CITY NOTES / More than 100,000 people attend Acre’s theater festival

A round-up of the local news of the week

Bavli area of Tel Aviv (photo credit: Courtesy)
Bavli area of Tel Aviv
(photo credit: Courtesy)


More than 100,000 people attended Acre Festival of Alternative Theater last week, in the Old City’s Knights Halls, the Local website reported. This 34th edition of the event ran over four days, featuring 68 shows and 350 national and international artists in a variety of performances, including street theater, pantomime, dance, music, video art, a craft fair and sociocultural panels.

Local quoted the festival organizers as saying the event had once again proven its importance as a leading artistic and cultural event in Israel’s theater world, providing a significant platform for original artists, both new and old.
Festival director Albert Ben-Shlush was quoted as saying: “The 100,000 visitors who came to the city during the four-day festival instilled their faith in Acre’s festival.”
“Despite the increase in tickets that were on sale this year, by the second day most of the tickets were sold out. The atmosphere surrounding the festival was wonderful, as the guests expressed,” he added, noting that some 100 people came to the festival from the US, along with dancers from the Ballet Austin.
The award for this year’s best shows was granted to two plays: the black comedy-farce Pffffff, written and directed by Aharon Levin and Yaron Edelstein, and the postmodern My Book of Faces, written by Inna Eizenberg and directed by Nohar Lazarovich.
1 million visit KKL-JNF sites over holiday, breaking 2012 record

Some 1 million people visited Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund parks and forests during Succot, exceeding by a few thousand the number of visitors last year. According to KKLJNF staff, this was due to the favorable weather that lasted throughout the holiday, as well as the fact that every year more bike paths and routes are opened.

KKL-JNF chairman Efi Stenzler said the accessibility of the forests and parks, the diversity of sites and the free entrance, drew many people out during the holiday to enjoy the outdoors with their families. “Every year it is exciting to see the public connect to the landscape of the country,” he said. “This is a tremendous vote of confidence in KKL-JNF’s great efforts to make nature accessible to the general public.”
Succot came immediately after International Cleanup Day, led in Israel by KKL-JNF, and the organization said there was improvement in maintaining cleanliness at the sites.
Cornerstone laid for new Caesarea office complex

The cornerstone for a new complex of offices was laid in the Caesarea Industry and Business Park on Sunday night, as part of a project led by the Caesarea Development Corporation and the Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Caesarea Development Corporation, both of which are subsidiaries of the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation. The building, called Ofek 8, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2014, will cover a space of 5,200 square meters.

The building is the second of three office complexes constructed by the Caesarea Development Corporation; the first, Ofek 9, was completed in April 2013. The new complex is situated in the northern part of the business park and is within walking distance of the railway station.

Latino rockers to perform on streets of Tel Aviv

The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality together with the Kehila Latina en Israel (Latino Community in Israel) group were set to launch a Latino rock music festival this weekend, featuring Latin American artists in Israel. The event, called Festival Amigo Rock, was scheduled for Friday morning, beginning at 10, on the corner of Dizengoff Street and Ben- Gurion Boulevard.

Among those playing is South American pop/ rock group Not Focus. Its lead guitarist, Hernan Trajtemberg of Argentina, told The Jerusalem Post that his band was very excited for the upcoming event: “We think it’s very cool that we can play on the streets of Tel Aviv and see the people enjoy good music.” The five-member band was formed some three years ago and joins Axis, Oy Boy, La Herreria and Tangoneon in the line-up.
Event organizer Adrian List told the Post that the team which initiated the event is a group of Spanish-speaking olim who want to create a platform for Spanish speakers in Israeli society. He explained that the idea is to achieve a more prominent status for the community, enabling its members to express themselves through various forums – be it art, culture, politics or academia. “We are organizing events, and hope that society knows we are here and are looking after our community, and are integrating into Israeli society in the best possible way,” he added.
This is the second event the group has organized together with the municipality. The first was a meeting with Argentineanborn Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, who headed the government panel to address the social justice protests launched in the summer of 2011. “And now we’re doing something different,” List said, adding that the Israeli public needs to know the Latino community is about more than just salsa and tacos.
List stressed the importance of the municipality’s support, saying it “opened the gates for us.”
First easyJet flight from Tel Aviv to Rome takes off

Israelis can now add Italy to their list of holiday destinations accessible by low-cost airline easyJet, the company announced last week, as the first passengers took off from Ben-Gurion Airport to Rome’s Fiumicino Airport. EasyJet now operates two weekly flights between Tel Aviv and Rome, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Fares for single flights begin at €44.24 outbound and €42.74 inbound, the company said.

Tel Aviv-Rome is the fifth easyJet destination, joining London and Manchester in the UK, and Geneva and Basel in Switzerland.
Hugh Aitken, easyJet’s UK and Middle East commercial manager, welcomed the first passengers to travel on the new route, saying: “We already experience high demand for these flights. and I am confident that this route will become very popular among our customers in Europe and Israel. The new route emphasizes that easyJet is a long-term, committed partner of the Israeli economy and tourism industry.”

Beersheba police locate escaped psychiatric patient

Beersheba police received a report last week concerning a man in his 60s who had left a city mental hospital without permission, the Local website reported. The police launched an operation to locate the missing man, and discovered he was carrying a mobile phone, for which they detected the number.

According to the report, after many attempts a policewoman managed to reach the patient on his phone, arranging to meet with him. The man was reportedly disappointed when he was met by two male patrol officers; he subsequently attacked them and tried to run away. The officers caught him after a short chase on foot, and returned him to the hospital to continue his treatment.
Police arrest Jordanian teen who infiltrated into Israel

Police on Sunday arrested a 16-year-old boy near Eilat, who they said had infiltrated into Israel from Jordan. Police found he had entered Israel by accident and after questioning, the youth was returned to Jordanian authorities.

Three nabbed on suspicion of robbing truck

Police arrested three people last week on suspicion of stealing money from a truck belonging to the Ivory company, as it was undertaking its daily rounds to the chain’s stores around the South. The suspects allegedly blocked the truck’s route with a car, stole money while they held the driver at gunpoint, and fled. The three were to be brought to an Ashkelon court for a remand extension.