A Thousand Nights and Lod

June 21st 2011

A Thousand Nights and Lod; a physical and musical makeover.

There’s nothing like taking a place that has been down in the dumps for a while and uplifting it to a place of class and popularity.

So on various dates throughout the upcoming crisp October nights, be a part of the change, as the city of Lod is transformed from its fairly grimy  reputation)  to one of sizzling electricity.

As Ruth Wasserman Lande, who was the lightbulb behind this event to restore Lod’s community and reputation, puts it, “Just like Israel embraced Sderot, though for completely different reasons, Lod needs embracing and the people here need embracing too.”

So on two precious nights in October, get ready to hug Lod, metaphorically and musically speaking, of course. In its historic Old City quarter, a huge range of Israeli musicians will be playing on both October 21 and 28th, including the Andalusian Orchestra and Edan Yaniv on the first night, and David Broza and Aviyahu Shabat on the second.

Add in art exhibits, food fair, and light shows every night from 6 to 11 pm, and you’ve got quite the holiday treat.
And who could pass up the first night being hosted by Israeli Survivor finalist Mirit Vaknin, who is also a Lod Native?

As everyone knows, a neighborhood can go from good to poor in a blink of an eye. Lod is only a fifteen minute ride from Tel Aviv and is literally in the heart of the immigration/aliyah/tourist nation, as it sits two minutes away from Ben Gurion Airport. Yet it is avoided en masse throughout Israel due to its crime-worn drug reputation.

But going back , THIS 8,000 year old city ( beating Jaffa and Jerusalem in its ancient-hood) was where the great sage Rabbi Akiva settled and brought holiness to the city.

When you’ve got a dire situation like this, it’s the opportune time for great, diverse minds to come together, which is why The Thousand Nights committee is made of up seven members from across the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian community of the city. Lod boasts a proud population of 75,00, including an electic mix of Jews from Russia, India, Morroco, and Georgia.  When you come on your Israel tour, you can experience the Indian synagogue which will be open for visitors during the festival.

Lod townsman are hoping that it’s Old City, with its “Peace Triangle” complex of a Mamluk mosque, the St.George Cathedral and the Georgian Synagogue., will become a more sought after vacation stop in.

Here’s hoping. Be a part of the action, and raise up some Israeli social soil while you’re at it.