Jerusalem’s Festival Week

Jerusalem’S Festival Week 

Jerusalem’s Festival Week

This week is very important – and not just because it’s the week of elections in the United Kingdom or the week of my birthday. No, this week is very important because it’s Festival Week in Jerusalem. Here’s a list of all the festivals I can think of that are happening between now and Saturday:

1) Musrara Mix, June 6-8:

This free festival highlights works by students and recent graduates of Musrara, the Naggar School of Art, for a multi-disciplinary extravaganza that combines visual and performing arts.

2) Israel Festival, June 1-15:

Few festivals can boast the best of Israeli talent, from students of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance to A-WA, alongside a sample of cutting-edge works from around the globe, but the Israel Festival does it all. This year’s program includes artists from Spain, Greece, the United State and Brazil, with dance performances whose sensual nature sparked a lively debate over freedom of expression in the holy city.

3) Jerusalem Design Week, June 8-15:

We could argue about whether this series of events qualifies as a festival or not, but since it brings 145 designers from Israel and around the world for free exhibits and performances based out of Hansen House, I’d like to think it meets the criteria. The theme is “Islands”, and highlights include: an ice island, a Lego project, a Dutch-Israeli weaving team, and films from Milan’s Design Film Festival.

4) Merkaz Habama, June 5-13:

Avant-garde monodramas spanning the serious to the comedic, the traditional to the spoken-word rap musical, will grace the stage of the Gerard Behar Center in downtown Jerusalem for this unique festival. Topics include: the ravings of a lab monkey, the struggles of a Tel Aviv artist looking for romance, and the fate of Golda Meir, Israel’s only female prime minister, if she had to appear on reality television.

5) 5 Days in June, June 4 to 11:

 In 5 days in June, 1967, Jerusalem’s history and geographic boundaries were altered, during the Six Day War. The Cinematheque’s new series looks at the year 1967 as a moment in global history: Which movies were being made? Which songs were being listened to? How did Jerusalem appear in films in 1967 – and how has the city’s image in Israeli pop culture changed since then? I know it might be cheating to include this in my festivals list, but it’s a wide array of events, focused on a theme, in a short period of time, around a central location – so it totally counts!

I’m sure that I left something off, that a minute after I post this my editor will remind me of another festival I forgot about, and I will hang my head in shame – but only for a moment, because I’ll be too busy festival-hopping for regrets, and the precious time between shows must be saved for important endeavors, like checking Facebook and eating ice cream.