A spectacular show took place at the Smolarz Auditorium at the Tel Aviv University in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and the State o Israel. The event was hosted by Ambassador H.E Mr Kim II Soo, and wife Son Kim Moon Kyung.

The Show titled Cookin - Nanta, one of the most popular shows in Korea, is a non-verbal performance of a comical musical , where knives and other kitchen utensils are transformed into musical instruments in the hands of the performers.


Encouraged by the impressive reception of their project, both artists have decided to come back in the 2012
presenting "Dos Pajaros Contraatacan", a new adventure that puts up together two of the best
spanish music repertories in order to create a unique show.

Joan Manuel Serrat and Joaquin Sabina, both famous international artists, will present in the Nokia Stadium
of Tel-Aviv, in Israel, their concert next Thursday, June 21 2012.

Dos Pajaros (Two birds), one rebellious and spoiled, the other one smooth, the two songwriters,
troubadours, love women and to whom they also sing, each with his romance with his songs of love
or heartbreak also they sing to life, and to things of life.

MonumentSomething special to do on Holocaust Remembrance Day:

Ever since the 1950's Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, KKL-JNF planted six million trees in memory of the Holocaust victims. The most famous monument in the forest is the "Scroll of Fire" two large bronze cylinders that represent the destruction and rebirth of Israel.  In the forest stands a memorial to Anne Frank, who perhaps more than anyone else, represents the horrors of the Holocaust for many people.

Holocaust Memorial Day

Musrara art school and the Jerusalem Cinemateque present:

Personal History Culture, Identity, Fantasy

Wednesday, 18.4.2012, 20:00, Jerusalem Cinematheque, Hall 1

Curator: Sharon Balaban, Ilanit Konopny, Daniella Tourgeman

Musrara School of art, together with the Jerusalem Cinematheque, raise, the fifth year, Holocaust Memorial Day that will include Varied video works .The past, imaginary present, and private world as reconstructed through the language of video. The following works of personal history examine forms of documentation, fabrication, and reality.


As construction of the innovative Baha'i House of Worship gets under way here, a new book and website have been launched to meet growing interest in the Temple and what it represents.

The publication, "Donde Brilla La Luz" ("Where the Light Shines"), aims to respond to questions about the Baha'i Faith and includes reflections on the impact that the House of Worship is intended to make on the society around it.

It has been written by Daniel Duhart from Chile, Helen Mirkovitch-Kohm of Costa Rica and Jairo Roldan from Colombia.

The Litvak Gallery is opening new shows

• In his paintings of Tel Aviv's urban landscape, French artist Philippe Cognée presents the tension between the city's distorted skyline and the beauty of the buildings themselves

• Chilean-born artist Ivan Navarro casts doubt on the meaning of the Olympic ideal

• shows will open to the public on March 29, 2012 and close on May 5, 2012

Philippe Cognée – "A Sea of Sand"

Philippe Cognée was born in France in 1957. He has been investigating the concepts of close observation, image and memory for nearly 20 years. His wax-on- canvas works, with their characteristic distorted effect, raise questions about the current situation of humanity. Lately the works have also examined questions related to architecture and the urban landscape, as well as the relation between representation and abstraction.

 The fifth edition of the Napoli Teatro Festival Italia will take place in Naples from the 7th to the 24th of June and will continue, after the summer break, in September from the 25th to the 30th symbolically passing the torch to city theatres.

24 days of shows, 130 performances, 17 venues between classical theatres and outdoor locations and a grand opening event (a concert, on the 6th of June, of the Isreali artist Noa on stage at the Teatro di San Carlo). These are the numbers of 2012 Festival, the first entirely created by the artistic Director Luca De Fusco. (picture)
Moreover, for the second year, the Festival will organize in September the Award Le Maschere del Teatro Italiano.

The Festival confirms and strengthens its international calling, its attention to the new drama and launches, from this year, an original formula that directly engages some of the most important masters of the world scene in two-year projects leading to world premieres in 2013. It is the case of Bob Wilson, called by The New York Times "a milestone in international experimental theater", who will open this edition with a musical performance, The Makropulos Case. Or that of Peter Brook, presenting the Italian premiere of The Suit, a musical reworking of Le Costume.

Venue: Jerusalem Music Center, Mishkenot Sha'ananim, Jerusalem

Date: Sunday 25th March, 2012

Time: 5:00pm

The concert is the latest event staged by the Folding Together origami project,

which aims to bring Palestinians and Jewish children together to work together

as equals on collaborative creative projects which have a special Japanese atmosphere.

See www.foldingtogether.org.

The event organizer is Miri Golan, founder of Folding Together and Director of the Israeli

Origami Center.

Coincinding with the 100th birthday of Raoul Wallenberg, the play "Heart of Stone – Heart of Flesh" will be staged on March 22, 2012, at the Edith Pollack Theatre of Kiryat Gat, before an audience of 700.

Students of the Shalon High School of Kiryat Gat, have decided to stage the aforementioned play written by Eli Yossef, which narrates the story of the Swedish diplomat.

25 students aged 14-15, will participate in this artistic endeavor. Their decision was taken after attending a lecture about Wallenberg, given by Yossef, in the framework of an educational initiative by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and Casa Argentina.

Greetings from the Mayor

Since its founding Tel Aviv-Yafo has been identified with culture and art, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art has always been the beating heart of the city's art community. The Museum's first exhibition space was none other than the living room of the city's first mayor, Meir Dizengoff, who wisely understood that a city must not only create infrastructures, but also lay the infrastructures that facilitate creativity. After his death, Dizengoff bequeathed his art collection and his home on Rothschild Boulevard to the city's residents so they could serve as the foundation of the first art museum in the Land of Israel.
In 1948, when David Ben-Gurion and the members of the People's Council convened in order to declare the State of Israel's independence, they did so in that same building on Rothschild Boulevard – which was the Tel Aviv Museum.

