What to do in Is­rael at Pe­sach

Wher­ever you are go­ing in Is­rael, there’s plenty to keep ev­ery­one happy, says Ly­dia Weitz­man

The Jewish Chronicle - - TRAVEL -

IS­RAEL AT PE­SACH pro­vides the per­fect hol­i­day — caféhop­ping in­stead of cook­ing and matza ram­bling with sun hats re­plac­ing rain­coats. And with hol hamoed — the in­ter­me­di­ate days of the hol­i­day — fall­ing mid­week, there are hun­dreds of events, fes­ti­vals and hap­pen­ings all over the coun­try as well as all the reg­u­lar sites and sights. An ex­tra bonus is free en­try into 50 mu­se­ums and parks around the coun­try, thanks to Bank Hapoalim.

KKL-JNF, the Na­tional Parks Author­ity and the So­ci­ety for the Pro­tec­tion of Na­ture all of­fer spe­cial na­ture hap­pen­ings and walks — too nu­mer­ous to list. And, with most restau­rants and cafés kosher for Pe­sach, you don’t even need to pack a pic­nic when you head off.

THE NORTH

Is­rael’s north, with — at this time of year — its flow­ing rivers, wa­ter­falls, na­tional parks and na­ture re­serves, of­fers plenty of ac­tiv­i­ties. Head for Mount Meron, where the tra­di­tional Pe­sach hike, with three fam­ily-friendly routes, takes place on April 22 (start­ing from the sum­mit at 9am). At Lake Agmon in the Hula Val­ley, where thou­sands of birds stop on their mi­gra­tion routes, spe­cial Pe­sach events — be­yond the fas­ci­nat­ing tours of the na­ture re­serve by train, bike, golf cart or on foot — in­clude tours at sun­rise and at night for op­ti­mal bird watch­ing, as well as com­mu­nity singing on the lawns (April 21 at 6pm and April 23 at 9pm)

For holis­tic hap­pen­ings, head off to Ha­mat Gader (April 21-26) on the South­ern Golan Heights for free yoga and Tai Chi, in ad­di­tion to the site’s thermo-min­eral baths and croc­o­dile farm.

They prom­ise a bib­li­cal at­mos­phere at Ma­nara Cliff (April 21-25, 9.30 to 5pm), with char­ac­ters from the Pe­sach story, drum­ming and bal­loon work­shops on of­fer as well as a variety of ex­treme sports and the long­est cable car ride in Is­rael, of­fer­ing spec­tac­u­lar views.

For an af­ter­noon of mu­sic with the Is­rael Kib­butz Orches­tra, head off to the Eshkol Reser­voir in the Lower Galilee, where KKL is spon­sor­ing a wa­ter­side con­cert fea­tur­ing mu­sic by Han­del and Vi­valdi — in­clud­ing, ap­pro­pri­ately, Spring from The Four Sea­sons — in hon­our of Is­rael’s 60th an­niver­sary (April 24, 4.30 with fam­ily ac­tiv­i­ties from 1pm).

Mu­sic of a dif­fer­ent sort (Is­raeli com­mu­nity singing) can be heard at the

Jerusalem’s Old City Walls will host fire­works to cel­e­brate re­uni­fi­ca­tion

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