Things to Do Around Israel, May 22-28, 2015

Your guide to exhibits, tours and other attractions around Israel.

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A pirate from the folklore celebrations at Hamat Gader.
A pirate from the folklore celebrations at Hamat Gader.Credit: Ron Shellef


Night of Philosophy and Art

Institut Francais, Tel Aviv’s center for French studies, offers a night of philosophic debates to the general public, with battles of logic and wit between 15 French philosophers and over 70 Israeli leaders of Israeli culture on the most pressing matters permeating through current Israeli society (see Meet the Artist). Lectures (in English) include: “Nostalgia,” by Barbara Cassin, at 20.00; “On Bravery,” by Cynthia Fleury, at 20.30; “Martin Buber, on the 50th Anniversary of His Death,” by Dominic Burrell, at 23.30. The night also includes music performances, film screenings and art displays that reflect the dialectics between philosophy and art. Thur 18.00-07.00 the following morning. Debates and other events are set up along a designated course around Rothschild Blvd. and at Institut Francais. (03) 796-8000,

Yitzhak Rabin Center

Celebrating the life and legacy of the assassinated prime minister, the center and its museum combine Rabin’s personal story with the development of the burgeoning Jewish State of Israel. Activities include guided historical tours, and educational workshops on such ideas as democracy and remembrance. Fri 09.00-12.30; Sun, Mon, Wed 09.00-15.30; Tues, Thur 09.00-17.30. 8 Haim Levanon St., Ramat Gan *4585

Medrano Circus

The Italian circus brings its spectacular show, with over 40 award-winning performers, including clowns, trapeze artists, acrobats and others, to Israel. Fri at 15.00, 17.30; Sat at 10.00; Sun at 10.00, 12.30, 16.00; Mon at 17.30. Hamoshava Stadium, Petah Tikva. Details: *6578,


Bible Lands Museum
Lost in the Museum A family activity where participants must help a warrior princess and wise wizard retrieve lost artifacts. Thur 10.00-14.00; Family Weekend Go on adventures through history, with lost artifacts, royal figures and magic spells. Ages 5-10. Sat at 10.00; Independent Activity Booklets Exploring the stories of the Bible together with Shimshi, a comic book character who helps children solve riddles and quests throughout the museum. During regular hours. Handicap accessible. Fri, Sat and holiday eves 10.00-14.00; Sun, Mon, Tues, Thur 9.30-17.30; Wed 09.30-21.30

Jerusalem Botanical Gardens
Israel’s biggest plant collection, organized geographically, with over 6,000 plants throughout the grounds. This week the gardens offer the Inori Project, an audio-visual display that combines theater, video art and live music, brought from Japan to Israel as a gesture of peace and understanding. Wed at 20.30. Regular hours: Fri 09.00-17.00; Sat 09.00-18.00; Sun-Thur, 09.00-19.00. 1 Zalman Shneor St. (via Nayot Petrol Station). Shabbat entry from 1 Burla St. Details: (02) 679-4012,

Bloomfield Science Museum

The museum offers temporary and permanent exhibits dealing with light and shadow, construction, levers, illusions, fire, electricity and more, for the entire family. For the Shavuot holdiay, the museum offers Jerusalem Mini Maker Faire 2015, showcasing dozens of original inventions and building workshops, including a giant mobile dragon machine, a soccer table game where participants compete against a robot, a machine that enables brainwave-based conversation and much more. Sun, Mon during regular hours; Mini Maker After Dark Meet the inventors of the above-mentioned machines and enjoy music performances. Sun at 20.30. At Hansen House, 14 Gedaliyahu Alon St. Among the museum’s regular activities: Machines and Smiles A retrospective with many different machines and the mechanisms behind them; A Work Tools Race Utilizing work tools in new and creative ways; The Human Machine Acrobatics show. Three clowns try to uncover the secrets of remaining balanced; Gil-Gula Workshop, inviting children to build original new tools and machines; CAPTCHA Exhibition. All about computers, their abilities and limits. Fri 10.00-14.00, Sat 10.00-16.00, Mon-Wed 10.00-18.00.

