The feel-good season in Israel is here and combined with the Passover holiday and supremely temperate weather, April is a surefire month of special events, including outdoor-loving festivals culture-rich happenings and more
In perfect timing with Passover this year, Israel will be hosting its first ever Flower Market. The event will celebrate Israel’s burgeoning floral landscapes and bring an incredible variety of plants to the Tel Aviv Port. The market will welcome gardeners from all over the country for a colorful exhibition of Israel’s most beautiful and scented florals. Across dozens of individual stands, expect an onslaught of roses, Lisianthus flowers, Inca lilies, wild flowers native to the Negev Desert and sunflowers from Azri’el amongst others. There will also be a range of scented herbs including chamomile and jasmine from the southern plains of Kfar Aviv. Since Passover is cause for celebration and gift-giving, there will also be flower ornaments, bouquets and potted plants of all shapes and sizes, along with booths selling gardening tools and quirky floral creations. For the DIY crowd, merchants will also be selling a range of different seeds and bulbs to customize your own garden patch, from orchids to citrus trees. Finally, professional gardeners and creators will be hosting workshops, craft stations and bouquet-making classes for all ages. As a joint initiative with the Tel Aviv Port and Hishtil nursery, the Flower Market will stand alongside the Tel Aviv Port’s famous farmers market. The agricultural industry is a serious Israeli pride, and visitors will also be able to find fresh fruits and vegetables amongst other Israeli delicacies, in timing with prepping for an incredible Passover family feast.
Apr 20-21, Hangar 12 Tel Aviv Port (shukhanamal.co.il/ 077-5493094)
Fresh Paint Fair
For the eight consecutive year, the Fresh Paint Art Fair is returning to the White City this April, with an even more exciting line up of contemporary artists. Visitors will be able to enjoy presentations from the country’s top galleries and museums including the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. There will also be a handful of independent artwork, part of a very special ‘Green House’ project. Every year the Fresh Paint Fair panel selects about 50 emerging artists to be part of the greenhouse exhibit, showcasing the best that the Israeli art community has to offer. Acting as a launching ground for up-and-coming Israeli artists the event is the perfect opportunity to scope out some original pieces.
Galleries will showcase special projects, an incubator for emerging artists, and the "Secret Postcard" − a sale of more than 1,000 unsigned postcard-sized works, with proceeds going to scholarship grants for deserving low-income students at the Tel Aviv Museum's Meyerhoff Center for Art Education. For the first time this year, the fair will host international artists from Japan, Romania, and Senegal, who will show their works alongside Israeli artists.
On Friday April 8, the fair will be hosting number of exciting workshops and activities for children, ranging from sculpting to street art installations. The activities will be organized by famous artists from various backgrounds, including the famous Israeli street artist Know Hope as well as Nivi Alory, an internationally acclaimed graduate of the Bezalel Academy and School of Visual Arts in New York. Amongst the various workshops, artist and graphic designer Lena Revenko invites you to delve into the world of fairy tales, myths and childhood memories to unleash your inner monster through magical and colorful art. The workshops and activities are an experiential art space for children of all ages to develop original thinking and put their imaginations to the test.
Apr 5-9, Tel Aviv Port, NIS 45 (freshpaint.co.il)
International Photography Festival
The intertwined themes of social, cultural and community provide the base of the International Photography Festival, uniting the public through snapshots of Israeli culture and history. The Israeli company Platform organizes the annual event, with the mission to promote Israeli photography through exhibits and panel discussions, provoking a close look into the reality of contemporary photography and art. Over 250 Israeli photographers and over 1,000 artists through more than 20 exhibitions can be expected. The Home Truth exhibition, featuring five contemporary British photographers’ work based on interpretations of Israeli culture gave life to the themes. This year will be no different, with exhibitions such as 'Frames of Reality', photographers’ documentation of Palestinians, and a variety of master classes for visitors to partake in. The historic locations of Jaffa Port and the Old City are apt to deliver the content with an inspirational backdrop that does justice to the cause.
Apr 23-May 7. Jaffa Port and the Old City, Jaffa (photographyfestival.co.il)
The International Gilboa Walk
The International Gilboa Walk will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this month, hosting its annual 2-day event near Mount Gilboa in the Valley of Israel, locally known as ‘Emek Israel’. Organized by the Israeli Sports for All Association in cooperation with the Gilboa Regional Council, the march is a definite crowd-pleaser as the temperate Spring weather does the landscape justice. Participants have a choice of three different paths: a kid-friendly 6km walk, the most popular 13km route, and a more intense ‘international route’ which will be equally distributed over both days, and concludes at a total of 40km. Medals and trophies will be awarded at various stations along the track. Every year over 15,000 people arrive from all around the world to Mount Gilboa for this picturesque walk. The march celebrates the harmonious connection between humans and nature in Israel, combining fields, valleys and mountain facades, and reflecting the multi faceted demographic of both the local population, and the international crowd that comes for the march. The event was first held in 1966, and what started as a local program has flourished into an internationally-acclaimed event with an increasingly diverse audience.
