Time Out interviews...

Time Out speaks to the biggest international names and emerging local talent here in Israel

Comedy, dance & theater interviews

'Moment of Silence': an interview with Amir Kolben, choreographer
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'Moment of Silence': an interview with Amir Kolben, choreographer

  With the recent 'nudity scandal' fresh in the minds of Israel festival goers, we sat down with choreographer Amir Kolben of the Kolben Dance Company to discuss his new piece "Silence," which touches on nudity, as well as other pertinent political and personal issues.     What can you tell us about the "nudity scandal" surrounding this year's Israel festival?   The Israeli Culture Minister [Miri Regev] announced that she would not support nudity in productions, and would therefore reduce the funding that the ministry gives to the festival. It was her warning message to all of us Israeli choreographers, theater producers, and directors.   How did this issue come to the surface? And why now?   I honestly don’t even know how it happened. People make a huge effort to publicize these events, so when a person comes to these shows that contain nudity, they are not faced with anything unexpected. Why has it become an issue all of a sudden? That’s a different question because I don’t think it has anything to do with the practice of nudity on stage. Actually, it has everything to do with politics as a social issue. I do believe that people who don’t want to meet nudity on stage are allowed this right. We have to respect them by giving all the relevant information beforehand. This is our responsibility. It isn’t up to the minister to decided what content she supports and what she doesn’t. That’s another issue, it's a political issue that has to do with the general battle over

Jim Gaffigan: "Bacon may be the answer to peace in the Middle East"
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Jim Gaffigan: "Bacon may be the answer to peace in the Middle East"

Why? Sadly, due to his wife's illness, Jim Gaffigan has decided to cancel his Tel Aviv show along with his entire tour. He did promise to try and come back as soon as possible though. We wish him and his wife all the best. Last month, we had the pleasure of interviewing the comedian...to stay in good spirits here are the results:   Jim Gaffigan, the man who gave hot pockets their fame, has booked a flight to Israel as a part of his ‘Fully Dressed’ world tour this June. The American comedian finds his inspiration in food, fatherhood, Netflix, and well, food. We picked the brains of a true bacon believer about his exercise regiments, Israeli food preferences, children and preferred prison posse (hopefully these last two are not synonymous).   courtesy of TV Land   Is this your first visit to Israel?   Jim Gaffigan: No, I was there in 2010. I’m excited to head back.   Are you worried about the lack of bacon in the Middle East? Jim Gaffigan: Oh that is everyone’s concern. No, actually last time I was in Israel I had some bacon that was quite good at some Scottish Hotel. Bacon may be the answer to peace in the Middle East.   Have you looked into border laws on bringing bacon in your carry-on? Jim Gaffigan: Of course! That was the first thing I did.   What is your favorite exercise regiment and why? Jim Gaffigan: Watching Netflix, that way I can wake up exhausted.   Are you bringing your children to Israel? Or is there not enough sunscreen in the Universe (a

Honoring tradition: an interview with choreographer Jessica Lang
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Honoring tradition: an interview with choreographer Jessica Lang

The New York-based company dedicated to creating and performing the works of Julliard-trained choreographer Jessica Lang will immerse Israeli audiences in the beauty of movement and music this April. The revolutionary choreographer seamlessly transforms classical ballet into artful craft, taking audiences on an emotional journey through Bach, Ciupinski, Beethoven and more. Time Out got to know the woman behind the company and her role as a choreographer in the dance community.   Who is your greatest influence as a choreographer?    The world around me influences my choreography. I am inspired by my company dancers and all they can express and say through the movement and images I make. American choreographer Mark Morris also inspires me to be better at my art and I am inspired by who he is, how he makes a difference in our field and in the communities where his company visits as well as locally in Brooklyn.   What is the performance you are most proud of?    There are many special performances that make me proud. I can't pick one. The perfect performance doesn't exist, but there are moments that make me stop and say, "I achieved something with this work. The process was good, the collaborators were great and the performance was what I had hoped for." But, I am also proud of every performance - we are living our mission to immerse audiences in the beauty of movement and music and any time we do that I am proud.   Where do you find your inspiration?   The inspirati

