Culture is everywhere in Israel, and no matter what you like, you’ll find it here.
Israel has developed a vibrant and varied cultural scene of international proportions and quality. Everything from classical music to theater is popular across the country, with shows everywhere from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, to the smallest kibbutzim in the Galilee or Negev.
Of course, as anywhere else, the cities are the cultural centers. In this respect, there is most culture in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, with these cities forming the base for most international quality Israeli performances, as well as visiting international performances.
Be sure to check out the Culture in Tel Aviv and Culture in Jerusalem articles for specific details of activities in these cities.
Classical Music is very popular in Israel, with the Israel Philarmonic Orchestra having the highest number of subscribers per capita in the world. Based in Tel Aviv, they do also perform in Jerusalem and Haifa. The Israeli Opera and the Israeli Chamber Orchestra are also based in Tel Aviv. The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra are based in Jerusalem.
Away from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, there is by no means any void of cultural opportunity. Town, cities, and even small communities up and down the country have classical concerts all the time.
Israel has recently become a destination on many international popular artists world tours. Their concerts tend to be in the Tel Aviv area, although some perform elsewhere including at the Caesarea Ampthitheater. Israeli popular music is sometimes in English, although is usually in Hebrew and concerts are given across the country.
Tel Aviv is home to many of the country’s major dance companies, festivals and venues. Among these are the Suzanne Dellal Center, located in the center of the historic Neve Tzedek neighborhood in Tel Aviv and The Israel Opera located in downtown Tel Aviv. A more intimate setting for smaller dance ensembles is the Tmuna Theatre. Dance companies in permanent residence in Tel Aviv include the Batsheva Dance Company, the Israel Ballet (click to read more), the Inbal Pinto and Avshallom Pollak Dance Company and the Inbal Ethnic Dance Center.
Like classical music, theater is available at different levels across the country. Whilst most of the top-level performances are in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, each town has a theater where performances are given. It is worth bearing in mind, however, that many performances are in Hebrew.
Cinemas can be found up and down Israel showing international blockbusters as well as local films. English-language films are not dubbed, and just have Hebrew subtitles whilst most Hebrew films have English subtitles to help you along.
Israel has three large film festivals. The DocAviv Festival, in Tel Aviv in early April, is an international documentary festival, the Jerusalem Film Festival in July, and the Haifa International Film Festival.