A multidisciplinary, one-of-a-kind encounter between musical performances, digital art, screenings of video art and animation, displays, and interactive installations, showcased at 15 different hubs of activity at the city's art complex – Shaul Hamelech Boulevard, the Performing Arts Center Concourse, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art Concourse, and Dubnov Garden
* The Tel Aviv Museum of Art will be open free of charge

Come to see, experience and be part of it!
Saturday evening, March 24, 19:00-23:00, Open to the General Public.

Sunday, March 25, 2012 from 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM

Batsheva Dance Company Presents: "Furo", Music, Art, Wine & Fashion



An installation performance, combining dance, video art, music, & fashion

This unique evening will provide our young professional patrons with the ability to move in and out

of the fantasy world created by director Ohad Naharin and Japanese animation artist, Tabaimo.

Furo fuses together cutting edge dance, music, art, and Israeli fashion, building a rare museum

gallery experience between the Varda studio and stunningly beautiful Suzanne Dellal garden


Mr Schlesinger and Embassadors

On March 3rd, we had the privilege to participate at a special concert organized at the Schlesinger house.

Samuel Schlesinger comes from a family of musicians since the 19th century. His love for music is obvious. The evening held in his house in Savion was the testimony of this passion and he is very keen in doing receptions to artistic events. Ambassadors from Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia participated at this special event. Journalists from different countries, VIP’s and businessmen were part of the selected group invited. Samuel Schlesinger is also the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Croatia and he is always ready to organize events inviting persons from the region of Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Kossovo, Macedonia.

Slovenian culture in Israel

Cultural cooperation between our two countries has been very successful. This was originally stronger on the Slovenian side, but in recent years, cooperation has become more balanced. In December 2000, Programme of Cooperation in the fields of Culture, Education and Science between the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and the Government of the State of Israel for the years 2001-2003 was signed, implementation of which was restricted by the situation in Israel at the time. The new Programme of Cooperation in the fields of Culture, Education and Science between the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and the Government of the State of Israel for the years 2007 – 2010 was signed in May 2007 and is now in force.

The Hungarian Magic Cube - Video Art Exhibition of Hungarian artists

The annual French Film Festival, which will take place this year from 17 March to 5 April, will host actress Charlotte Rampling.


3 July 2012, Hayarkon Park


The Tel Aviv Museum of Art has won Best Museum Award in the prestigious Travel and Leisure Magazine Award 2012 for their new Herta and Paul Amir Building, which opened November 2, 2011.

Tel Aviv Museum of Art (Photo courtesy Israel Ministry of Tourism)

Madonna has announced the she will begin her world tour, in Israel this May.Madonna has announced the she will begin her world tour, in Israel this May.


International Opera Festival at Masada

Dead Sea 2012

Opera “Carmen” by Georges Bizet

Special Concert “Way to Masada” with international artists And with the collaboration of “Idan Raychel Project”

Fantastic production, with well known artists, orchestras and flamenco dancers.

5 dates to keep in mind:
Thursday June 7th, 2012 at 21.30
Saturday June 9th, 2012 at 21.30
Sunday June 10th, 2012 at 21.30
Monday June 11th, 2012 at 21.30
Tuesday June 12th, 2012 at 21.30
On Friday June 6th, 2012 at 20.30 – special event: Idan Raychel Project

Fabulous production employing 2500 persons.

Tickets as from January 15th, 2012.
or tel: 6226*

English-speaking theater troupes entertain 'Anglos' as well as Israelis from Haifa to Beersheva, Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.
A scene from Encore's production of the Gilbert & Sullivan comic operetta "Ruddigore"

Beit Hatfutsot -The Museum of the Jewish People has had a topsy-turvy history. Saved from closing down, its future now looks bright.

Museum designer Patrick Gallagher's vision for the "Foundations of Jewish Life" exhibit at Beit Hatfutsot

"There is no such thing as academic writing and popular writing," says Bar-Ilan Prof. Oren Harman. "There is better writing and worse writing."

Maybe it was inevitable that someone whose parents met at Harvard would grow up to be an academic. Yet that wasn't a clear conclusion during Prof. Oren Harman's early years.

Now chairman of the graduate program in science, technology and society at Bar-Ilan University and winner of a Los Angeles Times Book Prize for his 2010 biography, The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness (W.W. Norton), Harman thought of becoming a singer, doctor or educator.

"Academia was last on my list," he says. "It can be very stuffy and insular." But then he won an Allon Fellowship, which enables universities to take in outstanding young researchers. Harman calls this award "the king's road into academia in Israel."

He was already on that road by virtue of his pedigree. Born in Jerusalem in 1973, Harman is the grandson of Abe Harman, Israel's ambassador to Washington between 1960 and 1969 and later president of the Hebrew University. His dad, a professor of education, met his New York-born mother at Harvard. His maternal grandmother had done doctoral work in Vienna with the psychotherapist Alfred Adler in 1925.

Harman attended Manhattan's prestigious Collegiate School for Boys from age 12 to 16, when his father was on sabbatical at Columbia Teachers College. After serving in an elite military unit, he earned his bachelor's degree at Hebrew University and his master's in science at Oxford in 1998. "I was close to my grandfather, who had gone there, and I had a romantic notion of Oxford," he explains. "I was talked into staying there for a doctorate." And he did end up at Harvard, where he finished writing his dissertation and taught until returning to Israel for a post-doctorate in 2002.


Teaching how to write is teaching how to think

Harman, who now lives in Tel Aviv, describes himself as a historian of biology and a writer. At Bar-Ilan, he teaches evolutionary theory, the interplay between scientific, social and philosophical thought - and writing.

