THE SAVOY Hotel Attack aftermath. Levi (third L), as she is escorted by Israeli security forces.  (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
THE SAVOY Hotel Attack aftermath. Levi (third L), as she is escorted by Israeli security forces. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Jerusalem highlights April 21-27


Honor the memory of pianist and nun Emahoy Tsege Mariam, who passed away last month, by listening to her posthumous album Jerusalem.

Born in Ethiopia in 1923, Mariam fell in love with classical music from an early age. She studied under Polish-Jewish violinist and conductor Alexander Kontorowicz. At the time, Kontorowicz was working for King Farouk of Egypt. After meeting her, he and his family switched patrons and moved to the court of Emperor Haile Selassie.

As Ruth Corman noted for this paper, Mariam’s musical work was made accessible to the world thanks to Maya Dunietz, who translated her handwritten compositions. Dunietz had the notations published in 2013.

Released by Mississippi Records, a vinyl record costs $22, and the digital one costs NIS 37. To order, see:

VISIT THE noon opening of Total Care, a new exhibition by Shir Senior and Keren Kinberg, at the Hansen House. The exhibition explores the topic of Jerusalem stone by presenting the eye of the viewer with small, insect-like robots that clean the stone floors of the grand, 135-year-old house. Architect Ytav Bosira will discuss when stones reach a level of toxicity in which it makes no sense to clean them anymore.

 ASTRONAUTIT IN Jerusalem. (credit: YAEL ILAN) ASTRONAUTIT IN Jerusalem. (credit: YAEL ILAN)


Watch Christopher Nupen’s 2004 documentary We Want the Light, which explores the complex relationship between German music and Jewish composers, among them Felix Mendelssohn. 

Winner of the 2004 Jewish Cultural Award for Film and Television, the film is preceded by a Hebrew lecture and performance by pianist Tal Zilber (English with Hebrew subtitles). NIS 90 per ticket. Shown at 11 a.m. at the Jerusalem Cinematheque. Note: The film is available online for free. 

This is also a nice nod to honor the late Nupen, who was lauded for his lifelong interest in creating solid documentaries about great musicians. Patrons might appreciate the BBC4 documentary about his life and work, available at:


Watch Savoy, an award-winning documentary by Zohar Wagner, which explores what happened to Kochava Levi (played by Dana Ivgy) when she became one of the victims of the 1975 Savoy terror attack at that hotel in Tel Aviv.

Levi was vital to the negotiations between the Palestinian Fatah terrorists and Israeli security forces because she spoke Hebrew and Arabic and was able to translate. The film depicts real historical events but also touches on the harsh media coverage Levi received at the time.

Despite the admiration she got from security forces for her bravery and quick thinking, the media picked up on the fact that she spent the evening with a lover, and her reputation was tarnished. She was written about in unflattering terms as a Mizrachi woman of loose ethics.

The 8 p.m. screening is followed by a Zoom panel with Wagner at 9:30 p.m. Shown in Hebrew and Arabic, with Hebrew subtitles. This online event is free, but contributions are welcome. Pre-register here:


Visit the First Station and mark Remembrance Day with a 7:30 p.m. gathering, followed by an 8 p.m. prayer honoring all fallen soldiers and terror attack victims. After the prayers, you can listen to 25 selections of poems set to music by Tzelil Mekovan and sing along. Hebrew event only. Free admission. 


The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra marks Israel’s 75th Independence Day at the Jerusalem Theatre, 20 Marcus St., with a world premiere of Wolpe’s Fantasy for Orchestra and two works by Beethoven (Choral and Symphony No. 9). The concert, which begins at 9:30 p.m., is about two hours long. Prices range from NIS 108 to NIS 150. Call (02) 560-5755 to book.


Enjoy a screening of Halfon Hill Doesn’t Answer, the 1976 cult classic by Assi Dayan, which has some brilliant, and deeply satirical, observations into this country and its relationship with its military.

Crafted as a spoof at the expense of the mostly forgotten, serious war film Hill 24 Doesn’t Answer, Halfon Hill is a funny but kind series of jokes at the expense of the country’s social ills. Included is its uneasy relations with the Arab world (in this case, Egypt), sexual desires, money, and the clash between earnest Zionist values and the reality of the Middle East.

Yisrael Poliakov shines in the role of the charming fixer Sergio, a Romanian Jewish conman with the slogan “Asking Sergio makes you a winner.” Hebrew only. 7 p.m. screening at Jerusalem Cinematheque. NIS 10 per ticket.


Visit Israel’s only portable bookstore, Astronautit (female astronaut) at the court of Hansen House. Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the books-on-wheels bookseller offers poetry, nonfiction and hard-to-find novels at low prices.

It is also possible to secure a copy of an art album you really want to possess online and pick it up in person. For example, patrons might buy a book about the stained glass art of Marc Chagall for NIS 250 or buy a shirt with the portrait of Hebrew poet Leah Goldberg. 14 Gedalyahu Alon St. Visit: for more.

Throwing a special party? Opening an art exhibition or a new bar? Bringing in a guest speaker to introduce a fascinating topic? Drop me a line at and let In Jerusalem know about it. Send emails with “Jerusalem Highlights” in the subject line. Although all information is welcome, we cannot guarantee it will be featured in the column.

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