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Things to do in Israel this week

Discover the very best things to do over the next seven days, from cultural events to live music and more

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Thought you’d sneak in a relaxing week? Well, think again. Israel’s got loads of culture-packed activities this week, and we’ve rounded up the best of the best. From new art exhibitions and restaurant openings, to the hottest musicians both visiting and local and secret speakeasies off the beaten path, you’ll be crawling to work come Sunday. See how many things to do in Israel over the next seven days you can check off your bucket list. After all, YOIO — “you only Israel once.”

What's on this week

1

Rooftop Hop - Jerusalem Swing and Blues

Rooftop Hop - Jerusalem Swing and Blues is a nonprofit organization offering swing dancing lessons to the public. Under the direction of Shikma Zaarur, Itai Rosenfeld Cohen and Lihi Karni (teacher at the Media Hop swing community in Tel Aviv), you'll Lindy Hop, jive and high five your way into the 1920s for a night of hip-swinging fun. So bring a date or come meet your soul mate on the rooftop of the Prizma Center this Sunday. Don't forget comfy shoes!

Prizma Center (the Muslala community balcony of Clal Center) , Jerusalem Sunday January 22 2017 - Wednesday May 31 2017
2

Blues&Booz

The weekly blues jam at the King George establishment, Bootleg, is BYOB: bring your own band, but no need to 'bring your own booze'. The top blues jam in Tel Aviv continues to live up to its reputation, Sunday after Sunday. Bootleg is a great place to enjoy muddy waters and all you can drink booze at the beginning of the work week, while listening to the Blues&Booz House band. Make sure to sign up for the jam that follows by messaging the Blues&Booz facebook page or at the actual jam itself until 00:30 once you've built up enough liquid confidence to test out those new riffs on a twelve-bar blues .

Bootleg , Tel Aviv City Center Sunday January 22 2017 - Sunday April 23 2017
3

The 'Shaolin Warriors'

The most famous temple in China, the Shaolin Monastery, has reared some of the most well-trained, disciplined disciples inside its 1600-year-old walls. Nestled atop the mountain of Sung, the secluded space is the perfect training grounds for the Shaolin monks to practice their art. This January, come witness an amazing spectacle as the Shaolin Warriors travel to Neve Tzedek. Their strength almost supernatural, their flexibility unbelievable and their pain-endurance near to impossible, you'll have to see the ultimate Buddhist warriors with your own eyes, and still won't believe their abilities. 

Suzanne Dellal Center , Neve Tzedek Until Saturday January 21 2017
4

Francisco Goya

The Spanish romantic master Francisco Goya has found his way into the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The artist focuses on the contrasting roles of night and day—nighttime calls for monsters that threaten to engulf the world, until dawn breaks and banishes them. The exhibition features ten of his oil paintings, including “The Parasol,” “Flight of Witches,” and “The Straw Manikin” which have traveled far and wide from the Prado Museum in Madrid. Also on display are etchings from various stages of his artistic life. The exhibition marks thirty years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Spain.

The Israel Museum , Neve Sha'anan Until Tuesday April 18 2017
5

Tuesday Jazz in Space

On top of being a funky underground bar off of the beaten – Carmel Market – path, every Tuesday, The Space is transforming into an out-of-this-world Jazz club. Witness Gil Livni jam out on his guitar alongside Amit Friedman on the sax, or sip mojitos and enjoy the Brazilian beats made by Salit Lahav on the flute and Oded Aloni on pandero. Each week brings a new understanding to the word 'jazz', from contemporary to bebop to the indefinable. Enjoy some midweek musoc to get you through to Thursday – because after a night of delicious drinks at dirt cheap prices, you may miss Wednesday all together. 

The Space , Shuk  HaCarmel Tuesday January 17 2017 - Tuesday April 4 2017
6

“Tel-Aviv Improv Workshop”

“Tel-Aviv Improv Workshop” creates a comfortable environment where every level of comedian—from new comer to veteran—can assemble to improve their improv. Each week, a different member of the community hosts a themed workshop in Dubnov Garden. The hands on workshops encourage participants to take part in as many skits as possible, forcing them to step out of their comfort zones and tap into their creativity.

