NORTH President Shimon Peres on April 16 opened the annual Ein Gev Music Festival, which this year marked 10 years since the death of Naomi Shemer, known as “the first lady of Israeli song.” The president sang the song “Hakol Patuah” (Everything Is Open) together with a children’s choir. Singers performing in the festival included Miri Aloni, Saraleh Sharon, Shlomit Aharon and the Gevatron.“When I sing the beautiful songs of the Land of Israel, in the Jordan Valley, I feel as if I have returned home – how beautiful it is to come home,” said the president in a speech to the audience. He also remarked on Shemer’s talent, saying, “Naomi Shemer, who was born in Kibbutz Kinneret, inflamed the hearts of an entire generation, and also moved the generations that followed. She didn’t sing to us – she sang us. Where is a more wonderful place to sing Naomi’s songs than Ein Gev beach, which directly looks at Kibbutz Kinneret?”He added that “we’ll continue to walk to the Promised Land,” emphasizing that the path to it was still “very long.”Three thousand people packed out the hall, including Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel-Jewish National Fund co-chairman Eli Aflalo, MK Elazar Stern (Hatnua), former MK Shaul Yahalom and Tiberias Mayor Yossi Ben-David.Galilee hosts stone sculpture festival over Passover The 24th International Stone Sculpture Festival took place last week in Ma’alot-Tarshiha in the Galilee. Works by both local and international artists were on display, and visitors also enjoyed children’s shows, acrobatic performances, stand-up comedy, workshops and a variety of other family activities, free of charge. The theme of this year’s festival was “Art and Industry.” As part of the festival, there was also a national concrete boat sailing competition, in cooperation with the Engineers Association for Con-struction and Infrastructure, the United Architects Association and the Ma’alot-Tarshiha Municipality. The competition included designing, building and sailing in the canoe. Ten teams participated in the contest in Monfort Lake, sailing in boats weighing over 200 kg.Haifa man found dead in apartment A man was found dead in his Haifa apartment last weekend with signs of violence on his body.Shortly after midnight, Magen David Adom received a call about an unconscious man who had been found in his apartment on Hehalutz Street. When MDA paramedics arrived, the man, in his mid-40s, was pronounced dead. His body showed long-term signs of violence.The circumstances of the incident are still unknown.CENTER Tel Aviv Arts Council to show classic IDF comedy film The Tel Aviv Art Council, in partnership with the Tel Aviv Cinematheque and the municipality, will be screening the film Givat Halfon Eina Ona (Halfon Hill Doesn’t Answer) next week, with English subtitles.The film is a cult classic comedy about an IDF reserve unit watching the Egyptian border in Sinai.In 2005, it was voted the most popular movie of all time. The film’s title is a parody of the patriotic film Giva 24 Eina Ona.The film’s writer, Naftali Alter, will deliver a talk at the screening, which will take place on April 29 from 8:15 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at 2 Ha’arba Street. Alter completed his army service in 1969, then studied at the London Film School.The screening – part of the Israeli Cinema Series, which aims to “bring the best of Israeli creative culture to our young professional community” – is aimed at professionals in their 20s and 30s, and tickets costs NIS 20.Man suffers serious stab injury in Tel Aviv fight A 40-year-old man was stabbed in the upper body and seriously wounded in a fight that broke out on Tel Aviv’s Twersky Street early last weekend. Magen David Adom evacuated the man to Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center.SOUTH Holot, Tel Aviv activists hold Refugee Freedom Seders Israeli activists and African asylum-seekers participated in two alternative Seders last week: one outside the Holot open prison in the Negev, and the other at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. The events included roundtable discussions between Israelis and asylum seekers, a theatrical performance by One Strong Black, and speeches by Rabbi Esteban Gottfried of Beit Tefilah Israeli, Mutasim Ali of the African Refugee Development Center, and social activist Yossi Abramowitz. The Refugee Freedom Seder has taken place every year since 2007 in south Tel Aviv’s Levinsky Park, but this was the first time there were two in Israel.Organizers said that the purpose of the Tel Aviv event was to create an opportunity for personal encounters between Israelis and asylum seekers, so they could hear each other’s stories and get to know one another. Meanwhile, the purpose of the Holot Seder was to provide a warm meal for the detainees, as well as “an opportunity to laugh and to celebrate, to talk and to tell, and to have a listening ear and a friendly shoulder; to provide an opportunity for Israelis to hear the personal stories of asylum-seekers interned at Holot, to raise awareness to their situation, to appreciate the freedoms that we have that we may never take them for granted, and to take away a little from our joy this holiday as we remember those who are not free, and to gain inspiration to work toward their freedom.”The Communist Party of Israel website quoted Rabbi Susan Silverman as saying during the Seder outside Holot, “Every single person in this country who sits down to a Passover Seder has to say to themselves, ‘Am I taking care of the stranger among us right now?’ Everyone’s got to look around and see what we are doing with the strangers in our own country.”Heavy wind brings down trees in Eilat Strong winds blew down trees around Eilat on Sunday, causing damage to property, including houses and vehicles. Police and other authorities were dealing with the damage. Due to the harsh weather, boats were prohibited from going out to sea, and naval police officers carried out a number of rescue operations to help boats that were already at sea.