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Jerusalem gets free science lessons in pajamas

by ben March 17 2013
NewsCity planningPop cultureThings to doThis week in Jerusalem

Under the framework of the "Science to the People" initiative (official website in Hebrew only), a Ministry of Science, Technology and Space-managed series of fun events targeting everyday Israelis for National Science Day, plebes were recently invited to storm the ivory tower.

Last week's edu-tainment included a talk on science and art over coffee and cake at the Israel Museum, a Hebrew University campus pub presentation on economics, and a series of home lectures called "Professors in Slippers," which saw thought leaders giving over their musings on tactonic plate moments, the emotional experience, public transport and pension scheme sustainability.

And it was all for free. Check it out.

Video by Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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People from the fringes on display

by ben May 03 2009
PhotographyArtThings to doThis week in Jerusalem


Also known as the Musrara school, The Naggar School of Photography is beloved among Jerusalemites for its edgy cultural endeavors. The school's social issues-themed exhibition room is currently hosting All of Israel Are Friends, an appropriately provocative collection of photographs from 13 different artists, as curated by Daphna Ichilov, showing through June 26.

The exhibit opened back in February to much fanafare, which included experimental interactive elements for its first visitors. Check it out here:

The exhibit's moniker is a reference to the Hebrew name of France's Alliance Israélite Universelle, a Zionist organization founded in 1860, at a time when the Jews of Europe felst ike they were on the fringes of society and needed to band together. In contemporary Israel, we take it for granted that most Jews are not outsiders, although the images from this exhibit - which depict residents of development towns in the Negev, prostotutes, the handicapped and the elderly - make the argument that as a nation, we could use a bit more unity.

With Nir Barkat serving as Jerusalem's mayor, the city's many alternative arts institutions have been scheming for ways that they can band together and gain strength in the times of a culturally friendly administration - but, of course, such efforts should never be at the expense of the alternative arts cridibility that these organizations cling to so dearly. In this context, a walk through All of Israel Are Friends is all the more poignant: We're reminded that we ought to treat "the other" with kindness because we are all outsiders, and the reminder itself is being issued by an insitution that remains relevant by positioning itself as "the other."

Still more fringe art is showing this week with the Yellow Sumarine's show by New Yorker Ben Simon. Not interested in edgy visual statements? Prefer live jazz? Perhaps a community sing-along? Or a multimedia extravaganza? You won't be bored this week - check out our team's full cultural event calendar for Jerusalem, which is constantly being updated, over at our sister website,

Detail from Micha Kirshner's portrait of a foreign agricultural worker courtesy of The Naggar School of Photography, Media and New Music.

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What to do this Independence Day in Jerusalem....

by ben April 23 2009
HolidaysFor the kidsMusicThings to doThis week in Jerusalem

independence-jlmite-2304.jpgJust because this year's Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) celebrates 61 years of the Zionist state - as opposed to last year's number, which had the advantage of ending with a zero - doesn't mean the celebrations will be meager.

Jerusalemites in particular are known to bite into Yom Ha'atzmaut with remarkable levels of vigor. And this year is no exception. There's plenty going on in terms of celebrations in the city, with events to appeal to every age and taste. Celebrations in the city's main open plazas, complete with folk dancing, rock performances and fireworks? Themed dance parties at pubs and dance clubs? Barbecuing en masse? Check, check and check.

Our full roundup of the most noteworthy events going on in Jerusalem this week - from before the holiday, to during, to even after the holiday - can be found on our sister website,

But that's not all. The event calendar that can be seen on the right-hand side of every page of that site includes still more great events to check out - we're publishing event information there all week long.

And we're also gearing up for plenty more Independence Day coverage over there on the culture and tourism channel. Keep your eyes over there for upcoming 61-themed photospreads, fireworks schedules and more.

Happy Independence Day from everyone here at Jerusalemite.

Photo of an Independence Day-themed subversive photo project from 2008 courtesy of from Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

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Meir Ariel to be remembered at the Submarine some ten years later

by ben April 19 2009
Things to doMusicPop cultureThis week in Jerusalem


Jerusalem is made of many things. Most famously, it's made of gold, but here at Jerusalemite, we've written about a few other ingredients to the city (see the "Related" links below). Beloved, gloriously Jew-fro-ed Seventies singer-songwriter Meir Ariel (pictured), however, had a different vision of the city, writing his own "Jerusalem of Iron," as an iconic rebuttal to the Nami Shemer hit. Ariel's version was written from the perspective of a paratrooper who had actually liberated the Old City in 1967, rather than that of a state-sponsored songstress.

