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Thousands pack Masada for Dead Sea Rave -424

Posted on:
October 27, 2014
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Dead Sea Rave

Nearly 12,000 revelers partied in front of Masada at the Dead Sea Rave -424, featuring nine DJs from Europe, the US and Israel – including UK DJ Paul Oakenfold and Iranian- American DJ duo Deep Dish, on Thursday night.

The event began in the evening and lasted until sunrise, with electronic dance music fans both young and old – many in the neon clothing and face-paint characterizing raves – dancing wildly to the music as the smell of marijuana filled the air and, according to some attendees, the party drug “Molly” or MDMA could be easily found.

Creative Director Avi Yosef planned the second annual event within six weeks, following Operation Protective Edge, and said he hoped it would only be the beginning of Israel becoming a major venue for music festivals.

Tourism Minister Uzi Landau said he hopes the Dead Sea Rave -424 will attract cultural tourism to Israel, which he called “a new and growing niche market… [that will] help position Israel as an attractive tourism destination, offering international standard culture alongside unique religious, historical and leisure tourism options.”

Landau added that “the unique desert landscape at the lowest place on earth, with the Masada fortress as the backdrop, is indeed an enchanting ‘escape’ venue for annual events as varied as the Dead Sea Rave -424 and the Israeli Opera Festival.”

:: JPost

Calling on those with wanderlust: Ryanair plans Israel hub

Posted on:
August 26, 2014
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Calling on those with wanderlust! Do you have the travel bug, but not the wallet to support it? Good news: Ryanair, the low-cost airline from Europe, is hoping to expand its services into Israel.

CEO of Ryanair, Michael O’ Leary, said in an interview that he hopes to soon open a flight hub in TLV. Flights from Israel would go to “destinations like Russia, central Europe, Britain, Germany and other locations”.

Read more at No Camels.

VIDEO: Israeli wins global choreography contest

Posted on:
July 11, 2014
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Idan Sharabi’s ‘Ours’ takes won first place at 28th International Choreographers Competition in Hanover, Germany.

By: Caitlin Marceau

Choreographed by Sharabi and danced with Dor Mamalia, “Ours” recently won first place at the 28th International Choreographers Competition in Hanover, Germany.

According to a report by The Algemeiner, Sharabi posted the win on his personal website. The report also says that the piece is an exploratory one, which experiments with space, form, and what it really means to be home.

Sharabi, as mentioned in the article, posted a thank you to his supporters via Facebook after the event.

“We are so lucky to get all these opportunities to share our work with so many different audiences,” he wrote. “Winning with Dor, for the second time, was unbelievable and so rewarding.”

Having won the competition, which took place on June 21-22, Sharabi will be taking home €6,000 (about $8,155) as a reward.

Reprinted with permission from Shalom Life.

:: YNetNews


Maccabi Tel Aviv fans turn out to welcome victorious team home

Posted on:
May 20, 2014
Blog, Lifestyle
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Maccabi Tel Aviv’s European basketball victory on Sunday night has set off a national outpouring of joy in Israel. Some 20,000 people turned out in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Monday evening to greet the returning players and see the hardwon Euroleague Cup.

Even though the team is dominated by foreign-born players, the victory fostered a rare sense of national pride in a country often driven by internal divisions and international criticism, and provided an opportunity to flaunt a sense of normalcy to the world.

Maccabi’s dream season culminated Sunday with an overtime victory over Real Madrid in the Euroleague basketball final in Milan.

Thousands of fans clad in Maccabi yellow filled Rabin Square Sunday night, with many jumping into its landmark fountain. Celebrations erupted in other cities as well, with TV and radio stations airing special broadcasts.

“Amazing the support Israel is giving us. Feels like we brought together an entire country,” tweeted Sylven Landesberg, a U.S.-born guard on the team.

In Milan, the nearly 10,000 fans that made the trip partied all night, hoisting a huge flag of Israel in a public square and hollering the national anthem.

According to initial ratings figures, about a third of the country watched Sunday’s game live on TV, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres. Both men called head coach David Blatt after the game to offer congratulations.

“You were an example of determination. The whole team fought like lions and won,” Peres told Blatt. “I watched the whole game and nearly had a heart attack. You are heroes and have brought incredible pride to the state of Israel.”

Peres, who said he was wearing a yellow tie, invited the team to his residence for an official reception upon their return. “Israel is good at impossible things,” he said.

