The post-Lag B’Omer sense of summertime ease makes June a natural time for celebrations of all sorts. Check out our top five list of events and activities; you won’t need a reason to celebrate.
1) This weekend launches the mother of all celebrations, the 20th year of Gay Pride in Tel Aviv, as the city marks the anniversary of its first Gay Pride celebration when activists set up a closet in a local park and asked gay residents to “step out of it.” More than 20,000 celebrants came to Tel Aviv last year during Gay Pride Month, and there is a long list of events, activities, lectures and festivals taking place throughout June. Stop in at the 8th International LGBT Film Festival at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque (June 8-17), and be sure to walk by the Rabin Square fountain, which will be lit up in rainbow colors for the entire month.
2) Jerusalem will host the Formula 1 cars as they race through a specially designed course in the city. The race itself is free, although tickets can be purchased for grandstand seats, starting at NIS 350 ($100) and up. If it’s the cars that you’re looking for, head to the recently refurbished First Station, where both historic and current race cars will be on display starting Sunday, June 9.
3) It’s not quite yet time to start picking movies for the Jerusalem Film Festival (that happens on June 21), but we just found out how director Reshef Levy snagged British actor Patrick Stewart — famed for his role in “Star Trek, The Next Generation” — for “Hunting Elephants,” his comedy about a tween boy who robs a bank with his grandfather’s cronies. “He just asked,” said Bat Cohen, the press agent for the film. “He wrote an email to Mr. Stewart, and he said ‘Yes.’ Lucky break, huh?” “Hunting Elephants” will be the opening film of the festival.
4) Hebrew Book Week was launched on Wednesday, with book fairs held in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Holon and Kfar Saba. It’s fine to head out and see what’s for sale, but another option is going to the Design Terminal in Bat Yam, which opened an exhibit — “100 Books, 200 Book Covers” — showing accepted and rejected book covers, with commentary from the designers about how and why book covers get chosen. The exhibit opened Wednesday, June 5, and can be viewed Sunday-Wednesday, 10-4; Thursday, 4-8 and Saturday nights, 8-11 pm, 33 Ort Yisrael Street, Bat Yam.
5) Got a reason to make merry? Go drink some wine at Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Hotel, which is celebrating wine and food June 12-27. Each night will spotlight a different winery, and the dishes will be fitted to the wines, along with explanations about the color and depth of each vintage. Call 03-957-8888 for more information and to reserve places, which are limited. Rothschild Hotel, 96 Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv.
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