When a hut’s your home, Israel offers an abundance of fun activities
Sukkot 5779

When a hut’s your home, Israel offers an abundance of fun activities

The Feast of Tabernacles brings a cornucopia of holiday events for those ready to venture out of their sukkah

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

Kites will fly at the Israel Museum's annual Kite Festival, held this year on September 25, 2018 (Courtesy Benny Maor)
Kites will fly at the Israel Museum's annual Kite Festival, held this year on September 25, 2018 (Courtesy Benny Maor)

The Festival of Booths is upon us, and unless you’re planning on holing up in your sukkah for the duration, or have already flown the coop and gone on vacation, there are eight days to fill in this harvest holiday.

Luckily, on Sukkot, activities, events and gatherings abound. It’s just a matter of choosing which event to attend in the round of concerts, shows and exhibits.

We’ve gathered ten of them here; choose at your leisure.

Head down south to support small businesses on September 26-27, at Park Azrieli in Sderot. The outdoor fair will showcase farm stands with produce from the region, local fashion, jewelry and accessories from designers and other craftspeople. 

The museums will be busy on Sukkot, but there are some great exhibits being shown right now. The Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem is featuring a festival of ancient writing where visitors can decipher ancient manuscripts and languages, try cuneiform engraving, learn about hieroglyphs and make their own personal seal.

There will be tours in English and Hebrew about the Phoenician and Jewish alphabets on September 25-27, as well as the opportunity to see a master Torah scribe at work. Entrance is free for first graders.

Taking a look at ancient alphabets in the Bible Lands Museum, which is offering special tours for Sukkot 2018 (Courtesy Mouli Kai)

Next door at the Israel Museum there will be a whole array of Sukkot activities including performance art, recycling art activities and family tours, and the annual Kite Festival on September 25, with free entry for kids, and a forecast of sunny, windy weather at the top of the hill.

The Tower of David in Jerusalem’s Old City is offering virtual reality tours on Hol Hamoed, proving an encounter with Jerusalem of 2,000 years ago, and winding from the citadel through the Old City, with virtual reality viewpoints at the Western Wall, Robinson’s Arch, the Jewish Quarter and the Cardo. Each tour of either 90 minutes or three hours can take 15 people and is suitable for children aged 12 and up.

The virtual reality tour at the Tower of David Museum includes short and long tours during Sukkot 2018 (Courtesy Ricky Rachman)

A special Sukkot edition of Comedy for Koby, featuring comedian Modi and hosted by the show’s founder, Avi Liberman, is taking place in Jerusalem on September 25, in Beit Shemesh on September 27, and Ra’anana on September 29. Order tickets online.

Head to the 34th Haifa Film Festival to catch a screening of one of the 250 films being shown during the ten-day event, including feature films, documentaries, kids’ movies and festival-winning movies covering the gamut of human drama and experiences. There are also free concerts and outdoor screenings taking place at Haifa’s Ir Tahtit, Lower City, down by the port.

The Jaffa Festival is taking place during Sukkot, September 29-October 2, with three days of free Arabic and Hebrew theater outside the Jaffa Theatre, as well as premieres of new shows inside the theater. Tickets for the indoor shows are NIS 40 per adult and NIS 50 per child.

From the ‘OMG Bencher’ by artist David Moss at the Kol HaOt Sukkot Festival on September 26, 2018 (Courtesy Kol HaOt)

There’s a fun range of activities and events at the September 26 Sukkot Hayotzer event sponsored by Jerusalem’s Kol HaOt Center, at the Hutzot Hayotzer outdoor art galleries in Jerusalem, located just across from the Old City walls.

Visitors can view exhibits, fruit-oriented artworks and sculptures, take a still life workshop, taste Sukkot foods and tour the galleries. It’s all free, and takes place from 4 p.m.-8 p.m.

Experience three premieres of young male choreographers as part of international dance season at Suzanne Dellal on September 26. Order online at the Suzanne Dellal website.

The 39th International Fringe Theater Festival in Acre takes place September 24-27 in the northern port city. This year’s festival includes a competition among eight original plays and nine street performances, as as well as international collaborations and dozens of street and outdoor spectacles and projects.

From ‘Celestials,’ a play at the 2018 Akko Festival, in which nine souls seek a tenth to form a ‘minyan’ (Courtesy Eilan Besor)

September 29 could be the night to head out, if you’re looking for some outdoor entertainment. There’s the DGTL Festival in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park, following in the footsteps of its sister events in other cities, and is dedicated to technology, art, music and lighting. Included in the Tel Aviv lineup are performers Anna Haleta, Autarkic and Jenia Tersol.

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