The Library’s Lion, at Holon’s holiday Mediatheque Theater.
(photo credit: BENNY GAMZU-LETOVA)
Having gotten through the long summer vacation in one piece, many parents up and down the country soon begin wracking their brains once again as the Succot vacation veers into view.
But when it comes to keeping the offspring suitably and joyfully engaged, there are few better locations than Holon. The Mediatheque Center is a junior sectororiented cultural center that takes in the theater, the public library, the Holon Cinematheque, the Israeli Cartoon Museum and the Design Museum Holon. Between October 18 and 22, the facility will host a number of productions aimed at children of various ages and their accompanying adults. The Hebrew-language kiddies’ fare includes Library Lion, written by theater head Roni Pinkovitz for the over four age group; perennial Dr.
Seuss favorite The Cat in the Hat for ages three and over; and the everpopular musical The Sixteenth Sheep.For information: (03) 502-1552; www.mediatheque.org.il.
Meanwhile, just a stone’s throw away, the Holon Theater will run the 16th annual edition of its Childhood Sounds Festival. This year’s program takes place at the Steinberg Center while the theater completes structural renovation work. There is plenty of quality kids’ music-based entertainment on offer. This includes the award-winning Kibbutz Theater production The Magic of Mozart for the four and over crowd, while the Goshen Theater company will present Glass Slipper for kids from the age of three. The festival shows incorporate several disciplines, including dance and animation.For information: (03) 502-3000; www.hth.co.il.
Naturally, the local Israel Children’s Museum will be catering to juniors during Succot with a slew of items aimed at little ones from age two and a half up to 12-year-olds. These include age group-tailored tours, such as A Trip with Yanshul and Following Butterflies, and the new “Stories from the Street” exhibition at the museum’s Eye Level Center. The latter includes a route for ages three to five and one for ages five to nine. Meanwhile, the older crowd – ages eight to 12 – can enjoy the Aliens interactive slot, while parents can join children aged nine and over in the intriguing 90-minute Invitation to Silence activity conducted by hearingimpaired guides.
Information:(03) 650-3000; www.childrensmuseum.org.il.
Back at the Mediatheque Center, the local cinematheque will host the country’s inaugural Aki-Nu Japanese Film Festival, from October 18 through to October 30. Contemporary movies from the Land of the Rising Sun will also be shown at the cinematheques of Tel Aviv, Haifa, Herzliya and Jerusalem, based on a program created by the Holon Cinematheque. Most screenings will have subtitles in English, in addition to Hebrew. A mite to the north, the Opera House in Tel Aviv is offering three days of operatic entertainment for ages three to eight. The three-day agenda takes in Hebrew-language performances of Mozart’s Magic Flute, Rossini’s Cinderella and a special production of Hansel and Gretel.
For information: (03) 692-7777; Israel-opera.co.il.
Tel Aviv has more in the way of family-oriented fun and games at the Bialik Compound, with the Time Tunnel program of activities and workshops, which will take place October 18 to 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. The lineup includes mission games, as well as a comics and collage workshop, all based on characters from Haim Nachman Bialik’s writings. For more information: (03) 525-3403
If you enjoy a good story, the 23rd edition of the annual Storytellers’ Festival is already up and running at the Givatayim Theater. The event runs through until October 24 and features a host of stellar musical acts too, with the likes of octogenarian actor-dancer-singer Yisrael Gurion on board, as well as an intriguing show dedicated to the life and work of poet-troubadour Leonard Cohen.For more information: www.yossi-alfi.co.il
The Orna Porat Theater for Children and Youth always does its bit to keep children happy over the vacation period. This year’s 13th annual Yaron Yerushalmi Festival at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art has lined up 19 shows for the whole family. This year’s festival, which will take place October 19 to 21, will also inaugurate a toddlers’ program.
Information: (03) 511-1444; www.porattheater.co.il.
Jerusalem also has plenty to offer over Succot. The Museum for Islamic Art offers children some insight into how their forebears in Islamic countries used to keep themselves busy, with its Yard Games program. The three–dayer (October 18 to 20) kicks off with the Music from the Palm Yards concert courtesy of internationally renowned violinist-oud player Yair Dalal. The lineup features giant-sized board games, experiential tours of the museum’s exhibits and games-based workshops.
For information: (02) 566-1291; www.islamicart.co.il
The East Jerusalem Development Company has lined up three days of guided tours, attractions and activities for October 18 to 20. The tour offering features an all-action excursion along the northern ramparts of the Old City for children aged up to 12 accompanied by an adult. It includes a new challenge section that entails crawling along a cramped section of Zedakaya’s Cave, with safety helmets and flashlights, and rappelling down the Old City walls opposite Safra Square.Tickets can be purchased from the ticket office at Jaffa Gate.
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the creation of the world’s first ghetto in Venice. The latest related event is the Yards in Jerusalem venture at the Museum of Italian Jewish Art, which is centered on the recreation of a Venetian Jewish yard. The four-day program (October 18 to 21) includes the “Jewish Yard of Venice” exhibition, with a 300-year-old succa as the centerpiece.
Other highlights incorporate a typical Venetian Jewish home and a synagogue.
For more information: www.hatserotfestival.co.il
If you happen to be in the North over Succot, you might want to pop by the Open Museum at the Tefen Industrial Park between October 17 and 22, where you can enjoy the “Artifacts Reveal” (Hafatzim Megalim) exhibition. It tells the story of the various waves of aliya from Central Europe who escaped the evolving horrors of the Nazi regime between 1933 and 1938. The Tefen event also includes workshops for children and street shows.
For information: (04) 910-9609; www.omuseums.org.il
Other Succot northern highlights include free guided tours around the environs of the Sea of Galilee (*55477; www.kineret.org.il); an insight into wine-making endeavor at the Bazelet Hagolan Visitors’ Center (04-696-5010; www.bazelet-hagolan.com); and all sorts of workshops, exhibitions and fun and games at the Janco-Dada Museum at Ein Hod (04-984-2350; http://www.jancodada.co.il).
And there’s lots going on in the South, too. If you want to pick up the tempo a bit, the Timna National Park hosts the Live Timna Beat Festival on October 21 and 22. The third annual event has lined up guided tours, rhythmic workshops and top-class musical entertainment in the form of the Hadag Nahash hip hop outfit.
Camping facilities will be available.For information: 1-800-225-007; www.parktimna.co.il
The northern Negev has also got plenty going for it in terms of familytailored activities between October 18 and 25. These take in agriculturalthemed events at places such as the Tzeela Dairy (052- 847-8935; www.tzeela.com); an opportunity to get up close to some big birds at the El Yaen Ostrich Farm (052- 690-1660); and a chance to learn something about Beduin art culture on October 20 at the Joe Alon Center ((08) 991-3322; www.joealon.org).