The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Culture of Israel

The culture of Israel, also called "Israeli culture", is inseparable from long history of Judaism and Jewish history which preceded it (i.e. dated earlier than the Israeli Declaration of Independence, on May 14 1948). However, this article concerns only the cultural aspects of the modern Israeli state.

With a population drawn from more than one hundred countries on five continents, Israeli society is rich in cultural diversity and artistic creativity. The arts are actively encouraged and supported by the government. The Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra performs throughout the country and frequently tours abroad. The Jerusalem Symphony, the orchestra of the Israeli Broadcasting Authority, also tours frequently as do other musical ensembles. Almost every municipality has a chamber orchestra or ensemble, many boasting the talents of gifted performers recently arrived from the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Folk dancing, which draws upon the cultural heritage of many immigrant groups, is very popular. Israel also has several professional ballet and modern dance companies. There is great public interest in the theater; the repertoire covers the entire range of classical and contemporary drama in translation, as well as plays by Israeli authors.

Of the three major repertory companies, the most famous, Habimah, was founded in 1917.


Artist colonies

Active artist colonies thrive in Safed, Jaffa, and Ein Hod , and Israeli painters and sculptors exhibit and sell their works worldwide. Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem have excellent art museums, and many towns and kibbutzim have smaller high-quality museums. The Israel Museum in Jerusalem houses the Dead Sea Scrolls along with an extensive collection of Jewish religious and folk art. The Museum of the Diaspora is located on the campus of Tel Aviv University. Israelis are avid newspaper readers. Israeli papers have an average daily circulation of 600,000 copies. Major daily papers are in Hebrew; others are in Arabic, English, French, Polish, Yiddish, Russian, Hungarian, and German.

Poetry and literature

Noted poets

Prose authors

Fine Arts


More than 200 museums are operating in Israel with millions of visitors annually.


Major museums in Jerusalem are:

Tel Aviv

Major museums in Tel Aviv are:


Major museums in Haifa are:


See main article: Music of Israel.

Israeli music is very versatile and combines elements of both western and eastern music. It tends to be very eclectic and contains a wide variety of influences from the Diaspora and more modern cultural importation: Hassidic songs, Asian and Arab pop, especially Yemenite singers, and hip hop or heavy metal.

The transsexual singer Dana International won the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest.

Film and theatre

Repertory theater companies


  • Amos Gitay - Kadosh, Kedma, Alila.
  • Dover Kosashvili - Late Wedding.
  • Boaz Davidson .
  • Assi Dayan - Givat Halfon Eina Ona (Halfon Hill does not respond), The life according to Agfa, A Whale in Sharton beach.
  • Uri Zohar - Lul, Metzitzim (Peeping Toms), Hor Ba-Levana (A hole in the moon).
  • Eytan Fox - Yossi & Jagger



See List of Israeli actors

Comedy and satire

  • Hagashash Hachiver - הגשש החיוור .
  • Ephraim Kishon.
  • Ephraim Sidon .
  • Orna Banay .
  • Eli Yatzpan .
  • Tuvya Tzafir .
  • Tal Friedman .
  • Shaike Ofir .
  • Zeu Ze band.
  • Shlomo Barabba .
  • Uri Zohar .

See also

Last updated: 08-31-2005 18:53:17
Last updated: 09-03-2005 18:37:12