Ariel's catalogue, however, was far more varied than this tune might indicate. His career spanned three decades, coming to an abrupt end that ought to rank among the top strange rocker deaths of all time, when he died of a bacterial infection from a flea bite in 1999.

However, Ariel's work lives on - especially this week, and especially his Rishumei Pacham (Coal Sketches) album, which is being presented as a live concert tribute show by artists including Yossi Babliki, Albert Sofer and Ilan Bergbaum at the Yellow Submarine this Wednesday.

But that's not all that's going on over the next few days. You're hereby invited to check out our team's picks for the most exciting cultural and entertainment events in the city this week over at our sister website - and a full calendar, with new events being added all the time, can be viewed there as well.

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This week in Jerusalem

by michael December 11 2008
This week in JerusalemMusicThings to do

Rami Fortis

One of these men is a rock god

It's been a good week for Jerusalem. Sure, it's cold, but Hamshushalaim is in full swing, and in its wake have come 120,000 visitors, 90% occupancy in city hotels, and a 30% increase in weekly takings of restaurants and coffeeshops. The festivities continue this weekend, and as always, there's plenty of other stuff to do as well:

  • First of all, don't miss your opportunity for more Hamshushalaimery with special discounts and tours throughout the weekend.
  • Suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune with a modernist English-language performance of Hamlet tonight at the Jerusalem Theatre. 'Tis noble.
  • And in case Hamlet is too much of a downer, you can try your luck at an English performance of the theatrical adaptation of the Diary of Anne Frank at Beit Shmuel, also tonight.
  • Start the weekend off in style by listening to the Israeli Philharmonic saw through the classics on Friday morning.
  • Rocker Asaf Avidan and his boys the Mojos are stomping back into town to light the Yellow Submarine on fire Friday night.
  • Speaking of stomping back into town, dinosaur rocker Rami Fortis, pictured above, is doing just that on Saturday night, also at the Yellow Sub.
  • Or if you prefer your pop stars younger, try out David D'Or on Saturday night at the Ma'abada.
  • The Cinematheque's Jewish Film Festival kicks off Sunday for five whole days of celluloid neuroses. Don't miss it.
  • Sunday. Footie. TV. HaTaklit. Go.
  • You know who loves to sponsor underground, independent theater in Jerusalem? The Ma'abada. And you. Check it out on Monday.
  • A Hebrew University production of My Fair Lady on Tuesday? Yes, please.
  • You're not seeing enough homegrown Ethiopian theater. We can tell. Rectify that by catching the Holgab Troupe's latest on Wednesday.

Now go check out the rest of the week's events and get out there to have some fun. Keep moving, or you'll freeze.

Image courtesy of the Yellow Submarine.

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This week in Jerusalem

by michael December 04 2008
This week in JerusalemFor the kidsMusicThings to do

Red Band

Lock up your daughters: these puppets mean business.

It's winter, and there's a faint whiff of approaching holidays in the air, even here in Jerusalem...or maybe that's just the delicious, delicious smell of sufganiyot (Hanukkah donuts) in the morning. And it's also festival time. Hamshushalaim madness kicks into full swing this evening, and it's your best (and by that we mean cheapest) chance all year to take in dozens of Jerusalem museums, restaurants and cultural venues. So get to it:

  • First off, don't forget to check out our full Hamshushalaim listings (so far) to find out what you can expect in terms of discounts and special events this weekend. 
  • Tonight features the final performance of the International Oud Festival, specially marked down for Hamshushalaim.
  • March along with hometown brass band Marsh Dondurma from Mamilla to the Jaffa Gate - just like in New Orleans, except nobody had to die first.
  • Nurit Galron is a great name. And also a decent '70s Israeli rocker. Check her Saturday night at Beit Avi Chai.
  • Also at the Theatre Sunday is the Andalusian Orchestra, a collective of Jerusalem's finest Arab musicians.
  • You probably can't learn to be funny if you're not, but that won't stop Off the Wall Comedy maven David Kilimnick from trying to teach you on Monday.
  • Lucky you, you get another chance to see a thoughtful theatrical presentation of the prickly relationship between a white supremacist and his Jewish attorney on Monday when Skinhead returns to the Lab.
  • Dig Chick Corea? Then should enjoy Tal Babitsky, performing free Tuesday evening at the Yellow Sub.
  • The stage version of the Diary of Anne Frank is coming to Beit Shmuel on Wednesday - and it's in English too.

