Four stars from CBS’ long running crime dramas-CSI: Miami and CSI:NY flew into Israel recently to examine the historical, religious and cultureal beauty of Israel as guests of the Tourism Ministry. The group, which included actors Jonathan Frederick Togo and Omar Benson Miller (stars of CSI: Miami) and Carmine Giovinazzo and AJ Buckley (stars of CSI: NY), as well as Vanessa Marcil (General Hospital and Beverly Hills 90210), visited Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea and Masada and the Galilee, among other tourism destinations. The week-long tour represents the first time these actors have visited Israel.
Monday and Thursday nights in Jerusalem’s Old City have just changed for the better, with extended opening hours at many leading tourist attractions and new exiting cultural events late into the night. Beginning May 2012, the enchanting ancient streets of Jerusalem’s Old City will come alive with a number of cultural events and museums opening their doors late into the evening. An array of Viennese Waltz, Jazz and theatrical journeys will add to the many major tourist sites that have extended their opening hours into the night.
On Mondays the City of David will be open until 11:30pm, Old Yishuv Court Museum till 8pm. Those who book in advance will be privileged enough to experience a night tour of the Western Wall Tunnels. On Thursdays the Tower of David Museum will stay open until 7:30pm, while The Herodian Quarter Wohl Archeology Museum won’t close till 8pm. With so much to do and see across the capital, many visitors complain that there aren’t enough hours in the day. From now on, Mondays and Thursdays in the Old City just got longer.
For more information: www.itraveljerusalem.com
Not content to open her upcoming MDNA world tour in Israel on May 29, pop icon Madonna added an additional show on May 31, under the banner “Concert for Peace.” Both shows will take place at Ramat Gan Stadium, just outside Tel Aviv. According to the organizers over
30,000 tickets to the tour debut in Israel have already been sold with over 2,000 travel packages, including hotel accommodations, for tourists arriving from abroad.
“Music is so universal and if there’s any chance that through my performance I can bring further attention and enlightenment to honor the peace efforts in the Middle East and help people come together, it would be an honor for me. It is my way of thanking those who are making so much effort toward bringing peace to the Middle East,” said Madonna in a statement posted on her fan club website.
Madonna last appeared in Israel in 2009, when she closed her “Sticky and Sweet” tour here. The tour became the second-highest grossing tour of all time with $408 million in receipts. Between two other tour appearances and visits to attend events at the Tel Aviv Kabbala Center, she has been a frequent visitor and pro-Israel advocate. Madonna is one of many great artists coming to Israel this summer including Lady Gaga, Guns n’ Roses and The Scorpians.
Exclusive Pesach Recipe:
Chicken Liver Pate with Honey & Brandy
From Executive Chef Moti Buchbut,
Inbal Jerusalem Hotel
2 lbs chicken liver
1/2 cup Margarine
2 Tbsp. Honey
2 Egg Yolks
2.75 Tbsp. Brandy
3.5 Tbsp. Pareve Milk
2 Teaspoons of Gelatin
1/4 cup water (mix with the Gelatin)
3 cups finely chopped, roasted pistachios
- Roast the liver at 350 degrees (Fahrenheit) for 12 minutes.
- In a food processor, process the margarine with the egg yolks. Add the Pareve milk and liver and process until smooth, with no chunks. Add the honey and brandy, season with salt and pepper and process again. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary.
- Mix the gelatin with cold water, until spongy. Heat it in the microwave, add it to the liver mixture and mix until uniform.
- Transfer the liver to a greased bowl or into individual dishes and refrigerate overnight.
- You can also wrap the liver in plastic wrap (like a candy) and cool overnight.
- When serving, transfer the liver to serving plates.
*Remove the pate from the plastic wrap, roll it in the chopped pistachios and using a knife dipped in boiling water, cut into 2 slices. Pour a bit of orange juice and honey onto the center of the serving plate, place the 2 slices on the sauce and garnish with slices of pear cooked in sugar, cinnamon and red wine. I cut carrots into thin strips, placed them on tissue paper, sprinkle with powdered sugar and dry in the oven overnight at 160 degrees (Fahrenheit). Serve with the pate.
The Nalaga’at (“please touch”) center for the deaf-blind, deaf and blind offers tourists and visitors to old Jaffa a unique and unforgettable experience. The Nalaga’at Center is a unique meeting place for the deaf, blind and deaf-blind with the wider public who engage in a dialogue between equals through an artistic and cultural experience. This experience includes the Nalaga’at theater – the first of its kind in the world – , the “Kapish” café, and the “Blackout” restaurant.
