5 Ways that Olim Kick Back

There are many ways in which Olim and native Israelis spend their leisure time. Here are some of the most popular.

10 Ways that Olim Kick Back (photo credit: NEFESH B'NEFESH)
10 Ways that Olim Kick Back
(photo credit: NEFESH B'NEFESH)
Israelis work hard, and they play hard too. Between dance and music festivals, wine tastings, theater, museum exhibitions, national parks, and gallery openings, there are endless opportunities for socializing, entertainment, and personal enrichment. English-language events are held throughout the country, too, with Nefesh B’Nefesh alone running over 100 each year. 
Check out the top 5 ways that Olim let loose:
1. Festivals
Israel’s good weather lasts for more than half the year, which means that there is ample time for outdoor festivals of every kind--from culinary to music to spiritual to dance. One festival that shouldn’t be missed is the Israeli Wine Tasting Festival, which takes place at the Israel Museum. It comes right in time for the chagim and features a wide selection of kosher wine from vineyards throughout Israel.
2. Concerts
Last year, tons of top artists flocked to Israel, including Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Neil Young, and Katy Perry. With exuberant crowds and top-notch security, performers know that in Israel, they’ll receive a warm welcome and always feel safe. Interested in music that’s less mainstream? Bars, bookstores, and parks host dozens of concerts each night--from Ladino to Klezmer to Israeli folk.
3. Nature
Whether you love rolling hills or desert dunes, Israel has it all--and each is only a short drive away. Immerse yourself in Israel’s nature, hiking one of Israel’s rugged trails, riding the Mediterranean waves, of picnicking in the park. Families with children love Israel’s ubiquitous playgrounds, which often feature massive and colorful jungle gyms.
4. Marathons
For Jewish runners, there’s no better adrenaline rush than when you’re running alongside thousands of other Jewish people, with the Old City’s Walls behind you. Marathons in Israel not only take runners through paths steeped in ancient and modern history, they also provide a wonderful way for locals to raise money for organizations that they support. Looking for a shorter run, with some added fun to keep you pepped? Check out the Color Run, where you’ll be sprayed with colored powder when you least expect it!
5. Cultural Events
From theater to museums to film festivals to lectures, Israel offers ample opportunity for art enthusiasts. Head to the Cameri Theater for a professional production with English subtitles, learn about Israeli history at some of the best museums in the world, catch the latest films at the Haifa International Film Festival, and join an intimate parlor meeting with an Israeli politician.