18 reasons to be excited in London

I’m very excited about London, these days.

Starting on 27th April there’s going to be a massive Israel festival leading up to Yom Ha’atzmaut on the night of May 5th.

It’s the JW3 inaugural Chag Ha’atzmaut, that we at Makom consulted on.

I think it’s just a fantastic program, and I’m going to spend the next few days explaining why.

As its title suggests, the festival deals with the Party and the Political – fun stuff and serious stuff, panels and lectures, performances and screenings. The festival has everything – live music and live parody; Brits discussing Israel and Israelis discussing Israel; films and art and theatre; amazing dance workshops and kids’ events.

What gets me most buzzed is that JW3 has made such a bold statement: That Israel is important to them – important enough to relate to Israel’s dynamic complexity as an honest adventure that has room for celebration and for deep questioning.

Spread the word to anyone you know in London…

For Discussiony-Panelly-minded people

 

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Every Jewish holiday however celebratory always has its reflective aspect. This Chag Ha’atzmaut at JW3 is no different, giving room as it does to thoughtful and honest conversation

2stateFor more than 20 years now, the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been two States for two Peoples. And for 20 years now, we are still nowhere near this solution. Three fascinating women will be sharing their opinions about this solution that hasn’t yet solved anything… Linoy Bar Gefen is a top TV and print journalist, who still believes that the 2 state solution is the only game in town. To Linoy’s political left will be Yael Lerer, who was parliamentary aide to the Arab Balad Party, and established the Andalus Publishing House that produces Hebrew-language translations of Arab Literature. And to the right of Linoy, Karni Eldad – singer/song-writer and blogger – will talk of her love for the Biblical land of Israel and the Jewish State. A deliberately multi-vocal all-female panel. To Full Post

For the fun of it!

 

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The most important word in the famous phrase “hugging and wrestling with Israel”, is the word “and”. JW3’s festival embodies the balance brilliantly. Here are some of the fun for the sake of fun events they have planned.

gagaOn Bank Holiday Sunday there is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to find a different side to Israeli dancing! The artistic director of Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company, Ohad Naharin, developed a world-renowned movement language called Ga-Ga, that he insisted was appropriate for non-dancers as well as professionals. Ga-Ga People is now an international organisation, running amazing workshops for all – dancers and non-dancers, from age 18 to age 120. To Full Post

Yom HaZikaron – Memorial Ceremony + About The Oranges

 

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Yom HaZikaron Tekkes

Yom HaZikaron, the Israeli Day of Memorial, is a complicated day to mark in the Diaspora. Israelis sometimes feel strange to be marking the day outside of Israel, missing the all-togetherness of an entire nation standing to attention, and sometimes feeling bad they are not with their family. Local Jews also grapple with some ambivalence – wishing to show solidarity on the one hand, but at the same time knowing their emotional connection to Yom HaZikaron is always going to be qualitatively different to that of their Israeli counterparts. To Full Post

Hallelujah! with Kobi Oz in concert

 

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hallelujah

A Yom Haatzmaut celebration that has something for everyone.

The headline is that Kobi Oz is performing live together with his incredible band. For music-lovers – you get a soulful, energetic, and light-hearted blend of world music performed by world-class musicians. For Israel-celebrators, you get a sweet taste of the best of Israeli culture that blends Jewish text, social comment, and Middle East spice. For Israelis, there’ll be many favourites from the days of Teapacks, and some amazing Oz variations on Arik Einstein classics. For Jewish culture vultures, the materials Kobi has created for his Psalms for the Perplexed venture will blow you away (entire album with translations here). And for everyone – all the songs will be accompanied by projected translation into English…

And the warm-up act for Kobi… A Eurovision Evening! A truly British celebration of Israel – nostalgic, strange hair-do’s, dancing and joy with tongue very firmly planted in cheek. Israel’s just a little country that isn’t even in Europe, but right from its debut entry year in 1972 it has out-sung out-danced and out-kitsched the talents of the musical elite in the Continent’s premier festival of song. Sing along to the Hais and Horas on the Eurovision big screen, then vote for the absolute winner. 

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