Despite being a Tel Aviv person, I have a big love for the city of Jerusalem (as I’m sure most of you do also). One of the places which I find very special in Jerusalem is an Ethiopian church I found out about just a couple of years ago.
Located in Ethiopia street, you can find this little church, that in my opinion, combine a little bit from each of the three religions: at the entrance you’ll have to take off your shoes and the praying area is divided in separate sections for men and women. Once you go in, you’re surrounded by many colors and paintings.
I recommend that every person who visits Jerusalem, between the Western Wall to the market, find some time to visit this place, and maybe talk to some of the local people and hear their story.
Today I would like to tell you about two Israeli artists I really like. They are both working in the field of graphic design and illustration, and have gained big success in Israel and worldwide.
An illustrator and designer, Shimoni graduated from Betzalel academy in Jerusalem. He created his Hipstory series- world’s leader re-imagined as hipsters. Shimoni’s work has been featured in ‘The Guardian’, ‘Bored Panda’, ‘Vice’ magazine, Comedy Central and many more.
An illustrator and graphic designer. Some of his famous works are illustrations of funny moments in life with his relationship with his partner in a series called “One of those days”.
Israeli Music #1- Cafe Shahor Hazak / Strong Black Coffee
This time I would like to talk about one of my favorite Israeli bands – Strong Black Coffee.
This hip-hop duo consists of two cousins – Uri Alamo and Ilak Sahalu. These two cousins were born in Ethiopia and immigrated to Israel as little kids.
They started to make music at the age of 16, and although they had a rough childhood, most of their songs do not focus on their struggles, they emphasis the optimistic side of life.
The following song that I chose is one of their best known song, it’s called “Yihiye Beseder” meaning- “It’ll be okay”.
(and there is even a translation to English)
This time I want to tell you a little bit about Israeli English music, yes, there is such a thing, and it is pretty good also.
Here is a short list of Israeli artist who perform in English:
- Ester Rada
Born in Ethiopia to a religious Jewish family that immigrated to Israel, Ester Rada started her career as an actor and then released her first EP which gave her worldwide popularity after touring across Europe, the United States, and Canada. She recently performed at the Glastonbury Festival and was the opening act for the Alicia Keys’ concert in Israel.
The name of her first EP “Life Happens” is also the name of the song your about to hear, and one of my favorite!
- Marina Maximilian Blumin
Born in the Soviet Union (now Ukrain), Blumin immigrated to Israel at the age of three with her family. Her musical education started from an early age, but she got her first exposure in the Israeli version of “American Idol”. Her musical style is very unique. You are welcome to judge for yourself!
- Lola Marsh
Lola Marsh is an indie pop duo that includes Gil Landau & Yael Shoshana Cohen. Lola Marsh’s music combines “deep, warm, nostalgic vocals, heart-on-the-sleeve-lyrics and enchanting guitar melodies”.
Between 2015 to 2018 the band performed in Europe and the US and at many festivals around the world.
An 8 members funk and soul-grove band, performing in Israel and worldwide.
The band includes:
Shlomi Alon – saxsophone
Sefi Zisling – trumpet
Yair Slutzki – trombone
Amit Sagie – guitar
Alon Freeman – keyboards
Shacham “Chakamoon” Ohana – bass
Dan Mayo – drums
And the amazing Elran Dekel as the lead vocals
There funky music is irresistible!
Top 5 Israeli movies
As a graduate of Cinema Studies (and Political Science) I feel the need to dedicate this blog to Israeli cinema.
To a large extent, the Israeli cinema reflect Israeli society, and the struggles the different groups in it are having.
Here are my five recommendations for Israeli movies:
1 – Or (My Treasure)
Directed by Keren Yedaya, 2004.
A teenager named Or works a variety of odd jobs to help support herself and her mother, who just got out of hospital.
Or provides for herself and her mother by working in different kind of jobs while trying to keep her mom away from prostitution life, but eventually, she find herself in the same place.
The movie has won many awards in Israel and worldwide.
2 – Waltz with Bashir
Directed by Ari Folman, 2008.
Israeli animated war documentary film depicts Folman’s search of his lost memories of his experience as a soldier in the first Lebanon’s war at 1982.
Throughout the movie, Folman converses with friends and other soldiers who served in the war, only to discover that his lost memories about the massacre happened in the Palestinian refugee camp by the Lebanese Christian Phalange militia.
The movie have won many awards worldwide.
Directed by Joseph Cedar, 2007.
The film is about an IDF unit stationed at the isolated mountaintop of Beaufort post in Southern Lebanon during the South Lebanon conflict, before the Israeli withdrawal in 2000.
The movie depicts the daily routine of a group of soldiers, their feelings and their fears, and explores their moral dilemmas in the days preceding the withdrawal.
The filming of the movie was completed in June, just a month before the second war in Lebanon broke out. In many aspects, its symbolizes the endlessness of the war.
4 -People That Are Not Me
Written and directed by Hadas Ben Aroya, 2016.
The movie depicts the life of a young 25 years old girl, living in Tel Aviv, who can’t let go of her ex-boyfriend, and can not find intimacy or love.
