Succot (Tabernacles) or Sukkot is the longest festival in the Jewish High Holidays of September-October and lasts a full week. Sukkot in contrast to Rosh HaShana & Yom Kippur there is less sense of awe and more of relaxed fun (in fact there is a Biblical precept to be happy.) For a more detailed description see A Tourist’s Guide to the Major Jewish Festivals in Israel In 2011 Succot falls 13-20 October inclusive.
Succot Events in Israel
Sukkot – As part of the happy and relaxed atmosphere everybody is on vacation and plans to make the most of the end of the summer. There are numerous Sukkot events planned all over the country changing on a daily basis. There is something for everybody. Here is our list which we will be constantly updating between now and Succot as we get more information. For a Hebrew Version see אירועים בסוכות -עברית
The IsraelInsideOut Sukkot Event Lists
Tel Aviv Succot 2011 Cycle Event – 14 October
For the third year running many of the streets of Tel Aviv will be closed to allow cyclists to ride around Tel Aviv. There are a series of events over 7Km, 21Km & 40Km – some for fun and some races. The starting line will be in Kikar HaMedina (State Square) in the heart of Tel Aviv. You can come along and cheer and also register to take part at Tel Aviv 2011 Succot Cycle Event
Israel Nature & Parks Authority
The Israel Nature & Parks Authority has Sukkot events scheduled at almost all their sites – some requiring preregistration and payment others you can just show up. Most of the information is currently only available in Hebrew – meanwhile here are the links
Abu Gosh Music Festival
The Abu Gosh Music Festival is a twice yearly celebration of classical music. Most of the performances take place in and around the churches of Abu Gosh. This Succot the concerts are Wednesday 19 – Saturday 22nd October. For more details see Abu Gosh Music Festival For more details about the village see Abu Gosh
The Succot Jerusalem March has become an annual tradition in Jerusalem with thousands of people taking part – some even making the journey from distant countries just to take part in the Jerusalem March.
This year the Sukkot Jerusalem March will take place on Tuesday 18th October 2011. There is a small admission charge to take place along the 3 routes –
- Family – 5Km – Kikar Safra (0800-1000) to Gan Sacher
- Medium- 8Km – Mount Scopus (0730-0930) to Gan Sacher
- Hard – 15Km – Gan HaKipod (Ramot) ()700-0900) to Gan Sacher (there is also the possibility to enter in a competitive team)
A Family Happening will take place in Gan Sacher 1000-1600 with Children’s Activities, Food Stalls, A Craft Fair and entertainment.
There will also be a Ceremonial Jerusalem March through central Jerusalem – with marching bands, performers, international participants and dancing troupes. The Ceremonial Jerusalem March starts at 1500 along a route in downtown Jerusalem – King George – Agron – King David – Old Train Station.
Visit the President’s Succa
There is a long standing tradition of a public reception in the President’s Succa. Perhaps the origins can be traced back to biblical times. This year will be no exception and President Peres will welcome the people of Israel to his Succa on Monday October 17th. You will be able to visit the official residence of the President. There will be a stage will local performers and some exhibitions covering Israel’s space program and agriculture. Of course there is the opportunity to engage President Peres in small talk as he mingles and greets his guests.
Please remember to bring along official picture ID.
President’s Succa Opening Times
Monday October 17
Rehov Hanasi 3
Israel Museum – Succot Children’s Activities
Over Sukkot The Israel Museum has Free Admission for Children – October 13-20 and free general admission October 19
Journey to Faraway Lands
Sun – Wed, Oct 16–19; Fri, Oct 21, 12 noon
Discover distant cultures in an active tour of the Museum galleries!
Participants receive a passport, postcards, and stamps.
Ages 5 and up NIS 15; NIS 10 for Family Membership holders
Green Sukkot Kit
Sun – Tues, Oct 16–18, 10 am – 3 pm
Special Recycling Workshop: “self-service” or “full-service” activity kit with instructions
Ages 3–9 NIS 15
Sukkot Story Time
Sun – Tues, Oct 16–18, 11 am
Storytelling (in Hebrew) with puppets in the Youth Wing Library
Ages 4 and up NIS 20
Look What a Bit of Color Can Do…
Sun – Tues, Oct 16–18, 10 am – 3 pm
The Activity Yard offers activities about the significance of color in works of art.
Ages 7 and up NIS 30; NIS 25 for Family Membership holders
Israel Museum Free Admission for Children – October 13-20 and free general admission October 19
Tower of David Sukkot Program
Special Succot activites at the Tower of David Museum on Sunday – Tuesday 16-18 October 1030-1600. A special Sukkot play, tours of the Tower of David, focus on water and arts and crafts. Most of the activities are in Hebrew.
Advance bookings 02-6265333 or *2884
Begin Heritage Center – Succot Events
Explore Jerusalem with Sir Moses Monetfiore. The Begin Heritage Center is organizing these tours of historic Jerusalem in the adjacent neighborhoods of Yemin Moshe and Mishkenot Shananim. There will be period actors to help you get into the spirit of Jerusalem over 100 years ago.
The Begin Heritage Center museum itself will be open for extended hours. All activities need to be pre-registered. A combined walk/museum tour ticket can be purchased. Reduction for families. Walks will leave the Center every hour on the hour, between 10 AM and 5 PM. 30 NIS. Museum will be open from 9 AM until 7 PM and on Friday on Holiday Eve until 12:30 PM. Registration: 02-5652011; 5652020.
City of David over Sukkot
Always one of the most popular sites in Jerusalem the City of David has a full Succot program organized, including an opportunity to visit the just opened Pilgrim’s Ascend to Zion Tour. (I have just taken part – a very emotional, extraordinary connection to ancient Jerusalem) Please be aware that some of the programs are on a first come first served basis. There is now extremely limited parking in the immediate vicinity of the City of David.
