Major contract for piano virtuoso

17-year-old Israeli pianist Yoav Levanon has just signed an exclusive contract with Warner Classics. Yoav was featured in 2013 when aged 8 he opened the International Summer Jewish Festival in Budapest. Prior to that, he won Israel’s National Piano Competition at age five.

165,888 ways to shape a Star of David

Israel’s Aron Lazarus is the inventor of The Genius Star - named “Best Puzzle/ Brainteaser Game” by the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association in 2020. Players roll dice to collect the 48 triangular pieces required to cover their personal six-pointed star-shaped board.

New Israeli drama series

“The Collective” is a new Israeli drama series from “Fauda” producer Maria Feldman and writer / director Dror Shaul. It centers on an American who moves to a kibbutz and becomes its leader in defending Israel’s borders. Shaul was born and raised in Kibbutz Kissufim, near the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s Next Star

Tamir Greenberg won Israel’s “The Next Star” talent contest. The Jerusalem Post wrote he won NIS 1 million following his rendition of “Crazy in Love”. But according to his America-Israel Cultural Foundation sponsor, he performed his original song “Tell me where the light goes” (see video). Anyway, enjoy!

New Israeli stamps

The latest issue of beautiful Israeli stamps include three Ecclesiastes verses, three Israeli astronomical observatories, Rabbi Yitzhak Nissin, SY Agnon, IDF Home Front Command Search & Rescue Brigade, and Israel Police Volunteer Rescue Team.

I am Israel – the soundtrack

Hear the rich and inspiring sounds of the rebirth of Israel with the “I am Israel” original motion picture soundtrack. Featuring the powerful orchestral score, along with excerpts of dialog from narrator John Rhys-Davies and the Israeli cast. Music by award-winning composer Bob Farnsworth.

New Year at the Israel Museum

New exhibitions at Jerusalem’s Israel Museum include “Hear, O Israel” (The Magic of the Shema); “How Long Is Now?” (New in Contemporary Art); “Satirist Supreme: Honoré Daumier and 19th-Century Paris”; a special display about 9/11; plus, many current exhibits.

End of August events in Jerusalem

Those lucky to be able to walk the streets of Jerusalem would enjoy Docu.text, the annual documentary film festival, at the National Library; also, the International Puppet Festival, concerts at Kikar Safra, the Jerusalem Night Run, weddings, flowers & pomegranates.

Israeli success at the Paralympics

Israeli swimmers won 6 golds at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. Mark Malyar broke 2 world records, winning 2 golds and a bronze. Ami Dadaon won 2 golds and a silver. Iyad Shalabi is the first Arab Israeli medal winner (2 golds). And Moran Samuel won silver at rowing.

Butterfly of peace

The western pigmy blue butterfly (a native of the USA) has been discovered thriving in Israel’s Dead Sea resort. One theory is that its larvae were in a pot plant brought to the UAE by a US State Department official at the time of the Abraham Accords in 2019. Tourists then brought it to Israel.