Events in Israel

Israel’s events calendar is packed with exciting things to see and do. Some of the best events Israel has are held during national holidays like Hanukkah in December, Purim in March, Passover in April/May, and Sukkot in September/October. Special holiday events include costume parties during Purim and the lighting of an eight-candle menorah during Hanukkah week.

Annual events in Tel Aviv include the exciting White Nights when there are street parties throughout the night; the Tel Aviv Eat culinary festival, and the art and design festival, Fresh Paint. If you’re interested in events in Jerusalem, check out the Festival of Lights when the Old City is lit up with light installations; the Jerusalem Wine Festival, and the multi-disciplinary Israel Festival. Other top events in Israel include the multi-faith Holiday of Holidays in Haifa, and the Karmiel Dance Festival.

Sports enthusiasts will love the Tel Aviv Night Run; the Dead Sea Marathon, and the Jerusalem Marathon. There are regular basketball games and football matches in large venues. Music events in Israel include the Jazz Festival in Eilat; the Midburn Festival in the Negev, and the Klezmer Festival in Safed. Christians can enjoy the Palm Sunday Procession, and the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve in Bethlehem. Jewish visitors should attend services at the Western Wall, and Muslim tourists can experience the Eid al-Fitr celebrations and prayers on Temple Mount.

Osho Israel International Festival at Giv’at Haviva

The Osho festival has been taking place since 2008; it is a celebration of life and spirituality. Firstly, for those who are not sure, Osho is the name given to an Indian guru, professor of philosophy and spiritual leader called Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (1931-1990). Osho was against organized religion; promoted meditation to music, the importance of humor, creativity and advocated an open attitude towards sex. The movement can loosely be described as one branch of Western New Age thought. The Osho Festival celebrates the teachings of Osho on the green Campus of Givat Haviva, 45 minutes north of Tel Aviv. Giv’at Haviva is a center dedicated to building a socially cohesive society. It is the largest Osho festival in the world.The festival is a moving and spiritual experience for many and influences many lives. The festival takes place over the course of three days during which the campus becomes a small village and vision of a utopic life. Over the course of the three days there are spiritual workshops, a conference of awareness, creative workshops, parties, dancing, relaxation and freedom. There is a large swimming pool, expansive lawns, quiet places to meditate, camping areas, sleeping rooms, kid’s activities and natural vegetarian food on sale. Drawing on the teachings of Osho there are more than 1000 different experiences on offer at the festival in 10 air-conditioned halls and across the green campus. Workshops include dance movement, silence workshops, nutritional awareness, breathing and feeling, yoga, body therapy, meditation and relationship workshops among others. At night there are musical performances on three stages by leading artists and a great festival atmosphere. The range of musical genres includes everything from spiritual music, punk and grove to mellow acoustic and mystical Indian music. The parties beneath the stars continue late into the night.Practical InformationWhere: Giv’at Haviva, off route #574 between Barkai, Gan Hashomron and Harish.When: July/August each year.Cost: Tickets include all festival events approximately 320ILS-420ILS depending when you buy the tickets. This price includes the use of the camp ground. If you prefer it is possible to rent a room on the campus.Contact: 052 888 3040
By Petal Mashraki

