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February 24, 2022

Israeli Culture

Israeli Culture

Jerusalem is not only Israel’s historic and religious capitol, it’s also the center of a breathtaking number of happenings celebrating Israel culture and offering something for kids, teens, visitors and residents.

Jerusalem Culture Events

Ron Almog  CC BY 2.0 View from the Old City, Light Festival, Jerusalem

Ron Almog  CC BY 2.0
View from the Old City, Light Festival, Jerusalem

Over the spring and summer, Jerusalem culture events and festivals abound.  Be sure to take in the annual International Writers Festival, held in and around the beautiful grounds of Mishkenot Sha’ananim, across the valley from the walls of the Old City

This is the place to hear your favorite authors discuss their work and talk to other writers. There’s a lively literary café, bookstore, and plenty of room for kids to spread out and read or join one of the organized activities. Films and informal discussions with other book lovers are also part of this literary festival.

Jerusalem Old City Light Festival

In June, the Old City in Jerusalem lights up in unique ways for the Light Festival, bringing tens of thousands of visitors out in the warm summer evening to see the Old City in a different light.

Some of the world’s best lighting design artists arrive to dress up every quarter of the Old City with creative lighting, sculptures, and designs.

Ron Almog  CC BY 2.0 Light Festival in Jerusalem

Ron Almog  CC BY 2.0
Light Festival in Jerusalem

Some are projected on the Old City walls and ancient buildings; some hang over the alleyways, creating new ways to experience Jerusalem. Musical groups are scattered throughout the sites making for a magical Middle Eastern evening.

Israeli Culture: Israel Film Festival

In July, it’s the prestigious Jerusalem International Film Festival, which attracts some of the world’s top film directors and personalities to the Cinematheque in the Ben Hinom Valley (near the Old City) for a film buff’s cultural bonanza.

This is the place to catch the latest Israeli films as well as movie offerings from all over the world.  Many of the screenings feature post-film discussions with the director and there’s plenty of opportunity for mingling in the graceful gardens and public spaces of the Cinematheque.

Israeli Culture: Did You Know?

In four of the last five years Israeli films have made the Academy Awards’ list of five finalists for best foreign language film—more than any other country.

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