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February 24, 2022

Things to Do in Ashdod

Israel Ashdod: Music, Museums, and Art

Ashdod has a lot to offer in the way of culture, especially in music. There are also art museums and galleries and an archeological museum. 

Heichal Ha’tarbut Ashdod

Heichal Ha’tarbut (Photo: Ori®)

Ashdod Performing Arts Center, Heichal Hatarbut

This beautiful new boat-shaped building is in itself a masterpiece of architecture. It is the site of many concerts and performances and is located on Habanim Street, right across from the Blue Marina.

Panov Ballet School

The world-famous ballet master and choreographer, Valery Panov, lives in Ashdod and has a ballet school here. He made aliya to Israel in 1974 after a long battle with Soviet authorities, who did not want to let him out. In fact, he and his wife Galina were sent to prison briefly just for asking to leave the Soviet Union for Israel. With the support of the Ashdod municipality and the Ministry of Culture, Panov was able to launch his ballet troupe and open his academy in Ashdod in 1993. Children from the age of five can attend this school, most of whose graduates become professional ballet dancers. Some people even move to Ashdod just so they can send their children to Panov’s ballet school.

Ashdod Symphony Orchestra

The Ashdod Symphony Orchestra began as a chamber orchestra in the 1990s with the arrival of many talented musicians from the former Soviet Union. It has given many performances not only in Israel but also all over the world. It also joined with the Chamber Opera Ashdod in a performance of La Traviata.

The AKADMA Conservatory of Music under the Ministry of Education was founded in 1966 and has branches to serve residents living in other parts of Israel. AKADMA has jazz, wind, brass and chamber ensembles. Ianina Kudlik, a famous pianist who made aliya in 1990 from the former Soviet Union, has headed committees for piano competitions. The conservatory has more than 300 students, some of whom are only three years old. Sixty-five percent of the students are children of families who made aliya from the former Soviet Union.

Violin Close-Up, Israeli Andalusian Orchestra

Violin Close-Up, Israeli Andalusian Orchestra (Photo: Shlomo Sonnenfeld®)

Andalusian Music

Ashdod is also home to the Andalusian Orchestra of Ashdod, founded by Moroccan-born musicologist Dr. Avi Eilam-Amzaleg. Andalusian music originated in the 10th and 11th centuries in Moorish Spain, and with the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 the music arrived in North Africa. Some of the instruments played by Moroccan musicians are the ud, darbouka, and the Moroccan violin. They were joined by musicians from the former Soviet Union, who play with them on various classical instruments. They give 50 performances a year and have over 3,000 subscribers. They’ve made a CD and a video.

Ashdod has an annual Winter Jazz Festival directed by Leonid Ptashka, who made aliya to Israel in 1991. For this festival, talented Israeli musicians are joined by jazz musicians from abroad.

Ashdod Museum of Art

Ashdod Museum of Art (Photo: Shifra Levyathan, CC BY 2.5)

Ashdod Museums

The Korin Maman Museum has an extensive collection of archeological artifacts portraying Philistine culture, called the Philistine World. The collection includes dishes, musical instruments, figurines, and burial items. It is located at 16 Hashayatim Street.

The Ashdod Museum of Art, the Monart Center, opened in 2003 and is located near the Central Bus Station and the City Hall. It features exhibits of modern and contemporary art by local and other artists in twelve galleries and two halls. The building is a fascinating pyramid design with a glass roof. Cultural events are also held here.

Things to Do in Ashdod: Did You Know?

The AKADMA Music Conservatory tries to help children with Down Syndrome appreciate music.