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This week in Jerusalem

by michael July 10 2008
This week in JerusalemArtFilmFoodFor the kidsThings to do
Nothing improves a sculpture garden like the ol' coffin varnish

This week in Jerusalem? Well, it's like any other week in Jerusalem, save two major differences: the booze flows freer and the movies are less lowest-common-denominator. So pour out your 10-shekel Hebron Vineyards "wine" and spit symbolically in the direction of the cramped seats and terrible screens at the Rav Chen, because this week is all about the Jerusalem Wine Festival and the Jerusalem Film Festival.

  • The Film Festival starts today and lasts well into next week, ten whole days in which Jerusalem's cinemas give their screens over to the artsy, indie and well-regarded. Of course, Jerusalemite will be keeping you updated on the best of the Fest throughout the week, so stay tuned.
  • And since this week is devoted to appreciating the refined and sublime, you may as well kick it off tonight with that most refined and sublime of musics: jazz. Well-regarded Israeli jazz songstress Hagit Goldberg and her band are putting a bit of the devil in all those nice Mormon boys and girls at Brigham Young University - and like any great temptation, it's free.
  • If the blue notes and suspended ninths of jazz don't move you - if indeed your heart pulses to a more robotic sort of groove - don't fail to hie your cyborg self down to the Yellow Submarine for a night of electro by a deeply-stacked lineup of Jerusalem's finest electronic music artists.
  • On Friday morning, get a firsthand look at the oft-overlooked history of one of Jerusalem's most interesting neighborhoods: Mamilla. It's not just a ritzy mall and an empty luxury neighborhood - once, the wedge of city tucked between downtown and the Old City was a literal war zone. Find out more by joining up with the Tower of David Museum's tour group.
  • If you've got bored kids between the ages of 3 and 7 in need of entertainment on Saturday - and if there's anything reliable about kids between 3 and 7, it's their constant need for entertainment - see how they like The Marzipan Fairy, another puppet production from the Train Theater. Alternately, if you or your kids are kind of unnerved by the Train Theater's leering wooden puppets (and who could blame you?), take them to Beit Shmuel for a whole day of old-school Israeli arts, crafts and activities.
  • On Sunday Brigham Young University offers another tantalizingly free opportunity to see one of the acclaimed Arab classical musicians the Galilee keeps pumping out, in this case Nazareth piano prodigy Bishara Harouny.
  • Swing by the Israel Museum on Monday (or any other day during the month) to peruse a display of landscapes rendered entirely from recycled waste. On (recycled) paper, it's a children's event, but adults - especially the eco-conscious - should find plenty to appreciate.
  • The Wine Festival starts tapping the barrels on Tuesday evening (and runs through Thursday evening). 55 NIS gets you entry and a bottomless wine glass, with over thirty Israeli wineries clamoring for the opportunity to fill it for you. Let them. Sweet Lord, let them.
  • If you can get over that terrible red wine hangover you'll no doubt be nursing after you wake up facedown somewhere around the Wohl Rose Garden midday Wednesday, stumble over to the Bible Lands Museum to hear an English lecture delivered by the engaging Professor Wayne Horowitz of the Hebrew University. The subject? Cuneiform. It's supposed to be "exhilarating," which is asking a lot from inscrutable little triangles.

And all of you remember, oenophiles and undiscerning quaffers alike: drinking and driving anywhere is a bad idea. With Israeli drivers, it's suicide. So take a cab home, because we want to see you here next week.

Photo courtesy of Orly Segal Communications.
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