called "Arba Imahot" is with five treatment rooms that work with an assortment of alternative therapy professionals. The clinic is run by Neta Asulin, who offers family counseling. Others available therapies include Chinese and Japanese Acupuncture, Massage, Craniosacral therapy Healing, Couples Counseling, Tarot card opening and more.
Painting at Alina's studio
Opened five years ago, Alina's studio is a painters' studio that offers a space for painters at heart.
During the week there are regular classes for children, youth and adults as well as one-time workshops and courses. Most of the classes are given by Alina Oren - the founder of the studio. Alina studied for a BA in painting (New York) and an MA in art therapy (in Israel).
The studio also has 'open studio' days in which space is open for those who wish to paint together, without any guidance or commitment.
Taking a Yoga class or Seeing a show at the Unicorn Club
Israeli actor Shai Avivi and Michal Libidinsky opened the Unicorn Club for hosting of performances, workshops, and yoga. It serves as the cultural hub of the sweet colony.
Enjoying a live music concert over lunch
In the colony, there is a common yard with outdoor tables where you can sit and eat your lunch. There is a vegan-vegetarian restaurant (Hatzvi Café), an Indian restaurant (Rajananda) and a variety of food carts that offer an assortment of dishes from meats to sushi, freshly baked bread, a fresh fruit and vegetable stand, and a small grocery store if you need a last minute purchase before the weekend.
The performances take place on Wednesday evenings and on Friday afternoons in the yard.
Facebook אורוות האמנים - פרדס חנה urvotpardes hana
For some additional shops and a map, you are welcome to read the full article on:
Photo Silvia G. Golan
- Written by Aviv Hanuka
The Embassy of Kazakhstan in Israel celebrated Naw-Ruz 2019 with its traditional annual celebration held in Rishon Lezion.
Diplomats, Kazakhstani citizens living in Israel, and Israelis with ties to Kazakhstan met at the Rishon Lezion park outside of Tel Aviv to mark the occasion.
Nawruz is Persian New Year, celebrated by many nations around the world. In Kazakhstan, it is a national holiday, and the celebration in Israel allows those living in Israel to get a glimpse of this rich cultural experience.
As they arrived, guests received maps, flags, and other gifts from Kazakhstan.
After the guests were welcomed to the event, Ambassador Doulat Kuanyshev addressed the audience and spoke about the holiday of Nawruz brings together different members of society. Individuals were then called up to the stage to receive certificates for their contributions to society and to the advancement of Kazakhstani culture.
Following the ceremony, a dancer came up to perform traditional dances. A young singer then sang more contemporary music.
Throughout the afternoon the guests enjoyed food, music, and the rich display of traditional handicrafts and tapestries.
Photos Aviv Hanuka