"Writing is a big deal for me," he says. "The Israeli educational system fails its students in the sense that it doesn't teach them how to write. Teaching how to write is in many ways teaching how to think. So a few years ago, I instituted two mandatory writing courses in my department, and all the students, all on the graduate level, say it's the most significant and meaningful course they've ever taken."

It's not every day that Israeli students get to learn the craft from a Pulitzer Prize nominee. Harman's previous books include The Man Who Invented the Chromosome(Harvard, 2004) and Rebels, Mavericks and Heretics in Biology (Yale, 2008). His essays have appeared in The New York Times, The London Times, Nature, Science, The Economist, Forbes, New Scientist, Times Higher Education, Discover, The Huffington Post and RADIOLAB.

"Writing is art," he states. "There is no such thing as academic writing and popular writing. There is better writing and worse writing."


'Just like the Oscars'

The Price of Altruism was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and got a Pulitzer nomination in addition to glowing reviews. Still, the author did not expect to win the LA Times Book Prize, given the stiff competition. One of the five nominees in his category was Siddhartha Mukherjee, who had just beat out Harman for the 2011 Pulitzer in non-fiction (he won for The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer).

Harman flew in for the April 29 ceremony anyway, mostly because he wanted to attend the largest book fair in America that takes place at the same time. He took along his Norton editor.

"They opened the envelope, just like Oscars," Harman recalls, and he was surprised to hear his name. He had no acceptance speech prepared. "I was proud that I was only the second Israeli to win the LA Times Book Prize in 31 years, and I am proud to sort of represent Israel," he says, "but it's not part and parcel of my work. I'm not writing about Israeli themes in the way that someone like Amos Oz is telling a universal story through his Israeliness. My themes are not Israeli."

The book, which explores the life of a "radical altruist" who ruined his own life in the course of helping London's homeless and downtrodden, was already getting lots of attention from readers and even from Hollywood.

Harman reports that his agent in Los Angeles "is working on aligning the stars just right so that it becomes a film. They've sent the book to actors such as Tom Hanks and Robert Downey, Jr. Sometimes these things take time and you need a little sprinkle of luck, too."

Harman is working on two future books, one about non-biologists who solved fundamental biological mysteries; and the other on scientific myths, "a cross between fiction and non-fiction. This is a new genre I am creating, based on our cutting-edge knowledge in evolutionary theory, about age-old myths on the meaning of beauty, love, motherhood, death - things we understand in our gut and are crucial to our humanity but we know we'll never be able to fully understand."


The only festival of its kind in the Middle East, the annual Culture of Peace features artists and audiences from across the societal spectrum.

In the midst of Arab uprisings in Israel's neighboring countries, "The Show Must Go On" could well have been the motto for late May's Culture of Peace Festival at Tzavta Hall in Tel Aviv, which since 2001 has been a stage set with a backdrop of peace-making through music, art and theater.

Events producer Eli Grunfeld, founder and director of the annual festival, explains that this year there was no budget to pay the artists. On a pledge of money from ticket sales, a number of dedicated artists agreed to perform anyway. "I was extremely grateful that performers this year were able to take on projects for this important event, even without the promise of revenues," he says. "This year it was the festival of the artists. All agreed to come to the festival and perform and show their interest in peace."

Some of those on the bill were well-known soloists, others up and coming. The biggest excitement came from the women's choir of Jaffa, a group comprised of Israeli Arabs, Muslims, Christians and Jews, Grunfeld relates. Called the Shirana Choir the women presented "Songs to Drive Away the Darkness" and featured guest singers Galit Giat, Nouran Mas'oud and Lubna Salama.

The program also included presentations such as "Prayers of Israel, Melodies of Ishmael" led by the Galilee Andalusian Orchestra and sung by cantor Lior Elmalich. Jewish prayers set to Arabic music, says Grunfeld, open minds and hearts. Jews may not be aware that much of Jewish world music was inspired by rhythms and traditions from the Arab world.

Diverse cultural mosaic

The festival's manifesto is to create a common ground for artists with different religious beliefs and cultures. It includes musical performances, street performances, theater for kids and multicultural, multimedia aspects. In Israel, where cultures remain distinct and separate, the event inspires a peaceful dialogue between those who might not have other opportunities to meet one another.

Grunfeld says he got a particularly good feeling from the atmosphere generated by the audience, who came from the entire rich and diverse cultural mosaic that makes the Israeli community so special.

A feeling of "change is in the air," says Grunfeld, who in March organized an artists' support event for the Egyptians demonstrating at Tahir Square in Cairo. Some of the same artists played in the Culture of Peace Festival. "Individuals now feel they can show their feelings and make a certain change," he notes.

The annual weeklong festival is held every May in Tel Aviv, and sometimes Grunfeld takes the show on the road to cities such as Nazareth, Sachnin, Acre and Haifa.

To meet its basic production needs, the Culture of Peace Festival is supported by theRosa Luxemburg Foundation and the Havatzelet Foundation. It is considered the only festival of its kind in the Middle East.



The Famous Neo Tango group OTROS AIRES  came to Israel.

Otros AiresAfter 6 years of career, 2 studio albums, 1 live album, a documentary DVD and 16 tours around Europe, North America and South America (including more than 60 cities), Otros Aires releases it’s third studio album.

Hanna Munitz, General Director of the Israeli Opera announced the 20110/12 season of the Israeli Opera, the 27 season of a company who now enjoys the support of over 18,000 subscribers.


The coming season features eight productions including a new production of Weill and Brecht's Aufsteig und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny. The season will also feature new productions to the company of Orfeo ed Euridice, Jenufa, Lucia di Lammermoor, Cavalleria and Pagliacci as well as revivals of the company's Rigoletto and Madama Butterfly. The season also offers a revival the continuation of the Masada Opera Festival with a new production of Carmen and two gala concerts. The Israeli Opera will also tour once again to the Wiesbaden Opera Festival with tow productions – Tosca and The Child Dreams by Israeli composer Gil Shohat.

