Young Israelis have been flocking to Berlin in recent years – not just to visit and soak up the city's cool vibes, but to settle, sometimes permanently. Estimates put the number of Israelis living in the capital of European hipsterdom at anywhere from 15,000 to 30,000 – prompting Finance Minister Yair Lapid to recently lash out at Israeli yordim (emigrants), imploring them not to "throw the only state the Jews have into the garbage because it’s easier to live in Berlin."
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For those who have yet to take the plunge, or who prefer to stay in Israel but want a taste of Berlin culture, the Goethe Institute in Tel Aviv has lined up a series of events for October and November that transport participants to Berlin without having to hop on a plane.
Collectively titled "Berlin Dayz," the festivities kicked off earlier this month, and continue with cultural events ranging from classical music to club culture to cinema from upstart Berlin directors.
Among the other events are a couple of exhibitions, opening mid-month, including a show at the Block night club by Sven Marquardt, who has worked the door at some of Berlin's most renowned clubs since the '80s, and another photo show at the cinematheque of works by Max Norz, who turned his lens onto alternative culture in Berlin and Tel Aviv.
Later this month and in early November, there will be a conference of German-Israeli literature, in which authors, poets, journalists, translators and illustrators will discuss the concept of "homeland"; live broadcasts of Berlin Philharmonic concerts; film screenings at the Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa cinematheques; theater fare at the Cameri in Tel Aviv; and dance performances from Berlin-based troupes. Night owls can sample Berlin's buzzing nightlife with the "Berlin Nightz" part of the event, which brings German DJs to some of the best Israeli clubs.
If you haven’t wanted to try your luck in Berlin yet, this multifaceted event may have you saying "Ich bin ein Berliner" in no time. For the full schedule of events (in Hebrew and German), click here (www.goethe.de/ins/il/pro/Berlinprogram%20.pdf).