Pull an all-nighter in Tel Aviv
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Pull an all-nighter in Tel Aviv

The annual White Night event in the White City celebrates culture of every kind — from music, dance and film to lectures, tours and general revelry

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

Pulling an all-nighter generally isn’t something to celebrate, as it usually comes in conjunction with an anxiety-driven, caffeine-ridden rush to finish that paper or project due the following day. But when it comes to Tel Aviv’s White Night, there’s something to be said for staying up well past one’s bedtime and joining the citywide frolic celebrating Tel Aviv’s longstanding designation as the White City, a place of cutting-edge, modern architecture where the latest trends in music, art, dance, design food, technology and creative ventures of all kinds come together.

Starting in late afternoon, well before twilight begins to fall on Thursday, the city’s outdoor spaces and cultural centers will be hosting concerts, theater and dance performances, singalongs, opera selections, jazz ensembles, rock concerts, video installations, conversations with artists, design exhibitions, storyteller sessions, beach volleyball, yoga classes, folk dancing and ballroom trots, crafts fairs, parades, tasting opportunities, club parties, city tours, and Bauhaus buildings illuminated by the city’s white lights.

If you can’t make it to the Big Orange  this week, don’t fret, there are plenty of other events happening around the country (see #5). But if you can, drink a late afternoon hafuch and set out on the town. It’ll be worth the next-day drowsiness. For a full listing of events, go to the City of Tel Aviv-Jaffa site, where all White Night events are listed in English and Hebrew.

1) If you’re thinking about the early-evening events, check out some of the kids’ activities, which include storytelling, music and crafts. Head to Gan HaPisga in Old Jaffa for a Magical Mystery Tour with the “Beatles,” educating the kinderlach about their musical heritage. Gan HaPisga, 6:30 p.m. On another end of the musical spectrum, listen to kids’ songs set to jazz ensembles at Gan Kiryat Sefer, Yehuda HaLevi Street, between 7 and 8 p.m.

2) Want to take a tour? There’s a wide selection being offered all evening and all night, including the following: Along Rothschild, starting at the kiosk at the southern end of the city’s first boulevard, and along the buildings and houses of this European-styled street (7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.); Graffiti in South Tel Aviv, gaining a better understanding of the beliefs and ideas generated by this form of urban art (8 p.m. and 10 p.m.); Tel Aviv in History, starting with the city’s renowned high school, Gymnasia Herzliya (10 p.m.). To register for the 90-minute, NIS 40 tours, which are being run by the municipality’s Global City, call 03-516-6188 or register through the www.visit-tlv.co.il website.

Blowing bubbles on a past White Night (photo credit: Abir Sultan/Flash 90)
Blowing bubbles on a past White Night (photo credit: Abir Sultan/Flash 90)

3) Help the Tel Aviv Cinematheque celebrate its 40 years of existence during White Night with NIS 5 screenings of indelibly Israeli movies, including a wide selection of Uri Zohar flicks, made with the former big screen heartthrob who left the red carpet to become a rabbi. There’s a long list of shows throughout the night, including “Lul” (Chicken Coop) at 7 p.m.; “Big Eyes” at 10 p.m. and “Save the Lifeguard” at midnight. But if you’d rather be dancing than sitting down, feel free to hop between learning and watching flamenco dance on the square outside the Suzanne Dellal Center, or Bollywood and ballroom dancing in front of the Habima Theater, from 7:30 p.m.

4) There’s also the option of checking out the large-scale installations and events all night long. Start in Shuk HaTikvah, the open-air market, where the stalls will be lit up as part of the lighting installations taking place throughout the night (starting at 5 p.m.). Head over to Dizengoff Square, where a vintage market will take place (6 p.m.-midnight), and from there to Shuk Hapishpeshim in Jaffa, where Shenkar students will display their textile creations, (8 p.m.-midnight, 12 Amiad; the exhibit will remain open through July 2, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.). There’s also the annual Earphone Party at Rabin Square, where the city’s top DJs will demonstrate their musical mashups. Listeners can rent earphones or bring their own and download an app to participate (8 p.m.-2 a.m.). There’ll be indie rock with Geva Alon, Electra, the Reines Girls and The Brigitte at Gan Hapisga, starting at 8 p.m. And for those who can make it into the wee hours, Yehudit Ravitz plays North Zuk Beach, starting 1:30 a.m. Good morning.

Partying on the beach on a past White Night (photo credit: Lior Almog/Flash 90)
Partying on the beach on a past White Night (photo credit: Lior Almog/Flash 90)

5) Whether or not you make it to White Night Tel Aviv, here’s a selection of events taking place at the start of July. Burt Bacharach, the 85-year-old warbler of oldies but goodies such as “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” is playing the Shuni-Binyamina amphitheater on Tuesday, July 2 (go to www.misterticket.co.il or *9080 for tickets, NIS 299-NIS 449). Looking for some design inspiration? Head to a celebration of fashion, textile and Israeli wines on Tuesday, July 9 in Zichron Yaakov, when Tel Aviv design guide Galit Reismann, the recently launched Bat Shlomo Winery and culinary cabin Adama host an evening with artists and designers, including tastings of food and wine (NIS 35 for reservations made in advance, NIS 45 day of event).

Finally, if you’re more of a morning person, consider one final White Night event, being held on Friday, the Art After Party tour. Register for tours of and transportation to the leading museums in the metropolitan Tel Aviv area, including Design Museum Holon, MoBY, Bat Yam Museum, Petah Tivka Museum of Art and Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art. The tours will leave from the Tel Aviv Museum of Art at 9:45 a.m., with the NIS 38 tickets including transportation, guided tours of the museums as well as a one-time entrance to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art during the White Night weekend.

The streets of Tel Aviv on a past White Night (photo credit: Abir Sultan/Flash 90)
The streets of Tel Aviv on a past White Night (photo credit: Abir Sultan/Flash 90)
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