Altogether around 100 performances are planned for a season spanning from November 2011 to July 2012 performed by leading international and Israeli opera artists. The Israeli Opera also continues its education, outreach and community activities as well as family and children performances. The season will also feature numerous other, non operatic, activities and events as well as the Israeli Opera's annual international dance series, classical music, jazz, world music and children performances series.

Details about all the Israeli Opera's activities can be found at the company's website www.israel-opera.co.il

The Opera Season

Cavalleria rusticana & Pagliacci (December 2011)
Peliachi. (The Israeli Opera Archive)The verismo operatic twins are presented in Giancarlo del Monaco's powerful and realistic production featuring Gustavo Porta as Canio, Ira Bertman as Nedda, Scott Piper as Turiddu and Tatiana Anisimova as Santuzza. David Stern, the music director of the Israeli Opera, conducts.

Peliachi. (The Israeli Opera Archive)

Aufsteig und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (January 2012)

A new production conducted by David Stern and directed by Omri Nitzan, one of Israel's leading theatre directors who has created many productions for the Israeli Opera.

Jenufa (February 2012)

Barbara Haveman leads an Israeli and international cast in this Slavic masterpiece conducted by George Pehlivanian in a production by Nikolas Lehnhoff from the Glyndebourne Festival.

Lucia di Lammermoor (March 2012)

Daniel Oren conducts Donizetti's masterpiece in Graham Vick's lush production featuring, among others, Jessica Pratt in the title role and Boaz Daniel as her brother Enrico.

Madama Butterfly (April 2012)

Stefano Ranzani makes his Israeli Opera debut conducting Mariusz Trelinsky's stylized and powerful production of the Puccini masterpiece with Israeli soprano Ira Bertman in the lead and Zoran Todorovic as Pinkerton.

Orfeo ed Euridice (May 2012)

David Stern conducts Mariusz Trelinsky's evocative modern production about the mythical poet who this time creates in our own time. Counter tenor Yaniv d'Or performs the role of Orfeo with Hila Baggio as Euridice.

Rigoletto (July 2012)

David Pountney's powerful production of Rigoletto (designed by the late Stefano Lazaridis) returns to the stage conducted by Daniele Callegari in his company debut with Giuseppe Gipali as the Duke and Adriana Kucerova as Gilda.

Carmen at Masada (June 2012)
Lucia. (The Israeli Opera Archive)The third opera festival at the Masada/Dead Sea area will feature a new production of Carmen conducted by Daniel Oren and directed by Giancarlo del Monaco. Hundreds of choristers, dancers and extras will be part of a larger than life production under a canopy of stars by the Dead Sea and the majestic Mt. of Masada.

Lucia. (The Israeli Opera Archive)

Gala Concerts at Masada (June 2012)

Two gala concerts will be featured at the Masada Festival. Tenor Roberto Alagna will perform a gala opera concert with the opera orchestra, and pianist Fazil Say will perform with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (London).

Tour to the Wiesbaden May Festival (May 2012)

The Israeli Opera was invited to perform at the Wiesbaden May Festival (Germany). The company will perform Hugo de Ana's most successful cinematic production of Tosca as well as The Child Dreams by Israeli composer Gil Shohat based on a play by Hanoch Levin. Music Director David Stern will conduct both productions.

Operas for the Entire Family (August-October 2012)

The Israeli Opera continues presenting its 70 minutes Hebrew fully staged productions of operas for children on its main stage with revivals of Mozart's The Magic flute and last summer's world premiere Alice in Wonderland (by David Sebba).

Getting Closer to Our Audience

The Israeli Opera presents a large number of extra curricular events in order to get closer to its audience and bring the audience closer to the world of opera and the people performing in it. Each Israeli Opera performance is preceded by a 30 minute introduction lecture at the auditorium. Opera Talkback sessions (with cast and production team members) take place at the end of several performances in each run, enabling members of the audience to meet, speak and ask questions about the production they just attended. Backstage tours, preview forums and other events are also part of the company's mandate to make the art form as accessible as possible to a wide audience.

Israeli Opera Community, Education and Outreach Activities

The Israeli Opera, with the generous assistance of private and public donors, devotes time, money and efforts in order to foster new audiences for opera and enlarge the awareness of opera in as many communities as possible around the country.

The Opera's education program brings the magic of opera to school and kindergarten children of all ages all over Israel. Within these extended, at times year-round, interactive programs the children learn about the intricate world of opera on and off the stage and eventually attend productions at the Opera House. In average the Israeli Opera is involved with at least one educational/community, in or outside of the opera house, activity in each and every day of the year. In each Israeli Opera performance an average of 200 school children attend the performance.

Young audiences can also enjoy the Children Opera Hour at the foyer of the Opera House, a one hour opera weekly program for young children presented in piano accompanied fully staged productions with beautiful costumes (The Magic Flute, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Orfeo and Euridice, The Marriage of Figaro, The Snow Maiden and many others).

The annual open air park performance of the Israeli Opera has become a long awaited summer tradition with past successful productions of Rigoletto, Nabucco, Samson et Dalila, L'elisir d'amore, La traviata and Carmen. In July 2011 over 100,000 opera buffs are expected to attend the open air production of The Magic Flute. Admission for these park performances is free of charge.