Hanukkah in Israel

Each year Jews celebrate the holiday of Hanukkah which is often called the “Jewish Christmas” because it occurs in December. If you happen to be in Israel during Hanukkah you will be lucky enough to share in this special celebration. Unlike Christian holidays the date of Hanukkah changes each year because of the Jewish lunar calendar. This year, 2017 the eight day Hanukkah holiday falls on the 12th to 20th of December. In Israel Hanukkah is a week-long school holiday but there are no days observed like Shabbat so all attractions and stores remain open as usual. There are many special events put on to keep Israeli school kids busy and to entertain locals and visitors alike.What is Hanukkah?The Hanukkah holiday celebrates an event which took place in the 160 SBC. During that time Palestine was ruled by Greek-Syrians and Jews were persecuted. Jews were forbidden to worship, many were murdered, scrolls were burnt and the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was desecrated. A small group of Jews rose up against their oppressors and fought back in the “Maccabean Revolt.” The Jews were victorious and proceeded to restore the Temple and rededicate it. Part of rededicating the Temple was lighting the Menorah (a seven-lamped candelabra) which had to remain lit eternally. When the Maccabees came to light the Temple’s Menorah they found that only a small jug of the required pure olive oil remained. The oil should have been sufficient only to light the lamp for one day. However a miracle occurred and it remained lit for eight days by which time more oil had been found.To commemorate the events of Hanukkah Jews light candles on an eight-armed candelabra (called a Hannukia). On the first night of Hanukkah one candle is lit and each successive night an additional candle is lit until all eight are lit. In addition there is a 9th candle in the middle of the Hanukia which is used to light the others. The symbols of Hanukkah are light, oil, the hanukiah and the dreidel – a spinning top.How is Hanukkah Celebrated in Israel?Bearing in mind the symbols of Hanukkah you will see a lot of fried foods (commemorating the miraculous oil) in Israel during Hanukkah. The most famous Hanukkah food is the doughnut or sufgania. This is a round doughnut with no hole in the middle but instead it is filled with jam. Every café, restaurant and kiosk will be selling sufganiot. These days there are many different kinds of sufganiot, from chocolate to alcohol flavored! An estimated 24 million sufganiot are eaten in Israel each Hanukkah. The symbol of light and the hanukia can be seen in Israel during Hanukkah. Each Israeli household displays a hanukia on the windowsill.Special Events in Israel during HanukkahHanukkah ShowsDuring the Hanukkah holiday in Israel there is a plethora of theatrical productions, musical shows, concerts and dance productions geared towards families. The most famous of these Hanukkah shows is the Festigal, a spectacular extravaganza of bright costumes, comedy, music and dance. Top Israeli performers often appear in the Festigal. The Festigal is held annually in Tel Aviv. A more recent addition is Motek Shel Festival which is the same idea but geared towards a younger audience.Hanukkah ToursSpecial walking tours of Jerusalem and the religious city of Bnei Brak are organized so that you can see the many hanukiot displayed in the windows of private homes. This kind of Hanukkah tour takes place at night and includes walking through neighborhoods where many hanukiot are displayed.Lighting of the HanukiaEach city has a large hanukia set up in a public square. The hanukia is ceremoniously lit on the first night of Hanukkah. On the subsequent nights of Hanukkah the city’s hanukia is often lit automatically. The most famous of the candle lighting ceremonies you can see takes place next to the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. Each year on the first night of Hanukkah a torch Relay starts in the city of Modi’in and travels to the Western Wall in Jerusalem where the giant hanukia is lit.Museums during HanukkahMost museums hold special themed exhibits or workshops during Hanukkah. Science museums often hold demonstrations of light experiments. Other museums display artistic variations on the hanukia or hold kids workshops where they can create their own hanukia, spinning top or candles.You will definitely find special events and activities relating to Hanukkah at the Children’s Museum in Holon; the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv; the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem; the Israel Museum in Jerusalem; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and at the Tower of David Museum in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Bloomfield Science Museum holds an annual MakeLight exhibition.In addition there is the Museum of Edible Oil Products in Haifa which naturally ties in with the Hanukkah theme. The Hasmonean Village recreates the Hanukkah story each year; the Ein Yael Oil Festival is held in Jerusalem.Hanukkah Parties in IsraelOf course the Israelis party whenever there is a good excuse! And Hanukkah is no exception. You will find bars, pubs and clubs across the country holding Hanukkah parties throughout the holiday.Holiday of Holidays HaifaThe Haifa municipality holds special events on weekends throughout December. The Holiday of Holidays activities and shows celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and Eid al-Fitr.
By Petal Mashraki

The Red Sea Jazz Festival

The Red Sea Jazz Festival is an annual event held in the gorgeous beach resort city of Eilat, Israel on the edge of the Red Sea. The festival is now in its 29th years and since its initiation the festival has grown in size and importance. The Red Sea Jazz Festival plays an important role in fostering Israeli jazz talent and has also earned itself a reputation in the international jazz scene. The event takes place over four days in August at the music-inspired Prima Music Hotel and other Eilat venues.jazz festival In 2016 the Red Sea Jazz Festival will host a special tribute to the Israeli jazz; there will be 30 performances spanning the full spectrum of the Israeli jazz scene, showcasing the multicultural tapestry of Israeli jazz. The festival will include Israel’s greatest jazz performers who have established careers both in Israel and internationally. At the festival there will be both veteran pioneer artists responsible for establishing the jazz culture in Israel and new up-and-coming Israeli artists. This year the festival will follow a new format to salute the legendary Israeli jazz artists with original productions showing the development of jazz through the generations. In addition there will be several big name international acts including The Chick Corea Trio which will perform the final show of the festival. There will also be performances by Avi Lebovich and The Orchestra; Aharale Kaminsky; Albert Piamenta; Guy King; TATRAN; Quartet to Afrika; Shlomi Shaban; Shalom Hanoch and Maya Belsitzman among others.Few festivals manage to continue for 30 years and this is a testament to the strong legacy and unique character of the event. In addition to the live performances the festival offers other special events like the Red Sea Jazz Festival Young Jazz Program. Young musicians will be able to join a workshop run by some of the festival performing artists. The festival will also host the Israeli Jazz Convention, discussion panels, lectures, master classes, workshops for the public and in the mornings special jazz performances geared towards children aged 5-10 years. One of the traditions of the Red Sea Jazz Festival is the Jam Session held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel poolside. The jam session starts at 11pm and the jamming continues into the night. Throughout the festival there will be a sunset jazz cocktail event on Mosh’s Beach near the Eilat Port. Entrance is free and the cocktails will be accompanied by a selection of young bands. At the end of Tuesday evening performances the party continues with a celebration of swing and jazz with DJ Yossi Swing.Queen of Sheba hotel EilatEilat is the ultimate beach resort; during the festival visitors will be able to enjoy the incredible Red Sea where there are natural coral reefs, schools of tropical fish and even dolphins. There are water sports for the whole family, cruise excursions, dreamy beaches and amazing malls. Eilat is a duty-free port city so you can shop-til-you-drop. Be sure to visit the Ice Mall which has an ice rink in the center. Visitors can also take excursions into the surrounding desert to places like Park Timna, the Dead Sea and Masada. From Eilat there are convenient day trips to Petra, Jordan, one of the seven wonders of the world. Eilat has wonderful restaurants, many specializing in seafood and you will find that Eilat hotels rival the best beach resort hotels worldwide. Visitors can enjoy the Red Sea Jazz Festival and a fantastic holiday.Practical Information:When: 27-30 August. Performances and events take place throughout the day from 10am to 1am.Where: At select Eilat venues including the Crowne Plaza Hotel; Jazz Cinema; Port arena; Red Note and the Sea Club.Admission: You can purchase tickets for individual performances or buy a festival Platinum Pass to cover all 4 days of the festival plus the final Chick Corea Trio concert; Wide Pass to cover 4 days of all festival performances not including the Chick Corea Trio concert; Daily Pass covering all performances for a specific date not including the Chick Corea concert or a Young Pass for free entry to all performances for those under 21 years.
By Petal Mashraki

