The Israel Festival will combine with the Jazz Festival in September and place an emphasis on Israeli/Jerusalem artists and performers utilizing unique outdoor venues such as the Botanical Gardens and the Israel Museum sculpture garden and sites within Jerusalem neighborhoods.


The 59th annual Israel Festival was originally scheduled to take place from June 4-20th and was postponed due to the Coronavirus.  The Festival will now take place from September 3-12th adapted to Purple Badge guidelines. During that same period, the Jerusalem Jazz Festival will take place from September 8-10th.


The Festival content has also been adapted to the new themes that are universal at this time – community, encounter, touch, empathy, emergency conditions, individualism and technology, ageism, democracy, acceptance of the other and more.  The engagement of art with the public sphere now also takes on a new and important role within a community.  Dealing with the themes above through art will give voice to our common anxiety and provide an avenue for expression and inspiration which is more important than ever.



The Israel Festival will change from large scale central venues for performance to placemaking and the dispersal of cultural events – they further seek to revive cultural engagement among local residents by direct engagement of artists with communities.


The Israel Festival has developed a new model that will enable the connection between artists and communities and public institutions throughout Jerusalem for a common examination of their daily routine. Artists will be invited to hold an artist’s residency of about 3-4 weeks within a community or public institution of their choice. They will create a dialogue with local community members and will learn about the different conflicts and needs that exist in the shared space. The discussion of routine and adaption will lead the encounters. At the end of the residency, the artists will perform an independent artistic performance/installation inspired by the sessions, either independently or together with the community.  This has the potential to create a real opportunity to re-think routine and the manner in which community life is conducted.


We are also planning to have artistic photography and livestream broadcasts of the shows. The broadcast of the shows will be accompanied by enriching content packages such as documentary footage of the creative process, interviews with the creators, and a dialogue between viewers. There will also be a joint performance of the Israel Festival and the Jazz Festival, on the opening night of the Jazz Festival, under the artistic direction of Avishai Cohen and Tamir Muscat, under the theme of ‘Family’.