Hadas Ben Aroya, the director of the movie is also the main star. This is her first feature movie. People That Are Not Me took part in several festivals around the world and won the Gold Panda award.
5 – In Between
Directed by Maysaloun Hamoud, 2016.
The movie follow the life of three young Arabic women- Layla, Nour and Salma, renting an apartment in Tel Aviv.
Each of them is having their own struggle with the traditional community they come from, but also not feeling they belong to the Israeli-Tel Avivian society.
Hey everyone, I’m Yael Wolf, Hillel of Metro Detroit’s new Israel Program Associate. Welcome to my blog, where I’ll share some interesting facts and stories from my life as an Israeli.
For my first blog I would like to tell you about one special place that is very close to my heart called Florentin.
Florentin is a neighborhood in south Tel-Aviv, located between the central station to Jaffa.
The neighborhood was established in 1927 and for many years was populated with small manufactures.
Photograph: Nir Brainin
In the 90’s, the neighborhood was starting to get a younger character, especially thanks to a TV series called Florentin (how original) that captured the life of the young people who lived there.
FYI- the song intro was (and maybe still is) one of the most popular songs in Israel, played by a band called “Monica Sex”.
In the past few years, more and more young people are moving to Florentin, especially hipsters, artists and students who are trying to escape Tel-Aviv’s high rental prices.
In the neighborhood you can still find small manufacturers, coffee houses, pubs and cool graffiti paintings, and most importantly, you’ll find the apartment I was living in in the past two years.
Photograph: Nir Brainin
Photograph: Nir Brainin
Photograph: Nir Brainin
Pictures taken from: https://www.bvd.co.il/cms.asp
One of the thing that made living in Florentin so special is that whether you like it or not, you’ll have to get to know your neighbors, since they are soooo close to you.
(as you can see from the pictures taken from my balcony)
So if you find yourself in Florentin, make sure you’ll give me a call ☺
Today is the last Israel corner I will write to you.
After two years as the Israel program Associate at Hillel of Metro Detroit, I am leaving to go back home to Israel and on to my next adventure.
Thank you for joining me on this journey through Israel’s holidays, experiences and innovation.
It has been an absolute pleasure!
Lehitraot (See you later!)
Israel is 70 Years old! and do we know how to party!
This past week the Jewish community in Michigan has been celebrating Israel 70th Birthday (and there is more to come!), but how did Israelis celebrate our beloved country’s birthday?
Well, a picture is worth 1000 words, and a video is a whole story! so here are a few videos from Israel 70th for you to enjoy.
Halleluja – The Israeli song that won first place in the Eurovision in 1979, was chosen to be the official song of Israel 70th celebrations. The original writer even added two new verses that talk about Israel today. Here are the two new verses (translated by me):
Hallelujah, the heart marvels
from a lonely small countryYou turned to a legend over nightAnd we came back to you from all corner of the earth
הללויה, הלב מתפעל
ממדינה קטנה, בודדה
היית בן ליל לאגדה
ואלייך שבנו מקצוות תבל
|Hallelujah, here is your blessing
Your Birthday is a day or promiseOf a homeland, and people and hopewill sing you full of love
|הללויה, שאי ברכה
יום הולדת, הוא יום הבטחה
של מולדת, ועם ותקווה
נשיר לך באהבה
We’ll continue with Israeli music and special project that happened last week, and watch Kululam, a musical social project, that had 1,200 people in one stadium sing one of Israel most beloved songs:
Every year on Independence day the Israeli Air Force has a special airshow that happens in the Israeli sky and is visible from everywhere, this year, it is also visible on youtube for us to enjoy:
The Israel Democracy Institue have created a special project to celebrate Israel 70th with The Democracy Pavilion that is a unique multi-media experience, in full 360-degree technology, showcasing the values embedded in Israel’s Declaration of Independence and the historic highlights of 70 years of independence. Watch as it is built, and if you plan on visiting Israel before the end of the year – you can experience it yourself!
As you know, every year between Yom Hazikaron and Independence Day there is a unique ceremony in Israel, The lighting of the torches ceremony. Here is the full Ceremony if you want to watch it, It is almost 3 hours long, and unfortunately there are no English subtitles as of now.
Here is to 70 more wonderful years!
Until next time…
בהפרש של שבוע / צור ארליך
שְנֵי יְמֵי זִכָּרוֹן סְמוּכִים כָּל שָנָה
לְטוֹבַת הַחִישוּב הַכְּלָלִי:
כַּמָה עוֹלֶה לָנוּ עִם מְדִינָה,
וְכַמָּה עוֹלֶה לָנוּ בְּלִי.
A week apart / Tzur Erlich
Two annual memorials, close in date,
Help to clear any doubt,
How much it costs to have our own state,
And how much does it costs without.
(Please turn on English subtitles while watching the video)
Until next time…
Today begins the Israeli Holocaust Rememberance Day. There is not a lot to day that hasn’t already been said, soI am going to leave you today with a very touching video.
Koolulam is an Israeli Social Organization that brings people together through music. This year they partneres with Zikaron Basalon (Memory in the living room) and Invited 600 Holocaust survivers, their chidre, grandchildren and grand-grandchildren to Jeruslam and taught them the song Chai (Alive) by Ofra Chaza.
Until Next week…