From the catalog of Shira Wise, designer of Le Sac bags and belts (Courtesy Shira Wise)

From the catalog of Shira Wise, designer of Le Sac bags and belts (Courtesy Shira Wise)

Never say that the dead of winter isn’t a time for festivals, events and “happenings,” as we like to call large gatherings in these parts. True, you may prefer to hunker down over a cup of hot tea and a cookie (I’m partial to tehina cookies right now, both for their flavor and added protein value), getting a fix of pre-Oscar flicks or your favorite TV show (shame that “Master Chef” is over, but there’s still “The Voice” to follow).

But sometimes you just have to get out of the house, and it’s good to have an actual event to head to. Herewith, a variety of options.

1) Are you feeling peeved about the status of preschool aides and their paltry salaries? Join Jerusalem council member Rachel Azaria, other concerned parents and aides at a City Hall (Kikar Safra) demonstration on Thursday afternoon, at 5:30 p.m. The group is protesting the latest subsidy set in place by the Trajtenberg Reforms, a plan to subsidize after-school programs at preschools and kindergartens, which will include cutting up to half of the salary paid to the staff. Many staff members are planning to quit on Sunday, February 3, the first day of the new subsidies, which will affect both them and the parents and children who depend on quality, skilled after-school programming and staff. Call Omri Sheinfeld, spokesperson for the Yerushalmim party, at 054-465-1387 for more information.

Some of the shoes that will be available at the Zugot shoe fair in TLV this weekend (Courtesy Zugot website)

Some of the shoes that will be available at the Zugot shoe fair in TLV this weekend (Courtesy Zugot website)

2) Mid-winter is always a good time for new shoes. You’ve tired of the boots bought at the end of the season last year, worn out the flats that tend to be this year’s faves, grown bored of the booties that didn’t quite work the way you thought they would. That’s why it’s time for Zugot, the annual boutique shoe fair that begins Thursday afternoon in Tel Aviv, with discounts of 40%-70% off original prices. There are bags and tights available as well during the three days of shopping and buying. Train Station complex, Neve Tzedek, Thursday, January 3 to Saturday, February 2 (4-10 Thursday; 10-7 Friday, 11-8 Saturday); admission is free.

Some of the writers speaking at next week's Kisufim festival (Courtesy Kisufim website)

Some of the writers speaking at next week’s Kisufim festival (Courtesy Kisufim website)

3) Kisufim, the Jewish poet and writer’s festival, begins next week in Jerusalem at Mishkenot Sha’ananim, the Van Leer Institute, and Beit Avi Chai It focuses on language and memory and features such poets and writers as Nathan Englander, Evan Fallenberg, Haim Gouri, Etgar Keret, Bernard Henri-Levy, Sarah Blau, Linda Zisquit, Meir Shalev, A.B. Yehoshua and other Israeli, American and European writers who will be taking part in lectures, readings, workshops and conversations over the course of the four-day festival. Prices and program schedules (Tuesday, February 5 to Friday, February 8) are available on the Kisufim website; programs are in English and Hebrew.

4) Looking to see some visual theater and performance art? It’s coming our way via the Clipa Aduma theater festival, beginning February 22 and running for nearly two weeks at the Clipa Theater in Tel Aviv. Now in its sixth year, the festival will feature local and international performers, including performances for kids ages 3-6 over the course of the festival, and the usual pre-show performance of juggling, drinks, food and song at the Clipa Bar before each show. Clipa Aduma starts February 22 at the Clipa Theater, 38 Harakevet Street, Tel Aviv, or call 03-687-9219 for tickets and information.