About - The Israel Festival



Held in Jerusalem for the 63rd consecutive year, the Israel Festival is Israel’s leading international interdisciplinary cultural event.  Characterized by a perennial spirit of regeneration and curiosity, precision and exploration, the festival is a staple of artistic excellence in Israel and around the world.
The artistic program presents original works in an extraordinarily broad range of artistic and stage disciplines, showcasing new artistic trends and stage languages as well as outstanding classical pieces. 
The festival serves as a unique platform for encounter and dialogue, championing freedom of artistic expression, tolerance and social, cultural and political diversity.
Over 35,000 cultural consumers, professionals, public opinion leaders, families and a loyal audiences visit the festival each year, and tens of thousands are exposed to the ripples of its activity throughout Israel.

The festival maintains close professional ties with other cultural organizations, art academies, social organizations, and various communities throughout Israel, advancing social awareness and educational, community, and environmental values. Special attention is given to making the festival accessible to a wide range of audiences by subsidizing tickets for disadvantaged populations, people with special needs, the elderly, soldiers, students and more.

The festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Sports, Jerusalem Municipality, the Jerusalem Foundation, embassies and businesses, and is a member of the European Festivals Association (EFA) and the Silk Road Festivals Association.

Past festival participants include Bill Forsythe, the Kirov Ballet, Peter Brook, Complicité, Zakir Hussein, Daniel Barenboim, Laurie Anderson, Boris Charmatz, The Trisha Brown Dance Company, Robert Wilson, Lucinda Childs, Romeo Castelluchi, Jan Fabre, Philippe Quesne, Angelica Liddel, Ensemble Modern, Julien Gosselin, Xavier Le Roy, Doris Uhlich, Wang Chong, Marlene Monteiro Freitas, Lina Lapelytė, Vaiva Grainytė, Rugilė Barzdžiukaitėand, Theo Mercier, Àlex Rigola and many more.

Martial | Art

Early in our work on the 2023 festival edition, we couldn’t help but take note of the real-time events, which led us to think about the concept of “martial arts.” All the while, as the artistic program was taking shape, we were looking for answers to questions about the role and place of art in the current, conflictual reality. And once that thought entered, it began to take root.

Martial art. On their own, these two words are worlds apart, but together they share a fascinating connection: values such as observation, devotion, sacrifice, practice and transformation. Characterizing these two words are pioneering thinking, deep listening and exceptional ideas that ultimately have an impact on the entire world.

Through this lens, we realized that the program we were curating fit neatly into the teeming space between art and combat. It allowed the words to collide and be reflected in each other.

The 2023 Israel Festival sought to put these words in the center, on stage, in the public space, in graphic images, in written texts. To place them as a question, a suggestion, a point of conflict. Plant them and observe with marvel at what happens around them.

In August 2023, just two months before the October 7th massacre that shook our world, we offered artistic adventures that, for us, at the time, were the clearest remedy to the challenges of the times. 

The 2024 festival…

will take place, as planned, between 3-13.7.24. It will be smaller, closer, more intimate. It will not have its usual festive character. It will deal with the wound inside all of us, the pain, and the trauma, while allowing for other feelings, thoughts and suggestions related to the common future for us all.  It will do what art and creativity know how to do so well – create a space where complexity, layered thought and imagination can live together.

Michal Vaknin and Itai Mautner, Artistic Directors
Eyal Sher, General Director

The Israel Festival Team

The Israel Festival was founded by the late Aaron Zvi Propes. The Festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Sport, the Jerusalem Municipality, the Jerusalem Foundation, embassies, private and public foundations and corporate partners. 

Eyal Sher, General Director | Michal Vaknin and Itay Mautner, Artistic Directors | Ori Vaknin,  Chief Producer | Itamar Bernstein, Production Manager| | Saar Gamzo, Communication | Gideon Berger, Marketing Director & Sales Director | Eiv Kristal, Programme Manager and Artists Relations | Yael Gershon, | Meital Izbitsky, Production Coordinator | Martin Cantor, Technical Advisor| Meirav Dadash, Production Coordinator
Dina Ashkenazi, Accountant | Liora Mesilati, Marketing & Sales Manager

Board Members: Adv. Inbar Afek, Chairwoman | Idit Amichay | Avi Balashnikov | Adv. Imry Ben-Ami | Adv. Gil Brandes | Orly Doron | Dr. Tal Kohavi | Yossi Lubaton | Hedai Ofaimme | Adv. Iris Pappo | Adv. Asaf Shariv | Anat Turbowicz | Mishael Vaknin
Observer: Anat Gilead
Audit Committee: Prof. Leah Achdut | Adv. Ruth Horn

PR: Lapidot Public Relations – Ora Lapidot, Adi Tzoref-Feldman
Graphic Design: Nomi Geiger, Studio Gimel2 & Shay Cotani
Website: R2K – Rotem Tal, Khalil Jarban
Digital & Social Media: 6 Degs – Eyal Bason
Content Writing: Itay Mautner, Saar Gamzo
Copy Editor: Gal Kusturica
English Translation: Sharon Assaf
Arabic Translation: Anwar Ben Badis
Tickets: Eventer
CPA: Avraham Bechar & Co.
Internal Auditor: Michael Gal, CPA
Legal Counsel: Adv. Tamar Fineberg

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