21,000 people attended three festival’s in Israel’s periphery; enjoying a community cultural experience in Gilboa, Jerusalem`s neighborhood Katamonim, and Lod. Each festival was produced in cooperation with a “Cultural Leaders group” made up of local youth, led by our organization`s peer mentors, and in cooperation with the local council or municipality. It was a thrilling experience to see cultural Jewish-Arab cooperation come to life for the first time in these communities.
Each festival was a happening for the whole family. At the beginning of the evening, young children and parents enjoyed creative workshops, drum circles and “Loftgisheft” street theater. During the remainder of the evening, everyone enjoyed the performances put on by the best local and national talents.
On 30 June, the Festival took place at the Harod Spring National Park; 2009`s first Festival BeShekel. About 9,000 people enjoyed the spectacular festival for the affordable coast of a symbolic one Shekel. The event in Gilboa was our first ever Jewish-Arab Festival. It was a tremendous success, drawing one of our biggest audiences ever.
On 6 July, the Festival took place in Jerusalem`s Katamonim neighborhood, at the Elmaliach Park. About 7,000 attended the event. Artistic Director Shaanan Streett noted “The festivals bring a family atmosphere and allow everyone to participate. I saw three different generations enjoying the event, having walked from nearby buildings and homes.”
On 8 July, the final Festival took place in the municipal Gandhi Park, in Lod. Some 6,000 people attended the festival, produced together with the “Cultural Leaders” group – Jewish and Arab youth from Lod.