Tower of David Museum
Jerusalem: A Medical Diagnosis Exhibit. A broad and original look at the city’s “medical record” and the space between miracles and medicine. Permanent exhibit: Fri and Sat 9.00-14.00, Sun-Thur 9.00-16.00. Details and Reservation Center: *2884 / (02) 626-5333

Private Night Tour at the Nature Museum

Hazira Performing Arts presents “The Opposite of Alive,” a private night tour of the museum, taking one visitor at a time through the park, with only a torch and headphones. Thur from 19.00. Nature Museum, 6 Mohaliver St. (02) 563-1116. Registration:

Gazelle Valley

Visit the nature park, where deer roam free, despite being surrounded by the urban landscape of Jerusalem. Handicap accessible. Open all hours. Off the intersection of Herzog and Pat streets


Metula Poets’ Festival

The annual event unfolds this week with readings, workshops, tributes, conversations and live music events, all set in the picturesque town of Metula. This year’s festival is entitled “Enchantments,” and is dedicated to the late poet Dahlia Ravikovitch, who died ten years ago. A Shavuot parade and white night also takes place, with talks by critical thinkers in the Israeli literary community. Fri-Sun, in locations around Metula. (04) 837-7777


A family event in the spirit of Israeli pioneer life, featuring old-time games, a wicker basket workshop, pioneer dress up, cheese making and more. Sun 10.00-14.00. Kfar Masaryk in the western Galilee. Details: 052-555-7271

Hamat Gader

Enjoy a giant tent compound, pedal boats, a fun parrot show, crocodile feedings, local hot springs and more. In addition to its regular activities, this week Hamat Gader offers folklore celebrations, with pirates and other characters telling wild tales of adventure, a wicker basket making workshop, a juggling act and more. Sat, Sun during regular hours. Fri, Mon-Thur 08.30-22.00; Sat, Sun 08.30-17.00. Hamat Gader, off Route 98 and south of Lake Kinneret. Details: *6393

Park of Springs

Participate in a torch-extinguishing competition using water guns and water canons. Sun 11.00-15.00; Explore the Park of Springs (Hamayanot) by foot, bicycle or green vehicle. Daily, 09.00-17.00; Permanent features also includes springs, a stream, fishponds, heritage sites, migrating birds and agricultural areas. Fri 09.00-16.00, Sun-Thur 09.00-17.00. Near Kibbutz Nir David (04) 688-1427,

Gan Guru

The park is home to wildlife including kangaroos and koalas, with Aboriginal face-painting and guided koala and bat feedings. Fri 09.00-15.00, Sat 09.00-17.00, Sun-Thur 09.00-16.00. Australia Park, Kibbutz Nir David (04) 648-8060


The Mysteries of Ancient Egypt

Exhibit, providing scientific explanations of the ancient period’s greatest achievements. Daily at 09.00. Davidson Institute’s science garden, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot. Details: (08) 934-4401

The Land of the Dinosaurs

Over 30 dinosaur species are presented as life-sized statues in an interactive exhibit. Fri, Sat at 09.00, Sun-Wed at 14.00, Thur at 10.00. Negev Zoo, Be’er Sheva. Details: *9066


A children’s museum offering a fascinating interactive experience, with original games that activate the different senses. Sat 09.00-17.30, Sun-Thur 09.00-13.00. Lunada, 25 Hareuveni St., Be’er Sheva

Underwater Observatory Marine Park, Eilat

The park sits upon the coral reef of the Red Sea, providing an up-close introduction to the fauna of the Gulf of Eilat, including over 800 species of fish, corals, mollusks, turtles, rays and more. The park’s shark pool is home to 18 shark species, and offers an underwater observation tunnel, activities and displays. Additional attractions include the open-sea underwater observatory, aquariums, the Amazon Cabin (featuring fauna from the Amazon River), animal feedings, glass-bottomed boat cruises, 3D educational films and more. Daily, 08.30-16.00. Coral (Almog) Beach, Eilat (08) 636-4200,

Bird Watching Park

Learn about the life and migrating patterns of many different bird species, observe them as they land in the nearby lake and trees, and understand Israel’s vital role in many migrating birds’ flight plans and survival. Open daily, at all hours. Off the Arava Rd., from on Route 90 and then east on Route 109. Details: 050-767-1290,