What cultural activities can I enjoy in Israel?
Part of your integration into Israel will be participating or enjoying social and cultural activities – an exciting night life filled with many events and performances; orchestra, theater, dance and opera in most of the main centers.
Israel’s Ministry of Culture & Sport oversees cultural and sporting activities. Their mission: to lead and promote measures that will enable all citizens to exercise their right to culture and sport, and aspire to excellence, creativity and well-being.
There are small ‘amdram’ (amateur theatre) performances that are held in English and they tour the country regularly. Professional musical, theatrical, dance and operatic performances are held across Israel throughout the year. Listed below are a few of them:
The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
In 2020 Lahav Shani became the director of The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO). Zubin Mehta now holds the title of Music Director Emeritus of the Israel Philharmonic. The IPO holds concerts in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem at The Charles Bronfman Auditorium (Heichal Hatarbut) in Tel Aviv, also at The Haifa Auditorium and The Ussishkin Auditorium and the Sherover Hall in Jerusalem.
There are various subscription packages; morning concerts, evenings and weekends, light-classical, for children and even a ticket cancellation policy
If you’d like to know more about the IPO and members of the orchestra, in English, click here.
The Habima Theatre, in Tel Aviv, is the national theatre of Israel and one of the first Hebrew language theatres. It was officially pronounced as the national theatre in 1958 and employs 80 actors, and another 120 staff members who work at the complex.
Omri Nitzan is the Creative Director of The Cameri Theatre in Tel Aviv. His vision is to “create Israeli theatre that will reflect the complex, ever changing Israeli experience and create tangent points for the audience to see itself on stage: a meeting point that is rejuvenating, enlightening, sobering and eye-opening. The Cameri must always be a young theatre!”. The Cameri complex has 4 auditoriums as well as an informal ‘Coffee Theatre’.
Performances run every day throughout the year. A subscription to the Cameri includes tickets for seven productions per year.
Yiddishpiel – The Yiddish Theater in Israel – is the only Yiddish theater in Israel. Yiddishpiel was established in 1987 and its mission is to keep the Yiddish culture alive. Their repertoire ranges from the classic works of Sholem Aleichem, Abraham Goldfaden, Itzik Manger, Sholem Asch and Jacob Gordin, through Isaac Bashevis Singer, Shai Agnon, and to Hanoch Levin, Joshoua Sobol, Hillel Mittelpunkt, B. Michael, Efraim Sidon and others. In addition to that, works from the global repertoire are staged such as Samuel Becket, Nikolai Gogol, Neil Simon, Willie Russell and many more. All Yiddishpiel performances are performed in Yiddish and accompanied by translations into Hebrew, Russian and any additional languages according to the locations where the theater performs worldwide.
The annual subscription includes 10 tickets (2 tickets each for 5 performances) and a 50 per cent discount is available for seniors.
The Israel National Opera
Opera began in Israel in Tel Aviv on July 28, 1923 with Verdi’s La traviata. The Israel National Opera was established in 1945 and today it is led by General Director Hanna Munitz. Performances of adult opera and those that appeal to children, jazz, liturgy and dance performances are held at 19 Shmuel HaMelech Blvd., Tel Aviv. Opera festivals are also held in Akko and Jerusalem. Another favorite of Israelis is the outdoor Opera Festival held at The Massada National Park during the summer.
Annual subscriptions and single tickets are available and can also be purchased online.
Israelis love to dance. You can enjoy informal folk-dancing groups on the beach or organized contemporary dance and ballet performances.
The Israel Ballet performs classical and neo-classical ballets.
Local and international prima-ballerinas dance for The Bat Sheva Dance Company, Bat-Dor Dance Company, The Inbal Dance Company, Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theater. There is even a Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company.