CENTER The Beit Tefilah Israeli organization and the Tel Aviv Port have opened a giant succa, covering more than 650 square meters of boardwalk. It is open to the public throughout the holiday, from September 27 to October 5, with free activities for the entire family from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.Activities include musical holiday services, performances for children, story time, creative activities for kids and adults, singing, Israeli dance, yoga, performances and lectures every evening, and film night. On September 29, the succa was set to host the Hakhel Festival, a one-day conference of Jewish learning in honor of the end of shmita, bringing together all of Israel’s Jewish renewal organizations.Throughout the week, the succa will host daily ritual ceremonies and prayers, with musical accompaniment and dancing.The succa walls are decorated with words of the sages alongside the modern poetry of Bialik and Leah Goldberg. “In the spirit of hospitality associated with the holiday, our succa will host guests of all kinds, thus expressing the diversity of Israeli society,” says Beit Tefilah Israeli chairman Rani Jaeger. “We will have the traditional ushpizin [mystical invitation of male biblical characters into the succa] along with ushpizot [inviting female guests], Israelis with visitors from abroad, and cultural activities and prayers that reflect the complexity and depth of the traditions in Israeli society. This is a unique space of cultural experiences, where there is room for everyone and all are welcome.”Classical Guitar Festival strums away in NetanyaThe 10th International Classical Guitar Festival kicked off in Netanya, drawing leading musicians from around the globe. Through October 1, the “Guitar Gems” festival at the Heichal Hatarbut concert hall hosted classical guitar performances, concerts, original productions and musical premieres, from flamenco to Latin jazz to classical music. Alfredo Gonzalez was scheduled to lead a string instrument-building workshop, alongside an international classical guitar competition. Among the performing artists: the Aquarelle Guitar Quartet (UK) with Grigory Novikov (Russia), who won first prize in guitar competitions in Thailand, Greece, Italy, Russia and France; local soprano Keren Hadar; Sergei Matokhin (Russia); Israel’s Nitzan Choir; and Ziv Cojocaru, a conductor, composer and pianist popular on Israel’s music scene.NORTH Safed hosts Night of the Scientists Some 450 youngsters and adults participated in the neuroscience-focused Scientists’ Night in Safed last week, held at Bar-Ilan University’s faculty of medicine at the initiative of the European Union and in cooperation with the Science, Technology and Space Ministry. Stations were set up around campus, with demonstrations of scientific medical experiments conducted by faculty researchers and students. Visitors attended lectures by senior faculty physicians on topics such as the history of neurosurgery, the male and female brain and fetal brain development. Challenging brain games and a quiz were also offered.Afula park transforms for giant horse festivalAfula Park has been transformed into a huge compound for horses over Succot, with a festival offering family activities including horseback riding, riding and jumping shows, and a market for riding aficionados. An area dedicated to children offers pony rides, horsethemed action games and competitions, an Indian village, storytelling, puppet shows, workshops, a maze and a cowboy school, with Israeli artists putting on evening shows in the amphitheater: Dikla, Shimon Buskila and Glykeria performed on September 30, and, Ivri Lider, Muki and Mofa Ha’arnavot Shel Dr. Kasper took the stage on October 1.SOUTHEilat celebrates Succot with multiple eventsA beer festival was held on Eilat’s promenade over Hol Hamoed, with live music by Hayehudim, Hatikva 6 and other artists; Ishat performed on Dekel Beach on September 30 together with members of Andalusian band The Gypsy Kings. Tickets were subsidized for Eilat residents at NIS 50, while out-of-town visitors paid NIS 90.The city’s special events are not over yet, with the “Wandering in the Wilderness” bird-watching happening set for the weekend. The event is a collaboration between the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund, the Israel Government Tourist Corporation, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the Eilat-Eilot Environmental departments. Free guided tours will explore the bird park and the flamingo ponds, complemented by creative activities.