Painting the town white

Tel Aviv will keep the music blaring, movies rolling all through its annual 'White Night.'

white nights 88298 (photo credit: Shahaf Haber)
white nights 88298
(photo credit: Shahaf Haber)
Jamaican musicians Eek-A-Mouse, an international musical marathon of jazz, participants from the TV show Dancing with Stars, and a joint Turkish art exhibit by the likes of Erinc Seymen, Ayes Erkman, Leyla Gediz, Chalayan, and Haluk Akakce, are just a handful of things to enjoy on June 29 in Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv hopes to prove its moniker, "the city that never sleeps," when it marks the third anniversary since the city was declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Municipality has enlisted the help of museums, galleries, theater companies, film houses, dance companies, musicians, entertainment venues, sport facilities, libraries, and eateries and pubs to help celebrate its "White Night" happening that will kick off at 6 p.m. on June 29 and continue with non-stop cultural events through the early morning hours of June 30. While visiting a museum between midnight and six the next morning might sound strange to some, Miri Tzdaka, spokeswoman for the Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael) Museum, says last year's "White Night" proved otherwise. "There's no question about whether people will come to the museum but rather how many," Tzdaka told The Jerusalem Post. "Last year about 600 people visited during the 'White Night' celebrations - more than the number of visitors on a regular day." The mood, she says, is unique at night. "There's a special ambiance at night, everything is lit up, there's a calm atmosphere. Usually when people come to a museum it's in the middle of their day's plans and they have to go do something else afterwards. At night you're not in a rush, you can simply enjoy the exhibits," says Tzdaka. "There's an intimate feeling." In addition to Judaic and Biblical art at the Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael) Museum, art lovers will also be able to enjoy late night exhibits at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Bialik House, the Bauhaus Center and local galleries around the city. For architecture fans, the Tel Aviv Tourist Association will offer a historical perspective of the city's architectural grandeur in nighttime tours. Tel Aviv was one of 56 cities to be honored by UNESCO in 2003. Tel Aviv was labeled the "White City" for its high concentration of International style - or Bauhaus - buildings. The buildings, now being re-gentrified, are remnants of an architectural trend brought from Germany by immigrant Jews in the 1930s. Other historical tours will take place at the Ben-Gurion House from 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Film and cinema buffs can also choose between a marathon of musicals at the Hod movie house (Moulin Rouge, 10 p.m.; Chicago, 12 a.m.; The Rocky Horror Picture Show, 2 a.m.), and the Cinematheque's all night run of Israeli and American films including Allenby Romance (Israel), Reservoir Dogs (US), Planet Blue (Israel), and Fingers (US), among others. The Comme Il Faut cafe on Dizengoff Street will screen films by Tel Aviv University film students throughout the night, while Beit Ariella Library will screen art house flicks free of charge. In the theater arena, Beit Lessin, Habima, the Cameri, Clipa, the Arab-Hebrew Theater in Jaffa, the New Israeli Opera, and the Suzanne Dellal Center will all offer nighttime shows at cut-rate prices. Those who prefer alternative or fringe productions should head out to the city's boulevards, where independent artists will produce interactive performances. Folk dancing in Old Jaffa square is said to be one of the evening's dance highlights. There will also be a dance party on Gordon beach (from 8 p.m.) and a ballroom dancing performance by stars of the TV series Dancing with Stars at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center. Music is also a huge part of the festivities. The Enav Center is set to host an International Musical Marathon of Jazz: Avant Garde and Modern Music. For those who prefer to sing-a-long with others, head over to Jaffa's Hapisga Park where a huge public singing fest will take place (from 9 p.m.). Jamaican reggae group Eek-A-Mouse is set to get things pumping at the Barby club. Live contemporary beats will emanate from Manta Ray throughout the night, and DJ's will have people grooving to their beats at Tel Aviv's port all night long. Thelma Yellin jazz students will perform for free at Beit Ariela, while next door at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art Israeli rock stars Efrat Gosh and Asaf Amdursky will be singing among artworks. At the Tmuna Theater, the band Funk'n'stein will get things grooving from 11 p.m., while young bands like Midnight Peacocks, Lebanon, and Dafna and the Cookies will jive at the Third Ear music store. In the midst of the city's month-long health project, there's no better way to wrap up the 'White Night' happening than with exercise. Choose from rowing along the Yarkon River (until 4 a.m.; 03-642-0541), wall climbing in Yarkon Park (till 2 a.m.; 03-699-0910), waterskiing in Menachem Begin Park (until 2 a.m., 03-739-1168) or free yoga on the beach (6:30 a.m., Jerusalem Beach). For more information (in Hebrew) go to: For updates at the Municipality's web site, go to: