Eilat usually stops to catch its breath during the first week of September,
taking a short break between the intensity of the summer vacation and the rush
of the High Holy Days.
This year, however, there is no break in sight, as
6,000 students from across Israel and Europe are expected to converge on the
city for FunJoya 2010 – the first international student festival of its type in
In an effort to produce a festival that will make a mark on the
student vacation calendar and start a new annual tradition, organizers have
planned three days packed with activities, including concerts, parties and
The festival, which will take place from September 2-4, with
an investment of NIS 4 million, will include two nights and three days full of
pool parties, movie screenings, karaoke parties, stand-up performances and live
shows by artists like Mashina, Eddy Watta, Tislam and a variety of deejays from
around the world.
The students will also participate in workshops and
debates on various political, diplomatic and advocacy issues.
intention is to produce an international festival that will enter the global
We want students around the world to know that, just as
there is an annual Beer Festival in Germany, there is FunJoya in Israel,” said
Guy Beser, director-general of Peles, the Israeli Student Union’s economic
division and the festival’s director.
“Our main goal is to promote
tourism to Israel. We aim to do this by providing a mixture of pure fun
alongside serious debate,” said Beser.
According to Beser, the festival
was aggressively marketed both in Israel and abroad, through student union
bodies and in cooperation with the festival’s major sponsors.
with organizations like the World Union of Jewish Students and
Taglit-Birthright, as well as companies like Issta and El Al,” said Beser. “We
also partnered with the Israel Hotel Association and the Ministry of
According to Beser, thousands of hotel rooms in six
participating hotels in Eilat have been reserved for the festival, which is
expected to generate millions of shekels in revenue for the resort
In addition to the festival experience, the organizers have set
some other goals. These include branding Israel as an attractive tourism
destination for students; improving Israel’s image among this target group and
facilitating multi-cultural encounters for students from Israel and European
Beser said that for those who were interested, the festival
would also offer serious conferences dealing with issues like the
Israeli-Palestinian crisis, regional co-existence and worldwide Israel
Beser said that so far, most of the foreign students who had
signed up to the festival were Jewish, but they would be happy to have people
from all religions attend.
When asked if they had experienced any
difficulties marketing the festival on university campuses abroad, Beser
responded that nothing had come up and suggested that since the event was
focused on fun and not on politics, it was well received.
“I guess people
have an easier time swallowing things that have to do with Israel when they are
orientated towards non-divisive issues,” he said.
Tourism Minister Stas
Meseznikov was enthusiastic about the festival.
“The student festival is
of great importance to the city of Eilat and to the State of Israel, both in
terms of promoting student tourism to the resort city, which will in turn
contribute to the local economy, and in the encounter these tourists will enjoy
with Israel and its touring, cultural and entertainment options.
work to ensure the festival is an annual event and to bring new sectors to
Israel in general and Eilat in particular and expose them to an attractive and
quality vacation in Israel,” he said.
Festival package prices differ
depending on the point of origin, but Beser said that an all-inclusive package,
including flights, food, hotels, and entrance to all the events, would cost
someone arriving from Amsterdam ¤600.
For Israelis the price ranges from
NIS 450-NIS 900 depending on the hotel and the number of people per room.