Local comedian Yossi Tarablus shares insight on Brian Regan's upcoming 'Comedy for Koby' Israel tour
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Local comedian Yossi Tarablus shares insight on Brian Regan's upcoming 'Comedy for Koby' Israel tour

With Comedy for Koby heading on its Israel tour yet again, this time featuring the hilarious American comedian, Brian Regan, we thought we'd head to the local stand-up community and ask a veteran Israeli comic his reactions to the rising international influx. Here's what comedian Yossi Tarablus had to say:     Who are your favorite international comedians? Chris Rock, Louis CK , Dave Attel, Jim Gaffigan, and Regan of course.   Tell me a joke... I recently got a very high electricity bill, so I'm teaching my kids to read Braille.    How would you describe the local comedy scene in Israel? We have four comedy clubs in Israel that function during the weekends and most of the week – three in Tel Aviv and one in Jerusalem. We have many comedy nights scattered all over the country and recently in the last four years, we have introduced English comedy nights as well. The scene is evolving rapidly and today, you are able to perform in English almost every day.   My home club is the Z0A comedy bar. I think it's the best place to perform in the country and I have been performing there for the last 10 years. We have very good comedians in this country and I think that the fact that a lot of them are doing very well in their English acts as well just goes to show you how funny they are. We have a lot of original thinkers and comedians who are very avant-garde like Lioz Shem Tov and Daniel Chen, pushing stand-up beyond the known boundaries.    Have you performed abroad as we

Vanity mirror: an interview with Stefano Poda, opera director
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Vanity mirror: an interview with Stefano Poda, opera director

Stefano Poda conquers direction, choreography, set, lighting & costume design when translating his operatic interpretations to the stage. The Italian virtuoso has already mastered Wagner, Puccini and Verdi worldwide, and now, he's finally pairing up with the Israeli Opera for a special coproduction of Goethe's Faust. We went backstage with the man behind the magic to find out more about the dramatic performance on stage this month.     © PR       From Andrea Chenierin Seoul to Othello in Budapest, you're quite well-traveled. Do you have a favorite place in which you have directed? Not at all. It’s like being a mother. Your last child is always your favorite. In Opera, your very last creature is the one you love the most.   Have you directed in Israel before? This is my first time here and I already feel a beautiful energy.     Do you play any instruments? I'm not a musician, but have listened to music my whole life. The Magic Flute was my lullaby. I believe that music is the soul of a person. There can be no body without a soul, so my relationship with the conductor is vital.   And how was working with conductor Dan Ettinger? Incredible. Our chemistry was good from the moment we met. I am uniquely responsible for taking five individual aspects (direction, choreography, aesthetics, lighting & costume design) and creating a synthesis in the final product. Dan immediately understood this cohesion and translated it to his music.        

Artist interviews

"For the love of matkot" : an interview with Amnon "The King" Nissim
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"For the love of matkot" : an interview with Amnon "The King" Nissim

Yoni Cohen sits down with Amnon “The King” Nissim, owner of Israel’s only museum dedicated to the unofficial national sport.   Tucked away in an old apartment in Tel Aviv’s picturesque Neve Tzedek neighborhood lies one of Israel’s more offbeat museums. The apartment belongs to 72-year-old Amnon Nissim, and the museum is dedicated to Israel’s unofficial national sport of matkot. Amnon, who has been playing the paddle ball game since the age of six, decided to turn his home into a mecca for all things matkot after a fateful meeting fifteen years ago with Morris Zadok, a sports shop owner who is just as crazy about the game as he is. Morris was impressed with Amnon’s matkot collection, and together they decided to open what was then a “matkot palace" where people would dedicate all sorts of matkot paraphernalia. Over the years the collection has grown and the museum now contains hundreds of paddles, each with their own unique story that Amnon is more than happy to tell.   © Ido Biran   Amnon, what is about matkot that you like so much?   Matkot is a game that brings people together. When I play, I’m playing with that person, not against them. If there is a good game then both players enjoy it. It’s not like tennis where one wins and one loses.   Where is your favorite place to play matkot?   Under the hotels at Gordon beach. It’s where the best players in the country some to play. The mayor of Tel Aviv even gave us a designated area to play there. He really like