The Mountain to Valley Relay Race – April 2018

The Mountain to Valley Relay Race 2018 is one of the top Israel events to be held on 26-27 April 2018. This will be the 10th annual Mountain to Valley (M2V) race. M2V is a 215 km group relay race which takes place over the course of about 20 hours. Although the race offers a competitive and non-competitive category there are no monitory prizes. Instead participants take part for the social interaction, personal challenge and to enjoy the stunning scenery of this unique race.Mountain to Valley Relay Race RoutThe race starts in Tel-Hai. The route takes you through the Hula Valley, past the Sea of Galilee, the Beit Netofa Valley and the Menashe Mountains.The finish line is in the Yizrael Valley near Timrat. The route is divided into 24 segments each measuring 5-12 km.Teams of 4, 6 or 8 runners take turns running the segments in a rotation order.Due to the nature of the run which takes place over the course of about 20 hours runners can sleep in a car or hotel when it is not their turn to run. The race takes place during day and night hours and so some runner will be running in the dark. This is a truly unique race experience. Runners should have flashlights and luminous vests to help them on their way through the dark. Runners can be accompanied by an assistant runner. Most of the race is run along trails and off-road. Along the route roads are not closed to traffic and so runners need to be very careful. It also means that the runners can be accompanied by a vehicle. The vehicle is used for carrying food, water, assistance and as a place to rest.Mountain to Valley Relay Race 2018 Routes and CategoriesThe race has competitive and non-competitive categories. Running teams are classified according to the number of runners (8/6/4); whether the runners are all women, all men or mixed and whether the team is competitive or non-competitive. Competitive runners must run on a rotation basis with each runner resting while all the other runners have a turn to run. With non-competitive teams it doesn’t matter the order of the runners or number of legs each team member runs.Teams can register for the race online. Teams can determine their own starting time from Tel-Hai and the line-up of starting times will be staggered. The first team will head out on 26 April at 6 a.m. and the last team will set off at 2 p.m. There will be a closing ceremony on 27 April at 10 a.m.
By Petal Mashraki

