Dance, Theatre, and Music
Jerusalem Center for the Performing Arts
City’s foremost performing-arts center. Includes four performance halls, cinema complex, and inviting foyer with café and exhibits. Drama, dance, contemporary and classical music by world-renowned performers as well as experimental and avant-garde artists. Website listings are in Hebrew only. Call or check the Jerusalem Post for weekly listings in English. 20 Marcus Street; tel. 972 (0) 2 560 5755. www.jerusalem-theatre.co.il
The cultural center of the World Union for Progressive Judaism has a surprisingly contemporary schedule of popular and ethnic music, readings, lectures, and summer outdoor concerts. Tickets $15-30. 6 Shama Street; tel. 972 (0) 2 620 3455. www.beitshmuel.com
Daily screenings of contemporary and classic Israeli and foreign films. Two film theaters and multiple video-viewing stations; houses the Israel Film Archive, the Joan Sourasky-Constantiner Holocaust Study Center, the Cinema Library, and the Cecil Bernstein Collection of cinema memorabilia. Café serves light meals. Tickets $10. Hebron Road; tel. 972 (0) 2 565 4333. www.jer-cin.org.il
Targ Music Center
Relaxing chamber concerts Fridays and Saturdays at noon. Located on the city’s western edge in the rustic, hillside Ein Kerem neighborhood. Tickets $15-20. 29 Hama’ayan Street; tel. 972 (0) 2 641 4250.
Bible Lands Museum
Hosts Saturday night summer garden concerts. Jazz, blues, gospel, and world music performed by local ensembles. Tickets $17-19, includes cheese and wine. 25 Granot Street; tel. 972 (0) 2 561 1066. www.blmj.org
The converted Turkish caravansary hosts its repertory theater troupe with occasional English performances, as well as chamber music, jazz, and touristy folk songs and dance. 2 David Remez Square; tel. 972 (0) 2 671 8281. www.khan.co.il
American Colony Hotel Cellar Bar
“Where foreign correspondents meet Palestinians and left-wing Israelis.”—Dita Kohl-Roman, publisher, Eretz Magazine. Smoky bar hidden under the American Colony Hotel in East Jerusalem; 130-year-old pink stone floor; Jerusalem’s version of Casablanca’s mythical Rick’s Café. Nablus Road; tel. 972 (0) 2 627 9777.
Industrial zone clubbers’ venue; attracts international crowd. Top Israeli and guest DJs play electronic trance and house music. Action starts after midnight. 17 Ha’oman Street, Talpiot; tel. 972 (0) 2 678 1658.
The Lab (Hama’abada)
Performing arts center located in a converted warehouse; hosts Israeli Jewish rockers including Aharit Hayamim and Israeli funk masters like Coolooloosh. Live performances projected on a screen at the adjacent bar where the more intimate music sessions take place. No cover at the bar. Performance tickets $10-16. 28 Hebron Road, Jerusalem Khan; tel. 972 (0) 2 629 2000.
Friendly, casual atmosphere; outdoor tables in good weather; pool table inside. Nightly live music—blues, folk, and contemporary local rock—attracts an eclectic crowd of all ages. Music starts around 10 p.m. 37 Jaffa Road; tel. 972 (0) 52 267 0965. www.mikesplacebars.com
“Ultramodern, swanky singles bar-restaurant.”—Michael Kohn, coordinating author, Lonely Planet Israel & the Palestinian Territories. Giant aquarium and TV screen. Occasional impromptu live music performances; primarily DJ music. Meat and seafood dishes. 17 Shlomzion Street; tel. 972 (0) 2 622 2622.
Tiny bar-café located inside a comic book store. Favorite hangout for alternative music aficionados. Limited menu; teas, fruit-flavor araks (anise-flavored alcoholic beverage), Palestinian Talybeh beer, espresso, and wine. 4 Aristobulos Street; tel. 972 (0) 2 623 6087.
Non-profit creative music center; dancing and live performances almost every night. Mostly rock, occasional blues and jazz—Eli Lulay, The Caspers—also live band parties spotlighting Jerusalem-based bands. 10 p.m. until after 4 a.m. Tickets $15-18. 13 Erkevim Street, Talpiot; tel. 972 (0) 2 679 4040. www.yellowsubmarine.org.il
March-April. Throngs of Christian pilgrims—Western denominations first, followed by Orthodox Christians one to two weeks later—descend upon the city for Holy Week to commemorate the events of Jesus’ final days. Begins Palm Sunday (the Sunday before Easter) on the Mount of Olives; includes visits to the supposed Upper Room (site of the Last Supper and also known as the Cenacle or Coenaculum) and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (believed to be on the site where Jesus was crucified and buried). On Thursday, fervent followers stage a cross-carrying procession along Via Dolorosa retracing the stations of the cross.
September-October. Traditional Feast of Tabernacles, also known as Sukkoth, attracts 30,000 Israeli and international participants for all-day trek passing by Jerusalem’s major historic and religious sites. Biblical-based tour culminates with a huge afternoon parade. Registration required. tel. 972 2 629 8047. tour.jerusalem.muni.il
May-June. Two-week, annual performing-arts festival with local and acclaimed international troupes; classical and acoustic music, theater, dance. Venues throughout the city; includes free street performances, children’s shows, and evening jazz. tel. 972 (0)2 566 3198. www.israel-festival.org.il
Jerusalem Film Festival
July. International, two-week film festival; 300 screenings of feature films, documentaries, television dramas, and Israeli titles. Jewish Experience category focuses on Jewish identity and history. Tip: See the open-air screenings at the Sultan’s Pool amphitheater. www.jff.org.il
Khutzot Hayotzer International Arts and Crafts Fair
August. International arts and crafts fair held ten consecutive evenings just outside the walls of the Old City. Live music, wine, food, more than 150 artisans displaying crafts for sale, and numerous multicultural pavilions including a Tibetan Buddhist stupa (spiritual monument) and an Inca palace. tel. 972 2 5314600 tour.jerusalem.muni.il
Jerusalem International Book Fair
February. Biennial international trade show hosting more than 1,200 publishers from around the world; more than 100,000 titles on display; open to the public. Includes exhibits, education programs, and awarding of the prestigious Jerusalem Prize to a writer whose work promotes the concept of the "freedom of the individual in society.” www.jerusalembookfair.com
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