Songs, stories and street theater are some of the events that will divert the country during the upcoming Hanukka festival. Here is a listing of selected events throughout the week.
Holidays in Israel are always an opportune time to see the country. Local municipalities have once again sponsored a series of tours and events.
In Jerusalem, the Nature and Parks Authority has organized a tour of the capital surrounded by light, with tours through Nahlaot accompanied by stories. By reservation. For information, call *3639 or go to www.parks.co.il.
The Society for the Protection of Nature gets into the holiday spirit in Jerusalem with a tour of menoras at various points around town, including Ticho House, the Ben-Yehuda Promenade, and some of the religious neighborhoods. For reservations call (02) 625-2357.
Museums throughout the country are presenting special events and workshops for the whole family.
The Israel Museum in Jerusalem hosts a series of events. Included are "Hanukka by the Book," which presents stories about the Maccabees, told through art and performances. Though it's unclear what the connection to Hanukka may be, the museum also discovers the Harry Potter craze with a discussion session at its youth and adults superhit book and film series, as well as a telepathic performance by Roei Zaltsman, Tuesday at 5 p.m. NIS 45. Book a space at (02) 670-8081 or see the museum's Web site, www.imj.org.il.
Still in the capital, the Tower of David Museum by the Jaffa Gate has guided family tours. "In Search of the Oil Vial," a journey back in time through quizzes, challenges and mystery-solving activities, is featured Tuesday through Thursday. For information, call (02) 626-5333 or visit www.towerofdavid.org.il.
The Tel Aviv Museum of Art has a series of gallery events and music during the week. A morning workshop entitled "Sparks" focuses on the aspect of light in the festival's essence, in works of art and its myriad forms and colors. Tuesday through Thursday, NIS 50. Tickets: (03) 696-1297.
The Givatayim Theater hosts eight days of events for the entire family, including children's theater, exhibits, candle-lighting and creative workshops. Starts Tuesday. For info, call (03) 732-5340 or visit www.t-g.co.il/main/siteNew/.
Theater events, both indoor and on the street, will permeate the country during Hanukka. Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv will be turned into an outdoor stage for street theater. Starting Thursday at 3 p.m., the central area will host a wide variety of performances including klezmer music, children's theater, clowns, sculptures, and thousands of sufganiyot will be distributed. All events are free of charge. For information and a schedule of events call the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality at (03) 522-3633.
In Ra'anana, the "Chanukatan" event at the Ktanim Gdolim center will feature storytelling, candle lighting, festive dancing and other activities. Starting Sunday, it continues through the end of the holiday. Call (09) 740-9509 or visit www.ktanim-gdolim.co.il.
The "Celebrations of Light" in the Neot Kedumim Biblical Nature Reserve, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv near Modi'in, offers a variety of Hanukka activities for the whole family in the very areas where the Hanukka story happened. Activities include learning about the development of olive oil production and visiting a reconstructed ancient oil press, a special exhibit of lighting materials described in the Mishna, the tour "From the Land of the Bible to the Land of the Torch" which combines a guided tour of Neot Kedumim and visits to the Maccabees' graves, lookout toward El-Media (the ancient Modi'in), and more. For information call (08) 977-0770.
The "Chanukamelot" event in Herzliya features festival songs with Chani Dinor, Rami Harel, Arik Sinai and Aviva Avidan. Tuesday at 9 p.m., Camelot Herzliya. NIS 60. Tickets: (09) 958-8993.
Barbie has made her way to Israel this winter. First displayed at the Cinema City mall, the first-ever Barbie Exposition to be held in Israel, boasting a collection of 130 classic dolls from myriad collectors, has moved to the Grand Canyon mall in Haifa. It costs NIS 33 to enter the exhibit, which runs from today until the end of January, and features a slew of kids' activities. For information and tickets, call (04) 822-2494.
The annual Hanukka music spectacle Festigal returns, with this year's theme being superheroes. The show is Israel's largest stage production, with over 20 performances. Oshri Cohen, Sophie Zedaka, The Ma Kashur Trio, Adi Cohen and Ron Danker share this year's spotlight. For info, visit www.tapuz.co.il/festigal-hot.
So if you can find the time between lighting candles, eating latkes and opening presents, there are plenty of ways to entertain yourself and the family.
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