The Best Ways to Spend Christmas 2019 in Israel

Christmas 2019 is just around the corner, and in Israel, the land where the events of Christmas actually took place there is excitement in the air as decorations go up, trees are erected in city centers and churches prepare for special Christmas services. You won't see Christmas celebrated in all Israeli cities but in places where there are Christian communities you can experience the holiday season in the Holy Land, unlike anywhere else in the world. To help you plan your time in Israel as you celebrate Christmas here are some of the most popular and special 2019 Christmas events in Israel.2019 Christmas Events in JerusalemYMCA Christmas Concert: 24.12.2019, 19:30-21:30The traditional Christmas celebrations at the historic YMCA building in Jerusalem include a Christmas Eve concert featuring more than 80 performers. Among those performing will be the Jerusalem Street Orchestra; YMCA Academy Orchestra; the Jerusalem Oratorio Choir and the Jerusalem Youth Choir, with youths from West and East Jerusalem. You can expect to hear all the classic Christmas songs and enjoy a festive atmosphere at this annual event.Santa’s House: Throughout December 2019, 17:00-20:00Each year Santa’s House opens its doors to excited young visitors. Situated on St. Peter’s Street in the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City, Santa’s House is a non-profit attraction supported by donations with the sole purpose of delighting young visitors. The house belongs to a family whose generations have inhabited the Old City for over 700 years. Santa’s House is decked-out with traditional Christmas decorations and although it may not be the North Pole, families can enjoy the warm, cheerful atmosphere in Santa’s house.Dormition Church Christmas Concert: 2019: 21/12/2019, 11:00Attend a Christmas concert in the beautiful Dormition Church on Mount Zion. This year’s guest performer will be the French classic organist, Maurice Clerc. The concert will include a variety of arrangements on the organ. Enjoy the music of this world-renowned performer in the surroundings of one of Jerusalem’s most exquisite churches.The Dormition Church2019 Christmas Events in JaffaHappy Market: 20/12/2019, 10:00-16:00This lively market takes place at the Art Club at 9 Shach Street. The market stalls will hold hand-made goods such as ceramics, jewelry, glassware, clothing as well as flowers and a range of Christmas items. No Israeli market would be complete without some delicious food stalls and at the Happy Market, you won’t go hungry! Free admission.Jaffa Christmas Parade 2019: 27/12/2019, 17:30This annual parade includes music; decorated parade floats escorted by Santa figures and other holiday-themed participants. The parade will travel along Yefet Street stopping at a number of points along the way including the churches along the route where kids will be treated with sweets, small gifts and other surprises. Free admission.Scouts Christmas Carnival Parade: Friday 06.01.2020, 17:30 (there may be changes)Come join this annual parade presented by more than 550 scouts, members of Jaffa’s Orthodox Scouts Club. The parade will travel from Evn Rashd Street, down the length of Yefet Street to St. George’s Church on Louis Pasteur Street. This traditional carnival includes costumed participants, performances by the scouts’ orchestra ending with a brilliant firework display. Free admission.A Christmas treeScouts Christmas Carnival Parade2019 Christmas Events in Western GalileeChristmas Run in Mi'ilya: Friday, 20.12.2019, 08:00This will the 5th year that this fun run has been held in the beautiful Galilee to celebrate Christmas and the Festival of Lights, Hanukah. Each year this Christian village is decorated with colorful Christmas lights and Christmas trees for the holiday season. The run marks a coming-together of people of different faiths and cultures. People of all faiths, persuasions and communities are invited to join in for a run through the lanes of this magical Galilee village. You’ll have the choice of a 2km, 5km or a competitive 10km run. The run has been created to suit individuals as well as families with kids. There will be prizes for the winners in categories above 5km. A fee will be charged for Participation in the Christmas run.Western Galilee Winter Festival: Thursday-Saturday, 19.12.2019-21.12.2019 (times may vary)The Western Galilee Now Organization holds an annual Winter Festival with events and happenings spread across several villages. There will be an exciting schedule of Christmas-related events. Kfar Pasuta is considered one of the best festival villages where the celebrations include a wide range of activities; musical performances; Christmas carols; family activities and tours through the quaint lanes. Kfar Eilabun is another popular destination during the festival; here there is a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in the village square and an adjacent Christmas market. The Kfar Eilabun celebrations include street performers, a parade and wonderful kid’s shows.Christmas Season in Mi’ilya:Saturday – Monday, 21.12.2019-23.12.2019, 10:00-24:00 - The traditional Christmas market in Mi’ilya has Christmas food stalls, artists’ stalls, Christmas candy stalls and sale of Christmas decorations. The market is also where you can see kid’s shows and towards nightfall musical performances for all the family.Tuesday – Wednesday, 2.12.2019-25.12.2019 10:00-18:00 – One of the most moving events in Mi’ilya during the Christmas season is the church service and choral singing held in the Greek Orthodox Holy Mary Church. Free admission.2019 Christmas Events in HaifaHaifa Holiday of Holidays Festival: Thursday – Sunday, 19.12.2019-28.12.2019, various hours throughout the day.The Holiday of Holiday Festival is one of the largest and most important festive season events held in Israel. 2019 will be the 26th year of this festival that takes place on weekends throughout December in the Wadi Nisnas neighborhood and down to the German Colony at the lower end of the Baha'i Garden. The holiday of Holidays celebrates Haifa’s multicultural communities and the principles of mutual respect; cultural tolerance and diversity. The city is decorated with colorful decorations and lights; there is a wide range of special events, musical performances, lectures, parties and markets held throughout Haifa. Many of the festival events have free admission and most of the exhibitions will be open from 10 am to 8 pm.Among the events of the Holiday of Holiday festival 2019:Opening Ceremony, Beit HaGefen Theatre, 19.12.2019, 20:30 – Join locals and dignitaries for a festive opening ceremony where there will be game tables, tours, musical performances, stand-up performances and much more.Christmas Parade, Ein Dor Catholic Church, 21.12.2019, 17:00 – the traditional Christmas parade in Haifa will travel down Ein Dor Street and continues to Allenby Street via the German Colony and back again.Family Happening, Beit HaGefen yard, 26.12.2019, 11:00-15:00 – This fun-filled annual happening for the whole family includes creative workshops; make-up stations; food stalls; circus performances; fun games where everyone can participate and more.
By Petal Mashraki