Child’s Play: an interview with NUNUNU's dynamic duo, Iris and Tali
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Child’s Play: an interview with NUNUNU's dynamic duo, Iris and Tali

We had a chit-chat with Israeli designers, Iris and Tali, the dynamic duo behind cult, fan favorite children’s brand NUNUNU. They built their unisex line from the ground up and consistently make their way into the closets of mini celebs with last names like Kardashian, Affleck and Kutcher. Here’s a look at their latest Fall-Winter 2017 collection and what’s behind their cool-kid aesthetic    How many kids do you have?   Iris: Two kids, Omer (12.5) and Rommy(10) Tali: Max (9.5) and Uma (6.5)    How did you meet and create a partnership?   “We actually met through a mutual friend of ours, Israeli director -  Guy Sagy. We were both at a point in life that we knew it was time for a change (Iris was a fashion stylist and Tali was an art director at an advertising agency). Guy had insisted that we meet, as he knew we both had some ideas regarding kids fashion.”    © Yaniv Edry Why did you start NUNUNU and why?   "When we met, we knew one thing -  that we wanted to do something in the children's fashion world, but were not quite sure exactly what. We thought that there was a gap between our world of aesthetics - which is very minimal and clean - and what was offered out there in stores and we had the beginning of an idea of creating something that would fill that gap. But it took us some time to nail it. For almost one year, we developed it, put it under a magnifying glass and discussed almost every possible aspect in creating this idea. At this point, NUNUNU (whic

Artists, unite! An interview with Guy Moses on his Moses Project
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Artists, unite! An interview with Guy Moses on his Moses Project

Uber-creative local music producer, Guy Moses, is making magic by unifying Israel’s artistic community in a large-scale project combining musicians, performers and stage crafts in an all-encompassing performance to engage all your senses    Introduce us to the Moses Project:   I am a musician. I have played guitar since I was a child and, in recent years, have been in production. I really love working with other artists, and have been collaborating with many Israeli artists in the studio. I understood that the music I was making was asking for visual representation. I realized I wanted it to be more than just music on stage, but a universe that we create around us. The music is like a play, it tells the emotional and dynamic story. Then I think of what other elements can enhance the music. The songs are all very different, and contribute to creating a magical world.    Sing us a song:   Each song is an exposition, a process that results in an explosion. My songs focus on a certain feeling, flaw or conflict. A sort of vulnerability. I deal with perfection a lot; what is it in mine/your/the collective’s definition? Is a flaw a part of perfection? Is perfection something that we can give an identity to?    Tell us a tale:   I have so many stories. Something unique about the Moses Project is that we have two drummers, both spectacular at what they do. They are both good friends of mine and so talented, so I put their sounds together. It is amazing watching the dynamic

Genius of 'Genesis': an interview with Michel Platnic, artist of the newest exhibition at Gordon Gallery
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Genius of 'Genesis': an interview with Michel Platnic, artist of the newest exhibition at Gordon Gallery

Another month, another fantastic international exhibition at the New Gordon Gallery. We asked Michel Platnic, the electrical-engineer-turned-artist, about his truly special multimedia project entitled ‘Genesis.'   Where are you from? I was born in France, I moved to Israel in 1998 and I have been living mostly in Berlin for the last 3 years.   Is this your first project with Gordon Gallery? No, I have been working with Gordon Gallery for 4 years already. My last solo exhibition was 3 years ago, just before I left for Berlin.   How did the transition from electrical engineer to artist come to be? I worked in high-tech as an engineer both in France and Israel. While I loved my job, something was missing. I needed to fully believe in what I was doing, and this was not the case. When I moved to Israel, the idea that I need to live in the present, as fully as I can, became stronger. I wanted to live by the ‘regret nothing’ mentality. I explored many fields almost daily from dancing to acting, performance, and sculpture. The more I studied and explored, the more I was attracted to art. It took me 7 years from the moment I started my journey to the moment I completely stopped working in high-tech, but it was worth it.   Did you find any common threads between the two avocations? Planning how to construct what was inside my imagination as well as working with people are abilities I rely on nearly everyday when creating my art…these were skills I developed when working in

