The Shavuot shuffle

With so many activities going on for the holiday, the attractive options are wide and varied.

Milk and Honey Festival (photo credit: Israel Peretz)
Milk and Honey Festival
(photo credit: Israel Peretz)
While Shavuot is all about fresh offerings, it’s also a chance to appreciate the past and celebrate Israel’s rich agricultural and cultural heritage. There is a host of mainly family-orientated activities going on in various places around the country.
Here is just a select few of the more established events, as well as some new and unique offerings.
The Jezreel Valley will be hosting the nostalgic Shavuot Milk and Honey Festival for the 13th year, celebrating agriculture and culture in the valley. The festival will include musical performances celebrating classic Israeli songs and musicians such as Yonatan Gefen, Natan Yonatan and Effi Netzer.
There will also be a chance to take part in the classic Israeli custom of public sing-alongs with Einat Sarof. The festival will also include traditional harvest offering ceremonies, agricultural fairs, circus activities, organized tours of the valley and activities for children.
May 13-18, (04) 652-0734
The city of Petah Tikva will be doing its bit for the environment with an ecological festival called The Ball Is in Our Hands, Wear White. The festival, which is taking place for the first time, will include creative workshops dealing with environmental issues and recycling activities, as well as entertainment for children and the whole family.
Children will get the opportunity to turn old unused items such as computers and socks into robots and stylish bags.
May 16, Petah Tikva Park, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entrance to the festival is free. NIS 20 for four workshops. www.petah-
To celebrate 110 years since the founding of the city, residents of Kfar Saba will be stopping whatever they’re doing to dance in the streets for a few hours. For one evening, many of the main streets will be closed to traffic, so people can enjoy a nostalgic atmosphere of yesteryear complete with music, dancing and decorations.
Waiters and waitresses dressed in traditional outfits from the 1930s will line the streets and offer party goers a chance to drink up the atmosphere of historic coffee shops.
May 16, Kfar Saba city center, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Entrance is free. (09) 764-9106;
Enjoy a festive mode in Modi’in Shavuot is one of those holidays when Israel is inundated with festivals and family- oriented activities everywhere you go.
Modi’in and its environs will host many holiday events from May 9-18, such as harvest celebrations, dairy farm workshops, wine tastings and bus tours between sites.
For a full program of the White Festival of Modi’in, go to or call (03) 972-8999.
On Shavuot and every weekend in May, the Science Garden offers children the opportunity to learn all about milk in a new and refreshing way.
They will be able to draw pictures with it, create original jewelry using special properties of the milk protein casein, and see how light waves are broken by milk in a glass.
In honor of Shavuot, children are invited to perform an interesting experiment to find out what organism helps ground grains of wheat turn into an aromatic loaf of fresh bread.
For a festive conclusion, they can make “glee- yeda” – scientific ice cream, made instantaneously from cream and milk in liquid nitrogen. Every visitor is guaranteed one free cone of ice cream. The activities are in Hebrew.
May 15, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Adults NIS 40; children NIS 35; family ticket NIS 150; students NIS 20. .il/en/
The Abu Ghosh Festival, which takes place twice a year, has been wowing music lovers for the past 20 years. This year’s performances by musical ensembles and choirs take place at the Kiryat Ye’arim church and in the crypt of the Crusader chapel below.
The charming historical town of Abu Ghosh, a 20- minute drive from Jerusalem, is renowned for its churches, lovely scenery and humous.
May 14 – 18, Abu Ghosh, various locations. Ticket prices vary. Call * 6226 (Bimot – tickets)
Free spirits and lovers of good music should head to the Indigo Festival, billed as “a pure global reunion of the tribes.”
Prepare to be reborn into a state of reality where everything is possible. This magical creation of Indigo started in 2009 when a group of desert travelers dreamt of gathering together freedom lovers.
Their goal has been to provide people with the tools necessary to learn about a different way of life and respect for one another.
For those looking for a more urban Shavuot experience, Bialik House in Tel Aviv will be celeb rating by gathering offerings by the legendary national poet.
As part of tours throughout the day, children will be able to learn about the first poem that Bialik wrote, and uncover such mysteries as who won in the mythical battle between the Hermon, Tabor and Carmel mountains.
Just across the road, at the Beit Ha’ir Museum, tours will be available to discover the first neighborhoods of Tel Aviv.
May 15-16, Bialik Complex, Tel Aviv. Children NIS 40; adults NIS 20.