The walk will start and finish in the idyllic Ma-ayan Harod National Park located on the slopes of Mount Gilboa. Near the Harod Spring, participants can expect musical performances, workshops and food stands.
Apr 8 & 9, Ma-ayan Harod National Park, departure 6:30-10:00, NIS 30 per person, NIS 25 for groups over 20 (hagilboa.org.il)
The Jerusalem Arts Festival 2016
The Jerusalem Arts Festival is returning for its 15th consecutive year. With Jerusalem undergoing a constant cultural renaissance, the festival is highlighted as an essential platform for raw emerging talent and veteran talent alike. Growing each year, it is celebrated for supporting local artists and revitalizing Jerusalem’s cultural perspective. This year is ripe with special acts; in the opening show Living in a Film is set to kick-start the week of dance, theatre, music and visual arts, Amir Kolben’s choreography portrays a relationship between fantasy and reality at The Jerusalem Theater. The closing show will be equally inspiring: for one night only, the Bible Lands Museum will become a nightclub of all artistic disciplines, finishing with a musical performance by Bint El Funk, the Yemenite funk band. Promising a kaleidoscope of variety, the 40 events in-between should not be underestimated. Held at the Pavilion Theater, Alleyways of Jerusalem entails a ‘mosaic of characters, cultures, aromas and flavors’ from former Israeli President Yitzhak Navon’s life. In contrast, another one to watch is inspired by modern-day global effects; Regev Cohen and Gal Van Lirda put forward Different Steps/Blink, moments of dance and music, at the Gerard Behar Center. Can’t decide which tickets to buy? There are also a handful of free performances. From Divino Swing, a band combining American swing of the 1930’s and gypsy music developed in France last century, to classic jazz, klezmer, Israeli and Jewish music performed by Kleiman Band Jerusalem, there will be something for everyone.
Through April 5. Various locations in Jerusalem; for locations details, ticket prices and a full schedule visit the official website. (arts-festival.jerusalem.muni.il)
Good Deeds Day
The Israeli-born global movement ‘Good Deeds Day’ celebrates its 10th Anniversary this month. Born in 2007, the Good Deeds Day initiative began through the Ted Arison Family Foundation, and has now become a leading day of giving on an international scale. Today, over 70 different countries from all over the world take part in the project, with the number of volunteers reaching 930,000 last year. In the past, the event gained attention from various media outlets thanks to partnerships with large TV and radio platforms. This year, Israel will be hosting two projects for Good Deeds Day: donate your time to helping renovate Senior Homes in Sderot, or join in on the ‘Environment day’ at the Tel Aviv University. The activities include making recycled care packages for children and learning how to build an eco-garden. Good Deeds Day embraces the ideas that ‘every single person can do something good, be it large or small, to improve the life of others and positively change the world’.
Apr 10, Worldwide (gdd.goodnet.org)
Pecha Kucha Night
The recent success of Pecha Kucha events in Tel Aviv was evident in the 8,000 + attendees who showed up to Anat Safron’s ‘Showing ‘em How it’s Done in Tel Aviv’. It was the largest Pecha Kucha event in the world to date. This April, Pecha Kucha will be returning, and for the first time it will be hosted at Tel Aviv's Mann Auditorium. So what is Pecha Kucha anyway? In short, a format. ‘Some talk, some sing, some move, some move you’, and all stay loyal to the format. The format is simple; each artist/animator/photographer/graphic artist/thinker/doer/un-categorical individual has 6.40 seconds, yes seconds, to express themselves on stage. This non-negotiable concept is what makes up Pecha Kucha. Having originated in Japan, Pecha Kucha nights have reached global success, with events in London, New York and Paris and recent expansions to include events in Tehran, Beirut and Addis Ababa. Tickets will be online early for the first time, held at their new live site. Beware, they sell out fast.
Apr 17 and 18. 1 Huberman St, Tel Aviv (pechakuchatlv.bioserver.co.il)
- LaCulture Exhibition
With its high-speed growth and international successes, Israel's local art industry has become an elite playground, with impressive galleries and unforgiving price tags. Thankfully, La-Culture stands out amongst the crowd, breaking high-priced art stigmas – championing affordable, yet impressive art pieces – and making them available to the public. The initiative is simple: To host exhibitions and only expose young and promising artists, insuring an affordable price range. While enabling up-and-coming artists to gain viewership and sell some of their work, the La-Culture exhibitions also promotes the appreciation of emerging art and design to the greater public. The initiative was founded and developed in 2012 by Itay Blaish and Dar Rotem and has since become one of the 'can't miss' events for Israel's alternative artist crowd. The events also provide a welcoming environment for artists to meet one another and plan exciting collaborations, as well as bring together a crowd of people who have similar taste in the arts. For their next event, La-Culture partners with Gelada Studio for a 'Voyage' theme exhibition. The studio will have a special collection of printed shirts and illustrations at the ready, alongside some 60 local artists and designers exposing their work. Expect a variety of techniques and styles on display, from lettering to graphic design, embroidery to wood cuts, and more. The prices will not rise above NIS 500, and the profits go straight to the artists. With the gift-giving season of Passover around the corner, this is the perfect event if you're looking for original presents for the family.