The Israeli Opera's community productions enable an entire community in the periphery to take part in the year long preparations, construction of and the actual performance of an opera together with members of the Israeli Opera. In the past years the community production of L'elisir d'amore was presented in Kfar Shalem, Afula, Tiberias, Acco and also for the first time with a social community, that of handicapped people, as well as in Beit Shean. The new community production of Cinderella was already performed in Tirat Hacarmel and Sderot and future productions will take place in Kiryat Gat and Nahariya. In each community the stage is full with scores of local participants who become the opera stars of the moment.
Tango Forever. (The Israeli Opera Archive)The Opera Studio, the Israeli Opera's young artists program enables a select group of young Israeli opera singers to hone their craft and gain performance experience in order to prepare themselves for a career as opera singers.

Tango Forever. (The Israeli Opera Archive)

Israeli Opera International Dance Series

The international dance series at the opera house features this season 10 dance companies from all over the world. Returning to the Opera House dance series are the Boris Eifman Ballet (Onegin and Don Quixote) and Momix (Botanica). Making their debut in the series are the Zurich Ballet, The Goteburg Ballet (The Sleeping Beauty and Bolero x 3), Cloud Gate from Taiwan, the Martha Graham Dance Company, Ballet Trockadero from Monte Carlo, Yasmin Vardimon (7734) and the Broadway success Forever Tango. The Project, the new initiative of the Israeli Opera and the Suzanne Dellal Centre of a repertory dance company performing works by leading contemporary choreographers, will present a new program within the dance series.

Israeli Opera Classical Music Series

The Israeli Opera presents several series of classical music with local orchestras and Israeli and international soloists, choirs and conductors. The popular Liturgical Series (with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, and local and international soloists and choirs) will feature this coming season four programs including Mendelssohn's Walpurgis Nacht, Bloch's Sacred Service, Dvorak's Biblical Songs, Bach's Magnificat and Mozart's Great Mass. The Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion, which regularly plays in Israeli Opera productions, continues with its Symphonic Series featuring the bread and butter of the classical symphonic repertoire led by its music director Dan Ettinger. Classic Rock features this season three programs with mostly young Israeli rock musicians (including Hadag Nahash) in symphonic concerts of their own hits. The Music of all Sorts series will bring the opera house international musicians such as Anonymous 4, Olli Mustonen and others. Two new series this season include a three concert Choral Series with the Israeli Opera Chorus and a romantic chamber music series hosted by Gil Shohat. And as usual there will be two series for young children, Children Opera Hour and Magical Sounds.

Israeli Opera International Jazz and World Music Series

The Israeli Opera Friday night Jazz Series features five concerts with leading international jazz artists. This season the series will feature, among others, pianists Kenny Baron, Stefano Bollani, Mirko Signorile, Omer Klein and Tony Pancella as well as guitarist Joshua Breakstone. The Friday night World Music series will feature internationally renowned performers such as Oumou Sangare (Mali), Ana Moura (Portugal) and Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares (Bulgaria).


Photos The Israeli Opera Archive/ 








Once the winter rains end, Israel's cities come alive with festivals showcasing everything from opera and puppets to beer and kites.


You can find some sort of festival every month of the year in Israel, but May to September, when the sun shines endlessly, and the temperature hots up, is prime festival season, with special events for all ages and interests.


Taste of Tel Aviv
Every May top Israeli restaurants and wineries offer their best dishes and drinks at discount prices in Hayarkon Park for a three-day event called Ta'am Ha'ir (taste of the city). This year's event will be the 16th annual culinary fair, which attracts about 400,000 visitors every year, making it one of the largest food festivals in the world, competing easily in numbers with similar fairs held in New York, Boston, and Los Angeles.

Docaviv International Documentary Film Festival, May 12-21
Docaviv, now in its 13th year, showcases contemporary Israeli and international documentaries at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque and other Tel Aviv venues. There are student competitions for budding cinematographers; free outdoor screenings; and workshops with filmmakers.


International Spring Festival, May 14-21
Now in its 12th year, this annual festival offers live shows from Israel and countries such as France, Poland and Brazil. Based in the Rishon-LeZion Performing Arts Center, some of the performances take place in the neighboring cities of Ashdod, Herzliya, Kiryat Haim, Modi'in and Petach-Tikva.

Jerusalem Season of Culture, May 18-July 22
An initiative of the Schusterman Foundation-Israel, this ambitious cultural project is modeled on other prominent international cultural festivals, and highlights Jerusalem's flourishing arts scene. Among the scheduled events are performances by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company at the Israel Museum; evening cultural performances and celebrations at the Machane Yehuda Market; the unveiling of a commissioned work by video artist Kutiman; the Jewish Theater of Sweden's production of Different Trains; and a performance by soprano Renee Fleming with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Zubin Mehta.


Israel Festival, May 23-June 18
To mark the 50th anniversary of the Israel Festival, which was founded in the ancient Roman theater in Caesarea and moved to Jerusalem in 1982, 50 outstanding performances in music, dance and theatre will be offered. Some of the performers are the Batsheva Dance Company, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Ahinoam Nini and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. Also featured will be premieres of Israeli works and tributes to leading Israeli artists; street theater; children's shows; and a nightly jazz club.

Houses from Within, May 20-21
Just some of the 51 sites on this much-anticipated Tel Aviv tour include Haggai Yuden's Music Studio with its 150-year-old white piano; Mosaic House, formerly a private home with mosaics depicting Israeli song stars, politicians and international public figures decorating the floor, walls and ceiling; the Root Research Laboratory at Tel Aviv University's Botanical Gardens; the roof of 20 Alfassi Street, made of recycled raw materials; designer Gal Florsheim's childhood home near the Habima Theater; the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Firehouse; and the private residence of David and Paula Ben Gurion.



White Wine Festival, June 1-2
Taking place at the Herzliya Marina, this festival promotes white wine culture in Israel with Israeli and international white wine for tasting and for sale, as well as wine accessories, books, cheese, olive oil and more.