Jerusalem Marathon, March 2018

The annual Jerusalem Marathon is one of the Israel top events. The upcoming Jerusalem Marathon will be held on 9 March 2018. This is one of the most beautiful urban running courses in the country as it passes by many iconic and historic landmarks.The unique course is set against a backdrop of thousand-year old structures and offers both urban landscapes and forest-covered hilltop views. The spring weather in Jerusalem in March is perfect for running. Runners come from across the world to participate. Up until 2011 Jerusalem had only held half-marathons but today the full marathon course meets international standards of excellence and attracts approximately 30,000 runners from over 50 countries around the world. Past Jerusalem Marathon winners have come from Ethiopia and Kenya.Jerusalem Marathon Courses 2018Participants in the Jerusalem Marathon 2018 will get a tour of the city. The route takes runners through the oldest parts of the city, along urban routes, through parks and past lush forests. The marathon course starts at the Israeli parliament building, the Knesset. The course takes participants through Mount Scopus where they can see the Hebrew University and Haas Promenade. Runners will get to see the Old City as the route enters the Jaffa Gate and continues through the Armenian Quarter then out of Zion Gate. The route takes runners past the majestic David’s Tower. The marathon course takes runners to the Jerusalem Forest and on to the finish line in Sacher Park. The route is particularly challenging due to Jerusalem’s hilly terrain.Jerusalem Marathon Courses 2018In addition to the full marathon of 42.2 km there will be a half marathon (21.1 km); a 5K competitive race; 5K community race; 800 meter community race; 10K race and family race of 1,7km. All of the courses set off from near the Knesset and Israel Museum on the corner of Derech Ruppin and Eliezer Kaplan Street except for the family race which takes place in Sacher Park, near the finish line.Jerusalem Marathon CoursesIn addition to the full marathon of 42.2 km therewill be a half marathon (21.1 km); a 5K competitive race; 5K community race; 800 meter community race; 10K race and family race of 1,7 km. All of the courses set off from near the Knesset and Israel Museum on the corner of Derech Ruppin and Eliezer Kaplan Street except for the family race which takes place in Sacher Park, near the finish line.Special Jerusalem Marathon 2018 EventsIn addition to the race itself the event will be celebrated with special happenings for the whole community. There will be a Sport & Health Expo held on 6th-8th March open for free to participants and their families. On offer will be commercial stalls selling sport-related items as well as entertainment and food. In addition there will be training sessions, lectures, sports demonstrations and competitions. The runners’ kits will be distributed at the expo. Participants will be invited to a traditional pasta dinner the night before the race.On the day of the marathon there will be a festive atmosphere along the course. Spectators will be able to take part in events and activities as well as enjoying musical performances on stages set up along the route of the marathon. At the finish line in Sacher Park there will be a sports fair and festival with activities including exercise classes, drum circles, Zumba and kickboxing classes. Visitor and participants can also enjoy entertainment and food stalls in the park. There is a traditional pre-marathon run in the Botanical Gardens as well as night runs during marathon week.
By Petal Mashraki

October 2017 – Events in Israel

October is drawing to a close but the month still holds a number of interesting and surprising events for visitors to Israel!Choral Fantasy , JerusalemListen to some great choral music by local singing groups from Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem and Kfar Saba as well as some international groups who are arriving in Israel especially for this event. The groups will perform in a variety of styles and will be accompanied by the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra. The YMCA auditorium has excellent acoustics and offers beautiful surroundings; there will also be outdoor performance.Between Heaven and Earth, JerusalemThis is a dance and movement festival featuring the talents of three top choreographers (among others) who will be exploring the struggle between body and soul.Tom Jones in Israel, Tel-AvivSir Tom Jones is known for his long and successful career with hits like Delilah, Sex Bomb and It’s Not Unusual, as well as being a judge on the UK The Voice. He will be performing one show only in Israel.Rihanna in Israel, Tel-AvivThis will not be Rihanna’s first trip to the Holy Land and she is known for always putting on a good show with lots of pizzazz. She is a 6 time Grammy winner with hits like Diamonds, My Umbrella and On Fire.Pearls of Music , Latrun MonasteryThis is an opportunity to hear beautiful classic music played by the Jerusalem Festival orchestra in the picturesque buildings of the Latrun Monastery. The pieces being played will be classics from a number of genres including baroque (Vivaldi, Handel, Bach), jazz, South American music and hits from Broadway musicals.Ah, Jerusalem!Tower of DavidA new musical (in English) geared towards tourists with songs, dance and comedy. The story line is based on Jerusalem, history, the present tourist experience in Jerusalem and the colorful characters of the city.Jerusalem Knights, JerusalemThe streets of the Old City come alive with knights, dragons, fire eaters, fortune tellers and Medieval music tropes. This is a free event.
By Petal Mashraki