Apr 14–16, Thu 18:00 – 23:00, Fri 11:00 – 17:00, Sat 11:00 – 21:00. 9 Maze St, Tel Avv. Free (facebook.com/LaLaCulture)
The Tel Aviv-Yafo Sea Festival
While we love admiring vast blue that is the Mediterranean, the sea will bear many more colors this month, as the White City welcomes the Tel Aviv-Yafo Sea Festival. The event will start in the marina, with over 600 children competing in the Israel Youth Sailing Championship. Other nautical activities will include kayaking, SUP and volleyball. We are especially excited for the Sail Tel Aviv Yacht Cup, when visitors will be able to witness dozens of yachts racing in an attempt to make it as contestants for the 2016 European Championships.
Apr 18 – 28, Tel Aviv Beaches, Tel Aviv Port & Marina (atarim.gov.il)
The Adi Foundation's annual celebration of flamenco this year includes a world premiere direct from the renowned festival in Juarez, Spain. The main performance in the three-day event is "Bailes de Jitanos" by the Antonio Molina El Choro group. Accompanying Molina, a prize-winning dancer, is Gema Moneo, a member of a family of Gypsy flamenco dancers from Juarez who participates in the singing as well as the dance. "Bailes de Jitanos" presents the culture of Andalusia – the rich and varied south-western European region – in all its musical styles.
April 7-9, Suzanne Dellal Center, Tel Aviv (suzannedellal.org.il)
Jerusalem’s Ice Skating Rink
Ice skating is definitely not top of mind when thinking of Jerusalem, but for those who have exhausted traipsing all the holy sites, museums, historic tours and religious grounds, and are just looking for sheer, carefree fun – ice skating at Cinema City’s rink is next up on the itinerary. Take advantage of the team of trainers on board available for first time skaters: For toddlers there are skating ‘seals’ so parents and kids can sit down comfortably and make the rounds, and for older children there are skating ‘penguins’, which prevent inevitable slips and falls. The 400 square meter ice rink doesn’t discriminate; from families to school groups and ice hockey teams, everybody is welcome. The rink can also be rented for private and corporate events.
Open through Apr 30. Sunday to Thursday from 15:00-23: 00, Friday from 10: 00-15: 00 and Saturday half an hour after the end of Shabbat until midnight. During the Passover holiday it will be open from 10: 00-23:00. NIS 40 (Adult) NIS 30 (Child), Cinema City, 10 Yitshak Rabin Blvd, Jerusalem. (cinema-city.co.il)
Zorba the Buddha Festival
The aim is to fall in love with life…again. For the 27th time, Desert Ashram is set for the return of the only festival of its kind: Zorba the Buddha Festival. Thirteen Worlds away from the average festival, the five days and nights comprise a variety of activities; from breathing workshops to jam sessions, each world caters to the goal of providing a spiritual journey. Last year’s Mindless World explored the relationships between children and their parents, the Healthy World included Superfoods and ‘Without Ritalin’, and the Therapy World taught relationship healing. Based on the visions of Osho, the spiritual philosopher and teacher from India, the thirteen worlds pause only to showcase the festival line up. Children can enjoy their own schedules with sessions such as ‘Magical Greeting Cards’ and ‘Colors and Feelings’ providing a taste of Osho-based ideas. This year during Passover, the festival aims to combine all the worlds into a spiritual experience of ‘healing and meeting amazing people’ while connecting with oneself and nature, for children and adults alike.
Apr 26-30. Desert Ashram. NIS 479 (Adult), NIS 240 (Children 3-12), Free (under 3) (zorba.co.il)
Tell Me, Is This Art? –100 Years of Dada
To mark 100th anniversary of the Dada art movement, the Janco-Dada Museum at Ein Hod is opening "Tell Me, Is This Art?" The exhibition offers a range of contemporary Israeli interpretations of Dada's avant-garde, often nonsensical elements. Twelve curators are invited to explore the movement by bringing in an artist or group of artists who, in their view, embody the principles of Dada over the years. At the opening, artist Gilad Kahana will employ eclectic music and improvisation as he wanders through the audience explaining the inexplicable.
April 30-June 6, Ein Hod (jancodada.co.il)
This hi-tech event will feature a wide range of techie endeavors; from bionic people to an airborne duel, there will be something for everyone. From amateurs to professionals, Geek Picnic encompasses both interactive and non-interactive exhibitions of many industries, including gaming, fashion and multi-industry tools. Included in the exhibitors will be Gemsense; which produces the button-sized computer called Amber, allowing users to experience active sensors, such as sword-simulation. Zeekit is another exhibitor; an image processing app offering users to visualize what an outfit would look like on them before buying it with a clever body-tracing feature. A technological summer camp called Big Idea will also be featured, emphasizing the importance for children to learn about technology in today’s world; workshops include gaming, robotics and non-technological activities such as surfing. Kosher and gluten-free food will be available.
Apr 25-27. Picnics are 9:00-14:30 and 16:00-22:00 daily. NIS 144 (standard Adult ticket). Sacher Park, Jerusalem. For further details including prices and packages see (geekpicnic.co.il)