The Big Felafel


Jerusalem Festival Frenzy Summer 2012

Jerusalem, the city of Festivals! If there is something that can be turned into a festival here, it will!

There are so many festivals and events happening this summer in Jerusalem that I couldn’t keep track and had to compile everything in one place. Enjoy!

Wine Festival at the Israel Museum

Drink in style at the Israel museum with jazz music and wine from all over Israel.

Dates: July 30 – August 2, 2012
Time: 7:00pm-11:00pm
Entrance: 80 NIS for a glass to refill all night long. You can buy your tickets online, by phone: 02-6259703 or at the door.
Location: Israel museum  

 

Two B’av- Festival of love

An evening about love including short films from Ma’aleh Film School, stand up with Daniel Kishenovsky, Hakovah Hahafuch- songs to make you dance, lectures about love and so much more. More info
Dates: Thursday, August 2, 2012
Time: 8:00pm
Entrance: 55 NIS
Location: Beit Yehudit, 12 Emek Refaim

 

Jerusalem Woodstock Revival

The 2012 Jerusalem Woodstock Revival will feature a great range of musicians, including some of the leading names in Israeli rock, all devoting their voices to the sounds of the 60′s and the sounds which originally dominated the famous Woodstock Festival. The sounds will include those of legendary singers Neil Young, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and The Grateful Dead.

Dates: Thursday, August 2, 2012
Time: Doors open at 4:30pm
Entrance: 100/140 NIS
Location: Kraft Stadium More info

 

Beer Festival

Over 50,000 liters of more than a hundred brands from all over the world will be offered, mainstream, boutique and local brewed. Every night on the main stage, the audience will enjoy a live show by Israeli bands and djs. More info

Dates: August 22-23, 2012
Time: 6:00pm-12:00am
Entrance: 30 NIS
Location: Old Train Station

 

Arts and Crafts Fairs

Jerusalem’s Mayor, Nir Barkat, announced that he wants to extend the arts and crafts fairs in downtown Jerusalem so that there are fairs running every Tuesday thru Friday, starting in August, 2012. More info

Tuesdays: “Designers on Hillel” features fashion and accessories on Hillel St. and discounts at nearby restaurants and cafes. Starts August 7, 2012 from 4:00-11:00pm 

Wednesdays: “Mesibar” on Rivlin St – A festival for the whole family including street performers, Zumba classes, farmer’s market, and workshops for children. Starts August 8 from 5:00-11:00pm

Also on Wednesdays, take a look at the fine Israeli arts and crafts at the boutique shops on Yoel Solomon St. from 12-9pm

Thursdays: “Retroshalayim” on Agrippas between the Mahane Yehuda shuk and King George St.- Vintage, antique and second-hand items. From 12:00pm-10:00pm

Fridays: The Bezalel fair on Shatz-Bezalel St. features the of Bezalel students sell paintings, woodwork, jewelry, photography, accessories, and more. From 10:00am-4:00pm.

Also on Fridays, the artist and farmer’s market in the German Colony at 12 Emek Refaim St. is from 9:00am-3:00pm

 

Chutzot Hayotzer – International arts and crafts fair

Chutzot Hayotser features artists from around the world who come to exhibit their crafts. Each night at 9:00pm, there is a concert given by one of the following performers: Shiri Maimon and Shimon Buskila, Ehud Banai, Mashina, Shlomi Shabat, Hadag Nachash, Barry Sakharof, Yehudit Ravitz, Eviatar Banai, Shalom Hanoch, Mosh Ben Ari and Aviv Gefen. More info

Dates: August 6-18, 2012
Time: Sunday to Thursday evenings from 6:00pm-11:00pm and Saturday night one hour after the end of the Shabat until midnight.
Entrance: 60 NIS Discounts available
Location:  Sultan’s pool, across from the Tower of David

 

Balabasta Festival in the Shuk Mahane Yehuda

The Balabasta festival will liven up the alleyways of the shuk (as if the colorful produce and yelling wasn’t enough) with every type of music you could ever dream of, including reggae, rap in Arabic-Hebrew-Gibberish, Amharic poetry, blues, klezmer, and much more. There will also be art exhibitions and light installations. B’kitsur, you gotta check out the craziness!
Dates: Sunday evenings on August 5, 12, and 19, 2012
Time: 5-11pm
Location: Shuk Mahane Yehuda
Entrance: Free!