Four different plays are currently running at the theater: the original, ground-breaking performance of “Not by Bread Alone” in which the actors bake bread on stage and the audience are invited to eat the bread at the end of the performance; “Luna Park”, the newest show at the center which took three years to bring to the stage; and two shoes suitable for children aged 5-11 – “Prince Rooster” and “Give Me a Sign!”. Deaf-blind, deaf and blind actors take the stage inviting the audience into their inner world; the world of darkness and silence. Since founding director Adina Tal first opened the Nalaga’at Center in 2002, over 200,000 tourist and visitors have enjoyed this unique experience.
In addition to the theater, visitors can interact with the deaf and hearing-impaired waiters at Café Kapish. The BlackOut Restaurant, in which dinner is served in total darkness and visitors are escorted by blind waiters, offers an unusual culinary experience.
The “Nalaga’at” non-profit organization was established in 2002, intended for a theater group whose actors are all deaf-blind. At the core of the deaf-blind theater ensemble project, is a constant search for a unique “theatrical language” for the group, as well as the wish to take action toward increasing awareness of deaf-blind persons’ needs, in Israel and the rest of the world.
For further information: http://www.nalagaat.org.il/
Throughout 3,000 years of history, Jerusalem served as a source of inspiration to poets, musicians and other creative spirits. Now, the Jerusalem Season of Culture summons the ancient muse for an annual summer showcase of the city’s contemporary cultural treasures. From mid-May through the end of July 2012, the city will host a series of riveting artistic experiences spanning the worlds of dance, music, poetry, philosophy, visual art, new media, and more. Highlights of the Jerusalem Season of Culture include:
May 13-18, 2012. The Season Prologue: The 3rd International Writers’ Festival
at Mishkenot Sha’ananim. This bi-annual celebration of the written word showcases leading authors from Israel and around the world in discussions, lectures and cross-disciplinary exchanges http://philosophy.mouse.co.il/en/
21-28 June. Going up: Jerusalem—Reality & Art Alongside Route no.1
Going up: Jerusalem is a creative act by a group of artists, social activists and intellectuals who will make a collective pilgrimage to Jerusalem over 5 days in pursuit of an alternative reality. The pilgrimage will end in a communal tent at the Wohl Rose Garden opposite the Knesset (Israel’s parliament), where the public will be invited to join along for a series of activities.
4-6 July. In-House, A Festival of Dance, Theatre and Music in Private homes
Jerusalem’s most intriguing homes open their doors to dance, theater, music and poetry for unique encounters between audience and performer. Inaugurated as part of the 2011 Season, the In-House Festival will focus this year on original productions commissioned specifically for the festival in partnership with local and international artists.
12 July. Contact Point. Leading Israeli artists will create live interventions, or “contact points,” with works of art on exhibit across the campus of the renewed Israel Museum. Dancers, actors, poets, philosophers, musicians, DJ’s, MC’s and more perform throughout the night at the Israel Museum, with the Silent Wi-Party taking place right under Anish Kapoor’s Turning the World Upside Down, Jerusalem.
12 – 19 July. Under the Mountain—A festival of new public art and an open exhibition with multiple participants, from Israel and abroad, that takes place in public spaces, via diverse media outlets, and in state institutions. It includes movement, media broadcasts, human behavior, political experiments, new monuments, artists as journalists, knowledge exchanges, and parties in the city that is at once home to Israel’s parliament, a world capital, and the heart of an ongoing conflict.
6,7,9 September. Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival. For 24 hours, musicians and artists from Israel and abroad, from different and varied traditions, will rejoice in the concept of “sanctity”, and imbue it with new life and meaning. The festival will unfold in
various locations throughout the city, and invite visitors on a 24-hour sacred-musical trip that will celebrate the sanctity within each of us, regardless of color, gender, religion or world view.
15 July – 15 August Artist of the Season. Recently graduated from the Bezelel Academy of Art and Design Gabriella Barouch ‘s Pop-up Shop that will appear in the city center for one month, featuring her original merchandise, as well as additional Jerusalem-inspired works by some talented local artists.
6,13,20,27 August. Balabasta Festival. The Machane Yehuda market is the stage for dancers, musicians, sculptors, actors and poets – all this among the colorful market stalls throughout the evening hours.
Legendary American hard rock band Guns N’ Roses with Axel Rose will take the stage at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park on July 3rd, 2012. This will be GNR’s second concert in Israel, having played the same arena at the height of their success in May 1993.
The European hard rock band will precede Guns N Roses with a ‘farewell’ concert at the 11,000 seat Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv on May 7
Last but not least, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, one of America’s top rock bands will round out the hot summer concert season with a performance in September at a site to be determined shorty. Both Lady GaGa and Madonna are also lined up for LIVE performances in the metro Tel Aviv area during the summer tourist season.
