What to do in Israel at Pesach
Wherever you are going in Israel, there’s plenty to keep everyone happy, says Lydia Weitzman
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.
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
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