October. Haifa's 35th International Film Festival has introduced a varied program of about 200 films, including premieres of Israeli films and award winners from the world's leading festivals, restored classics, international documentary films and so on.
April. As part of foreign relations and exchange of delegations, Yuval Center for Music and Youth Orchestras hosted a delegation of musicians from a music center in the region of Mansfeld-Südharz District in Germany. The delegation comprised 15 people including music students, music teachers and accompanists.
The 7th So French So Food French Gastronomy Week is the initiation of the French Embassy and the French Cultural Center.
It featured 17 French chefs led by Guillaume Gomez, Chef of the Palais de l'Elysée, and Shalom Kadosh, Chef of the Cow on the Roof restaurant, who collaborated with Israel's finest gourmet restaurants in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Nazareth and Tiberias.
Good Father (Abba Tov), a short film created by Irony Hey's film studies students, won accolades and first prize at the 7th MICE (Mostra Internacional de Cinema Educatiu) Film Festival in Valencia, Spain. The film tells the true story of a hard-working teacher (Yishai Tarragano, a teacher at the school and the main actor) who maneuvers between two jobs. The filmmakers are Tomer Ben Shimol - directing, editing, photography; Rotem Albert - production, editing and sound; Tomer Golan - photography and script; Asil Bassis - production assistant; and the teachers Shahar Adi and Moshiko Hackman.
The cultural landscape in Haifa—and indeed, in Israel—will have looked very different without Haifa Arts Foundation
Haifa Arts Foundation, established in 1976 by Haifa municipality, the Ministry of Education and Culture in Israel and the Senate of the Free City of Bremen, Germany, is active in promoting art and culture in the city. It supports cultural and artistic projects in the fields of theater, literature, cinema and visual arts, and grants scholarships to outstanding students in the fields of dance and music. The Foundation helps artists to publicize and promote their work, putting emphasis on projects that will not have been realized without its help and involvement.
Founded in 1990 by Roni Kenan, Hai-Po is a community theater that staged many plays over the years. Its latest endeavor is Samuel Becket's "one-mouth" play, Not I, from 1972.
Daphna Kohane, who acts in the play, was a member of Hai-Po (sounds like "Haifa"; literal meaning "living here") for fourteen years before going solo with the monodrama Victoria, based on Sami Michael's novel. Then, after touring with the show for nearly five years, "I felt I had to do some ensemble work; I had to have people around me on stage." Three years ago, she returned to be active in Hai-Po.
Haifa Theatre fares well overseas, with its plays finding new venues in China, Toronto and Poland, among other places
Right from the very outset, the Haifa Municipal Theater loyally represented the spirit of place and time, and served in Israel as an example and role model for art that represents and demonstrates the diversity of Israeli society, its courage and its creativity. During the last year, the theatre continued the trend of international representation, putting further emphasis on cooperation with foreign countries. The results are already apparent.
The City Hall building celebrates 75 years to its establishment
During its first decades, Haifa Municipality resided in various rented buildings, but the growth of the municipal system and the expansion of its activity, aimed to fulfill the needs of the ever-growing population, made it necessary to have all its departments under one roof, if only for efficiency's sake.
In the late 1920s Shabtai Levy, who was council member at the time, came up with the notion that "the center of municipal life should be re
4,000 athletes from 80 countries, 600 competitions in various sports, and a boost to the city's economy; the Youth Maccabiah games was one of the largest and most significant events to take place in Haifa in recent years
With a new open water swim and the Maccabiah Games pre-camp and hub, Haifa is off to a head start on its way to become an international sports center
In the past year and a half, Haifa hosted several major sports competitions, including the 470 Open National Championships at the Reuven Sadnai Sailing Center, and an international Judo tournament, which is turning into a local tradition. This time around it attracted more than 50 youths from twin cities, including two in China, and over 70 other Judo Association members from 11 cities around the world, including from the US and Canada, not a trivial matter at all, considering the distance.
Wadi Nisnas – a melting pot that generates a profusion of dishes
The locals refer to it simply as The Wadi, a deferential moniker that hints there is no other wadi before it; still, on the other hand, this kind of overfamiliarity might lead a person to take things for granted.
The time is nearly midnight, and Tali Weisman is on a drive from Shanghai to Suzhou, after nearly 24 hours on the roads, yet she her voice is full of sizzling energy: “We just did a two hour concert—half of it acapella and half accompanied by piano—in a huge venue in Shanghai, an acoustic hall with sitting capacity of 2000. Now we are on our way to Suzhou’s Opera House, where we will take part in a production of Strauss’ Die Fledermaus on Saturday, with a cast of top singers from the Israeli Opera.”
Weisman is the conductor of Bat Shir Choir ever since it was founded in 2000. The choir, an initiative of Haifa Municipality, “went through many changes since its early days, turning from a children choir into a choir offering educational continuum for singers aged 6 to 30, currently boasting some 80 vocalists in four age groups.
“Five years ago Bat Shir became Haifa Symphony’s choir in residence, which means we perform with the orchestra on a permanent basis in all its classical series, in operas twice a year, in the family series, the big band shows etc., so it’s very intensive, but the children get to perform on very professional stages from the age of eight or nine, in family concerts and narrated concerts.
“True, usually the older ones are those who get to perform on stage, at ages 14-15 and up, but not too seldom the younger ones are required as well: next month the young and the older ones will sing in Mahler’s 3rd, as it calls for a boys choir; last year we had a very big concert with the Israeli Philharmonic, performing a piece written specifically for children. And apart from that we also turn to more ‘personal’ choir materials and acapella singing.”
Members of Bat Shir Choir hail from local schools, but some come especially from further places to acquire this unique kind of extra-curricular education: “they get singing lessons, they learn solfeggio, and earn a high level of musical education and professional training, so that by the time they perform on stage they have the tools required for the job. For the last four or five years we have performed regularly in operas; we have Figaro ahead of us and in the summer we did Tosca and Carmen. Very diverse materials.”
The choir does not travel with the orchestra despite their association. “On the current trip we are a delegation of 42 people, under the patronage of Haifa Symphony and Ethos (The Haifa Municipality Art, Culture and Sports Association Company). The symphony’s conductor and musical manager is maestro Xu Zhong, Principal Director of the Fondazione Arena di Verona and General Director of Shanghai OperaHouse; he created the connections with China, with the help of Motti Eines, the symphony’s General Director. The concerts are part of the festivities of the Chinese New Year.”
“We are still jetlagged from the crazy drive to get here. It was a very long day, we are still on the road, and tomorrow we have to start rehearsing for the operetta. But that’s part of the game and it’s a great experience that’s worth it all.”
It turned out that the Chinese audience felt the same. Both halls were filled to capacity with a total of some 3,000 spectators who applauded loudly and swayed to Israeli classics such as Kol HaKavod (from Kazablan), Ve’ulay, Yom Yavo and Sheharhoet among others in Shanghai, and exploded with bravi at the conclusion of Die Fledermaus in Suzhou. The following reviews were just as ecstatic, crowning the tour as a resonant success.