See the City of David Succot Site
Mass Priestly Blessing
This twice annual highlight of the Jerusalem religious year will take place on Sunday at around 0900 at the Kotel. Whether you are a priest planning to bless or a regular guy or girl waiting for the blessing – this is one not to be missed. Make sure that you are early as it is bound to be packed.
Jerusalem City Succa – Kikar Safra
1730-2000 October 16-18 – Children’s Activities – Here Come the Train (road safety), Building Lego trains, and giant soap bubbles!
Free Jerusalem Walks over Succot
1100 & 1300 October 16-18 – Guided walks in the vicinity of the City Buildings – Kikar Safra
Jerusalem Street Parties over Sukkot
Different neighborhood parties around Jerusalem – celebrating the ancient Succot Water Drawing Ceremony 13-18 October 2000-2300
The famous after the festival – dancing with the Torah – in different Jerusalem neighborhoods. Traditionally, the main event takes place in Liberty Bell Park (although we can’t confirm this yet for this year.) October 20 2000-2300
Bread Wine & Art
Bet Lehem Street Monday 17 October 1700 – 2300
Jerusalem – Special Art Exhibition
Jaffa Gate Jerusalem Sunday October 16 1700-2300
A sale of art and crafts by some very special people – designed by special needs craftspeople. There will be live performances during the course of the evening.
Tamar Festival – Dead Sea – Succot
Four days of live music over Sukkot on the shores of the Dead Sea. Check out the Tamar Festival Website for more details.
Maianot Festival – Sukkot 2011
Emek HaMaianot – 15-18 Oct 2011
The first Maianot Festival will take place over Succot 2011. The festival will be hosted in several locations in Emek HaMaianot around Bet Shean, such as the Huga Gardens and Sachne – Gan HeShelosha Park.
The Maianot Festival will feature different types of events; organized walks on nature paths, bike trips, leading Israeli singers, and kits events.
When is the Maianot Succot Festival
The festival will start on Oct 15th with folks singing with top Israeli performers in Huga gardens at 21:00.
On Oct the 16th the Maianot march will take place between 7:30 to 11:00 at Gan Hashlosha (Sachne). At 21:00 Amir Benayon will perform in the Roman Theater in Bet-Shean.
Oct 17th there will be nature walks in the area and Greek Nights with Simon Parnas in the Roman Theater at 20:30
Oct 18th: Bike rides starting at HaKantara Park, at 15:00 Kites events in Sede-Nahom, and at 21:00 a show by Yehuda Poliker at the Roman Theater
Throughout the festival days there will be additional special events staged at multiple tourists locations around the area.
For additional Information (Hebrew only) please see Maianot Sukkot Festival Info
Kol HaOt – Jerusalem in the Eye of the Beholder
Meet some well known Jerusalem artists and hear them discuss their work and how Jerusalem has influenced it. English storytelling – Tales of Jerusalem.
Inbal Hotel Sunday and Monday 16-17 October 1730 – 2230
Haifa International Film Festival
Some 300 000 people are expected to take part in activities at the 27 Haifa International Film Festival. The Haifa International Film Festival will take place Oct 13-22 held on Mount Carmel overlooking the Mediterranean.
For full details see Haifa International Film Festival website.
Acco (Akko) Festival of Alternative Israeli Theatre
Just up the road from the Haifa Film Festival is the Acco Festival of Alternative Israeli Theatre. This well known and large theatre festival is now in its 30th year. There are shows, street theatre and the chance to enjoy art and Acco (Akko) (a very special historic and cultural town with stunning views over the port and the fortress.)
For more details see the Acco Festival website.
Weizmann Institute Science Fair
The world famous Weizmann Institute is hosting its 11th annual science fair for young scientists. There will be six different areas covering a whole range of sciences from astrophysics to music and from medical imaging, stem cell research through to famous scientists in history.
Weizmann Institute Rehovot – October 17 – 18 1000 – 1800
For more details (in Hebrew) see Weizmann Science Fairwebsite
Sukkot at Ein Yael
Ein Yael is a living museum located in the suburbs of Jerusalem – just near the Jerusalem Zoo and Malha Shopping Mall. It is incredibly popular with children – lots of hands on activities and period recreation of life in ancient times.
Ein Yael as a special Succot program – live music, theatre, guided tours of the archaelogical site & Roman road, environmental activities and nature activities.
Sukkot -16-18 October 1000-1600
Sukkot at Mini Israel
At Mini Israel there will be five different Succa compounds where a variety of well known children’s heroes (Power Rangers, Care Bears, Sesame Street etc) will be inviting children and the entire family to celebrate Succot. Shows at 1200 & 1500. There will also be science and cooking Sukkot events.
Oct 15-18 1100 – 1700
Bazir Hadash – Fringe Theatre in Yavne
Contemporary arts festival taking place in Yavneh – street theatre, music, dance, theatre – local and international talent. Admission is free or for certain performances there will be a nominal charge,
Visit an Exhibition over Succot
There are several exhibitions taking place in Israel that will run over Succot. Here are some recommendations:
- Sound the Shofar – Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem – see Sound the Shofar Exhibition
- Israel Glass 2011 – Eretz Israel Museum Tel Aviv – see Israeli Glass – 2011 Exhibition
- Mahane Yehuda Urban Art – Mahane Yehuda Market – The Shuk – see Mahane Yehuda Urban Art Exhibition
- Travels to Yemen – Museum of Islamic Art Jerusalem – See Travels to Yemen Exhibition