As all Israeli parents are well aware, there’s a two-week stretch of vacation on the horizon and now’s the time to chase down the many events, outings and activities going on in every corner of the land.
Here’s a list of what’s going on around the country.
1) Jerusalem’s first art biennale begins September 15, and runs through the end of October, featuring more than 150 pieces from local and overseas artists. Taking place at five locations — Kol HaOt at the Achim Hasid complex, the First Station, Hechal Shlomo, Beit Avi Chai and the Musrara neighborhood — the event is modeled on the Venice Biennale, but with a focus on contemporary creative forces relating to the Jewish world of content, ranging from ultra- and modern Orthodox to secular Jewish thought, and integrating photography, video art, performance art, paintings and sculpture. There are a variety of activities and events to consider attending, all described at the Biennale website. There is no charge for the Biennale events at Beit Avi Chai and Musrara, while NIS 30 will get you entry to all three venues at the First Station, Wolfson Museum of Jewish Art and Kol HaOt, or you can pay NIS 20 for entry to a single venue.
2) Planning to visit some monuments over the vacation? Take part in “Wiki Loves Monuments,” an international photography competition created to capture the world’s heritage sites, created by online information catchall Wikipedia. “Wiki Loves Monuments” is taking place from September 15 through October 15, and last year’s event hauled in 353,000 photos from 33 countries, including 6,067 from Israel. Join the fun!
3) If you missed the annual Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer, try out the local version in Acre, September 21-24. There’s a huge array of choices, from local and international performers, as well as street theater if you’d rather munch on a pita and hummus while taking in this particular art form. All tickets cost NIS 60 and are available at the festival website.
4) Ever spotted an array of water towers out of your car window and wonder about their origins? Then the Springs Festival, held in Spring Valley, otherwise known as the Beit Shean Valley region — a stretch of land reaching from Moshav Tel Teumim up to Kibbutz Gesher, along Route 90 — is the very opportunity. Stop in at the more than dozen communities that are hosting concerts, tours, walks and activities, telling their stories as some of the first settlements in Israel. There’s also a photography exhibit of the water towers, being shown in the restored children’s house at Kibbutz Gesher, September 16-26.
5) Looking for stories? Try out The Israeli Annual International Storytelling Festival at the Givatayim Theater, September 19-28. Hosted by veteran storyteller Yossi Alfi, the event will present more than 100 stories told and performed by actors, comedians, writers, musicians, philosophers, politicians and artists.
6) Consider the art of dance, in a variety of capacities. Decal’e, from Batsheva choreographer Ohad Naharin, is an opportunity for the whole family to check out vignettes from some of his most famous works. Bring the kids at 4 p.m. or 6 p.m., on September 22 or 23, to the Suzanne Dellal Theater. Tickets cost NIS 80 to NIS 110, and gift certificates are available at www.batsheva.co.il.
Or, attend an evening of Batsheva creativity, when the dancers and choreographers will show off their creative spirits with performances in the troupe’s studios, both known works and some newer, more untried pieces.
Tuesday, September 24, 10 p.m., into the wee hours with DJ Litty Lev Cohen; Thursday, September 26 at 9 p.m. and Friday, September 27 at 10 p.m. Suzanne Dellal Center, NIS 55 per ticket, also available at the Batsheva website.
There’s also Screensart: 2, an exhibit of video art and dance that is a reaction to the growth of digital art and screens, offering some freedom from sound, according to the organizers. September 26-28, Hangar 2, Jaffa port.
And, finally, one more option on the dance card. Entertain yourselves at the Gathering of the Dance Troupes, a one-day dance extravaganza at Kibbutz Dalia, where traditional and modern dance troupes, including the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, will gather from the afternoon into the evening, watching, performing and dancing for and with one another. September 21, open to the whole family.
7) See art in some more unusual environs at ArTakdim in Ramat Hasharon, when the town’s grungy garages and warehouses get remade into art galleries for one night, on September 28. Works by more than 70 leading and emerging Israeli artists will be on sale, with half of the proceeds going towards building a local accessible park and playground for children with special needs. The exhibition will feature works in a variety of media, with background music provided by musicians from the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. Among the artists participating are Sigalit Landau, Boaz Arad, Nir Segal, Art Espionage, the actor Keren Mor and the graffiti artist Know Hope.
Saturday night, September 28, 8:30 pm, Rechov Haheresh/Hamasger, Ramat Hasharon old industrial zone.