Jerusalem’s open-air market, Mahane Yehuda, has grown to be a bonafide mainstream tourist destination among Israelis and international arrivals alike. Conveniently located minutes away from the city center, it is a microcosm of everything Jerusalem has to offer. Known to Jerusalemites as simply the shuk (market) or “Machne” (an amorous slurring and truncating of the proper title), Mahane Yehuda is Israel’s most sprawling and buzzing network of alleys and vending stalls. Today, Mahane Yehuda is more accessible and more thoroughly documented than ever before, as the recently launched comprehensive Machne.co.il website’s interactive maps, interviews with vendors and bookable themed tours attest. Last week marked the launch of Machne’s English-language launch, increasing the market’s reach many times over.
The allure here is the intoxicating mix of Jerusalem colors and flavors, where 80-year-old Kurdish immigrants peddle Kenyan coffee beans by the kilo to South American Hasidim, and tank-top-clad Colorado-bred hippies squeeze almond juice to order for Armenian monks.
Only at Mahane Yehuda do espresso bars, photography galleries and fashion boutiques vie for space with butchers, percolator repairmen and okra vendors, and it’s this buzz-inducing brew that draws camera-toting crowds.
It’s easy to match tastes and budgets with an unforgettable few hours in the shuk. Whether you fancy trying imported cheeses, marbled halva, folk tonics, boutique olive oils, handcrafted breads, sweets, organic wines and spirits, or want to combine a guided shopping trip in the shuk with a chef-led cooking workshop, Machne’s website allows users to arrange it. One of the most compelling Machne offerings is Shuk Bites, a self-guided tour of some of the best tastes of the market. Online customers can already buy the Shuk Bites punch-card with an easy-to-follow map and a list of ten stalls which offer tantalizing morsels of food or drink plus colorful stories. Purchasers of the Shuk Bites tour mosey through the market at their own pace and in any order they wish, enjoying several hundred shekels’ worth of merchandise, and entertainment, for a highly affordable price tag of NIS 99 (about $25).
Special events and festivals take place at Mahane Yehuda throughout the year. The Balabasta festival on Monday nights throughout the summer is definitely one of the annual highlights. The festival brings the Shuk to life after hours, transforming it into a lively carnival, with special events and attractions including live music, workshops and performances, food contests and giveaways, dancers, DJs, video art, origami exhibits and more. In addition the market stalls, cafes and pubs extend their opening hours late into the night.
For more information: http://www.machne.co.il/en/
For the first time in history, visitors to Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of the Jewish People, will be able to view the secret operational documents that led to the Mossad capture of Adolf Eichmann. In a new exhibition entitled “Operation Finale- The Story of the Capture of Adolf Eichmann” that opens in mid-February
at Bet Hatfutsot in northern Tel-Aviv.
In the exhibition; the Mossad – Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations – chronicles for the first time the story of the abduction through documents illustrating details of the operation – an undertaking which had never before been attempted. The evidence on display in this exhibition represents a body of material gathered during this unprecedented operation. It is rightly heralded as a life-changing event in the history of the State of Israel and the entire world, when the heroic deeds of a few allowed others to raise their voices so that a doubting world would hear the truth.
In 1960, Eichmann was abducted in a Mossad operation led by Isser Harel, who was assisted by a team from the operational unit of the Shin Bet (General Security Services). Eichmann was smuggled out of Argentina and flown to Israel with the aid of an El Al plane and crew. The operation assured that he would be tried in Jerusalem, the capital of the sovereign Jewish state. Eichmann’s trial marked the first time that the story of the Holocaust survivors was revealed to the entire world; their memories and testimonies drew a picture of the human spirit elevated to heights of strength and nobility in the face of heinous crimes too horrible to fathom.
The Mossad is lifting its veil of secrecy in order to educate those who were not alive during the Holocaust, as well as to salute the organizations and individuals in Israel and abroad who acted at great risk, and to give thanks to them and their families. A special thanks, also, to those whose names and identities must remain secret.
For the first time in her illustrious career, Madonna announced the she will kick-off her world tour with a star studded concert in Ramat Gan Stadium (near Tel Aviv) on May 29. Madonna, who has admitted in several TV interviews that Israel “energizes” her, will spend close to 2 weeks in Israel in the run-up to her concert, which is expected to draw over 30,000 fans and a host of international and local celebs.
The world tour to promote her new album, MDNA, is the Queen of Pop’s fourth performance in Israel.
Madonna also visited Israel in 2004 and 2007 on private pilgrimages, along with other Kabbalah devotees. She’s been dabbling in Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism,
and has given herself a Hebrew name-Esther
Ticket prices for the concert will range between $50-200…