10 Tony awards for Israeli-based musical

“The Band’s Visit,” based on an Israeli film won 2018 Tony Awards for Best musical, book, score, direction of a musical, lighting design, orchestration and sound design. Members of the cast won Best actor in a musical, Best actress in a musical and Best featured actor in a musical.

Miss Iraq visits Israel

Miss Iraq 2017 Sarah Idan is visiting Israel, where she has been warmly received as a cultural hero. She again met Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman, with whom she had shared a selfie that generated controversy in her country.

Jerusalem Lights Festival

The 10th annual Jerusalem Lights Festival (Jun 27 – July 5) combines the magical atmosphere of the Old City with innovative and challenging art. Wander through the picturesque alleyways viewing the fascinating light displays and huge video projections on the buildings and walls.

Hollywood celebrates Israel’s 70th birthday

Israeli Consul General Sam Grundwerg held “Hollywood Salutes Israel,” - a private VIP reception for 700 guests at Universal Studios in Hollywood to celebrate Israel’s 70th birthday. Stars included Barbra Streisand, Robert de Niro, Michael Douglas, Bill Maher, and Gal Gadot.

New Tel Aviv nature museum

The new Steinhardt Museum of Natural History in Tel Aviv has five floors of exhibits displaying 3,000 items, including Israel’s last bear (1916), cheetah (1911) and crocodile. All animals displayed died of natural causes, often coming from Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo or the nearby Ramat Gan Safari.

Thou Shalt Innovate

Scott Richman of AJC Westchester/Fairfield is a great Israel advocate.  On the [email protected] edition of his twice-weekly radio show he interviewed (among others) Avi Jorisch, author of “Thou Shalt Innovate” - a book I highly recommend.  Listen from 20 minutes.

Concert for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Daniel Italiaander is an entrepreneur who made Aliya from Holland 20 years ago.  Then his son was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Daniel now is on the board of The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Israel which has organized a benefit concert in Ra’anana on May 28.

The sands of time

For Israel Independence Day, non-Jewish sand artist Kseniya Simonova produced this beautiful 7min video installation depicting the 20th century history of the Jewish people. It has an inspiring message at the end. “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav" is sung by Ofra Haza

Art is transforming Jaffa

Jaffa now has several new art galleries to attract tourists. They include Magasin III,  Gordon Gallery’s South Tel Aviv site, Beit Kandinof, Cuckoo’s Nest, Alamacén and Galerie Charlot.

Netta wins Eurovision Song Contest for Israel

Israel’s Netta Barzilai won the Eurovision song contest with “Toy” scoring 529 points, nearly 100 points ahead of second place Cyprus. Israel will therefore host next year’s Eurovision competition, which will bring thousands of fans to Jerusalem.