Huge culture festival to be held in Afula for first time

TLV Internationals to host grape harvest night trip and party in Golan; Special-needs Taglit group celebrates bar mitzvas in Safed.

KIezmer musicians from around the world perform at Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday. (photo credit: Courtesy)
KIezmer musicians from around the world perform at Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A new culture festival is set to be held in Afula next weekend, bringing together musicians and artists from a variety of fields. The eight-hour event will run from 4 p.m. next Saturday through 1 a.m. on Hasartat Street; entry is free.
The event will include an art gallery compound displaying a variety of artistic techniques, a fair of boutique artists, a huge stage for seven different ensembles from a range of genres, a complex for children, and food and alcohol stands.
The festival is the initiative of a few Afula youth from various fields, who decided to band together to bring about their vision of creating “the coolest, most urban, young and artistic” event around, which they said will be a “cornerstone of the quality, young artistic activity going on right here, outside our homes!”
For more information, visit www.festival-
Special-needs Taglit group celebrates bar mitzvas in Safed
A special-needs Taglit-Birthright Israel group was set to celebrate their bar mitzvas in Safed this week, during a tour of the country. Taglit trips for the disabled visit all the major sites of a typical trip, but changes are made to suit participants’ specific needs.
Taglit explained that for many young Jewish adults with special needs, participating in this group offers “what may be their first opportunity to travel with peers and connect with their Jewish heritage, in a safe and welcoming environment.” The organization noted that the specialized trips require additional resources, with fewer participants per bus, a higher staff-to-participant ratio and special logistical arrangements.
TLV Internationals to host grape harvest night trip and party in Golan
The TLV Internationals organization, for professional olim in their 20s and 30s, is set to host an overnight trip/party on the Golan Heights to celebrate the grape harvest. The event will take place next Thursday, September 4, and will include an unlimited wine bar and unlimited asado steak bar, and round-trip buses between Tel Aviv and the Golan. Early-bird tickets are NIS 80, and NIS 100 thereafter.
The party is being held in collaboration with the Maveze blogging community and the Golan Heights Winery.
Buses will leave at 6:30 p.m. from Tel Aviv Savidor Merkaz railway station.
Undeterred by rockets, dozens of klezmer musicians land at Ben-Gurion Steadfast in the face of Israel’s precarious security situation, dozens of Klezmer musicians from around the world landed in Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday, ahead of their participation in Jerusalem’s International Klezmer Festival. Among the artists scheduled to perform are bandoneon player Raul Juarena (US); the Gitanes Blondes quartet (Germany); clarinet player Caroline Hartig (US); and accordionist Emil Eivender (Moldova).
“Music is our bulwark. We are connected to the hundreds-of-years-old Jewish music; just as nothing deterred them, we will also not be deterred. We are coming to play for the soul,” the musicians stated. Festival director Hanan Bar-Sela said, “The most appropriate response to terrorism is music and song; the Jewish singer did not drop for generations, despite horrible attacks and riots. This tune cannot be stopped.”
The Klezmer festival was scheduled to run from August 26 to 31, within the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.
Israel Cancer Association organizes 3-day retreat for young patients, families
The Israel Cancer Association last week put on its annual three-day recreational event for children with cancer, and their parents and siblings.
More than 80 families stayed at the Shefayim Hotel for three days of fun, relaxation and a chance to disconnect from the reality of the disease and its treatment. The families came from Ashdod, Netivot, Beersheba and other towns in the South, as well as from the North and Center. At their disposal were movies, artist performances, a young talent competition, various workshops and admission to the waterpark.
Alonit Forest declared a botanical garden
The Agricultural Ministry and the Council for Botanical Gardens last week declared the Alonit Forest, located in the heart of the Sharon, a botanical garden. Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund chairman Efi Stenzler welcomed the decision, saying, “We have established a rare natural gem in the heart of the country, from which the whole nation can enjoy an innovative, accessible and friendly experience for the whole family.”
The title of “botanical garden” is granted to a garden with various types of plants, planted according to a specific method for scientific and educational research – such as the conservation of unique plant species, acclimatization of plants and education in the field of botany, ecology and agriculture.
Plants are labeled according to their scientific name and information must be recorded in a database. Botanical gardens are nonprofit and abide by laws that meet strict criteria controlled by the Board of Botanic Gardens and are checked annually by a report filed by the Agriculture Ministry.
The Alonit Forest joins another 10 specially selected botanical gardens in Israel. This garden is unique, according to KKLJNF, in that it is devoted almost entirely to the field of forestry.
KKL-JNF experts have been working for over five years to turn Alonit Forest into a botanical garden. The garden, which covers 5.3 hectares (13 acres) of land and contains over 700 types of trees from around the world, was established in the 1950s. The park is paved with 2.5 kilometers of trails, accessible to wheelchairs and strollers; along the trails are benches and picnic tables.
Soroka hospital sends off soldier wounded at start of Gaza op
An emotionally charged farewell took place in Beersheba’s Soroka University Medical Center, when IDF soldier Ohad Ben- Yishai was discharged after weeks in the intensive care unit, undergoing treatment for a severe head injury he sustained at the very beginning of Israel’s ground incursion in Gaza. Ma’ariv Hashavua reported Sunday that Ben-Yishai was transferred to Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer for rehabilitation.
The Egoz combat soldier was brought to Soroka on July 20 and underwent two complex emergency surgeries. Ben-Yishai was unconscious and on a respirator in the ICU for days, in the hospital for over a month in total; during that time, his family got to know the staff well. His mother, Erica Ben-Yishai, was quoted as saying: “There are no words to thank Soroka’s dedicated staff, who saved Ohad’s life. Although we still have a long road of rehabilitation ahead of us, I have no doubt that the immediate treatment he received on his way to hospital, and the surgery and support he received in the hospital, saved him.”
Plans for new railway line to Eilat unanimously approved
Eilat’s city council held a plenum last week to discuss the new railway line to the city, unanimously approving the detailed plan. It is consistent with the “Southern Gate” initiative Eilat Mayor Meir Yitzhak Halevi is promoting, as part of the government’s plan to complete the national railway network.
The program will allow for the movement of cargo and passenger trains between Beersheba and Eilat, and will enable passengers to travel from Tel Aviv to Eilat in two hours.
“The railway is a key link in realizing the vision of Eilat as a thriving metropolis of 150,000 residents, which will be a growth engine for the entire Israeli economy,” the mayor said.
“The railway will allow the Port of Eilat to increase fourfold the amount of cargo passing through the Red Sea to the Mediterranean.”
He added that the approval of the railway route was of important historical significance for Eilat, its residents and visitors, as its establishment would change the face of the city.