 

Free activities in the park

 

Every Tuesday from 5-7:30pm, there are free activities for kids in public parks around Jerusalem. Activities include planting, street art, origami, sports, and more. More info

Dates and Locations
July 31: Beit Elisheva, Old Katamon
August 7:  Park Nayot, Yehoshua Yavin 1
August 14: San Simon
August 21: Sokolov Park, Talbiyeh 

 

Hatzagan

Children’s story telling in the park (in Hebrew)
Date: Monday, July 30, 2012
Time: 5:00pm
Location: Sokolov Park, Talbiyeh 

 

Summer events at the Nature Museum

More info

Hagilgul

A play about the lives of insects. The performace is full of humor and songs and tells the story of one caterpillar who didn’t want to grow up. To order tickets, call 02-563-1116
Date: Thursday, August 2, 2012
Time: 5:00pm
Location
: Nature Museum, 6 Mohliver St. German Colony
Entrance: There is an entrance fee

The Young Pharmacist

Activities for parents and children. A tour around the garden to see the healing properties of plants and make “medicine” out of them. Each week will focus on a new topic.
Dates: Tuesdays: July 31, August 7, 14, 21, 2012
Time: 5-6:15pm
Location: Nature Museum, 6 Mohliver St. German Colony
Entrance: There is an entrance fee

The Nature Detective
 
Activities for parents and children. A tour of the museum and the little petting zoo to explore the mysteries in nature and solve them with games, riddles, and performances. Each week will focus on a new topic.
Dates: Wednesdays, August 1, 8, 15, 22, 2012. (A special evening event on August 15, 2012 8-9:30pm)
Time: 5-6:30pm
Location: Nature Museum, 6 Mohliver St. German Colony
Entrance: There is an entrance fee

Savta Galia Story Time

The Nature Museum invites children ages 3-7 for story hour (in Hebrew) with stories related to nature and the environment and integrates a workshop, petting animals, and activities in the museum.
Dates: Mondays 4-6:00pm; Saturdays 10:00am-12:00pm.
Location: Nature Museum, 6 Mohliver St. German Colony
Entrance: There is an entrance fee

Health day at the Nature Museum

Lectures and workshops about holistic and natural medicine. 
Date: Sunday, August 12, 2012
Time: 5-8:30pm
Location: Nature Museum, 6 Mohliver St. German Colony
Entrance: Free!

Thursdays in the garden

Outside the nature museum there is a community garden, run by volunteers. Work in the garden starts from 4:00pm on Thursdays. Once every two weeks, the volunteers eat together. At 6:0pm, Yisrael Golan tells a “garden midrash”.

 

Festivals at the Malha Mall

Elmo Festival

Make a puppet theater for Elmo and friends, creative workshops, Elmo games, watch Sesame Street episodes (in Hebrew – Rehov SumSum)
Date: July 30, July 31, August 1, 2012
Time: 11:00am-2:00pm and 4:00pm-7:00pm 
Location: Malha Mall 02-679-1333
Entrance: Free!

Madagascar Festival

Circus workshop with plates and balls, circus hat workshop, makeup with a professional makeup artist, make circus animals out of paper, workshop on tight rope-walking and stilts.
Date: August 5,6,7, 2012
Time: 11:00am-2:00pm and 4:00pm to 7:00pm 
Location: Malha Mall 02-679-1333
Entrance: Free! 

Hello Kitty Festival
 
Bag-making workshop, jewelry workshop, makeup corner with a professional makeup artist, photo booth with Hello Kitty. Special performance of Hello Kitty with songs and dancing on Monday, August 12 at 5:30pm
Date
: August 12, 13, 14, 2012
Time: 11:00am-2:00pm and 4:00pm-7:00pm 
Location: Malha Mall  02-679-1333
Entrance: Free! 

Tom and Jerry Festival
Photo booth with your favorite characters, creative workshops, fun games for the whole family
Date
August 19, 20, 21, 2012
Time:
11:00am-2:00pm and 4:00pm-7:00pm 
Location:
Malha Mall  02-679-1333
Entrance: Free! 

Performances at Malha:
Saba Tuvia: Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 6:00pm 
Miki: Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 6:00pm
Yuval Hamebulbal: Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 6:00pm 
Dod Haim: Thursday, August 23, 2012 at 6:00pm 
Roi Boi: The Jungle Boy: Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 6:00pm

 

JELLY ice cream party
 

The goal of this party is to encourage kids to read at least 10 new books before the party. More info

Date: Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Time: 4-6pm. 
Entrance is free. Call AACI 02-561-7151 to RSVP
Location:  Gan HaShoshanim park (Pinsker St, Talbiyeh)

 Kite Flying Festival

Learn to make and fly a kite at the Israel Museum!