A nation of 8 million, Israel still has a small-town feel to it when it comes to its international sporting successes. While jubilant celebrations from Maccabi’s die-hard fan base were to be expected, the national celebration reflected the type of patriotic fervor rarely seen around other professional sports clubs

All three of the major Israeli TV stations aired special broadcasts to cover the team’s arrival at the airport. Hundreds of fans waited for the team in the terminal as officials engulfed the players and coaches as they disembarked from an El Al plane.

Following the official reception there, the team was to meet Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai before the main festivities were planned at Rabin Square. All other news was pushed aside, as the country’s leaders stopped their business to rally around the team.

Upon greeting visiting Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong, Netanyahu informed her that “you’ve come to something of a national holiday because yesterday we proudly saw the victory of Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team for the European championship, so this is a time of great celebration.”

Maccabi Tel Aviv has long been a source of national pride, even as its player base has become less and less Israeli.

Maccabi has seven Americans who played at US colleges, and only two Israel-born players are part of the regular rotation. Their foreign players, including former Boston College guard Tyrese Rice, former UNC Greensboro point guard Ricky Hickman and former University of Virginia forward Devin Smith, were instrumental in Sunday’s victory. Another trio of American basketball players with ties to Judaism play as Israelis.

The high concentration of foreigners has drawn accusations from rivals that the team is comprised of mercenaries with very little to do with the country. But Maccabi has largely remained one of the few bodies of consensus in a deeply divided society.

The team has dominated Israeli basketball for decades and has grown into a European powerhouse, winning five titles. But in recent years, its aura has begun to fade.

Last year, it lost the Israeli title for the third time in six years — after having lost it only once in the previous 39 — and entered the European championship as a huge underdog.

The team that won back-to-back European titles in 2004-05 featured future NBA players like Anthony Parker, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Maceo Baston. Later, homegrown talents Omri Casspi and Gal Mekel also migrated to the NBA.

In contrast, this year’s team was devoid of big stars. It needed a dramatic win on the road to even make it to the Final Four and its victories over heavily favored CSKA Moscow in the semifinals and Real Madrid in the final were sparked by the outstanding play of its bench.

Rice, the tournament’s MVP, hit the game winner in the semifinals and dominated the final game, scoring 26 points, including 14 in overtime.

“No one believed in us,” Maccabi captain Guy Pnini said. “It is hard to fathom and this will take a long time to sink in.”

:: YNetNews.com

Maccabi Tel Aviv crowned champion of Europe

Posted on:
May 18, 2014
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What was deemed as impossible just a few months ago became a reality on Sunday night, with Maccabi Tel Aviv recording a stunning 98-86 overtime victory over Real Madrid in Milan to claim a sixth European championship title in club history.

Maccabi’s mere presence in the Euroleague Final Four was a huge surprise, but the yellow-and-blue never had any intention of just making up the numbers in Milan, coming back from 15-points down to snatch a dramatic win over CSKA Moscow in Friday’s semifinal.

Tel Aviv wasn’t supposed to have a chance against Real Madrid either, but no team could overcome the unflappable character of David Blatt’s men, with Maccabi erasing an 11-point deficit on Sunday before securing the win in overtime in front of over 9,000 yellow-and-blue fans who dominated the arena.

Read more at JPost.com

Michelin-starred chefs to raise funds for Jerusalem’s elderly

Posted on:
April 10, 2014
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Leading chefs from France, Germany and Holland to cook gourmet dinner together with Israeli counterparts to help complete life enrichment center for needy senior citizens.


Leading chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants are arriving in Israel this week to participate in a fundraiser for Ezrat Avot, an association providing for Jerusalem’s elderly population.

The fundraiser was initiated after the construction of a health and life enrichment center in the city for needy senior citizens was halted due to lack of budget.

Chef Shalom Kadosh of the Fattal Hotels chain decided to help out and sponsor a special culinary event which will be held Thursday with chefs from around the world, who will cook a gourmet dinner together with Israeli chefs.

The funds raised at the event will be dedicated to the completion of the Jerusalem center.

Chefs Marc Haeberlin and Philippe Legendre from France, German chef Harald Wohlfahrt and Israeli chef Moshik Roth from Amsterdam, who share several Michelin stars, will be joined by Israeli chefs Aviv Moshe, Golan Gurfinkel, Yoram Nitzan, Meir Adoni, Mika Sharon, Ezra Kedem, Segev Moshe and Eran Schwartzbard.

The event will be held at the renovated Cardo hall at Jerusalem’s Leonardo Plaza Hotel and will be hosted by writer Hanoch Daum. It will also be attended by the prime minister’s wife, Sara Netanyahu, who has been aiding the Ezrat Avot association.