Eurovision singers plant trees, perform in Tel Aviv
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Eurovision singers plant trees, perform in Tel Aviv

For second year, Israel invites singers ahead of May contest

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

The 28 Eurovision 2017 participants after planting KKL-JNF trees during their four-day trip to Israel (Courtesy Yosi Zeliger)
The 28 Eurovision 2017 participants after planting KKL-JNF trees during their four-day trip to Israel (Courtesy Yosi Zeliger)

Israel doesn’t just take part in the annual Eurovision Song Contest; it hosts the participants in a pre-contest promo show.

Dubbed Israel Calling 2017, the four-day trip this week brought 28 contestants to Israel on a visit sponsored by the foreign affairs, tourism and Jerusalem ministries, as well as the Jewish National Fund, Stand With Us and the Tel Aviv municipality, which hosted the group.

It’s the second year that Israel is hosting a contingent of Eurovision contestants.

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said he hoped the trip would become a tradition, as one in a series of marketing steps designed to promote tourism to Israel worldwide.

Besides some of the expected tourist sites, like the Western Wall, the 28 visitors planted trees with KKL-JNF in the Eurovision glade at the Hanasi Forest.

The highlight of the trip was a live show at Tel Aviv’s Theater Club on Wednesday, when each of the artists performed their Eurovision song ahead of the May 9 contest.

Participants of Israel Calling 2016 in a group hug

A post shared by Israel Calling (@israelcalling) on

Imri Ziv, a Kochav HaBa winner, is Israel’s representative at Eurovision in Kiev this year, performing “I Feel Alive.”

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