Israeli Culture From Your Couch

Israeli Culture From Your Couch

Coronavirus has drastically altered the everyday lives of millions of people, forcing them to quarantine themselves within their homes. This disruption has extended into the culture scene as well, with most venues across Europe, North America, Israel, and beyond shutting down. Where there are unique challenges however, unique solutions soon follow and many artists and venues decided that if people could not come to them, they would bring their arts to the people. We have hunted down these various options and listed the best ones in this newsletter. We also included a few other tips to help you stay healthy.

Take care!

Tips for Staying Healthy


Image by Israel Defense Forces

Don’t let being stuck at home stop you from getting in some physical activity. Exercise is important for physical and mental health, reducing stress, and maintaining a strong immune system. A good place to start is simply getting up and walking, either to the store, through the park, up the stairs, or even just in place. For those looking to do more, there are a lot of very effective exercises you can do at home that require absolutely no equipment, only the resistance your own bodyweight provides. Included below is a simple, but highly effective 5 exercise routine from the Israel Defense Forces that you can try. Be sure to drink plenty of water while exercising and include some high energy music with your routine to keep you pumped and motivated (even better when they have a little Israeli flair like these)!


Image by Calliopejen1

With the extra time you might have because of social distancing and/or home quarantine, now is the perfect opportunity to get into the kitchen and do some cooking. Home cooking is not only generally healthier for you compared to store bought meals or carry out, but it can also be a good stress reliever and keep your mind stimulated and active as you try new recipes and learn new skills. Why not make it a family affair and get the kids involved too? Below are some great Israeli recipes to bring some Middle Eastern flair into your home.

Tips for Staying Cultured


Image by Kent G Becker

If you love the opera or the ballet, then you will be excited to learn that the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv is streaming a selection of performances from their archives live on Facebook. Included among the shows are options for children as well.


Image by Roni Galili

For all of you bibliophiles, now is a great time to cross a few books off of your ”To Read” list. In case you are on the hunt for something new however, here are a couple of places you can look. Open Library has literally thousands of books for you to choose from, all of which are free, including titles by Israeli authors like David Grossman and A. B. Yehoshua. Want help finding other authors though? Easy, visit the Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature. Their website lists the majority of Israeli writers as well as which of their books have been translated and into what languages. They also include a handy catalog of new releases by quarter. Finally, for Hebrew readers, check out The Israel Online Library, which is also free.


Image courtesy of Batsheva Dance Company

Whether you are interested in watching modern dance or would like to participate in it, there are now several options available to you. For you watchers, Vertigo Dance Company in Israel has made their show Yama available, in full, on Facebook. If you want to get up and try it for yourself however, Batsheva Dance Company, together with instructors in New York and Tel Aviv, are providing Gaga dance classes 8 times a day, 7 days a week in two time zones, which are open to everyone.


Image by Vered Adir

We have previously mentioned all the Israeli produced, or Israel related, movies and shows that are currently available to watch in Sweden, but we thought now would be a good time to compile them all together into a single list.


Image by Avishai Teicher

Israel has many fantastic museums and they have been very quick at getting content online to help people who are stuck at home. Chief among these is The Israel Museum in Jerusalem which has not only made much of the museum accessible by virtual tour, but has also put together special activities for children, such as coloring books featuring artwork from their collections. The Museum for Islamic Art has done something unique by putting 3D scans of their artifacts online, which allow you to see every detail from every angle. You can also join curators from the Tel Aviv Museum of Art for live tours and discussions of some of their galleries or visit Design Museum Holon’s social media pages to view their exhibit ”State of Extremes,” which has suddenly become much more relevant than what they had originally intended. Finally, check out the Museums in Israel National Portal for more images and information on 61 different museums across the country.


Image by Uri Barkat

No matter how difficult things might get, music can always make people feel better. That is why many of Israel’s top musicians have come together to share their songs with the public. For classical music lovers, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the Israel Netanya Kibbutz Orchestra, are offering live broadcasts of previous concerts, as well as tutorials and other fun materials, on their social media channels. Jazz lovers should follow Avishai Cohen who is giving daily concerts from his living room. Finally, Zappa Group is organizing daily live concerts from their studio in Herzliya featuring an awesome and varied selection of Israeli rock, pop, and indie artists.


Image by Roni Toren

The theatre scene in Israel is a bustling and thriving one, and this continues to be true even in the new reality of coronavirus. Many theatres have moved their content online and the Jerusalem Theatre has put together a great list of these for you to enjoy for free (most in Hebrew). For English language options, try visiting The Stage, English on Stage, or the Jerusalem English Theater Community. They are all sharing previous shows while also organizing new events for people around the world to participate in including poetry slams, storytelling groups, book readings, improv, and more.


Image by Boaz Aharonovich

Art can be very therapeutic, especially in times of stress. Get inspired by some of these amazing artists from Israel and then try making something of your own! For photographers, check out the submissions to PHOTO IS:RAEL’s 2019 festival and then submit your own photographs for the 2020 competition. This year’s theme is transformation. If you are interested in paintings and sculptures, take a look at the portfolios of David Gerstein and Yosef Ohayon (aka JOJO). Their works are filled with colors, movement, and positive energy! Hilla Ben Ari is a more experimental artist who explores ideas of femininity, sexuality, and community through depicting and manipulating the female form in different ways using film, photography, and art installations. Finally, put a smile on your face by visiting Yehuda and Maya Devir’s website. They document married life together in their ongoing illustration series titled ”One of Those Days,” which has earned them multiple awards and a huge following.




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