Get online to exercise, forage, pray and even hike during your home stay

Everyone’s going online right now, offering services and classes for free during the extended quarantine caused by the COVID-19 crisis

Jessica Steinberg, The Times of Israel's culture and lifestyles editor, covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center

President Ruby Rivlin reads Israeli classic 'Flat To Rent' by Lea Goldberg online on Thursday, March 19, 2020, during the coronavirus crisis (Courtesy Ruby Rivlin Facebook page)
President Ruby Rivlin reads Israeli classic 'Flat To Rent' by Lea Goldberg online on Thursday, March 19, 2020, during the coronavirus crisis (Courtesy Ruby Rivlin Facebook page)

We’ve covered online concerts, plays to watch, museums to tour virtually and musicians to hear during the long days of coronavirus quarantine.

Now we’re looking at some different kinds of activities for occupying yourselves during this mandated time of hanging around the house.

1) Need to move around? My kids and I have been trying the old-fashioned version of Stairmaster, running up and down the stairs inside our house and in our apartment building.

There are also many gyms, yoga teachers, pilates and exercise instructors that have moved online, offering free or reduced rate classes.

One that I’ve tried is Meny and Lia Elbaz of Sky Gym in Jerusalem, which is offering daily videos of exercises for kids and adults. There are three classes a day and they’re putting together a group to buy equipment for those home workouts, in case you’re missing weights or yoga mats.

Sky Gym owner Meny Elbaz goes online with his workouts during the coronavirus (Courtesy Sky Gym)

Or Yoga, a yoga school in Jerusalem, is offering yoga classes (in English, with translation to Hebrew or Spanish) two to three times a day. Guests need to sign up, and pay a reduced rate of two classes for the price of one.

Nitsan Agassi Yoga is offering pay-what-you-can-afford yoga, from his Tel Aviv studio.

Into the Cave

מתוך התנועה נוצרת הקשבהלחלקים בנו שאולי קצת שכחנוומשם אנטימיות גדולהחוויה שאנחנו בביתשהכל קורה כאן ועכשיוואין עוד מלבד הרגע הזהרגעים שכאלו מתוך תרגול במערות הפעמון בבית גוברין באביב האחרוןאת הקטע המוזיקלי שמלווה ניגנתי על ה- Rav Vast באולפן המהמם של בן דודי, Zach Agassi ובהפקה ובעיבוד מדהימים שלו.Adi Agassi צילם ברחפן ובמצלמות שונותותודה מיוחדת לאהובתי Liron Oster שהסתובבה לה עם בטן גדולה ועשתה עבודה של מפיקה בפועל שלא הייתה מביישת נושא משרה בהוליווד.בואו לתרגל יוגה!

Posted by ‎Nitsan Agassi Yoga – ניצן אגסי יוגה‎ on Sunday, June 30, 2019

2) Lots of zoos have activities online for those animal enthusiasts out there who love wildlife parks. The Cincinnati Zoo is offering digital safaris, the San Diego Zoo has live video clips daily and there’s what to see and do on the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo site as well, with a newsletter, video journal and some activities, albeit mostly for younger kids.

Oh me oh my, Omeo the koala's story is a sight for sore eyes.

Oh me oh my, Omeo the koala's story is a sight for sore eyes.

Posted by San Diego Zoo on Thursday, March 19, 2020

3) How about foraging in the backyard, or during those ten-minute strolls in the neighborhood? Yatir Sade, forager extraordinaire, is going to show what can be picked in your very own backyard, public parks and from those cracks in the sidewalk.

Next Friday, he’ll offer a live tour of what he picks in his own backyard — just follow the Yatir Sade Facebook page for more information. For now, enjoy these photos of the 17 different edible plants picked around his home.

עדכון: הוובינר יידחה לשבוע הבא כדי שאוכל לצלם ולערוך סיור ליקוט וירטואלי לתלמידי הקורס השנתי.ביום שישי הקרוב אמור…

Posted by ‎יתיר שדה ליקוט ואקו-קולינריה‎ on Tuesday, March 17, 2020

4) There were more than just a few Shvil Yisrael (Israel National Trail) hikers who had to cut their treks short, but for now, the 1,100 kilometer (680 mile) trail that crisscrosses Israel can be followed from a computer, iPad or smartphone, with full views of the trail available on Google Street View.

In fact, it’s the only hiking trail that crosses an entire nation and is available in its entirety on Google Street View, so take advantage and follow the blue, white and orange trail markers on the Galilean mountains, coastal shoreline and the desert, and everything in between.

5) There’s always podcasts to listen to (particularly when washing dishes), but there’s also Israel Story, the well-loved local podcast that recently moved to Army Radio but have adjusted the launch of their new season due to the coronavirus.

It’s the fourth season of this podcast that’s all about the people, places and stories of Israel, and 12 new chapters are now being released for homebound listening. Join the Israel Story Community for easier access.

Wishing you all a sweet, serene first day of spring! With Corona on all of our minds, we hope that you have also been…

Posted by Israel Story on Thursday, March 19, 2020

6) When you’ve got time on your hands, or hours to fill with kids around, baking challah is a good activity, particularly with a long Shabbat ahead (see more on that below). There are many challah recipes out there, and documentary filmmaker Tiffany Shlain is offering a live challah-baking demo this Friday, at 8 a.m Pacific Time (5 p.m. in Israel).

Daphna’s newish L’cha Dodi, recorded tonight in our Levite rehearsal

Posted by Nava Tehila on Thursday, December 26, 2019

7) With lots of learning (and praying) options out there, consider this your chance to try Kabbalat Shabbat, the service of welcoming the Sabbath, with a few different synagogues. Many are offering Friday night services online, beginning at 4 p.m. EST. Try the musical services of Nava Tehila, soulful thoughts from Raba Tamar Elad-Apelbaum at Kehilat Tzion Yerushalayim, and different services for adults and kids at Shira Hadasha.

8) Looking for some more individual entertainment? Besides the New York Public Library offering its 300,000 books online for free (you do need a New York City library card), Israel’s National Library is offering free audio books from some of the country’s most beloved authors, as well as a range of other educational materials in four languages, all available on its website.

President Reuven Rivlin read Lea Goldberg’s classic, “A Room for Rent,” out loud and online on Thursday, and there’s a good chance he’ll do another round.

הורים יקרים, אני יודע שזו תקופה לא פשוטה. הילדים בבית, ולמרות שכולנו מאוד אוהבים להיות בחיק המשפחה, מדובר במצב…

Posted by ‎Reuven Ruvi Rivlin – ראובן רובי ריבלין‎ on Thursday, March 19, 2020

9) For all those Sabbath observers, who refrain from electronic devices during the 25 hours of Shabbat, and may be home alone in quarantine, we put together a list of things to do, that will hopefully help you from going crazy this weekend.

  • Meditate (download this first)
  • Feng shui your personal spaces (think Marie Kondo, if something doesn’t make you happy, toss it)
  • Make a really fabulous salad
  • Reread a favorite book or a cookbook
  • Start a novel that’s haunted you
  • Dance like no one’s watching
  • Stare out the window, see what you find
  • Do three pull-ups
  • Pray
  • Mix a cocktail
  • Now do five push-ups

Shavua tov.

Oh, and if you missed Idan Raichel’s online performance for Zappa Live last week, he’ll be streaming from his living room this Sunday night, 10 p.m., thanks to the Jewish Agency for Israel.

Musician Idan Raichel will perform from his living room next Sunday night, March 22, at 4 p.m. ET (Courtesy Jewish Agency for Israel)

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