Cultural Events, Productions and Facilities in Rishon LeZion

     

SPECIAL, PUBLIC AND HOLIDAY EVENTS

  • Rishon LeZion International Spring Festival – Held during the Intermediate Days of Succot, this dynamic festival offers a wide variety of performing arts shows from Israel and abroad at assorted indoor and outdoor venues throughout the city, some with free admission. http://www.springfestival.co.il/index.php?page_id=1178
  • Tu B’Av – Rishon celebrates the Jewish holiday of love with diverse Israeli shows and performances at a number of spots in the city, some in auditoriums and others outside.
  • Beach events – Happenings on Rishon Beach for the young and the young at heart, on Wednesday nights throughout the summer.
  • City Square events – Summer performances by the finest Israeli artists, every Saturday night in the City Square – free admission.
  • Street parties – Partying under the stars on the city streets, with throngs of fellow merrymakers and performances by artists and bands.
  •  Independence Day – A gala citywide celebration featuring famous artists, young bands, dance troupes from the city, public sing-alongs, and of course spectacular fireworks lighting up the Rishon skies at various points throughout the city.
  • Purim – This festive, happy holiday is celebrated all through Rishon, including a vast array of activities for children and appearances by beloved, well-known children’s entertainers.
  • Memorial Day – Ceremonies observing the Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism are conducted at various sites in the city, with the main event held at the Amphipark and broadcast live on television.
  • Kiddie parties – Afternoon parties organized for small children in the city’s public gardens.

HaRova Leisure Zone (“The Quarter”) – Inaugurated in 2012, Rishon’s new entertainment compound offers cafés, restaurants and pubs, as well as street parties featuring spellbinding performances by acrobats, clowns, circus acts, jugglers, fire performers, magicians and others. The acts are open to the whole family in HaRova’s central plaza. http://www.harova.org.il/he/ (Hebrew) 

CULTURE AND ART

The city offers a vast array of activities in cultural and artistic realms, including lectures, special music and dance shows, classes and workshops, tours and outings, and films.

Language – For the past six years, Rishon LeZion has been organizing and hosting the Lashon Rishon (“Rishon Language”/”First Language”) convention. Three days long, each convention addresses myriad aspects and layers of the Hebrew language, making it accessible and interesting for people of all ages with varying educational backgrounds and areas of interest, from all over Israel.

Visual Art – Rishon boasts two art museums – the Rishon LeZion History Museum http://rishonlezion-museum.org.il/ENGLISH/Information.aspx and the recently completed Agam Museum http://www.hironit.co.il/?CategoryID=1894&ArticleID=4726 (Hebrew), as well as the Jacob Kanner Municipal Art Gallery http://www.hironit.co.il/?CategoryID=788 (Hebrew), the Artists Center http://www.hironit.co.il/?CategoryID=790 (Hebrew), the “Beit Yad LeBanim” gallery http://www.hironit.co.il/?CategoryID=1858&ArticleID=5229 (Hebrew), and exhibitions at different locations throughout the city. Various sculptures, monuments and installations also adorn the city streets and squares, enhancing Rishon’s singular ambience and beauty.

Hechal HaTarbut – The magnificent, cutting-edge Rishon LeZion Performing Arts Center is one of the most advanced in Israel, and has been recognized as a first-rate national cultural center. It includes two concert halls, dance halls and rehearsal halls, with a total of 980 seats. The planning and equipment make for excellent acoustics and visuals from anywhere in the halls, including the balconies. The center offers premium shows and concerts from Israel and abroad in all realms of the performing arts: theater, music, dance, song, cinema, entertainment, children’s shows, and more. It is also the home of the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion (see below). Hechal HaTarbut created and produces the International Spring Festival, which hosts scores of local and overseas artists from all realms and styles of the performing arts. This colorful, world-class celebration places Rishon’s Spring Festival at the forefront of cultural activity in Israel. http://www.heichal-rishon.co.il/index.php?goto=bep&page_from= (Hebrew)

The Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion was founded in 1988 by the Rishon LeZion municipality, and soon progressed to the top of the artistic pyramid, as a leading and groundbreaking musical entity in Israel. Since 1989 the ISO has also successfully served as the resident orchestra of the Israel Opera. The orchestra members include the finest young musicians and new immigrant musicians. Out of the entirety of music cultures brought by its heterogeneous members, the orchestra consolidated its own unique sound, which is consistently acclaimed by listeners and professional critics alike. ISO programs offer audiences a wide range of contemporary and traditional vocal compositions, operas and symphonic pieces. There is a concert series for subscribers, many concerts suitable for the whole family, musical shows for young audiences, and special concerts for seniors. For its exceptional work and excellence in performing, disseminating and encouraging original Israeli composition, the ISO received the ACUM prize of 1991. Its founder and first music director was Shimon Cohen, followed by Noam Sherrif, Asher Fisch, the late Mendi Rodan, and currently Dan Ettinger. The ISO has toured Europe as both an opera orchestra and a full-fledged symphony orchestra. http://www.israel-opera.co.il/eng/?CategoryID=263&ArticleID=924

The College of Hibat Zion (HaMidrasha L’Heker Hibat Zion) currently serves as a meeting place for a host of educational and cultural activities, and is the home of a topical reference library, in an authentic old Rishon environment with a pleasant, intimate atmosphere. Its educational activity addresses historical and ideological subjects of the land’s and nation’s heritage alongside the reality of our lives in the here and now. The educational activity, produced and implemented by the college staff based on their research, is defined as an experiential seminar for students. The college’s cultural activity deals with Jewish cultural heritage and current events in Israeli society. A plethora of activities are conducted with the cooperation of organizations and expert lecturers in the various relevant fields to provide broad and narrow audiences with an interesting, enriching cultural experience. The college’s reference library, at the disposal of students, teachers and researchers, contains volumes on the Land of Israel and the history of the Jewish people in recent generations. http://www.hironit.co.il/?CategoryID=934 (Hebrew) 

Community Garden – City residents are invited to lease a 100 sq m plot of land to cultivate for themselves. Anyone interested can receive agronomic supervision and advice. There is a shed for storing gardening tools and a connection to the water system.

Public Libraries – “Kotar Rishon” (“First Title”) is the name of the public library system in Rishon LeZion. The system got its start with Rishon’s very first settlers, who set up a small library for themselves only about seven months after reaching the lands of Ayun Kara. Zalman David Levontin, one of the founders, expressed concern for the group’s cultural life: “…I saw that we were in dire need of establishing colonies of educated people…” (David Idelovitch, Rishon Le-Zion 1882-1941. Rishon LeZion: Carmel Mizrachi, 1941). Since those early days the library has evolved into a titles index and library system providing residents with vibrant centers of culture, learning, media and science. Kotar Rishon won the Ministry of Culture’s Golan Prize for Israel’s outstanding library in 2009. http://kotar-rishon-lezion.org.il/ (Hebrew)

Kotar Rishon’s vision

 

  • To be an appealing, major cultural-social center that serves and nurtures residents, and fortifies their connection with the community, through cooperation with various other institutions in the city.
  • To provide information services for residents in any realm they are interested in, through the broad variety of traditional and modern means and formats available today.
  • Along with the other advanced libraries in Israel, to spearhead a digital reading revolution. The library systems work through social networks and leverage the public’s participation in the system, as a means of creating and propagating culture and knowledge.

 

City residents enjoy:

  •  Kotar Rishon mobile phone app
  • Access to the information databases from home
  • Wireless Internet
  • Abundant collections of reference books and literature in Hebrew, English, Russian and Spanish, most of which may be checked out of the libraries
  • Movies on DVD, music and game CDs, for circulation
  • Ordering items from home
  • Information technologies, Internet and ITC channels
  • Cultural and enrichment activities
  • Art exhibits
  • Information and assistance center for residents in Kotar Rishon – Tarmav
  • Information and assistance center on trips and tourism in Kotar Rishon – Alon
  • Information center on visual art and performing arts in Kotar Rishon – Shikma