Israel on the river – Festival of Israeli culture in the Czech Republic

 Poom Pam in Prague (photo credit: Embassy of Israel in Prague)
Poom Pam in Prague
(photo credit: Embassy of Israel in Prague)

In mid-May, Střelecký Island, located in the heart of Prague, became an island of Israeli culture in a unique open-air festival organized by the Embassy in honor of Israel Independence Day.

The festival featured both a main stage and a tent stage with cultural programs and a market in the middle of the island highlighting Israeli food and products. The on-stage programs included workshops on Israeli folk-dancing, Krav Maga (self-defense), pita baking, and discussions with engaging Israelis living in the Czech Republic. Other highlights were readings of translations of the works of Israeli author David Grossman, performances by Ukrainian-Israeli pianist Marina Kantor and Prague-based poet Lucien Zell.

The festival’s headline act was Tel Aviv band Boom Pam, which performed on Saturday evening, as well as Israeli musicians Tamar Su and Yoav Or. Local Israeli bands that performed included The Muslim Jew, The Ugly and The Drummer, Marina Kantor, Diego Bransburg, and Colibris.

The festival included a full slate of children’s activities such as a kids’ corner, a clue game around the island, a musical workshop for children about the songs “Hatikvah” and “Vltava,” face painting and more. In addition to the stage performances, painter El Stark created artwork on canvas on the spot, and two exhibitions – “Mysterious Bond” and “Hipstory” – were shown.

The event attracted 15,000 people, and the combination of great food and lovely weather made everyone feel like they were living in Israel with the sensation of Israeli culture on their skin.   

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