And, as always, don't feel limited by our picks. Check out the full listings for this week's events for yourself. Have a good one.

Image courtesy of Red Band.

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This week in Jerusalem

by michael November 27 2008
This week in JerusalemMusicThings to do

King David Hotel

Learn the secrets of the King David and other classics of Jerusalem British architecture

It may be time to bust out the cornucopias and raise a drumstick to Squanto (or...whatever) in America, but in Jerusalem, it's just another week. But don't let that stop you from making the most of it by hitting the town for an only-in-Jerusalem good time:

  • Gain insight into an inscrutable sector of Israeli society by viewing a documentary on Charedim (ultra-Orthodox Jews) at trendy gallery Barbur tonight.
  • Everybody loves an indie German techno DJ - especially those groovy Jerusalem secular twentysomethings. Catch Glitterbug at new club BASS tomorrow evening.
  • It's Mozart time at the Targ on Saturday morning. If you like classical, don't miss out.
  • Nikolai Gogol's Marriage is running once again at the Khan; catch it Sunday evening.
  • Free jazz at the Yellow Sub on Tuesday night. Not free jazz as in Ornette, free jazz as in o-nay ough-day, dad.
  • Wrap yourself in the warm embrace of the Anglo community and the Jewish people's beloved humor-about-nothing with a Wednesday night Seinfeld marathon at the Merkaz.

Not enough for you? Fine! Go check out the rest of the week's events! See if we care!

Image courtesy of EagleXDV from Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

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This week in Jerusalem

by michael November 20 2008
This week in JerusalemArtFor the kidsThings to do


Maybe they add up to one Coltrane

November is a good time to be a Jerusalemite. While much of the rest of the world twists futilely in the grip of inexorable winter, we're enjoying sunny, room-temperature days and nights just the perfect temperature for a having a warm drink at the café while wearing your favorite sweater. In another month, of course, it's going to be a different, much wetter story, so get out there now to enjoy the best of this week in Jerusalem:

  • Are you old enough to fondly remember blue-and-white tin JNF pushkes and first hearing the strange sounds of non-Ashkenazi Hebrew? Man, has the Jerusalem Theatre got a nostalgic sing-along for you.
  • Friday is, as it always should be, all about the ladies. First, check out the opening of an exhibition devoted to up-and-coming distaff Israel painters at Barbur.
  • Eat your hearts out, Cannonball and Coltrane: a whole jazz saxophone quartet (soprano, alto, tenor and baritone) is playing on Saturday outside the city at Latrun.
  • Jerusalemites are essentially split into two camps: people who enjoy the oeuvre of Shlomo Carlebach, and people who hate those people with a white-hot passion. If you fall into the former group, there are multiple performances on Saturday night in honor of the controversial singer/rabbi's recent yahrtzeit.
  • Federico Lorca may be dead and gone, but you can still enjoy his provocatively titled play Blood Wedding Sunday evening at the Nissan Nativ Studio in Talpiot.
  • Jerusalem rock outfit Malachei is covering Jimi Hendrix Monday night at Stardust, always a dicey proposition. If things go well, though, this is a rare chance to see some guitar heroics in the Holy City.
  • Black theater meets a timely rip-off of Finding Nemo Wednesday at the Jerusalem Theatre with Caspion, a kid's play about a little fish that could.
  • As if handicrafts weren't folksy enough, Reshimu is combining them with granola Judaism and girl power with their weekly Wedneday workshops.

And there's more. There's always more. Check out the listings for the whole week, and please have some fun out there.

Image courtesy of Otzar Tarbut.

