5 June 2020 - 14 Sivan 5780 - י"ד סיון ה' אלפים תש"פ
Arts & Culture
Archeologists discover a new Bronze Age city E-mail

Israel’s Antiquities Authority (IAA) has announced that researchers have discovered the remains of a large, 5,000-year-old city that sheds new light on experts’ understanding of the period.

Calling it a “cosmopolitan and planned city,” the authority said the early Bronze Age settlement covered 65 hectares (160 acres) and was home to about 6,000 people.

The city was discovered during preparations for a highway interchange project near Harish, a town some 50 km (30 miles) north of Tel-Aviv.

“In this city, we have a planned settlement with a whole net of streets and alleys and squares, and drainage installations, [and] storage installation,” said Yitzhak Paz, a director of excavation at IAA.

Researchers said the discovery “dramatically changes” their understanding of the period — a time in which a rural, agrarian society was beginning to establish urban sites.

“This is a huge city – a megalopolis in relation to the Early Bronze Age, where thousands of inhabitants, who made their living from agriculture, lived and traded with different regions, and even with different cultures and kingdoms in the area,”  added Paz.

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Indian–born conductor Zubin Mehta takes his final bow with Israel Philharmonic Orchestra E-mail

Maestro conductor Zubin Mehta, Musical Director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO), gave his orchestral swan song last month.

The 83-year old musical legend, who has conducted over 3,000 concerts, is retiring after 50 years with the orchestra.

Walking with the support of a cane following a medical surgery, Mehta gave a touching speech: “From my heart, what this orchestra has given me, not only this one but all the generations before them-I cannot begin to even describe what I have learned with these musicians.”

His final performance included Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (known as Resurrection), at the Charles Bronfman Auditorium.

He was joined by pianist Yefim Bronfman, soprano Chen Reiss, mezzo-soprano Okka von der Damerau, the Gary Bertini Choir, and the Jerusalem Academy Chamber Choir.

Fans took to Twitter to voice their emotion after the maestro said his last goodbye: “During 50 years Maestro Mehta accompanied with sublime music our days of joy and sorrow, of war and peace. Todah Rabah Maestro!”, writes one touched aficionado.

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Prolific Israeli play to be translated for the Chinese stage Print E-mail

Following on from last year’s successful tour, a Chinese version of the Joshua Sobol’s Ghetto will embark on a fivemonth performance tour across China.

Ghetto, both written and directed by Israeli playwright Joshua Sobol, depicts life and death in the Vilna ghetto during the Nazi occupation of Lithuania in WWII. Using diaries and other historical documents to shape the story, Sobel enlists the play as a meta tool with which to comment upon Jewish theatre in Vilnaspecifically, upon its cathartic power during the most dismal days of Europe’s recent history.

First debuting in Haifa, Israel, in 1984, the drama has been staged in 25 countries and regionsincluding the US, Germany and the UKand has been translated into more than 20 languages.

The new play will be performed in Chinese cities such as Suzhou, Guangzhou, Chongqing, and Beijing.

(Issue Nov 2019)

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