Music interviews

Flying above the radar: an interview with Noga Erez
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Flying above the radar: an interview with Noga Erez

After the release of her much-anticipated album Off The Radar, we caught up with Israeli electronic musician, Noga Erez, as she finishes up her Eurotour.   Growing up in Caesarea from the age of six, Noga Erez never sported rose-colored glasses for the White City.   "Sure, it was there. But I wasn't aware of Tel Aviv's crazy culture nor its massive potential," Erez confesses.   It was only when she moved to the "big city" at 18 that Erez truly comprehended just how much Tel Aviv could influence her as a person and inspire her as an artist.   "All of a sudden, I was surrounded by musicians who made music all day long," said Erez, who realized in those initial moments that she needed to be a part of this newly discovered music community, no matter how crazy and impossible the journey might be.   © Tonje Thilesen Inspired by the musical nature of her home, her interest in various instruments, and the rich Tel Aviv music scene, Erez quickly developed an “indescribable sound, far away from words.” Following the discovery of electronic producer, Flying Lotus, whose deep jazz influence encouraged Erez to carry over from the jazz world to the electronic world, she dove right in with rhythmically driven singles and bizarrely beautiful videos to match—all laced with poignant underlying themes, both personal and political.   With the creative help of partner Ori Rousso, their beat-driven singles like "Pity" and "Dance While You Shoot" evolved into an "unintentional albu

Retracing her roots: an interview with AvevA, Ethiopian-Israeli singer
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Retracing her roots: an interview with AvevA, Ethiopian-Israeli singer

While Israel has a huge pool of musical talent, once in a while, a truly unique voice comes along that needs to be heard by everyone. Ethio-Israeli singer-songwriter AvevA Dese is that voice. She brings her own cultural flare to the table with her "Afro-Soul" style: a mix of powerful texts (in both English and Amharic) and traditional Ethiopian sounds.   Back from her North America tour, we sat down to ask AvevA a few questions.   How old were you when you first started singing & songwriting? I’ve loved singing since I can remember, but the writing came a little after, around the age of 14.The first time I sang in front of people on stage was when I was 12 years old.   Do you play any other instruments? I play the guitar. It’s the instrument I use when composing my songs.   Did you always know you wanted to be a singer? Yes. I always wanted to be a singer, but I didn’t believe it could happen until today.   What genre of music did you listen to growing up? I used to listen to a lot of soul music and R&B. Those were my favorites at the time.   Is anyone else in your family musical? No one in my close family is, but my aunt and uncle both used to sing in Ethiopia.   Tell me a little about your Ethiopian roots. My parents made Aliyah during the famine of 1984, after being airlifted to Israel as a part of Operation Moses. Their journey began with a long 3-week trek all the way from Ethiopia to a refugee camp in Sudan. © Harel Dahari       Who are you

Go Gogol-Bordello! – an interview with frontman Eugene Hütz
Music

Go Gogol-Bordello! – an interview with frontman Eugene Hütz

“Anybody can write when they have inspiration, but can you deliver the craft when you have no inspiration?” Eugene Hütz asks me over the phone from New York City. Cut through the troubadour’s thick, jangly accent and loose-lipped swear-a-thon, and it’s clear that the Gogol Bordello frontman has found a new path. Though the band’s last few years have been spent touring the world - “everywhere and anywhere at the same time” - Hütz believes they’ve defied gravity and come out the other side ready for more. Their funkified plump beat sounds like the dancing glow of a million desert festival bonfires, and with two upcoming shows in June, Hütz talks to us about their new multi-ethnic album.  Where are you at the moment?  I’m in New York City, where I live. I was in Brazil for almost seven years, but I moved back here a year ago. I just had to get more “New York sh*t” done. [Laughs] Enlighten me…what is “New York sh*t?”  The sh*t that you can do only in New York. I love Brazil, that will never go away, but once I moved here I found a lot of understanding and resonance. I was not a downright outcast; I became an outcast with potential. It’s a place that allows good ideas to flourish. I realize that the city needs us.  This month you’ll be performing in Israel not once, but twice. Is it because of the amount of fans you have here? We do have a strong grassroots following. So many years of touring has helped the band click with audiences easier. Tel Aviv sort of reminds me of my