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This week in Jerusalem

by michael November 13 2008
This week in JerusalemArtFor the kidsMusicThings to do
Machane Yehuda produce
Unlock the culinary secrets of Machane Yehuda this week in Jerusalem

It's the first week of a new Jerusalem. Or at least a different Jerusalem. Well, provided outgoing mayor Lupolianski doesn't cap off his useless term by seizing total control of the city and devoting 100% of the municipal budget to his twin initiatives of delaying the light rail and making his beard wispier. Hey, you can't rule anything out. But assuming the transfer of power goes well, this is a good week to make a toast to the fading reign of Mr. Lupolianski, and as always, Jerusalemite has plenty ideas of how to go about it:

  • Jerusalem has some of the world's greatest food. Learn about (and sample) the many foods Jerusalemites love, including the offalicious meorav yerushalmi, as you follow Beit Shmuel through Machane Yehuda today.
  • And tonight is your chanceto catch some rare English-language Jerusalem theater with After Eden at the Merkaz.
  • Is there any better place to see a 18-piece choral ensemble specializing in Jewish and Israeli music than at the the Tower of David? Dunno. Ask the Jerusalem Cameri Choir tomorrow.
  • Jerusalem is an orthodox city no matter what religion you follow, but if you happen to be a Conservative Jew, don't feel alone and uneducated: English-language Conservative Torah study starts up tomorrow.
  • This Saturday tour is not optional, even if you observe Shabbat, keep kosher or don't speak Hebrew. Beit Shmuel is taking a group of gourmands to the hummus restaurants of east Jerusalem and the Old City, and all that wonderful, historic hummus is worth the eternal punishment for any transgression.
  • Everybody in Israel loves rock ensemble Beit Habubot (except those guys who think music is a sin). Hop on the bandwagon Saturday night at the Yellow Submarine.
  • As if Jews and Arabs don't got enough beef, in The Return to Haifa, a Jewish family and an Arab family tussle over an adopted child in the post-War of Independence era. Catch it Sunday at the Jerusalem Theatre.
  • Sunday is also your last chance to catch Shakespeare's Henry V in English at the Ma'abada.
  • Don't you wish your children cared at all about music that didn't sound like the pitiful dying screech of the last of an endangered species? Try to introduce them to some classical music with Speak to Me in Sound at the Jerusalem Theatre on Tuesday.
  • How can Jerusalem sustain multiple Dixieland bands? Gain some insight, maybe, by seeing the New Orleans Function Tuesday at the Yellow Sub.
  • How's your Jewish identity lately? If you don't know the answer, consider attending the first in a series of English lectures on the subject at the Shalom Hartman Institute on Wednesday.
And remember, you can always check the whole week's listings in our Events section. Have a good week in this new Jerusalem.

Image courtesy of Beit Shmuel.
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This week in Jerusalem

by michael November 06 2008
This week in JerusalemMusicThings to do

The art of Avi Sabah
Unless the afterlife is absolutely not what it's cracked up to be, it does appear that the cosmic order survived this week's elections in America, contrary to all expectation. So Jerusalemites everywhere have cause to celebrate - at least until their own firmament-shattering elections, coming up in but a few days. But hey, the coming end of Uri Lupolianski's reign of inefficiency is also cause to celebrate. At Jerusalemite, we'll celebrate just about anything, the best way we know how:
  • Pop group Shotei HaNevuah may have broken up, but their frontman forges boldly ahead, while still sounding exactly the same. Catch Avraham Tal at the Yellow Submarine tonight. 
  • Chanteuse Yael Badihi is hosting another musical party/luncheon Friday at her Nataf home, this time all about the poetry and life of the famous Rachel.
  • If you're curious about delving deeper into Jesus' final day than the Via Dolorosa, meet up with Beit Shmuel for a Jesus in Jerusalem tour ranging from the Kidron Valley to Mount Zion. 
  • Want to inculcate your children with hyper-nationalist values using only puppets and poetry? Check out the Train Theater's puppet show version of the poetry of Hayyim Nahman Bialik on Saturday.
  • Beatniks take over Saturday night with a night of "ecstatic avant-jazz poetry" at Yakar. Hey beardie, your lunch appears to be naked.
  • Want to be a pop star? Well, you're in the wrong place. But you can still shoot for fleeting local fame at the Mike's Place open mic night on Monday.
  • Tuesday is votin' day. After you choose Jerusalem's next mayor, quiet your lingering doubts with the sweet sounds of jazz at the Yellow Sub, finally back after a holiday hiatus.
  • On Wednesday, the battle will be over. Relive a far more stirring conflict with Henry V at the Ma'abada.
See you next week, if the city's still standing. Don't forget to vote, and don't forget to check out our full listing of this week's events...
Image courtesy of the Jerusalem Artists House.
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