Eilat Desert Marathon 2017

The Eilat Desert Marathon 2017 starts in the desert and ends on the shore of the Red Sea in Israel’s resort city Eilat. This run takes you through stunning scenery unlike any other course. The breathtaking landscape along the route offers desert, sea and mountains. The race is a full body and soul experience. The Eilat Desert Marathon is run in November, the beginning of Israel’s winter season. Weather is pleasant and you won’t feel the sweltering heat of the desert. The Eilat Desert Marathon 2017 will be held over the course of three days 16-18 November. The 17th November will be the main running day. Together with the races themselves there will be other activities.The full marathon route is for experienced runners only and is classified as “extremely” difficult. However runners of all levels of fitness from professional athletes to children can take part as there are several routes. The routes of the Eilat Desert Marathon start on the Herods Hotel promenade in Eilat. The route of the full marathon takes you up Roded Creek, through the Tuchin Valley and into the Shchoret Mountains. This is where runners can experience the most beautiful views across the surrounding desert. The race ends back at the Herods promenade.Lineup of Events for the 2017 Eilat Desert MarathonThe marathon opens with a ceremony and distribution of kits to participants on the 16th November. There will also be a fascinating Paleo Market, activities for kids and the family run. In the evening of the first day there will be cocktails in the lobby of Club Hotel Eilat; a short briefing for participants; pasta dinner and entertainment. Early the next morning the full marathon; half marathon; 10 KM and 5 KM will set off one after the other. For those not running there will be more market stalls, kid’s entertainment and family activities.At sundown the awards will be presented and you can join in desert yoga as the sun goes down. Later that evening there will be musical entertainment a movie screening and a crazy desert party.On the final day of the Eilat Desert Marathon, Saturday November 18th, visitors and participants can take part in a myriad of activities and enjoy the stunning attractions of Eilat. You can go diving at the reef, do some tax-free shopping, join organized activities and tours.Routes of the Eilat Desert Marathon 2017There is a 300 m family fun run on the first day of the marathon. The second day of this three day event is the main running day. The 42.2 KM marathon is the first race of the day starting at 6am. Soon after the 21.1 KM half-marathon; 10 KM and 5 KM runs set off. The 42.2 KM is the longest of the Eilat Desert Marathon races. It is intended for experienced runners. Professional runners should note that the course is not measurable to AIMS standards.Whether you are coming to cheer on the runners, participate in a race or just have fun this is one of the top events in Eilat’s calendar and not to be missed.Register here!
By Petal Mashraki

The 54th Israel Festival Has Begun!

Last night saw the opening of the 54th annual Israel Festival in Jerusalem with Shalom Hanoch hosting leading Israeli performers like Danny Sanderson, Yehuda Poliker and Berry Sakharof. The theme of this year’s festival is interdisciplinary performing arts.The festival aims to present audiences with non-commercial performances which are the cutting edge and the latest creations in the performance world. Among the unique venues there will be the Sultan’s Pool, the Israel Museum, the First Station, the Jerusalem Theatre, Machon Hartman, venues in Ein Kerem, the International Convention Center and the Gerard Behar Center.The line-up for the festival includes many European performers as well as local talent. Among the 12 visiting performers there are productions from Finland, France, China, Romania and the Czech Republic. Among the much anticipated performances there will be She She Pop’s, a post-dramatic (PDT) production from Germany which is based on Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. From Italy’s Romeo Castellucci comes Julius Caesar, Spare Parts, a new look at the Shakespearean classic which will be performed at the Jerusalem YMCA. Elementary Particles is a multi-disciplinary piece about the psycho-sexual complexities of the modern generation. The performance is four hours long and follows the experiences of two brothers. Mystery Magnet is the Belgian contribution to the festival presented by creator Miet Warlop and company. Another guest from abroad will be French dancer/choreographer Xavier le Roy performing a solo piece, Unfinished Self. Another dance performance is Snakeskin by Canadian dancer Benoit la Chambre. Famed American choreographer, Trisha Brown will also take part in the festival.Among the Israeli contributions is prize winning director Eyal Weiser’s drama How Is the Beast. At the Jerusalem Khan Theatre audiences can see Kineret Kineret, based on Nathan Alterman’s play. The Vertigo Dance Company will be performing their acclaimed piece Prades and Changes. The festival will present the premiere performance of Badad, a musical based on the life and music of Israeli legend Zohar Argov. The musical will be performed in the magical surroundings of the Tower of David. One of the most popular events of the festival which will be returning for the 10th consecutive year is a marathon of Tchaikovsky music. The Israel Festival will also present performances geared towards younger audiences. There will be the musical Bear in Mind based on Goldilocks and a dance piece, Carnival of the animals.Tickets for the festival performances are already on sale and some shows are sold out. Prices range from 80ILS to 155ILS. The 54th Israel festival will take place from May 25 to June 24 at the Jerusalem Theatre and other venues in the city. There will also be several free open-air performances at the First Station.
By Petal Mashraki

