Your Guide to Jerusalem for the End of August

guide for end of august

Go to the alleys of Mahane Yehuda market on any given day, and you’ll see people playing “shesh-besh”, otherwise known as backgammon. Go the alleys of the Shuk in the Old City and you will see the same.

So it’s no wonder that this ancient game has the power to unite Jerusalemites of all backgrounds. That’s what happened last night, at the YMCA, where Jews and Arabs joined together for a backgammon tournament, accompanied by live music and a great family atmosphere. The project was part of a series of events by Jerusalem Double, the 2nd place winner of the Jerusalem Foundation’s Social Innovation Challenge. I remember hearing them pitch the concept, and it was really cool to see that concept turned into a successful reality with help from the Jerusalem Foundation.

I’m bummed out that I’ll be missing their final event in the Old City this Thursday.

Well, I’m missing it because I’ll be flying to London and New York, so I’m not that bummed out. But don’t worry –here are some suggestions of things for you to do while I’m away!

Wednesday, August 23

Cantorial Concert, 8:00 pm at Beit Avichai:

This concert will focus on high-holiday liturgy, helping you to get into the Rosh Hashana spirit.

Mekudeshet, varying times, throughout the city:

August 23rd is the first night of Mekudeshet, a month-long celebration of Jerusalem arts and culture that invites different artists to create works in conversation with the city’s different communities and public spaces.

Thursday, August 24

Jerusalem Double Championship, 6 pm next to the Jaffa Gate:

Free music right outside to the Old City Walls, lots of backgammon, and Jewish-Arab dialogue –what could be better? The first-prize winner will receive an award of 25,000 NIS, thanks to the generous gift of Guy and Marion Naggar.

Exhibit Closing, 5 pm at the Artists’ House:

This closing of the solo exhibit of artist Hayya Esther will invited different poetry and prose writers, as well as musicians, to perform a literary-musical homage to her work.

Yair Dalal and George Simaan Concert, 8 pm at the Museum for Islamic Art:

The king of Oud music  is back for a special performance at one of the city’s best museums.

The Museum, 9 pm at Hansen House:

Tal Raz’s award-winning documentary about the Israel Museum will be screened at Hansen House’s magical garden, followed by a conversation with the director. There will be English subtitles and the screening is free, so I will not accept lack of Hebrew skills or of funds as an excuse for not attending this event.

Friday, August 25

Open Day at the Jerusalem Print Workshop, 10 am:

Get a glimpse of the Workshop’s exhibit on “Perspectives of Protest” and take advantage of its overstock catalogues sale.

End-of-Season Fashionista Fair, at Beit Alliance, 10 am:

Fashionista, half-street fashion fair, half-dance party, draws its summer season to a close with this fantabulous event steps away from the Mahane Yehuda market.

Bab el Bar, 11 am at the Jaffa Gate:

Like beer? Like Israeli music? Like the Old City? If you answered yes to all three questions, then this event is the place for you.

Friday Jam, 1 pm at the Terminal Tarbut at First Station:

Free music and a chill atmosphere dominate this summer concert series.

Saturday, August 26

CohenMushon, 9 pm at Hamazkeka

Great music, great atmosphere at downtown Jerusalem’s premier music venue.

Spoken Word Performance, at Hamifletzet:

Jerusalemite spoken-word poets perform, accompanied by a piano, at Kiryat Hayovel’s neighborhood pub.

Beatles Tribute Concert, 9:30 pm at First Station:

This concert, open to the public free of charge, pays tribute to one of the world’s most beloved rock bands.

Sunday, August 27

Salt of the Earth, 8:30 pm at Beit Masie:

This play tells the tale of a security guard at a modern art museum.

Monday, August 28

Drink and Meet, 7:30 pm at Mass Challenge:

Jerusalem’s Village series of drink-and-meets strives to provide a platform for meaningful encounters between native Jerusalemites and new immigrants.

Tuesday, August 29

Jerusalem of Ascents, 9 am at Muslala:

This day-long conference explores urban rooftops, especially the rooftops of Jerusalem.

Shlom Hanoch and Moshe Levi Concert, 9:30 pm at the Jerusalem Theater:

See these two Israeli music stars perform live as part of the Jerusalem Theater’s end-of-summer festival.

Tmol Shilshom’s 23rd Birthday Celebration, 6 pm:

Come celebrate the 23rd birthday of this restaurant-café that also functions as a bookshop and literary venue. The event includes readings by premier Israeli authors and live music.

Incubator Theater Poetry Slam, 8:30 pm at Muristan Square in the Old City:

Wednesday, August 30

From Nina Simone to Zohara Alfassi, 9:30 pm at the Jerusalem Theater:

This concert, part of the theater’s end-of-summer festival, pairs three leading Israeli female singers with the Andalusian Orchestra for a celebration of Western and Eastern musical traditions.

Thursday, August 31

Arabic Movie, 9:30 pm at the Jerusalem Theater:

This performance by Firkat al-Noor Orchestra harkens back to the tradition of screening Arabic-language movies on Israeli TV on Fridays, pairing silent movie screenings with live classical Arab music. The concert is part of the Theater’s end-of-summer festival.

Big, Big Birds, 7:30 pm at May Books:

This Jerusalem launch of a book by a group of Tel Aviv writers combines the best of both cities, in an intimate reading and conversation right off of Mahane Yehuda.