Shavuot festivals abound

There is much in store for music, art, poetry, food, dance lovers at events across the country.

JERUSALEM The day after Shavuot could not be a more appropriate time for the "Jerusalem Eats" festival celebrating the diversity of ethnic foods so central to the lives and legacies of Jews from across the world who now call this city home. For those who wish to taste a little of everything, guided tours will visit a wide range of Jerusalem neighborhoods, their personalities and kitchens. The first tour will explore how different Jewish ethnic groups collectively create the Israeli kitchen that brews so delectably with magical scents. It will focus primarily on the Ethiopian Jewish culinary experience, touring the neighborhood of Nahlaot, Jaffa Road and the Mahaneh Yehuda market. The second excursion will visit Jerusalem's Old City to discover and taste unusual drinks including the orchid-based sahlab. Carbohydrate lovers will adore the third tour - a look at Jerusalem's breads. Participants will taste the breads of various Jewish ethnic groups while visiting bakeries and holy sites in the Old City. Finally, the tastes and scents of the Eastern European Jewish kitchen will come alive during the last tour through the neighborhoods of Mea She'arim, Geula, Zichron Moshe and Mekor Baruch. Thursday, 4 to 9 p.m. Beit Shmuel, Rehov Shama 6, Jerusalem. Entrance to festival including tour, NIS 10. Children's play for ages 4-8, NIS 38. Lecture by Guy Hovav, NIS 45. Festival entrance fee waived with purchase of play or lecture ticket. For tickets: (02) 620-3555 or HOLON This year on Shavuot, the Israeli Children's Museum in Holon will open its doors to young children with plenty of artistic activities to celebrate the holiday. Through various activities, museum and event staff hope to give children opportunities to learn about and practice the photographic, musical, theatrical, and visual forms of artistic expression and their relation to the holiday of Shavuot and the springtime of year. Two main events will be open to the general public on tomorrow and Thursday. The first, a two-hour program hosted from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. will allow participants to engage with renowned Israeli artists who will exhibit their works and guide participants in their own artistic creations. The event includes a journey to discover painter Leora Gilboa's works, which creatively picture the flowering of nature at this time of year. Under the guidance of sculptor Noam Lifschitz, participants will use strips of copper to create their own artistic statues and sculptures representing nature blooming during the spring, the season of Shavuot. The second program to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. will begin with outdoor guided walks in the vicinity of the museum and continue with four simultaneous workshops through which participants will create different types of art in honor of Shavuot. Workshop options include the creation of wicker baskets and fruit made out of colorful sugared dough, bouquets of fresh flowers for every Shavuot table, special soaps composed of sprouts and vegetation with healing powers, and window boxes with floral patterns in which to place flowers to beautify the home. First event: Merkaz Begova Eynaim, Rehov Ussishkin 11, Holon. Tomorrow and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 12 noon and 12:30-2:30 p.m.. Every Saturday, 10:30 a.m. For ages 3-9. NIS 45 per child, NIS 25 per adult. For tickets: (03) 503-9139 Second event: Tomorrow and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. NIS 20 per workshop. The Israeli Children's Museum, Rehov Mifratz Shlomo, Park Peres, Holon. For tickets: 1599-585858 ABU GHOSH The 31st Annual Abu Ghosh Classical Music Festival will take place tomorrow through Saturday, featuring more than 700 musicians from Israel and abroad. Local soloists, ensembles and orchestras will be complemented for the second consecutive year by the Ensemble Tbilisi, guests from Georgia. The musical repertoire includes five Requiems by Bruckner, Puccini, Michael Haydn, Saint-Saens and Faur , Bach's "Great" Mass in B minor, and Canto General by Theodorakis. An addition to this year's festival is Israel Prize laureate Yehezkel Braun's premiere musical work. Tomorrow through Saturday, Kiryat Ye'arim Church, Abu Ghosh. For information and tickets:,, (03) 604-5000, (02) 622-2333, *5000 from Bezeq THE NORTH In Metulla, the annual Israeli Poetry Festival will take place today through Thursday. As in years past, the program offers poetry readings, a book fair, a local artists' bazaar and guided walking tours of the vicinity in addition to complimentary classical, jazz, and ethnic musical performances in Hebrew and other languages. More than 30 popular Israeli Jewish and Arab poets are expected to participate, including Rachel Chalfi, Israel Eliraz, Haim Gouri, Miron Isaacson, Agi Mishol and Taha Mohammad Ali. These poets and others will read selections from their works and the works of their favorite poets who have inspired them. Throughout the three-day celebration, young poets who are beginning their careers will be invited to an open stage to share their works. Popular, established Israeli poets will also lead workshops for youth. Today and tomorrow. Several locations in the Metulla town center. Information and tickets: (02) 624-5206, (04) 695-0778 or Free entrance, no pre-ordered seats. THE NEGEV In its third consecutive year, the Bodyways Hagiga festival will take place this week today through Friday in the Shittim Desert. Festival participants of all ages are invited to partake in the activities including dance, movement, contact games, improvisation, theater (physical, action theater, pantomime) yoga, belly dancing and tai chi. The program's structure offers workshops for beginners through the experienced, performances, dancing and jams day and night. Street performances will abound and activities for children will also be available. Children will have the opportunity to make puppet dolls and perform with them, partake in story telling and in movement workshops for parents and children together. Today through Friday. Shittim, the Negev For tickets and information: 077-765-5007 or JEZREEL VALLEY The Seventh annual Milk and Honey festival of Israeli music, first fruits and and nature trips in the Jezreel Valley will run for one week over Shavuot. Musical performances will feature popular musicians Mosh Ben-Ari, Aviv Geffen, Gidi Gov, Berry Sakharof and groups Shotei Hanevua, the Idan Raichel Project and others. An agrarian celebration including the traditional bringing of the "first fruits" at the time of Shavuot, will take place at Moshav Nahalal, one of the oldest moshavim in the region. Olive-lovers can join tours of an ecological olive press at Moshav Tzipori on which demonstrations will be given on the traditional production of olive oil. Finally, children ages eight and up can explore a gigantic outdoor maze at Moshav Sde Ya'acov that comprises 3,500 plants, in addition to many more activities during the weeklong festival. Until Saturday, various locations across the Jezreel Valley. For information and tickets: (04) 652-0734/5 or