Jerusalem Open Restaurants Festival 2017

The Jerusalem OPEN RESTAURANT Festival 2017 is an urban culinary festival held from 14th to 18th November 2017. The festival takes place at venues across Jerusalem and includes many different activities and events. Foodies will love this unique festival which has also been held in Tel Aviv and Amsterdam. The festival events are multidisciplinary and showcase Jerusalem’s cultural institutions, restaurants, culinary personalities and cuisine. Festival events will include food tours, talks, activities for kids, tastings, a competition for the best promising chef and social events. The highlight of the OpenRestaurant Festival is the opportunity to go “behind the scenes” in top Jerusalem restaurants, meet the chefs and see what happens in the kitchens.About the Jerusalem Open Restaurant FestivalThose attending festival events will have an opportunity to meet leading chefs; get to know Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda Market; sample the city’s best food and even create their own culinary delicacies. The events will be held at a number of venues. Many of the events will take place in Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda Market others are held in top restaurants. Leading Israeli chefs will conduct the workshops and tastings and food vendors, line-cooks and restaurateurs will also be involved. Most of the events at the festival are kosher but there are those that are non-kosher. Some of the events and workshops are free and others require a small fee. Most of the festival events are conducted in Hebrew but there are special packages for tourists which include food tours, workshops and Food Talks.Highlights of This Jerusalem Food FestivalAmong the special events there is an empanadas workshop at Argento Empanadas; A Tribute to the Kitchen of Rama at Rama’s Kitchen; an Evening of Pickling at Hamifaal; Jerusalem inside a Pita Bread at the Dwini Pita Bar and from Asia with Love at Station 9. All of these are top Jerusalem restaurants and the events are run by leading personalities in the Israeli culinary world. The public are invited to enjoy a tasting menu at Machneyuda, one of the country’s top restaurants. Machneyuda also invites the public to enjoy A Jungle of Desserts. At the restaurant Yudale Chef Asaf Seri will take visitors on a behind the scenes tour and show them his favorite market stalls. Take a hands-on baking workshop with confectioner David Laor to learn to make brioche; at The Eucalyptus learn to make easy kubbah and at the restaurant ANNA learn to make handmade pasta.Family and Children’s ActivitiesThere are some events specifically designed for families and kids.The family events will be held at the Bloomfield Science Museum and the First Station Park. In addition kids can join hands-on workshops at Roladin bakery; attend a sushi workshop at Sushi Rehavia and join the Machane Yehuda Market tours. These activities are suitable for children between 6yrs and 18 years. Children must be accompanied by an adult.How to ParticipateYou can buy tickets for the festival online at the Open-Restaurants website. If you want to attend an event that is already fully booked your name will be put on a waiting list. If a place becomes available you will be contacted. All orders must be made and paid for online in advance. Prices range from 30 ILS to 300 ILS and last an hour to three hours long. Among the free events there are Food Talks; the Culinary Innovation Summit and the Food and Hospitality Hackathon. At the Hackathon leaders in the food tech industry will host workshops and try to devise how we can improve our current culinary norms. Although these events are free you still need to book your place online. Apart from the events geared towards children all other events are for participants over 18 years old. Most of the events at the festival are kosher but there are those that are non-kosher. Some of the events and workshops are free and others require a small fee. Most of the festival events are conducted in Hebrew but there are special packages for tourists which include food tours, workshops and Food Talks.
By Petal Mashraki

What’s Happening in Israel during February 2016

February events include many musical highlights such as several concerts by visiting international artists and musical festivals. As Israel heads into spring the meadows of the Negev burst into color with wild flowers and Tel Aviv has one of its most important sporting events.January-February – Darom Adom Festival, Northern NegevanemonesThe annual Anemone Festival or Scarlet South Festival is celebrated between January and March in southern Israel when the forest floor becomes a carpet of red flowers. The red anemones in the parks of the Northern Negev are open to the public to hike, cycle and visit local kibbutzim. The blossoming fields are only about an hour drive from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The festival is hosted by the Sedot Shikma Besor Tourism Organization and is held in the national KKL-JNF park areas. There will be free information stations, free guided excursions, fun activities and a walk along the edge of the flower-carpeted red meadows. Although the flowers will probably be in bloom throughout the month the special festival events are held on weekends where there will be musical performances, sporting event and fun for all ages. Check the KKL-JNF website for updates about when the flowers will be in bloom. On Fridays and Saturdays in February you can get more information from the information stations at Yad Mordechai and Beit Kama Junctions from 9am to 3pm. There may be changes to scheduled events in the event of bad weather. On Saturdays additional information stations will be open at Ruhama Kibbutz, Reim Recreation Area (Beeri Forest), at the southern and northern entrance to Besor Road and at Pura Nature Reserve. At the Shokeda Community Forest there will be an 18km cycle trail. At the Ruhama Badlands Nature Reserve there will be a number of walking trails of various lengths for all the family. At the Negev Beerot Center on Kibbutz Alumim you can enjoy related movie screenings.5-6 February – Alphaville, Mann Auditorium, Tel AvivThe German group Alphaville which rose to fame in the 1980s led by lead singer Marian Gold will be performing two concerts only in Tel Aviv this February. The band is best known for hits such as Big in Japan, Jet Set, Sounds Like a Melody, Forever Young and Dance with Me. The band’s catchy synth pop has kept generations of music lovers enthralled. They will be performing their well known classics as well as more recent releases from their albums RTL2 100 Tubes Annees 80 and Catching Rays on Giants which featured the single I Die For You Today. Also included in the concert will be works created in 2015 from the albums So80s and Synth Pops.11-13 February – The Red Sea Jazz Festival, EilatJazz FestivalThe annual Eilat jazz festival features performers from Israel and around the world. Performances will take place at the Eilat King Solomon Hotel, Royal Garden Hotel and the Royal Beach Hotel. Among the artists performing this year will be Shlomo Gronich and the Non-Standard Project; David Helbock’s Random/Control featuring three musicians and twenty instruments; the a-cappella sextet SLIXS and Jane Bordeaux performing Israeli country folk music. Voodoo Jazz will perform their brand of music which is reminiscent of the jazz genre’s origins. The American organ trio Goldings, Bernstein and Stewart will be celebrating 25 years on the stage. Among the Israeli performers will be Geva Alon and Daniela Spector collaborating for a special performance of Israeli folk music. Also appearing at the festival will be Cuban pianist, Alfredo Rodriguez who has stunned the world with his virtuoso performances. The Grammy Award winning Ukrainian-born jazz pianist Ruslan Sirota will be enthralling audiences and the PaCoRa Trio will be performing their Slovak inspired jazz. Israeli musician Dida will be performing “the love stories of an Israeli vocalist in New York.”February 18 – DJs W&W, Haoman 17, Tel AvivThe Dutch trance and electro house duo of DJs, Willem van Hanegem and Ward van der Harst will be performing in Tel Aviv this February. The duo specializes in progressive house, progressive trance, Dutch house music and big room house music. They shot to fame with the release of their studio album Impact in 2011 and have since released a number of singles as lead artists and performed at events including Tomorrowland and Ultra Worldwide. One of their biggest successes was the single Bigfoot in 2014 and in 2015 they released If It Ain’t Dutch with Armin van Buuren. W&W are also known for a number of remixes including a remix of Adele’s Hello together with Kenneth G Bootleg. The two are at the forefront of the electro music industry and continue to pave the way for innovative sounds.24-25 February – Jethro Tull, Mann Auditorium, Tel AvivThis iconic British rock group formed in the 60s is led by lead vocalist Ian Anderson. Their first album Stand Up reached #1 on the British charts and they continued to create innovative music shifting from progressive rock to hard rock and mixing in some folk rock. The band has sold over 60 million albums worldwide. Rolling stone described Jethro Tull as “eccentric progressive rock.” The bands unique style and diverse musical talents make it an exciting and dynamic live show. The band will be performing in Tel Aviv as part of the “JETHRO TULL The Rock Opera performed by Ian Anderson” tour which celebrates the life of Jethro Tull, an English agricultural inventor. The show incorporates well known Jethro Tull songs plus performances by guest artists. Among the songs included in the show there will be The Witch’s Promise, Farm on the Freeway, Heavy Horses and Aqualung.26 February – Tel Aviv Marathon, Tel AvivmarathonThe Tel Aviv Marathon takes place on the streets of the city leading runners passed landmark buildings and along the stunning Tel Aviv beachfront. The race is multi-course with opportunities for runners of all levels to participate from families with kids to professional runners. Over 40,000 runners are expected to participate in the full-marathon, half-marathon, 10km, 5km and kids mini-marathon. In addition there will be a 42km handcycle race for people with special needs. The race kicks off at HaYarkon Park just opposite the Luna Park amusement park and follows the Yarkon River down towards the beachfront. The longer courses take runners into the old port city of Jaffa and along iconic Tel Aviv boulevards. Along the route there will be stages set up for live musical performances and several activities and celebrations for spectators.February 27-28 – Greg Dulli, Mayumana, Tel AvivJoin this much-loved American performer for “An Evening with Greg Dulli.” The singer will perform his classic songs as well as his latest numbers. Dulli caught the public’s eye with the band, Afgan Wings and went on to form The Twilight Singers. Together they released 5 albums. In 1994 he became the lead vocalist for the Backbeat Band recording the soundtrack for the Beatles biographical film Backbeat together with top artists like Mike Mills and Dave Grohl. In 2014 Dulli rejoined the Afgan Wings and they released their album “Do To the Beast.” Dulli’s performance in Tel Aviv is part of a 31 city solo tour presenting an intimate “evening with Greg Dulli.”1-28 February – Shaon Horef, JerusalemWinter Noise is a festival organized by the Youth Authority of the Jerusalem Municipality. It is a series of cultural events held in the streets of Jerusalem. On offer will be street theatre, musical performances, video art, dance performances, master classes, cookery demonstrations and workshops, exhibitions and street parties. Thousands of people are expected to participate in these fun events which are mostly free and there is no need to book ahead. The events will take place on Mondays throughout February (2nd, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th February): 2 February- Mahane Yehuda Market. The opening events of the festival at the famous Mahane Yehuda Market will include events which take place in the many cafes, stores, restaurants, galleries, studios and private homes in and around the market. Among the top events will be a toga party, swing dancing lessons on the street, video instillations projected on the buildings, musical jam sessions and a sing-along in a Russian bar. 9 February – Havatselet Complex. This Monday’s events include a workshop of Ethiopian cooking, a Moroccan party hosted by the secular yeshiva, lip-sync karaoke, a dance recital, a performance by Non Profit Band celebrating the release of their new album and a lecture on politics in the Facebook era. 16 February – Shoshan Complex. Cheer on the men taking part in the Drag Race, where men done high-heels and try to run through the streets. Other events include an evening with young Russian immigrants, an arts and crafts market, a cooking demonstration focused on mince meat and African music among other attractions. 23 February – Talpiot Industrial Area. On this special night of events you can watch the ping pong championships, see film festival screenings, hip hop performances and talk-show type interviews with leading Israeli celebs.
By Petal Mashraki
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