Woodstock Israel-style: A Nonprofit Group Holds Its Own Rock Festival

Plus, KeepOlim launches its third annual comedy fundraising tour, while Nefesh B’Nefesh puts a twist on its annual picnic in the north

Steven Klein
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A man plays his guitar during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Festival on Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, New York, August 18, 2019.
A man plays his guitar during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Festival on Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, New York, August 18, 2019. Credit: Brendan McDermid / Reuters
Steven Klein

WE ARE STARDUST: While the original organizers of the 1969 Woodstock festival had to cancel this month’s revival, the group Hitorerut is holding its own next Thursday and Friday in Jerusalem. JeruStock 50 organizer and addiction counselor Tracey Shipley told Haaretz that Hitorerut, which calls itself "Jerusalem's largest pluralist-Zionist party," found a private site about as randomly as Max Yasgur’s farm was found back in the day. Café Silo, near the First Station outdoor mall, is providing free camping grounds for the concert, “just like the real Woodstock,” said Shipley, who hails from Cleveland. “We’re making it super cheap so everyone can afford to go, and making it family-friendly.” Bands will be a mix of old and new, including Alma Madre, which will be honoring Jimi Hendrix, David Gindis (Creedence Clearwater Revival), the Jon Hock Blues Band (Country Joe and the Fish), Tamar and Netanel (Simon & Garfunkel, who were invited to Woodstock) and the Elevators (the Grateful Dead). All proceeds from the alcohol and smoke-free event will go to cultural activities for Jerusalem youth. For more info, call Tracey at (054) 810-8198.

STRANGERS IN A STRANGE LAND: While immigration has its challenges, KeepOlim hopes to leverage the experience’s humorous side to increase the group’s services to immigrants in Israel. The nonprofit group is launching its third annual comedy fundraising tour, starting in Zichron Yaakov this Monday. Entertainers include special guest star Lenny Ravich, Benji Lovitt, Doron Ravitz and Hani Skutch. The tour will continue on Wednesday, September 4, in Nahariya, where Joan Weiner Levin will also perform, and end on Thursday, September 12, in Beit Shemesh. “All the comics are olim, so they’re giving back to KeepOlim and the community because we need funds for vital programs, advocacy services and support,” KeepOlim founder LiAmi Lawrence told Haaretz. “The nice thing in Beit Shemesh is that we have a donor who is matching the price of each ticket sold to merit full recovery for a young lady in the community who is sick.” For tickets, visit keepolim.org.

SUDDENLY THIS SUMMER: After a decade of hosting an annual picnic in northern Israel for English-speaking immigrants, Nefesh B’Nefesh is switching gears this summer, rebranding the event as an “end-of-summer celebration,” says Tzippy Oppenheimer, the director of NbN’s Go Beyond-North program. “We’ve changed the location and vibe,” said Oppenheimer, a native of Chicago who has lived in the north for more than 30 years. “It will be held in Michmanim, right outside Carmiel in an ecological park. It’s an absolutely gorgeous location. The view is of the whole valley underneath. Anytime I go, there’s a nice cool breeze even on the hottest of days.” She said the event would include outdoor activities such as making lavender sachets, pitas and bamboo flutes, as well as other arts and crafts activities, followed by dinner. She added that NbN, the immigrant support organization, was expecting over 400 attendees. For more info, email Eti Gipsman at egipsman@nbn.org.il.

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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