Dubnov Garden , Tel Aviv - Jaffa Tuesday January 17 2017 - Tuesday May 30 2017
7

ADI

Grab a pot and stir up some R&B, hip-hop, trap and electronica, then pour it all over scorching pop beats and you've got the undeniable talent of Adi Ulmansky... and one tasty treat. Swing by Barby, grab a drink and soak up the glare of this rising local star.

Barby , Tel Aviv - Jaffa Wednesday January 18 2017
8

A White City turned brown: Ibrahim Mahama's new installation 'Fracture' turns heads inside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

When in India, Bangladesh or their final destination in Ghana, Africa, these jute sacks are a drab everyday staple. However, Ghana native, Ibrahim Mahama, recognized the potential in the raw materials that make up these third world jute sacks, with the words 'Produced in Ghana' stamped on each. The artist brings these branded, depleted sacks to the forefront in his installation titled 'Fracture', pasting them over buildings in various cities worldwide – from Accra to Venice to Michigan and now, Tel Aviv.

By: Jennifer Greenberg
9

Overview – eyeglasses

From December 20 until the end of April, the Design Museum Holon shifts the spotlight to an object that we are all familiar with and most of us encounter at some point in our daily lives: eyeglasses. The essential accessory is one of the most important inventions in human history. Throughout its evolution, though function has remained stable, eyeglasses have taken on thousands of different shapes, forms, sizes, and styles. “Overview” borrows 400 rare items from esteemed collector Claude Samuel to examine in detail the changes from different perspectives: cultural, fashion, medical, scientific, material, technological, and so forth in Israel’s most fashionable museum. 

Until Sat Apr 29
10

Ajami, The Face of Darkness

Yaakov Elad ventured into the Jaffa neighborhood of Ajami with an open mind and an open lens. His goal was to capture the jumbled neighborhood in an attempt to understand and hopefully bridge the disparities that exist there. This photography exhibit in the Eretz Israel Museum plays with light sources, displaying Elad’s findings in regards to the binaries of Ajami. For instance, an image of ugly plastic chairs and shutters appears next to a photograph of a stylized staircase. Yaakov Elad looks at the neighborhood at eye level. He sees the full spectrum among the spots of light and darkness, and at the same time follows his own face as photographer.

Until Sat Jan 28
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1

The Goldstar Zappa Sound System festival

It's that time of year again – when Israel's leading musicians and bands bring the local masses to Tel Aviv's Hangar 11 for an amazing lineup of crowd-pleasing concerts. Aviv Gefen, one of Israel's biggest rock stars and a judge for the Israeli version of 'The Voice', will be kicking off this year's festival with a throwback concert dedicated to his second album, 'Cloudy Now'. And what better sponsor than Israel's top-selling local beer, Goldstar? So swing by the Port, grab a cold beer and enjoy the great music that Israel has to offer.

Hangar 11 , Old North Until Saturday January 28 2017
2

Jazz nights @ Arte Glideria

“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.” Pop into Arte Glideria and treat yourself to this Sicilian slice of heaven on Nachalat Binyamin. Arte Glideria’s staff are wonderfully friendly, and, if you can catch them at the right moment, are keen to show you their “laboratory”” at the back of the shop where they concoct their signature flavors. Staff picks are “Marco’s cake,” a creamy base topped with fruit coulis and rich almond crumble, their Mojito Granita, made in true Sicilian fashion by reducing the temperature of the ingredients to produce a snow-like texture, plus an array of vegan water-based flavors. 

Arte Glideria , Nachalat Binyamin Thursday January 19 2017 - Thursday May 25 2017
3

theAngelcy

Trying to put theAngelcy in a box in terms of musical genre is extremely difficult. Though some may call them folk, they have created a sound unique to anything you've ever heard. Perhaps it's due to their choice in instruments: a double bass, a clarinet, a viola and two drummers (on a single drum kit), plus their bizarrely beautiful voices of course. With unusual patterns and arrangements, and even stranger themes, you won't know whether to clap or feel existential angst. Either way, you'll find yourself buying their newest albums and following them to their next gig.