Bringin' home the blues: an interview with Yamit Hagar, founder of the Tel Aviv Blues Festival
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Bringin' home the blues: an interview with Yamit Hagar, founder of the Tel Aviv Blues Festival

40 performances, 20 clubs, 2 days, 1 woman’s dream.   After just two short years, the Tel Aviv Blues Festival will kick off the New Year with its 4th edition, as Yamit Hagar satisfies our ABCs: acoustic blues cravings. Find out what drove the computer-geek-turned-blues-enthusiast to become the musical mastermind behind Israel’s one and only blues festival. © Ronen Goldman   What inspired you to start this project?   It began in 2012, when I invited Robert Belfour to perform at Barby. One thousand people came and another thousand wanted to, but we were sold out, so we had another show. It kept on growing from there.   You mentioned Barby…do all the shows happen there?   Not at all. We have shows in gardens, cafés, cinemas, houses, and clubs like Bar Giyora, Mike’s Place, Hoodna, Bascula…scattered all across Tel Aviv.   How did you get into the blues?   I was working in computers for eighteen years, then I heard Mississippi Fred McDowell on the radio and for that whole weekend, I was hooked. By Sunday, it was obvious what I had to do. I changed my career path right then and there.   And do you play any instruments?   Nope, not one.   Is this something you’d pursue someday?   I don’t think so. So many people are playing the ‘right’ stuff. I wouldn’t want to interfere.   So it’s more about promoting blues in Israel than playing it?   And enjoying it.   That’s a must. And how about the festival planning process? Any challenges?   We’re tryin

'In Jazz we trust': an interview with Darius Brubeck
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'In Jazz we trust': an interview with Darius Brubeck

Some know Dave Brubeck as a jazz revolutionary; others praise him for making 5/4 time signatures cool; I know him as the man whose anthology I slept beside from the fourth grade onward; but to Darius Brubeck, he's simply "Dad."   "I'm old enough that I can remember a time when my father wasn't a world famous jazz musician," Darius says.   As the oldest of the Brubeck bunch, Darius followed in his father's footsteps, formally taking up piano around the age of six. "But that's almost arbitrary. If you can understand the environment I grew up in – my grandmother and father both piano players – then you can understand that naturally it was what you did, you played piano."   Surprisingly, music was never forced upon Darius. "My dad may even have been a little too laissez-faire," Darius chuckles.   © PR   Darius attributes much of his early career path to music appreciation. His parents, Dave & Iola, were both devoted symphonic listeners. "I fondly remember my parents, and therefore myself, listening repeatedly to Bartok's string quartet. And when we were old enough, they'd take me and my siblings to concerts...I was exposed to a lot over a very influential period in America."   Concert outings weren't the only family 'activities' the Brubecks partook in. Darius (piano) and his brothers Chris (bass and trombone) and Dan (drums) have been collaborating musically since high school. To this day, they take their parallel project "Brubecks Play Brubeck" on tour

Jacob Collier: "Stevie Wonder is my ultimate musical crush"
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Jacob Collier: "Stevie Wonder is my ultimate musical crush"