The Israeli Opera Festival, June 1-9
The Israeli Opera will be accompanied by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra for Verdi's Jerusalem at Sultan's Pool and by Italy's Arena di Verona Orchestra for Verdi's Messa da Requiem at Masada; and by the Rishon LeZion Symphony Orchestra for Aida featuring Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli at Masada. Other venues will include Jerusalem's Tower of David Museum and the churches of St. Andrew's, Augusta Victoria, Lutheran (Redeemer), Dormition Abbey, Vincent de Paul and the Austrian Hospice.


Abu Ghosh Music Festival, June 7-8
This leading Israeli vocal music festival has been staged twice a year since 1992 in two churches: the 12th century Crusader-Benedictine Church in the heart of the village, and the Kiryat Ye'arim Church on a hill overlooking this mostly Arab Jerusalem suburb. This year's 10 offerings range from the Avishai Cohen String Quartet and the Tel-Aviv Chamber Choir to the Ra'anana Symphonette and the Israel Stage Orchestra. There will be classical, gypsy, mandolin and gospel music.

Jerusalem Light Festival, June 15-22
The architecture of the capital's Old City will be dramatically lit up in addition to light statues, installations, performances and museum artwork. The Light Festival brings to Israel well-known light sculptors and light designers from around the world, who exhibit their creations throughout the streets and alleys of the Old City, in major tourist sites and public spaces.


Tel Aviv LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual) Film Festival
, June 11-18
This annual event at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque and the Tel Aviv LGBT Community Center offers public screenings of films with no Israeli distribution, meetings with local and foreign filmmakers, panel discussions and special events. Established in 2006, the festival also encourages original Israeli work with a domestic film competition.

White Night International Festival, June 30
For the fourth year in a row, Tel Aviv restaurants will stay open all night offering special deals. Late-night theatre shows, music, art and special nighttime tours of the city are available as well. The main event will be the International Marathon for Jazz and Avant-garde Music in the Einav Culture Center above Rabin Square.



Music Festival on the Water, July-August
Every Tuesday evening in July and August at the Herzliya Marina square on the Mediterranean, the public is welcome to attend live performances by local and international artists in genres from opera, pop and jazz to romantic, Greek and other ethnic styles.

Jerusalem Film Festival, July 7-16
Between 150 and 200 films are screened yearly during this event at the Cinemateque and Sultan's Pool amphitheater, showcasing the best of international feature films, documentary films, and movies and shorts dealing with issues of Jewish identity and history, freedom and human rights. This year, in addition to existing cinematic competitions, there will be an international competition for short animation and sci-fi films and other artworks depicting Jerusalem in 2111.


Karmiel Dance Festival, July 12-14
About 5,000 dancers from Israel and abroad will take part in 120 events and performances at this 10th annual festival, which takes place in Karmiel, a central Galilee town between Acco and Safed. Activities, a bazaar and more than 250,000 anticipated visitors and guests are expected. A folk-dancing course in English is planned from July 4-15.

International Puppet Theater and Film Festival, July 21-23, 28-30
The Israel Puppet Center in Holon, Israel's "Children's City," has been hosting this festival since 1995. In addition to about 30 performances by resident and international artists, there will be conferences, exhibitions, and an opening street procession, workshops for professionals and amateurs; a conference on the therapeutic use of puppets; and exhibitions at the museum and galleries including a special “Puppetry on the Screen” display.



Israeli Wine-Tasting Festival, August 14-19
Sample wines from Israel's leading wineries in the Israel Museum's Billy Rose Art Garden, with soft jazz playing in the background. A wine glass comes with each admission ticket.

International Festival of Puppet Theater, August 14-19
At The Train Theater and other Jerusalem theatres, local and international artists showcase the best in the field of puppetry at this annual event, now in its 20th year. The program is designed mainly for children and families, but includes performances for adults as well. There will be about 30 different productions with approximately 90 shows, including talent from Germany, Belgium, Italy, Bulgaria, The Netherlands, Peru, the United States and the Czech Republic.


International Klezmer Festival, August 15-17 Held in Safed, the kabbalistic heart of the Galilee, the Klezmer Festival showcases 45 artists performing "Jewish soul music" - among them are Sinai Tor, Simply Tsfat, Aaron Razel, the Persian Jerusalem Orchestra and Vilna Klezmer - and also features a huge outdoor arts-and-crafts sale, tours and children's events. The music is presented on eight stages and in the ancient cobbled alleyways of the city.

Jerusalem Beer Festival, August 18-19
Celebrating its sixth year at Jerusalem's historic Old Train Station, the Jerusalem Beer Festival is a magnet for young adults eager to sample more than 100 brands from all over the world -- mainstream, boutique and local. There will be live beer production process demonstrations, food stands and nightly shows by Israel's leading bands to round out the experience.


Kite-Flying Festival, August 23
Colorful shapes waft over the Israel Museum every year after being launched from the Billy Rose Art Garden. Children and their parents can take part in kite-building workshops and meetings with professional kite-flyers.

Red Sea Jazz Festival, August 22-25  This international jazz festival at Eilat Harbor was established in 1987. There are eight to nine concerts per evening, six clinics with guest artists and nightly jam sessions. Styles range from New Orleans to Latin jazz. Every evening at 7pm, there is an open concert featuring upcoming young Israeli jazz groups. Concerts are held in three venues: the Club, featuring 1,000 seats around tables serving food and beverage; the Hall, with 2,000 regular seats; and the Arena, with 4,000 seats, some overlooking the Red Sea.





Runners from across the globe are expected in Jerusalem for its first international marathon on March 25.

When more than 500 runners from 30 countries converge on Jerusalem on March 25 for the Jerusalem'sinaugural international marathon, they'll be greeted warmly by Nir Barkat, the mayor and five-time marathon runner. Barkat plans to participate in the half marathon with his regular running group and then sprint over to the finish line to meet those finishing the full track.

