The two most significant days on the
Israeli national calendar occur this week: Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day) for fallen
soldiers and victims of terror, directly followed by Yom Ha'atzmaut
(Independence Day), marking the country's 64th birthday.
As the sun sets tonight, the nation will make the stark transition from
mourning to celebration as Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day) ends and Yom Ha'atzmaut (Independence Day) begins, bringing with it parties of all sorts, performances and fireworks,
and of course, the requisite silly string, inflatable squeaky
hammers, and portable grills. The birthday bash continues on Thursday. Jerusalem will be
hopping with excitement as families with portable grills take advantage of every inch of grass for barbecues, especially in Gan Sacher, and many of the city's musuems will be open gratis.
Even once the big party
is over, the rest of the week won't disappoint, with a variety of cultural and culinary events
to choose from. Here are our top events
in Jerusalem this week.
- Kick off Independence Day with a bang tonight. Hatza'atzua teams up with student organizations for a massive party opposite the Old City Walls at Mamilla, at which Hatza'atzua's trademark DJs will spin Israeli favorites. Meanwhile, hit downtown for mayhem, fireworks and music, including a performance featuring Keren Peles, street parties, and Israeli dancing. Other nightlife venues such as Blaze Bar and Uganda will be hosting rocking Independence Day parties as well.
- If you fear silly-string entanglement or the downtown party scene just
isn't for you, stick to the periphery with a festive musical prayer
service followed by an evening of beer and song hosted by "Hakovah Hahafuch" at Ginot Ha'ir's Beit Yehudit courtyard on Emek Refarim.
- On Thursday, seek refuge from the barbecue induced smoke-filled haze at one of the city's cultural institutions, many of which will wave entrance fees for the day. The Museum of Islamic Art opens its doors free of charge on Independence Day, offering guided tours of The Mystery of Lost Time exhibit, featuring Sir David Solomon's famous watch collection. Several other museums will be open for free as well, including the Bloomfield Science Museum and the Menachem Begin Heritage Center.
- End off the day of barbecuing and celebrations the Israeli way-singing
Israeli classics. The traveling Bubizemer ensemble continues to roam the
country, stopping at The Tower of David Museum on Independence Day, where they'll play a variety of instruments and join the audience in singing all time-favorite Israeli songs in the late afternoon sun.
- Independence Day may be over but the good times continue to roll, as do
the tributes to Israel's celebrated musicians. Yaheli Sobol, lead singer
of the popular Israeli band Monica Sex sings the songs of his childhood hero, Yossi Elephant, at Beit Avi Chai's Saturday night music series. If you're a student, it will cost you just 30 NIS.
- Chef Moran Rotman of Rotman Culinary Arts celebrates the end of the Rising Chef dinner series project at Colony next Monday evening, presenting a royal meal with Dutch influences in honor of Holland's Queen Day which takes place the same day. The
meal will be served on Colony's spacious balcony, accompanied by fine
Golan winery wines.
- Internationally renowned dance artist Nigel Charnock is in Israel for a visit and will lead a workshop for actors, dancers, and movement professionals who wish to improve
their improvisation, movement and performance skills. The Machol Shalem
Dance House hosts the Tuesday evening workshop.
- Unwind and realign after all the excitement with some yoga. Doron Mor's weekly Wednesday afternoon yoga class has moved back outdoors for the summer months, and will take place every Wednesday at 17:00 in Independence Park near the Experimental School.
And as always, this page is a mere sampling - for the whole schebang, check out our full event listings here.