Not only is he a YouTube sensation, two-time Grammy award winner, multi-instrumentalist, jazz theory & harmony wizard, and all around musical genius, but he’s only 22-years-old. With Jacob Collier’s unique one-man show coming to The Barby in Tel Aviv next week, we spoke with the British superhero about his “orchestral, energetic bundle of eclectic musical joy.”   What was the first instrument you ever picked up? Well, I didn’t have many lessons as a kid – only singing, so I sang first and then all the other instruments just fell into place. I was such an adventurous kid and I loved to explore all these different sounds. Music is like cooking for me: you mix the ingredients together in one big pan and see how they end up. Through experimenting, you find what you really like and stick with it.   What style of singing were you taught? I had classical singing lessons, which was really fantastic because it gave me a solid technical foundation to approach all the other genres later on like jazz and funk. But then again, I was also listening to a ton of Stevie Wonder and Bobby McFerrin at the time, so the two came together in my head.   What was your mother’s role (as a classical violinist) in your musical upbringing? My mother was this force of nature when it came to both communication with people and the whole of learning music. She’s a champion. Still to this day, she challenges me. Whenever we play together, there’s this immensely special thing that happens. I’m blessed

Get in character with...

Get in character with Ron Yosef, Orthodox Gay Activist
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Get in character with Ron Yosef, Orthodox Gay Activist

This month, in-line with Pride, we got in character with Netanya-based, 42-year-old Israeli, Ron Yosef, who reconciled his homosexuality at the age of 18 and has stood up for gay rights in Orthodox Judaism ever since.  How did you grow up?     I grew up in a very traditional, religious family from a young age, but I studied in a secular school. I would go to synagogue on Fridays and Saturdays.    At what age did you come out?   After my army service, in a lengthy process that took several years. My initial realization was at the age of 18, but it took me a long time until I agreed to accept myself. I publicly came out of the closet in 2009, in an interview with the Israeli television program Uvda (“Fact” in Hebrew), the leading investigative and current affairs program on Israeli TV.   What kind of Judaism do you currently practice?   I am associated with the Orthodox stream. I never decided to be a rabbi, for most of the years I have tried to avoid it, because at first it seemed impossible to combine Judaism with homosexuality. Only after long years of study and deep understanding did I realize that it could fit in and connect. It is necessary to acknowledge that homosexuality is not a sin.   How do you personally combine religion and being homosexual?   According to the Torah, the prohibition is of anal relations between two men. The Torah and Jewish law do not prohibit homosexuality as a tendency or identity. It is impossible to say a homosexual person is

Get in character: Ivri Lider
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Get in character: Ivri Lider

Ivri Lider: musician & composer   One of the biggest-selling contemporary musicians in Israeli music and a judge on the Israeli version of The X Factor, 42-year old Ivri Lider is a multi-tasking composer, singer and producer who has been rocking Israeli radio stations for almost two decades. His constant slew of innovative musical collaborations and evolving sound keep him at the top of the charts.  © PR   Who is your greatest musical inspiration? That’s a very hard question to answer. I’ve been playing and writing such different styles of music over these past years and in each one I had artists that were huge inspirations on me. From Bach to Keith Jarrett to Brian Eno. My latest inspiration is the super talented Ofer Meiri, who I wrote and produced my new album with.  Crazy moment from The X Factor?  A show like The X Factor is full of funny, exciting moments. Every time there is a special character (like Benny from season 2) and it’s always interesting and fun. Of course, when you come across a huge talent, it’s very exciting because this is what it’s all about. © Ronen Akerman   What do you do when you’re not making music?  Photography and sports. I am either taking or editing pictures or cycling, swimming or running because I do triathlons.Working alone vs. music collaborations...  All my life I have been a solo artist and at its core it can be a lonely place. Having said that, it’s great when you find another artist you can connect with and feel com

Get in character with Sigal Avin
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Get in character with Sigal Avin

Sigal Avin, screenwriter & director Featured on Variety’s list of ‘10 TV Scribes to Watch’, Avin is best known for the comedy  show “Irreversible” (Bilti-Hafich), the web series “It’s Harrasment” (Ze-Matrid) and the theater show “Freaks”.   How is working in Israel vs. Hollywood? The main difference is money. And when too much money is involved there are too many voices, and then it’s more of a struggle staying true to yourself. The money for one American pilot is usually enough for about 2 or 3 seasons of an Israeli TV series!   What are important issues you think should be discussed in film and TV?  The occupation as well as masturbation. If you have something honest to say and it’s brought from a different  angle than what we’ve seen before, it should be discussed.    What are you working on now?  I’m developing a TV show with Pretty Matches Productions in NY and working on a new TV show in Israel as well.  And I am also working on a feature film.  If you weren’t a writer and a director, you would be... A dancer.   © Gabriel Baharlia         The best film you’ve seen lately?  In between (Lo Po, Lo Sham) - A very strong, important film by Maslyn Hamud.   The best TV show you saw lately? I’ve just completed season 5 and 6 of “Game of Thrones”. They were remarkable and I’m ready for season 7.   The best album you’ve listened to lately? I’ve been listening to the “La La Land” soundtrack on repeat. My girls love it as well. With a croissant and co

Get in character with Maira Kalman
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Get in character with Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman, Author & Artist, 67 A woman of many talents, Tel Aviv-born, New York-based multidisciplinary artist and writer Maira Kalman continues to delight audiences with a host of new work. We sat down with her on her most recent trip to Tel Aviv, a two-week adventure riddled with preparations for upcoming projects - including an exhibit on dogs at the Israel Museum in June and a collaboration with Israeli writer Etgar Keret for the artist-in-residency program at Mishkenot Sha’ananim. Packed between a trip to the Dead Sea, dinner at Florentine’s Halutzim 3, catching Oum Kalthoum: A Musical at Jaffa’s Arab-Hebrew Theatre and buying Japanese socks at Hibino, Kalman let us pick her fanciful brain.    © Maira Kalman         What do you realize being away from home? That I love going away and I love coming back home.   Best kept secret in NYC? Central Park.   Describe Tel Aviv to someone who has never been here… NYC on the Mediterranean.   Favorite Israeli street food: Going with sabich.    What was the last film you watched? Funny Face.   What was the last gift you gave someone? Robert Walser’s The Walk.   The last gift you received? Moss from Montana.   First and last things you do every day? First thing. Have a cup of coffee with the obits. Last thing. Watch a murder mystery on T.V. Read a few pages of Proust.   The difference between men and women? If I said that women think more than men, would that be sexist? There is something to b

Community culture

“Round the Mulberry bespoke” : an interview with bartender Jasper Soffer about Tel Aviv’s newest pop up cocktail bar
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“Round the Mulberry bespoke” : an interview with bartender Jasper Soffer about Tel Aviv’s newest pop up cocktail bar

Usually the words “three-step program” don’t invoke the most positive associations; however, for Jasper Soffer, founder of the Mulberry Project, this is not the case. His three-step program comes in the form of a create-your-own-cocktail menu that invokes nostalgia, individuality, creativity, and comfort.   While the bespoke menu is broken down into three instructions – Step 1: Choose your spirit, Step 2: Choose your ingredients, Step 3: Choose your flavor profile – there is so much more to it than that.   “I don't give my staff some sort of rhetoric or spiel. I want them to tap into their creativity and own personal experiences as well, as they share those moments with the customer,” says Soffer. © Mor Beja       “You can pick an ingredient or spirit and we’ll make a drink based off that, or you can simply tell us how your day was and we’ll go from there, I’ve even been asked to make wild things like ‘an aphrodisiac’ or ‘cocaine in a glass’,” Soffer chuckles. If you tell him you’re having Daddy issues, Soffer will have just the cocktail cure.   After traveling to over 75 countries, four of which have already seen Mulberry come and go, if there is one thing Soffer wants those who stumble into his newest pop up – temporarily nestled inside Dizengoff’s ever-so-popular Jasper Johns – to come away with, it’s the experience.   “How would I sum up Mulberry?” Soffer asks. “Experience in a glass,” he responds with ease, as if the answer is second nature.   “I want

'The Waizman Institute': an interview with Yaniv Waizman, the man who gives TLV its pride
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'The Waizman Institute': an interview with Yaniv Waizman, the man who gives TLV its pride

