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Israeli Arts & Culture Update: Hit New Songs/Shows, DocAviv, Opera & More

Updated: Oct 9, 2020

There is so much news to announce in the realm of Israeli Arts & Culture, and your resident tour guide of Israel has it all organized for you to enjoy. Just remember, when you come to Israel I am happy to take you on a tour focused on Israel's arts & culture scene - or just add some into any other specialty or regular tour here. For more on my arts & culture tour click here:

Now check out what's new and happening in the Israeli arts & culture scene...

Israeli (Elkana Marziano) and Emirati (Waleed Aljasim) singers have joined together for a song to welcome each other to visit their respective countries in one of the greatest shows of cooperation and normalization since the Abraham Accords. It has been trending on YouTube since its release earlier this week. Check it out here:

Due to a tweet by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, an Israeli musical ensemble named Yamma is receiving tons of attention. Rivlin tweeted a song they released - a traditional Bukharan Jewish song "Atem Shalom" - "You are Peace" - coincidentally just hours before the peace deal with Bahrain was announced. They sing in Hebrew, Arabic, Ladino and draw on musical traditions from North Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East as well as a variety of influences from jazz to klezmer as well as traditional niggunim and piyutim. Their version of Psalm 104 with an ancient Babylonian Jewish tune has garnered almost 6 million views on YouTube. You can check it out both songs below. Think like an Israeli/Middle Eastern Eclectic Jewish Postmodern Jukebox. For more on the band click here:

The Israeli TV show "Chamishim" - "50" - has been nominated for an International Emmy for best comedy series along with 3 other shows (from India, Brazil and the UK). The show revolves around a single-mother having a mid-life crisis as she closes in on 50 years old. Hebrew-speakers can watch the first episode here (and several more online):

The Israeli Opera has completely redone their website with free VOD, with videos of full operas, duets and solos, stories about famous arias, operatic renditions of classic Israeli songs and more. You can check them out at

For now, check out their at-home original, La Traviata Corona...

The Israeli drama Tehran, about a Mossad agent sent into Iran to take out their nuclear program but who gets caught up in the social protests there instead, is now available on Apple TV+. You can watch the trailer below and learn more about it here:

The world-renowned Tel Aviv documentary film festival DocAviv has created a month full of documentaries in October, which can be streamed online by residents of Israel. It's called Docustream and tickets are 15NIS per movie or 80NIS for full access. For more click here:

The Haifa Film Festival will also be completely online this year and is running during the Sukkot holiday. There are lots of great selections to choose from - 95 in fact!

Sacha Baron Cohen is bringing back his famous character Borat - who supposedly is anti-Semitic, but we all know that his Kazakh is really Hebrew - for a sequel which is set to be released on Amazon Prime Video around the US elections. Baron Cohen's mother is Israeli and he visits here often. He even volunteered on Kibbutz Rosh HaNikra (by the grottoes) after high school. You can check out the trailer here [warning at 2:15-2:17]:

Israel participated in the Berlin Festival of Lights last month. You could have seen the Israeli presentation on the Berlin State Opera House. Here is a photo by Shahar Lev.

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