"When he was elected one year ago, Mayor Barkat decided one of our main priorities should be organizing a full marathon," says Uri Menachem, director of the municipal sports authority. "Jerusalem is one of the most special cities in the world and this will provide one more reason for people to come and see its beauty."

A half marathon has been held in Jerusalem for the past decade. The idea of a full one has been floated before only to be shelved due to the hilly, rocky terrain of Israel's capital.

Barkat and Menachem decided to turn that seeming disadvantage into a drawing card, dubbing this the "Breathtaking Marathon" as much for the physical challenge as for the stunning sights runners will glimpse along the way.

"Some places, like Berlin, have a flat and easy track, which lets marathon runners finish faster, but it's not so beautiful," Menachem points out. "A lot of runners don't care if it takes them an extra few minutes. They want to run and enjoy and see the city. A group of elite runners from abroad want to win the race, but for most, winning is not the most important thing."


Running for sport, pleasure and charity

Among the hundreds of entrants from around the globe are a few large groups, such as a contingent of 40 from one American company. There are also some Olympic runners and serial marathoners registered such as a 62-year-old Scotsman who's already completed 170 marathons. The male and female winners will each receive $19,500.

Foreign visitors will be joined by hundreds of Israelis, including many soldiers and police officers, and perhaps a government minister or two. Aside from the full (42.195-kilometer, or 26.22-mile) and half tracks - as of the end of January, more than 430 people were registered for each - participants have the option of a 10k race or a 4.2k "people's race" to benefit charitable causes such as the Israel Cancer Associationand Shalva, the association for mentally and physically challenged children.

"Most schools will have the day off and the students will be encouraged to come to the event and cheer on the runners," says Menachem.

A three-day fitness and health expo will take place at Jerusalem's International Convention Center preceding the race similar to the French expo that Menachem visited as head of a Jerusalem delegation at the Nice-Cannes Marathon in December.

"The Municipality of Jerusalem attributes great importance to the international marathon project," says Barkat. "We will make sure that all the necessary services are made available to runners, families and visitors in order to guarantee a successful run, as well as an assortment of enjoyable events celebrating the marathon and a chance to get a taste of everything that Jerusalem has to offer."

Registrants from abroad will be treated to a carbo-loaded pasta dinner the night before, as well as tours of Jerusalem and beyond. All runners will begin from a spot between the national government complex and the Israel Museum, and follow a route through the city's downtown and along the walls of the Old City.

Touring Jerusalem by foot

The full track will wind through neighborhoods in downtown Jerusalem and continue from south to north, through the Old city and its walls. Some of the landmarks along the way are the Jerusalem Theater, Sultan's Pool, Ammunition Hill, the German Colony, Mount Scopus and the Sherover Promenade.

Officials from the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) came to Israel to put their stamp of approval on the route and certify that it measures exactly the right distance.

According to the AIMS website, the modern version of marathon races began in the late 19th century as part of the first Olympics, based on a mythic tale about the run of Pheidippides from Marathon to Athens in order to deliver news of the Greek army's victory over the Persian army some 2,500 years ago. Today, hundreds of marathons take place in cities across the globe.

"When you are a marathon runner, you tour the world according to where the marathon cities are," says Menachem.

The excitement builds

As of February 1, promotional banners are going up all over Israel - as far as Tel Aviv, which will host its own marathon on April 8 - to build excitement for the event across the country. Jerusalem's Sacher Park will be the scene of a large public festival from the morning of the race until the runners end the route there. There will be marathon-themed merchandise for people to buy, and all Israeli sports channels will provide live coverage.

"We want to give participants an experience they won't forget," says Menachem. "We don't want them to forget the city or the race."

Confirming that this is meant to become an annual event, he notes that the New York City marathon began with just a few hundred runners and now attracts 50,000. "It's a tradition. Not a lot of cities can make such a tradition, but in the City of Jerusalem we think we can."

The Association of South American Embassies in Israel is proud to present a cinema festival of 14 films from the Latin-American film industry.  These films portray various beliefs, traditions, cultures, problems and ultimately, the hope of life across these countries.

The festival will give Israeli audiences a small taste of the rich art in the Latino film industry and its dynamic trends.

The represented at the festival includel: Uruguay, El-Salvador, Ecuador, Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, The Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Chile and Costa- Rica. 

The following films will be screened: The Milk of Sorrow (Spain\Peru), Estomago - A Gastronomic Story (Brazil), My Name is not Johnny (Brazil), La Region Perdida (Costa-Rica), El Regalo (Chile), Cuando Me Toque a Mi (Ecuador), Cinema Libertad (El- Salvador), Cuentos de Cipotes (El- Salvador), Donde Acaban los Caminos (Guatemala), No Hay Tierra sin Duenos (Honduras), El Estudiante (Mexico), Yuniol 2 (The Dominican Republic), La Soga (The Dominican Republic), Hit - la Pelicula (Uruguay). 

The films will be presented at the Cinematec in Tel-Aviv, Haifa, Sderot and Jerusalem. 

For more information, please contact Silvia Golan: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Litvak Gallery presented a widely encompassing exhibit of the artwork of renowned American artist, Dale Chihuly, and is also sponsoring the inclusion of Chihuly-designed stage sets for Bela Bartok’s opera, “Duke Bluebeard's Castle” to be performed by the Israeli Opera.

Chihuly at Litvak gallery

In July 1999 a large-scale exhibition showcasing the artwork of Dale Chihuly opened at the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem. The exhibit enjoyed unprecedented success as well as extensive media coverage. More than one million people visited the show.


A decade later the name Chihuly continues to echo in Israel's collective memory as one and the same with glass art and beauty.

The Litvak Gallery, which has made it part of its mission to promote glass art in Israel, has initiated an ambitious and multidisciplinary exhibit. On 16.12 the Gallery had opened an extensive Chihuly exhibit to the public.

