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There is never a shortage of things to do in Israel, even when there is nothing extra going on. But in Israel, there is always something extra. Here is our list of just some of the festivals happening in Israel from May - August 2016.

Jacob’s Ladder Festival. May 19th - 21st.  This twice yearly folk festival happens in Nof Ginosaur, on the shores of the Galilee. The music spans the gamut of “folk” from bluegrass to country rock. Aside from the music there are dance workshops, yoga, tai-chi, music and art workshops, and free camping.

Jerusalem Festival of Light: May 25th - June 2. From 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm (except for Friday Night) The old City of Jerusalem lights up. There are four well marked routes. Light and sound artists from around the world come to show their stuff, with installations, light performances and magic happening all throughout the Old City. If you are in Jerusalem, don’t miss this!

Israel Festival: May 24 - June 11: This year will be the 55th year of the Israel festival. All throughout Jerusalem, artists, dancers and performers converge, and everything from classical theater productions, to mind blowing street performances are happening. Past participants include Alvin Ailey, the Kirov Ballet, Daniel Barenboim and many more.

Midburn: June 8th - 12th: Think Burning Man, but in Israel. For 5 days in June, a temporary city is set up in the Negev Desert. Midburn is a platform for communal living, creativity and self expression.

Tel Aviv Blues Festival: July 13th - 16th: In 4 days, Tel Aviv will host around 40 performances in 20 different bars and clubs throughout the City. This year, famous blues guitarist Buddy Guy is launching the festival which includes artists like Lazer Lloyd, Ronnie Peterson with Maor Cohen, Sharon Lewis & Sobo, and many, many more.

International puppet theater and film festival: July 21-30. Founded in 1995, this festival has shows and film, the stars of which are all puppets. Aside from the performances, there are professional and amateur workshops and workshops for children as well. Great for kids and adults.

Sunbeat Festival: June 19th - 21st. In the Nature Reserve Jordan Park, the beat plays on. This is a cross cultural musical extravaganza. Take a journey with the hottest artists from the Global Beats movement. From the Clubs of Berlin to the Tribes  of Africa and the Markets of Marrakech, come dance to the beat

Karmiel Dance Festival: July 19th - 21st. Join Israel’s largest dance festival. This year, about 250,000 people are expected to attend. Karmiel is right between Akko as Safed. For three days and nights you can choose between about 100 performances, performed by over 10,000 Israeli and international dancers.

Beer Festival: August 11 - 13th . For two days in Tel Aviv it’s all about Beer. There are tastings of new offerings, limited editions and lots of street performers, music and dancing in between pints.

International Arts and Crafts Fair, August 15 - 27. This is an outdoor Arts and Crafts fair also known as Hutzot Hayotzer, in Hebrew. At the Sultan’s Pool, which is at the foot of the Old City in Jerusalem, artists display both decorative and functional items from paintings to jewelry to hammocks (and all other types of creative imaginings). The festival includes nightly live concerts and dance performances, workshops and many food stands scattered amid the art displays.

Klezmer Festival, August 15 - 17. This year Safed will be hosting the 29th Klezmer festival. Concerts start at 9:00 pm and go till midnight. All the shows are free and the stages are set up so that visitors can wander from stage to stage through the winding alleys of Safed’s old city. There are also workshops here for both kids and adults.

Red Sea Jazz Festival, August 22 - 27. For three days in Eilat, starting at 7pm, you can hear the latest and greatest of what the Jazz world has to offer.  With 20 local and international ensembles, hosting a total of 40 performances over 4 days, this is a jazz lover’s paradise. There are also master classes available for those looking for a more personal encounter with the musicians.

Anyone been to any of these, or know of other great festivals happening this summer in Israel? Post below!

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Cevi