Summer’s in full swing, which means lots of festivals, concerts and events around the country.
There are celebrations of klezmer music and classical strings, concerts of Israeli pop or Andalusian tunes and weekly Kabbalat Shabbat services overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. There’s also art exhibits, a new trampoline park and a summer lovin’ drive-in.
1) To kick-off the celebrations, start with a visit to the Israel Museum’s “Happy Birthday” exhibit, currently on display in the museum’s Youth Wing. Lest you think that it’s only for kids, it’s not. There’s the first floor, with a look at 50 years of Youth Wing exhibitions in honor of the museum’s anniversary. On the second floor, curator Orna Granot, an associate curator of illustrated children’s books, has gathered a wonderful collection of photographs, videos, sculptures and collectibles on birthdays. It’s high art for kids, said Granot, but it works, and engages the adults as well.
One of the best parts of the exhibit is the chance to view the museum’s entire collection of images of the Brown sisters, a photographic project taken of the four siblings over the past 40 years by Nicholas Nixon, husband of one of the sisters. There’s also the Youth Wing’s summer courtyard, a spacious outdoor space where staff help kids make birthday-related items, from marzipan decorations for cupcakes to bow-tied boxes.
2) Sticking with the Israel Museum and its ongoing 50th anniversary celebrations, consider heading to some of the outdoor concerts planned for the end of July and start of August, before the annual wine festival. The well-priced concerts will be held in the spacious, pebbled expanse of the sculpture garden, overlooking the city view and in the cool, Jerusalem night air.
The concerts start off with Mashina’s brand of rock ‘n’ roll on Monday, July 27 (NIS 150 per ticket); the Israeli Opera and Achinoam Nini on Wednesday, July 29 (NIS 100 per ticket); Rita on Thursday, July 30, which is also Tu B’Av, the local version of Valentine’s Day (NIS 120); Klezmer and David D’Or on Sunday, August 2 (NIS 80); and David Broza and the Ashkelon Andalusian Orchestra on Tuesday, August 4 (NIS 100).
Tickets are available at various ticket agencies and the Israel Museum website.
3) Head up north to hear more classical tunes at the Keshet Eilon Mastercourse, where 65 young string instrumentalists will gather at Kibbutz Eilon to study with master string teachers and perform in a series of mostly free concerts open to the public. The performances include a collaborative concert with the Polyphony in Education Orchestra from Nazareth, a concert with Moscow’s Moskovia Orchestra, a concert in homage to violist Lionel Tertis, a performance of global folk music and concerts under the starry night sky.
Held from July 26 through August 13 at Kibbutz Eilon, tickets can be ordered by calling 04-985 8191 or 04-985 8131, or through the Keshet Eilon website.
4) Got some kids or teens who need to get out and about? Take them to iJump, Petach Tikva’s new trampoline park, a 2,000-square-meter space of massive trampolines for all the jumping, sliding and bouncing fun that anyone could need. Prices are NIS 50 for the first hour, and NIS 30 for the second hour.
5) After jumping all day, stick around for an evening showing at Kfar Saba’s new drive-in movie theater, which includes an artificial beach with sand, pools and umbrellas for pre-movie fun and 1950s-era cars parked on ramps to offer better viewing pleasure. Customers can order drinks and snacks from the theater’s website or app, and have it delivered right to the car window, just like in the old days. The flicks are mostly family features, particularly for the daily 8:30 p.m. showing (there are also 10 p.m. screenings every night of the summer).
6) Take advantage of the summer’s ice cream pleasures with a 30-minute workshop on how to make everyone’s favorite dessert at Beersheba’s Carasso Science Park (which includes a scoop of the cold stuff). The park is a new addition to the southern city, housed in a former Ottoman-era building in the Old City, with a host of indoor and outdoor exhibits and activities that are perfect for kids ages 5 and up. Finish off the afternoon with a walk over to the original Beersheba Ice Cream shop founded by Savta Julia, at 50 Rechov Hadassah.
At Carasso Science Park, prices range from NIS 192 for a unit of four, NIS 54 for kids up to 18, and NIS 60 per adult. On Tuesdays, there’s a discount price of NIS 30 per person, from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. Carasso Science Park is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday through Thursday.
7) Looking for something slightly more spiritual? Safed’s annual klezmer festival — held at the end of August — comes to Jerusalem again from July 29 through August 4. There are daily klezmer events, including Jerusalem tunes with balladist Yehoram Gaon at the Seven Arches Hotel on the Mount of Olives, master classes with musician Aharon Razel at the Hebrew University campus at Givat Ram and free, open-air concerts on the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall and at the First Station. The big ticket events are over the weekend, when IDF Cantor Shai Abrahamson leads an early Kabbalat Shabbat at the Yeshurun Synagogue on Friday afternoon, a Saturday night tisch at Beit Avi Chai, and the David D’Or concert in the Israel Museum’s sculpture gardens on Monday night.
For information and tickets, go to the festival webpage at ITravelJerusalem.
8) And for the Tel Aviv spiritual seekers, there’s the summer outdoors Kabbalat Shabbat services at the Tel Aviv port, hosted by the fully egalitarian and grassroots community of Beit Tefilah Israeli, an urban community celebrating its ninth year. Some 1,000 participants gather each Friday afternoon, and this year there will also be sunset celebrations of the Sabbath at the Herzliya marina and Yehud-Monosson parks.
In Tel Aviv, the 6:30 p.m. service will be held each Friday from July 16 through August 28 at the northern deck of the port, next to the giant sandbox. In Herzliya, it will take place at the marina every Friday in July, at 6:15 p.m. and in Yehud-Monosson it will be held in the town’s public gardens every Friday through the end of August at 5 p.m., with full locations detailed in this link.