City Notes: 22nd annual storytelling festival kicks off

Weekly round-up of local news around the country.

Storytelling  (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Israel’s 22nd Annual International Storytelling Festival will open on September 24, running through October 5 at the Givatayim Theater.
The festival will host more than 800 well-known personalities and storytellers.
The singers, musicians, artists, entertainers and academics include Eli Amir, Keren Peles, Gadi Sukenik and Hanny Nahmias.
A special guest originally from Iraq, Issam Arabo, will sing from a large repertoire of Iraqi songs, while Ethiopian Jews will perform music.
Festival founder and artistic director Yossi Alfi will also hold a meeting with former president Shimon Peres.
The festival is the largest of its kind in the world, drawing crowds by the thousands from all over the country. Each year, it produces more than 100 hours of radio and television programs that are broadcast regularly. It will open this year with a homage to Albert Einstein, marking 100 years since the publication of the General Theory of Relativity.
Original documents relating to the theory of relativity, as well as handwritten manuscripts and scribbles, will be on display, honoring the world’s most famous and influential Jewish scientist.
Bat Yam community donation campaign expands for holiday
Prior to Rosh Hashana, a Bat Yam campaign called on city residents to step up efforts to forge a strong community by donating to underprivileged families. The project is a collaboration between the municipality and the Latet NGO, involving food donations so that all families in Bat Yam can enjoy the holiday with dignity.
According to the municipality, the campaign has been a great success, with great involvement from youth groups, community centers and schools since the start of the school year. A week ahead of Rosh Hashana, hundreds of volunteers, with the aid of some 140 vehicles, distributed food packages to families with limited resources at the municipal stadium.
Haifa loosens parking regulations for High Holy Days
Haifa announced last week that regulated street parking – marked blue and white – will be free on Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Succot.
Free parking is usually extended only to drivers with specific residential permits, but the decision was taken to make parking easier for residents and the thousands of visitors the city is expecting over the holidays.
The parking authority stressed, however, that it will continue to enforce regulations on any vehicles that are parked illegally: on red-andwhite marked areas, in spots reserved for public transportation or the disabled, and when parking in a way that endangers pedestrians or disrupts traffic.
Sderot high schoolers visit elderly for Rosh Hashana
This week, hundreds of Sderot’s high school students visited the homes of elderly residents to give them a greeting card and a blessing for the New Year. The joint initiative was led by the welfare department’s elderly unit, the city’s youth department and the Amit network’s Sderot for Generations project (whose purpose is to strengthen the spirit of volunteering among youth, with an emphasis on Jewish culture and Israeli holidays).
Succot to see contact improvisation festival for kids, parents
Over Hol Hamoed Succot, the first Contakids festival will be held in Hatzeva for parents and children up to age eight. Contakids is a methodology that promotes the idea of using physical contact to develop a deeper form of communication between parents and children.
Through physical movement, children can enhance their motor skills and self-confidence, while parents develop a bond of trust with their little ones.