Showtime: Art is child's play

Fans of fish and chips – even without the fish – and any other form of spud dish might want to head to the Negev for the Potato Festival.

Spudfest 521 (photo credit: Livnat Ginsberg)
Spudfest 521
(photo credit: Livnat Ginsberg)
By Barry DavisAu naturel in Ashdod
If it’s human song and dance you’re after – with some more action provided by our feathered friends – Lachish Park near Ashdod would be a good bet for you on April 20 and 21 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
The Celebrating Spring in the Stream festival, which offers free entry to the site but not to all the activities, is probably up your alley, if not your valley.
The event’s subheading – “Song, Story and Singing for All the Family” – clearly conveys the nature of the festival program. The park will host a rich program of shows, magic and juggling acts, musical spectacles, workshops, story sessions and activities for all the family. There will also be guided tours of the site, including enlightenment about the local flora and fauna.
For more information, (08) 850-5210 or
Hula Valley Fun
If you venture up north during Pessah, particularly around the Hula Valley area, you can avail yourself of an abundance of activities and entertainment items laid on by the JNF.
The program of events kicks off on April 20 and ends on April 22. The agenda features juggling workshops and performances, face-painting, the Moshe Lahav Big Tish musical extravaganza, and a Kabbalat Shabbat show on April 22.
Other outdoor activities include a sunrise birdwatching expedition, with coffee and cake to fortify the body; guided tours of the water plant botanical garden; cycling, and a nocturnal guided tour of the nature reserve.
The site opens at 9 a.m. and last entrance is at 4 p.m. First entry on the Friday is at 6:30 a.m.
For more information, (04) 681-7137 or
Magic at Neot Kedumim
Neot Kedumim, the Biblical Landscape Reserve in Israel, near Ben-Shemen, will host the Enchanted Forest happening on April 20 and 21. The two-day program focuses on musicals and the world of legend and includes productions of such perennial favorites as The Jungle Book, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
Besides the onstage entertainment, there will be plenty of attractions around the rustic compound including quizzes presented by dwarfs, with prizes to be won, an acrobatic version of Jack and the Beanstalk, a comic interactive show in the Sherwood Forest area, a street theater rendition of Hansel and Gretel, and an archery range.
For more information and tickets, call (03) 558- 6606, 077-506-1791 or (08) 977-0779
Mummy’s the word
If you’ve ever wondered how the Egyptians kept their mummies so fresh for thousands of years, all can be revealed to you at “In the Footsteps of the Pharaohs’ Secret” at the Devorat Hatavor event in the Jezreel Valley, every day between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. until the end of this month.
The enlightening activity includes a hike which takes in explanations about the materials produced in beehives and used by the ancient Egyptians to preserve bodies, and a real-time demonstration from bees in the area.
There are also hands-on activities such as preparing tasty honey, chocolate and matza creations; and Egyptian parchment painting.
For more information, call (04)-676-9598 or 050- 563-7645
Yokne’am’s Sound of Music
The general public will be able to get a glimpse of how Yokne’am’s artists go about their creative business between April 21 and April 23, at the Open House and Music Festivities event in the Moshava neighborhood of the city.
As in the last six years, 30 local artists and musicians will open their workplaces to show the public some of their creations and works in progress. The hosts will unveil works across a range of artistic disciplines including painting, embroidery, jewelry-making, crafted leather bags, engravings and glass-working.
The event also includes a concert, with a performance of Missa Criolla by the Megiddo Regional Choir under the direction of Pnina Inbar. There will also be guided tours of the area.
For tickets and more information, call (04)-959- 8506 or 050-5357081
Fans of fish and chips – even without the fish – mashed potatoes and any other form of spud dish might want to head off to the Negev to catch the Potato Festival, which will take place at Mitzpe Gevulot, near Kibbutz Gevulot, in the Besor Region west of Beersheba, on April 21. The event is part of the five-day Besor Region Agricultural Happening, which starts on April 20.
The festival program includes a rich array of entertainment and hands-on activities, as well as tours of potato fields, workshops, a farmers’ market and potato-based cooked dishes.
Local farmers will be on hand to enlighten visitors with some surprising facts about the vegetable – all 3,000 strains of it – and about the history of potato cultivation in the Negev.
For more information, 052-999-1003 and
Art is child's play
By Lahav Harkov
How is your Pessah cleaning coming along? If you have found any old toys that your children have outgrown, don’t throw them away – artist Michael Baum has a creative solution for you.
On April 22, after weeks of collecting unusable toys from manufacturers and discarded playthings from individuals, Baum will use the toys to create a collage in front of an audience at the Tel Aviv Port’s Hangar 22.
“We have two children, and when they got older, we donated their toys to charity,” said Mali Baum, the artist’s wife and spokesperson. “Some toys, however, had sentimental value and we wanted to keep them, so Michael used the toys to create works of art for our home.”
As guests saw the collages and wanted ones of their own, Baum began to make art to order out of customers’ old toys, in addition to his business designing playthings for toddlers at BeeZeeBee (
After designing toy collages for private buyers, Baum decided to spread the word about art and recycling by participating in the toy exhibit, which has been ongoing at the Tel Aviv Port since March, and will be open until May 15.
“On Pessah, people clean their homes and get organized, so this is a good time to decide what to keep and what to give away,” Mali Baum said. “Plus, April 22 is Earth Day, so what better time to teach people about recycling? “We want to create public awareness – toys can be donated,” Baum said. “Instead of keeping them in a box or in storage, they can be used to create art.”
Visitors are encouraged to bring old toys to the Port. Toys that are still usable will be donated to WIZO day care centers for children at risk, while toys that are broken or in bad shape will be used to create a massive 4 m. by 4 m. collage.
Starting at 11 a.m., “the public will be able to see what Michael does in his studio, from beginning to end,” Baum said.
When the toy exhibit ends, the collage will be hung in a WIZO day care center.
In addition to Baum’s recycled-toy art, there will be a display of collectible toys and nostalgia at the Tel Aviv Port, as well as an exhibit featuring new toys designed by students from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, and the Holon Institute of Technology.
During Pessah, and in honor of Earth Day, there will be recycled- art workshops for children, in which they can create toys from scrap paper and leaves. The workshops cost between NIS 20 and NIS 35.