Date: August 27, 2012
Time: 10:30am-7:00pm kite workshops; 4:00pm-7:00pm Kite flying and a musical parade.
LocationIsrael Museum
Entrance:  30-40 NIS for kite workshops, otherwise entrance fee for kite flying is included in museum admission

Street Festival on Emek Refaim

The street will be closed to vehicles and will be filled with street artists, food stands, bands, and more.
Date: September 10, 2012
Time: TBA
Location: Emek Refaim, German Colony
Entrance: Free! 

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The future of Israel according to the Israeli Presidential Conference 2012

The Israeli Presidential Conference “Facing Tomorrow” is an annual conference run by Israel’s president, Shimon Peres, which brings together some of the biggest names in politics, technology, and… sex therapy. The conference discusses what the future holds for the world, and specifically for Israel. At the age of 89, you gotta give Peres credit for still having game and putting on a great show. As Tony Blair, who spoke at the conference, said “I did the the math and it seems you were a minister (of Knesset) before I was even born!” and as Dennis Ross said “In 20-30 years, many of us won’t be around anymore, but you Shimon, will definitely still be here!”.

I feel honored and privileged to be able to attend such an extraordinary conference that has the potential to inspire the world and bring the Jewish people together, and therefore hesitate writing anything negative since I know first-hand how hard it is to organize a large event. Having said that, I would like to give you a real sneak peek as to what it’s like to be at the conference and what the future has to offer, for better or for worse.

Here is a preview of how the future would look, based on my experiences at the Israeli presidential conference:

  1. Hot, messy, long lines: For those of you familiar with Israel’s line culture (which is to say, a long, rich history of being… culture-less), you may not be surprised that we were thrown into a hot mosh-pit of a registration area with no clear division of lines and little air-conditioning on a sweltering summer day, so we just picked a spot to stand and hoped for the best. Oh, how we pined for those ropes at the airport to restore order but the only remnant of airport life here was the tight security and the little scarves that the registration ladies wore. I guess I had my hopes high for an orderly line experience being that this is the conference about the future of Israel.

    Lesson learned: The future of Israel may not contain enough ropes.

  2. Free wine and fancy bite-sized snacks: I am pleased to announce that the future of Israel will be overfloweth with half-full glasses of red and white wine, as well as adorable and tasty hoers d’ouerves such as, but not limited to: breadsticks with salmon, toasted bread with eggplant drizzled with honey, and my favorite, a vanilla ice cream with a chocolatey treasure at the bottom.

    Lesson learned: I think once you have some wine in your system and some small treats in your belly, you can start to relax and fully appreciate the world and strive for peace. Or at least come to terms with the hot mess of a line you just had to stand in (see #1).

  3. Chaos and confusion: Once we arrived and enjoyed sipping our wine and nibbling on spinach something-or-other, we tried to get into the plenary session featuring Shimon Peres, Henry Kissinger, and Tony Blair.
    But alas, you must have a ticket to enter the plenary session. A ticket? Even though you already have a badge and enjoyed some wine and are clearly “in”? Yes, you must still have a green paper ticket to enter the hall. Waaaaaah. Although crying didn’t work, divine intervention did. My friend spotted someone whispering “tickets.. does anyone want a ticket?”. “DID YOU SAY TICKETS?! YES!!” she screamed, and so we whisked ourselves up the 5 flights of stairs to the nosebleed section and sat down just as it began.

    So you may be thinking, obviously when we came the next day, we knew to get tickets to all the plenaries and never go through the confusion again and live happily ever after. But no! We only got tickets for the morning plenary session and got an unclear answer of whether or not tickets were needed for the afternoon plenary session. SIGH.
    Lesson learned:
    The future will be confusing. And ticket-based.