Yellow Submarine , Jerusalem Saturday January 21 2017
4

Lucia di Lammermoor

Conducted by Daniele Callegari, The Israeli Opera Chorus will fill Tel Aviv's performance halls with vocal embellishments and entrancing solos. The story of Lucia di Lammermoor follows the strained love of Lucia for Edgardo because of an arranged marriage by her brother, which she turns into a "feast of murder and a mad scene."

The Israeli Opera - Tel Aviv , Tel Aviv - Jaffa Saturday January 21 2017 - Friday February 3 2017
5

The World of Victor Hugo

The Israeli Opera strikes again with an incredibly entertaining event. As a part of the 2016/2017 'Saturday Morning Opera Highlights' series, the opera chorus delves into the dark and twisted world of Victor Hugo's 'Les Mis' as adapted to musical stages worldwide. Excerpts from 'Les Misérables' will be accompanied by excerpts from Verdi's 'Rigoletto' to complete a emotional musical rollercoaster from music of hope to despair, from lust to love, from imprisonment to empowerment and everything in between. 

The Israeli Opera - Tel Aviv , Tel Aviv - Jaffa Saturday January 21 2017
6

Billy Elliot

Since the iconic musical Billy Elliot hit Israel's stages last June, it has won both the hearts of more than 70 thousand people throughout the country and the 2016 BroadwayWorld Israel Regional Awards. With rave reviews and a consistently packed-house, it came as no surprise that Elton John's musical adapted for Israeli audiences is back this year for another run. Expect infectious personalities, catchy musical numbers, and incredible dancing that will have audiences on their feet. 

Cinema City , Jerusalem Friday January 20 2017 - Friday February 24 2017
7

Comic relief: Yair Garbuz' 'I am Painters'

Carnival, circus, comedic.   These are the best words to describe the humorous – sometimes grotesque – style of painter, Yair Garbuz. His third solo exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (his last being 23 years ago) will take place in the Marcus B. Mizne Gallery, Marc Rich and Gabrielle Rich Gallery, and the Main Building and is by no means any exception. Garbuz received the 2015 Rappaport Prize for an Established Israeli Artist, and as they say, 'good things come with age'; in 'I am Painters', the veteran artist's virtuosity and ease with the Hebrew language and painting styles alike are more solidified than ever.   © PR Curated by Ellen Ginton, 'I am Painters' showcases Garbuz' works from the past five years, narrowing in on the integral part of his artistic style: humor. In the current exhibition, he tackles this theme from two different directions: visual and linguistic. Garbuz disguises himself in other painters, imitating modern artists from the Western world such as the iconic Edward Hopper, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, and Elizabeth Peyton. The brilliant artist manages to maintain integrity while referencing a diverse range of painting styles that span hundreds of years and thousands of kilometers. From Egyptian and Greek vases, to the Middle Ages, Russian avant-garde, abstract, surrealism and art on the periphery, Garbuz' 'I am Painters' forces the audience to delve deeper into the understanding of humor through imitation as a sort of satirical theatrical

By: Jennifer Greenberg
8

Regarding Africa: Contemporary Art and Afro-Futurism

In 'Regarding Africa', the exhibition’s curator, Ruth Direktor, brings a striking, direct glimpse into the power of African creativity when defining themselves, with moments of joy, ensuring that even art novices will leave the exhibition with a lasting impression. For those more familiar with Afro-Futurism, Direktor has brought the genre closer to home, featuring works created in Israel. These reflections on Little Africa, composed of a growing community of immigrant workers and asylum seekers from Africa, in south Tel Aviv, express the merging of African and Israeli cultures.

Tel Aviv Museum of Art , Tel Aviv - Jaffa Until Wednesday March 22 2017

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