Cultural Activities Not To Miss While Spending Sukkot in Israel

August 19th 2013

safra square sukkahIf you’re lucky enough to be in Israel for Sukkot, which falls each year in September or October, there is a wealth of cultural activities in which tourists can participate. Here are some extremely special ones, hosted each year at various venues across the country, that are not to be missed!

Presidential Open House – With a passport and a little patience waiting in line, you can visit the sukkah at the official residence of the President of Israel. Each year during Sukkot, the general public is invited to visit the grounds of the President’s home in the Talbieh neighborhood in Jerusalem. Entrance is free, and there are exhibits and activities designed to raise awareness of a specific cause each year.

Out of the Box – During Sukkot each year, Tel Aviv sponsors a distinctive fundraising project called “Out of the Box.” Here, artists and designers are encouraged to each create a line of tin boxes which are displayed at the Out of the Box event and sold to raise money for charitable causes such as programs for at-risk youth. The boxes sell for around $10 each, and live music enhances the festive atmosphere of the event.

The Sukkah at Safra Square – The largest sukkah in Israel (approximately 11,000 square feet) is built in Safra Square, the seat of Jerusalem’s municipal government. Bring a meal or a snack to eat in the capital’s City Hall sukkah. Special events for children, live concerts and an Open House with the mayor of Jerusalem are scheduled each year. All events at the sukkah are free.

Abu Ghosh Music Festival – The Arab village of Abu Ghosh, located in the hillsbetween Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, transforms into a vocal music festival twice a year. If you love classical music, you don’t want to miss the Abu Ghosh Music Festival. Join thousands of people who come from all over the country to revel in concerts held in the 12th century Crusader-Benedictine Church and the Kiryat Ye’arim Church overlooking the pastoral town.

Jerusalem Sukkot March – Each year, tens of thousands of visitors from all around the world (“the 70 nations”) and delegations from the country’s various institutions flock to Jerusalem during Sukkot to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles with the Jewish people. A celebratory afternoon march through the streets of Jerusalem is accompanied by related activities planned by the Jerusalem municipality to welcome the parade of pilgrims, which include representatives of motorcycle clubs, corporations, Evangelical congregations and youth movements.