In addition, the Gallery has collaborated with the Israeli Opera to present eight performances of the opera “Duke Bluebeard's Castle” by Hungarian composer Bela Bartók. The opera is a unique production featuring spectacular sets bursting with color designed by Chihuly.

Chihuly has earned a worldwide reputation in part due to his large scale outdoor architectural installations. His works are displayed in more than two hundred museum collections around the world as well as in many private collections; he has been awarded eight honorary doctorates.


Interestingly, Chihuly spent a period of his life on a kibbutz. He states that his time on the kibbutz in 1962 is what made him comprehend the values of hard work and even changed the course of his life.


Glass Art


Nearly 100 works from the artist’s various series were presented at Litvak Gallery. Included in these works were 10 large installations that have been created specifically for the Gallery including Persian Window composed of multi-dimensional, colorful elements and installed facing the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Tower standing 6 meters in height was also on display. Other works include medium- and small-sized sculptures from Chihuly’s “Venetian”, “Cylinder”, “Ikebana”, “Basket”, and “Seaform” series’.


The one act opera by Bartók, “Duke Bluebeard's Castle”, is a psychological drama featuring two main characters and explores the depths of their souls rather than the real world in which they find themselves. For the production, the orchestra will be seated on the stage with the seven “doors” designed by Chihuly placed in front of the orchestra. As each door in Duke Bluebeard’s castle is opened, a unique glass sculpture created by Chihuly is revealed.



Photos Silvia Golan





2.4 million Christian tourists expected to visit Israel by the end of 2010, half of them pilgrims.

The Tourism Ministry is preparing for the expected arrival in Israel of 90,000 tourists over the Christmas period (which is celebrated over a two week period by the different churches) - about one third of them pilgrims. The tourists and pilgrims are expected to visit the holy sites and participate in the masses to be held in Bethlehem and Nazareth. The Tourism Ministry is working in cooperation with the heads of the Christian communities in Israel, the Israel Police, mayors, the Coordination and Liaison Administration (DCO), the Palestinian Tourism Authority and other relevant bodies in order to facilitate a speedy and welcoming entry and departure from Israel and ensure a pleasant visiting experience.

On Monday, 20 December 2010, Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov will host the leaders of the Christian communities in Israel, ambassadors, representatives from the various communities, representatives of the Palestinian private tourism sector and from Israeli pilgrim organizations, in advance of the Christmas holiday.

Due to the high volume of tourists expected to pass through Ben-Gurion International Airport, the Allenby and Taba border crossings, the Tourism Ministry is working in cooperation with the Airports Authority to ensure a speedy and comfortable passage for tourists. Extra brochures and explanatory material in various languages have been delivered to the tourist offices in Jerusalem and Nazareth, as well as Ben-Gurion International Airport and Rachel's Crossing, and additional staff will man these offices over the holiday period.

In addition, the Ministry of Tourism will arrange free shuttle transport for pilgrims from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. The shuttles will leave every hour on the hour from the Mar Elias Monastery to the Church of the Nativity and return on the half hour, from Friday, December 24 at noon until Saturday, December 25 at noon. Ministry of Tourism employees will welcome the pilgrims and visitors with sweets in the spirit of the Christmas holiday.

This week, Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov contacted the mayors of Jerusalem and Nazareth with a request to bring a festive feel, as every year, to the main streets and sites, while taking extra care to ensure cleanliness and decorate the streets so that the tourists and visitors will feel welcome and enjoy the festive spirit.

Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov: "The Christian community, in its various denominations with hundreds of millions of believers, represents one of the central anchors for incoming tourism to Israel. The Tourism Ministry works with Christian communities in Israel and around the world throughout the year to increase collaboration with opinion formers, community leaders and the faithful who represent a bridge for peace and the opportunity to promote pilgrimage to the Holy Land.”

According to the estimates of the Tourism Ministry, 2.4 million Christian tourists - half of them pilgrims - are expected to visit Israel by the end of 2010, double the number who visited Israel in 2009. Most pilgrims visit Bethlehem, the Western Wall, Christian sites in Jerusalem such as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Via Dolorosa, Mount of Olives and Capernaum.

The traditional Christmas Mass will take place at the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth on Friday , December 24, after the traditional and colorful youth parade that takes place through the streets of the city. Senior Tourism Ministry representatives and the Nazareth Mayor Ramiz Jaraisy will welcome the leaders of the Christian churches, ambassadors and Christian community representatives at a festive reception at the Salesian Church on Thursday,  December 23 at 18:00.

Schedule of events in Nazareth:

Thursday, December 23, 18:00 - Annual reception hosted by the Tourism Ministry and the Mayor of Nazareth with the leaders of the Christian churches ambassadors and other public dignitaries in the Salesian Church. In the program: a special Christmas concert conducted by Imad Abu Sinai with guest singer Georgit Nofi.

Christmas Eve, December 24, 15:00 - traditional parade of thousands of youth from youth movements, together with the leaders of the Christian communities, through Paul XI Street, Nazareth’s main street.17:00 - Firework display, sponsored by the Tourism Ministry, to announce the opening of the festive Christmas celebrations19:30 - The Christmas Mass in the Church of the Annunciation, in the presence of Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, the Patriarchal Vicar for Israel.

Christmas Day, December 25- Mass in all the Catholic Churches. The first Mass in the Church of the Annunciation will take place at 07:00. A festive Mass will take place at 10:00 in the presence of the Custodian of the Holy Land or Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo.

The Tourism Ministry is currently coordinating the details of pilgrim and tourist groups in order to facilitate easy passage through the border crossings. The Ministry of Tourism will also open a dedicated hotline, manned by Ministry employees, during the holiday period: Tel: 050-6214127 and 050-6214070.

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