Jerusalem highlights: Week of December 24-30

What's new in Israel's capital in the upcoming week.

 AVIVA URI, Untitled. (photo credit: AVI HAI)
AVIVA URI, Untitled.
(photo credit: AVI HAI)

FRIDAY DECEMBER 24 – Dance lovers might consider taking the car and heading to Tel Aviv to enjoy “Curtain Up.” This is a chance to watch three brand-new new performances (starting at 2:30 p.m.). They are Gorim.Mot by Gilad Yerushalmi, CLAY by Mattheus Paul van Rossum and Rebecca Laufer, and Not a Forest by Uri Shafir. NIS 30-55 per ticket, book at (03) 517-3711. Inbal Dance Theatre is at 6 Yechieli St Tel Aviv.

Or, stay close to home and visit the brand-new Gordon art gallery which just opened in the capital (Wednesday, December 22). The works on offer include “Death in God’s Territory”, 10 paintings by the late artist Aviva Uri. Sculptor Ofer Lellouche will present new works, among them, “The Hug,” a large bronze work of a couple embracing. Admission is free. Sapir Center [6 Beit HaDefos Givat Shaul] building number 3, third floor. 

Opening Hours: Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. It is possible to visit on Sunday or Monday upon request. For more details, email: [email protected] 

SATURDAY DECEMBER 25 – Enjoy the classic 1984 film Gremlins at the Jerusalem Cinematheque (4:30 p.m.) as part of their Christmas lineup. A blend of black comedy and a horror film, the movie depicts what happens when an unsuspecting father (Hoyt Axton) buys a devil [mogwai, in Cantonese] for his son (Zach Galligan) for Christmas. 

The cute and furry creature can produce, well, very different sort of beings unless its owner follows three rules. Not to expose it to light, not to allow it to become wet, and never offer it food past midnight. The special effects and warmth of the film, plus its message of hope, make it an excellent choice for parents of young children who might enjoy passing this childhood favorite on to the next generation. NIS 40 per ticket, call (02) 565-433 for tickets. 

SUNDAY DECEMBER 26 – Yossi Klein Halevi, who wrote extensively for this paper, invites the public to attend his 7 p.m. reading, in English, of his 2018 book Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor at Ramot Zion Synagogue, 68 Bar Kochba St. French Hill. Halevi used to be a radical-leaning right-wing Jewish activist until he broke away from Rabbi Meir Kahane, an experience he wrote of in his 1995 book Memoirs of a Jewish Extremist

While this current book is a one-sided attempt by a Jewish-Israeli to begin a conversation with an imaginary Palestinian friend, the book is available online in Arabic for free, and Halevi hopes a real Palestinian person or persons would respond to him. Palestinian readers are welcomed to attend the reading or contact the author via his site to get the PDF at www.yossikleinhalevi.com/. Health Ministry regulations will be kept at the event and light refreshments will be served.

MONDAY DECEMBER 27 – Winners of the Azrieli Music Prizes for 2020, Yitzhak Yedid, Keiko Devaux and Yotam Haber, offer their music online at no cost with the 2021 album New Jewish Music Vol. 3 which can be listened to here: spoti.fi/31EjJPT. These performances of “Kadosh Kadosh and Cursed,” “Arras,” and “Estro Poetico Armonico III” will delight anyone interested in current trends in Western music, and who might be unable to attend live performances during COVID-19. 

TUESDAY DECEMBER 28 – The Kolben Dance group will perform at the Pop Art Modern Art section of the Israel Museum today at 4 p.m. as part of the national museum offering dance events that engage the patrons in relation to the works being shown (NIS 54 per ticket). In “Noah,” the dancers perform in one room which is separated by a transparent wall from another room. In that other room, a huge bra is on display, hinting at the idea of earlier humans being much larger than us before the flood or, maybe, a reference to the male fixation with a large female bosom. For tickets visit: shorturl.at/mwJ46 Or call (02) 670-8811 

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 29 – Emunah Jerusalem’s Toby Willig Lecture Series invites you to an Art Presentation on Zoom with noted art historian, artist and lecturer Maxine Blendis on the topic, “The Akeida in Art from the Third Century to the Present.” The program is in loving memory of Toby and Herbert Willig. 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. NIS 35. To sign up and get a Zoom link, contact Marcia Bartov at [email protected] or Marlene Werner at [email protected], or call 054-625-8500

THURSDAY DECEMBER 30 – The Elmughrabia Orchestra will kick off the 5th edition of “In the Secret of Many Voices” at the National Library (Until Friday, December 31). This special opening event includes Ziv Yehezkel (an ultra-Orthodox musician who renews classic Arab music), Violet Salameh (a Haifa-born Christian-Arab singer) and Berry Sakharof (the Izmir-born Prince of Israeli rock). All will participate in “I am Levantine – Prayers from across the Middle East.” NIS 80 per ticket, first floor of the National Library. 

The festival program offers many interesting musical and cultural explorations. Among them is an all-night event between Thursday December 30 and the last day of 2021, which includes a special workshop on lullaby songs across the spectrum of Jerusalem residents (3:30 a.m.) 

Organ player Yuval Rabin will present liturgical Jewish music from 19th century European synagogues (10 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.) Ofer “Schoolmaster” Tal will rock patrons with rare tracks from his unusually large collection of early Israeli pop, Jewish religious music, and seldom-encountered folk melodies (midnight). 

Tickets for the White Night are NIS 100 and allow entry to all the mentioned events and more. For more information, visit the Hebrew site: besodkolot.nli.org.il/#top 

Throwing a good party? Opening an art exhibition or a new bar? Bringing in a guest speaker to introduce a fascinating topic? Why not drop me a line at [email protected] and let In Jerusalem know about it? Send email with “Jerusalem Highlights” in the subject line. While all information is welcome, receiving such notifications is not a guarantee they will be featured in the column.