He’s 42 years old, a member of the Tel Aviv City Council, and responsible for all LGBTQ issues in the Tel Aviv Municipality. On top of that, Yaniv Waizman is the chairman of the Youth Pride Organization, and the owner of Teenk – an advertising agency focusing on teens. Just before the city turns pink, I sat down to talk with the man who gives Tel Aviv its pride.   Bigger, Better, Bisexual According to the forecasts, June 2017 will be the hottest month in years, and I don’t mean in terms of temperature. The Pride events are set to be the best in ages, and the amount of tourists  visiting will be the largest to date.     After years of running the show on his own, in 2016, Waizman stepped back following the decision to focus the Pride events on women in the LGBTQ community. Since it was only natural for a woman to lead the events that year, Waizman passed the torch to Efrat Tolkowsky, also a member of the Tel Aviv City Council. Now, Waizman is back in office, this time sharing it with Tolkowsky due to the importance, as he states, of having both genders active in issues of Pride. And if both genders are in charge, it seems like the perfect time for Tel Aviv’s 2017 Pride parade to be the the world’s first bisexuality-themed parade.   Why bisexuality?   Four years ago we founded the Pride Administration in order for the LGBTQ community to become an important player in all critical decisions regarding the Pride events. We didn’t want the decision-making to stay only in

Your perfect weekend with: Lior Raz
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Your perfect weekend with: Lior Raz

Jerusalem-born Raz is the co-creator and lead actor of the Israeli breakout hit show Fauda, which premiered last month as a Netflix Original Series. The political thriller, based on the personal experiences of Raz, his partner, Avi Issacharoff and several of their friends who served in the IDF’s special forces unit, is one of the biggest successes in Israeli television. Raz shared how he would spend his ideal weekend. Follow suit and maybe you'll find inspiration for the next hit Netflix action series.   Thursday First stop  I like to start my day at a small place called Beta Café in Ramat Aviv near my house. I order a double, long machiatto with a carrot juice on the side.   Room with a view When I want to have complete quiet, I head over to the ninth floor of the Crowne Plaza Hotel and sit in the business lounge. It’s the perfect spot for me - with a panoramic view of the beach and the ideal atmosphere for working. It’s where I am writing the second season of Fauda.   © Alon Horesh       Night on the town I love to go eat at Greco. There is a great atmosphere there and delicious food. I also love walking around Jaffa Flea Market and eating at Café Puaa (8 Rabbi Yohanan St, Jaffa) . Then I go out with friends to Suramare. I love the people, the drinks and the hospitality there.   Friday Training day I go train at my gym, Zeus, in the morning. I’ve been working out for Fauda almost every day.   © Shutterstock       Morning at the beach 

If these streets could talk...
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If these streets could talk...

How the woman "obsessed with street names" exposes the history of an entire state. We pass them on our walks to work. Type them into our GPS apps. Write them on envelopes, subscriptions and business cards. Whether a noun, verb or proper name, the addresses pasted in big bold letters on each street sign around Tel Aviv hold years of stories; her story, his story, history.   "Some name their dog Bialik or Begin, while others create a club called Dizzy Frishdon. While arranging meeting points, Jabo is shortened for Jabotinsky and Levi for Levi Eshkol. Sheinkining describes the activities of sitting on the pavements, among the cafés and in the famous Sheinkin garden," explains creative mind, Sharonna Karni Cohen. Without even realizing, Israel's most influential historical figures have become a part of our everyday vernacular. Sharonna dove deeper into the significance behind the street names of Tel Aviv, with an ambitious project in mind: to expose the rich Jewish history that follows us around town, down every alley, one-way street and boulevard.   Her spark was lit in a quaint University lecture room in Bristol, England, during a presentation on physical Zionism. Sharonna was studying politics and sociology at the time, and the concept of 'physical' Zionism made her laugh because she had always associated Zionism with books and intellectual endeavors.   "When we learned that Nordau was the co-founder of physical Zionism," Sharonna shares, "I laughed even harder because

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