15 Things to Do in Jerusalem this Shavuot (May 17-19)

This Saturday night, the Jewish holiday of Shavuot will begin. Shavuot is the holiday when Jews celebrate receiving the Torah, but really, it’s about cheesecake. There won’t be that many Saturday night parties, but there will be lots of Saturday night learn-a-thons. Below are some ways to get in your partying (or your art galleries) on Thursday night, as well as some learn-a-thons with a more cultural bent. So enjoy the weekend, and enjoy the cheesecake. Happy Shavuot!

Thursday, May 17

1. Muslala Book Launch, 7 pm at the Terrace, on the Clal Center Rooftop

Remember when the Clal Center was a desolate wasteland? By taking over the building’s rooftop and turning it into a vibrant arts-eco hub, Muslala has been changing that. This celebratory book launch celebrates five years of success by this group of artists and activists committed to the city’s future.

2. Spring Chamber Concert, 7 pm at the Jerusalem Music Center at Mishkenot Shaananim

This concert invites some of Israel’s most promising young musicians to perform, in a special concert that offers a chance to hear the musicians who will become prominent figures in the country’s classical music scene in the years to come.

3. No Pasaran, 7 pm at the Jerusalem Print Workshop

This gallery talk with Nitzan Horowitz commemorates 80 years since the Spanish Civil War by examining it in light of World War Two. The talk accompanies Horowitz’s exhibit at the workshop, which is about the same theme.

4. Two, 8 pm at the YMCA

This concert brings together the talented Neta Elkayam and Lina Abu Nasser for a Hebrew-Arabic concert of traditional Middle Eastern music with a note of women’s empowerment – the first in a series of concerts meant to promote women’s music and honor women’s voices.

5. Yonatan Razel Concert, 8:30 pm at 19 Hovevey Zion Street

This pre-Shavuot garden concert, in honor of the giving of the Torah, promises to be a magical evening. Razel is one of the foremost crooners of contemporary religious Jewish music.

6. Jazz on the Green Line, 8 pm at the Red & White Wine Bar & Store

Enjoy an evening of wine and jazz – a great way to start the weekend off with some nice music in a relaxing atmosphere.

7. Disney Karaoke, 8 pm at the J-Town Playhouse

Come belt out your favorite Disney songs – a great chance to have a whole new world of fun and let loose before the Shavuot holiday!

8. Oedipus the King, 8:30 pm at Beit Mazia

Psik Theater will perform a Hebrew rendition of this Greek classic by Sophocles,

9. Vegetable, Animal, Mineral, 8 pm at Hakubia, A Place for Art

Hakubia’s end-of-year exhibit opens on Thursday night; the exhibit features art in a wide array of mediums, including sculpture, collage, drawing, and ceramics.

Saturday, May 19

10. A Contemporary Tikkun, at the Shalom Hartman Institute, times vary

Although it starts on Saturday, this event features lectures by Jewish studies scholars throughout the holiday. The lineup includes rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, Dr. Tal Becker, and Dr. Menachem Loberbaum, among others; lecture topics are bound by the common thread of the meeting between the Jewish tradition and modernity.

11. The Story of the Jewish People, 11 pm at Beit Avichai

A night-long series of lectures and performances meant to tell the story of the Jewish people; with different happenings throughout the building, the lineup is too long to list, however, guests stars include journalist Amit Segal and Biblical scholar Dr. Aviva Zorenberg.

12. A Night of “We Will Do and We Will Hear”, 11 pm at Beit Alliance

This all-night event, whose title draws inspiration from the mythical phrase uttered at Sinai, focuses on the topic of redemption. If you want to float between a lecture on redemptive literary narratives, a gospel song workshop, and a discussion of the role of redemption in Zionism, this is the place for you.

13. Who was, is and Will be a Jew, 11:30 pm at Heichal Shlomo

This event invites the general public to join Hebrew University professors in an exploration of the history of conversion and of Jewish identity, from the times of the Bible to the modern-day State of Israel.

14. “By Right or By Might?”, 11 pm at the Begin Center

This political Shavuot program ponders the relationship between rights, justice, and power, with the help of politicians, journalists, and intellectuals, including MK Rachel Azaria and Professor Avinoam Rosenak. The program concludes with a guided tour of Jerusalem en route to the Kotel.

15. Beit Prat Tikkun Leil Shavuot, 10:30 pm at 10 Ibn Gevirol Street

The evening starts with Talmud study, continues with a spoken word poetry reading, and culminates in a conversation with MK Rachel Azaria.

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