  4. Women relegated to the back of the bus, again: The conference deals with many social and economic Israeli issues, such as the tent protests and how to create a greener Israel.  The conference could have dealt head-on with some major women’s issues in Israeli society such as women literally sitting in the back of the bus. And, at the conference itself, less than 10% of the speakers were women.  I met a women from the NCJW who told me that statistic, so I hope she’s right.
    Lesson learned: The future will tiptoe around women’s issues.
  5. Sex is still alive and well: You will have more energy as you age then ever before – just look at Shimon Peres, Henry Kissinger, and Dr. Ruth. Dr. Ruth, a psychosexual therapist, age 83, once again dazzled the crowd with her frank discussion on the importance of relationships, sex, and family life in the era of new media.  She also managed to use her sexual references to compare the early exit of Israeli startups to premature ejaculation. Only Dr. Ruth could get away with making that comment on a stage in front of thousands of people, including many dignitaries, such as Peres and Kissinger.

    Dr. Ruth – not afraid to speak her dirty mind. (Photo courtesy of the Israeli Presidential Conference)

  6. Ayaan Hirsi Ali will hopefully run the world: What an incredible woman. Author of “The Infidel“, Ayaan Hirsi Ali has had a crazy life. Born into a Muslim family in Somalia, her family moved to Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Kenya. From Kenya, she escaped to The Netherlands and eventually became a member of Parliament. She spoke out freely against Islam and while working on a documentary film, “Submission”, her friend and producer, Theo Van Gogh, was murdered. Since then, she’s had to live under security watch to protect her against the many Muslims who want to silence her.

    After reading her book and being her biggest fan, I was honored to see Ayaan in person, knowing the huge effort and security risks she must have taken to come to Israel. Ayaan was on the panel “The Strategic Look at Tomorrow” amidst American and Israeli Jews. However, I think that while the other members of the panel were trying to create checklists of what needs to be done to achieve peace in the Middle East, it was only Ayaan who really told it like it is. She said that there are 3 main values that must change before there is going to be peace in the Middle East:

    1. Muslims’ belief in governments with absolute authority
    2. To compromise in the Muslim world is to lose face
    3. All answers can be found in the Koran

    Ayaan said that until those fundamental beliefs change in the Muslim world, there might never be peace in the region. She is the only one willing to say that the Israelis and Palestinians have fundamentally different views of peace and what the region should look like. Here is a fitting analogy I came up with: If I say I’m fat, that’s ok, but if you tell me I’m fat, that is totally not ok. Because Ayaan was born Muslim, she feels like she can say anything she wants and is less afraid of offending Muslims. So, in the future, when you ask “Who run the world?” the answer should be Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

    Even her initials spell AHA! (Photo courtesy of the Israeli Presidential Conference)

  7. Direct access to the President of Israel and other highly esteemed people: Last year, I had the privilege of meeting Shimon Peres, Natan Sharansky and Jimmy Wales with a group of Israeli bloggers. This year I had the chance to again be in a private blogger session with Shimon Peres as well as Yossi Vardi and Peter Bainert.
    Lesson learned: The future holds the promise that ordinary people like me can have access to leaders of the country.
     

    What close proximity!(Photo courtesy of the Israeli Presidential Conference)

    At the 2011 conference, I got to meet Jimmy Wales!

  8. Film, literary, and musical artists will be personal and lovable: I went to a session that hosted Etgar Keret, a great short story writer, Joseph Cedar, producer of Oscar-nominated films Beaufort and Footnote, and Achinoam Nini, a phenomenal singer.  Each of these artists opened up about how they grew up with complex identities and how being Israeli is really special to them and definitely plays a role in what they create.  I loved how down-to-earth each of them was and how approachable, and lovable each of them was. And Achinoam surprised us by singing just before the session ended.

    Best panel ever! Love you Joseph Cedar and Etgar Keret and almost had the courage to take a photo with you.

  9. Lots of business casual attire: After 3 days of wearing business casual in Israel, which is a big deal considering the casual dress culture, I believe the future will require you to dress up and look nice. As for the present, I’m just glad the conference was only 3 days since I ran out of fancy things to wear!
  10. Major FOMO: As Deena and Miriam pointed out, this conference relies heavily on FOMO(fear of missing out) to entice people to come. And even once you’re at the conference, there is still major FOMO since you can only attend one of the 4 or 5 sessions happening simultaneously. Obviously you’re going to think you picked the wrong session and then feel left out when everyone else has inside jokes about it later. If you think FOMO is something made up, I assure you that it is not and a whole FOMO science complete with statistics is starting to develop. Needless to say, the future will be full of FOMO.

I know this was a long post, so high five if you read it all, but it was a really long event so it’s only fitting. Once again, thank you (you know who you are) for letting me attend this conference and giving me some major food for thought as well as for my belly. Whether or not there will be peace in the region is debatable, but at least there will be hope for another fancy conference next year!