It's June, which means it's time to bring the heat! This month, Tel Aviv is kicking off June with a bang in the form of a kickass Pride week - one of the best in the world, and Jerusalem is matching the fun with an incredible half-month arts and culture festival. Alongside a lineup of roaring concerts like Deadmau5 and Gogol Bordello, June's got it all. While it's time to take full advantage of the beaches in Israel, you can also take a break from the heat with a new Jewish art gallery or pop-up food market. Catch the June bug with this month's top things to do in Israel.
The best things to do in Israel in the month of June
Laila Lavan ('White Night' in Hebrew), is a one-of-a-kind event in Israel’s culture capital. Tel Aviv's cultural establishments stay open all night and other activities and attractions take place until the wee hours. White Night promises to be a night you’ll never forget – or, depending on how you spend it, one you’ll never remember. The city’s iconic museums, including the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, are open and free to the public all night long and bars and restaurants stay open late and offer special menus. The streets are packed with revelers and traffic is at a standstill, so strap on those sneakers and get ready to do plenty of walking.
One of the most influential and esteemed members of the international contemporary art scene is Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. His works combine everything from photography and video to sculpture and large-scale installations which cover entire floors of museums. After being imprisoned without trial in his native China, Weiwei's movements were restricted by governments because of his political activitism and the stances he took on freedom of speech and human rights. His works central around these themes.
This June, The Israeli Opera is taking the beloved fairy tale of evil stepsisters, magic slippers and horse-drawn pumpkin carriages and giving it a little operatic twist. Gioacchino Rossini's take on Cinderella replaces the story's fairy Godmother with a charming magician, a must-see for the entire family. Part of the Israeli Opera’s children’s opera hour.
Mamootot, the dance performance by Ohad Naharin that helped consolidate the language of Gaga, has been updated yet again with an entirely new cast of young dancers from the Batsheva Dance Company. While the cast may be different, the refreshing performance still promises to deliver that delicate tension between the familiar and strange. When you come to Mamootot, you are more than a spectator, you are an integral part of the performance.
After a culturally stimulating start to June, mixing the top multidisciplinary arts festival in Israel with a week of eccentric Gay Pride, the country needed a couple of weeks to recover. Once those weeks pass, however, it will be time to get back on that cultural wagon with a brilliant dance performance hailing all the way from Detroit.