• Talma Gotteiner

Arad: A Social Tourism Project


Hi there!

I am happy to share with you another trip organized by the Ministry of Tourism on the occassion of a new social tourism project called "Halonot LaMidbar" (i.e. Windows to the Desert), representing mainly artists and other citizens of Arad who wish to host groups in their homes.

Arad is located at the entrance to the Judean Desert and is the main gateway to all the attractions of the desert: the Dead Sea, Masada, the Yattir Forest, Tel Arad, Susiya and the southern Hebron hills. I have linked previous posts of mine in case you wish to combine them with your visit.

Arad is a young city with a population of about 30,000 today. It has an open commercial center, an air-conditioned shopping mall and a shopping mall/recreation area at its western exit. The city is spacious, clean, well appointed, and the hearts of its residents are open to warmly welcome any guest.

Trip Itinerary

  • A Yemenite Heritage visit at Simcha Madar Kaplan's home including a meeting with textile artist Aliza Ben Ner

  • A visit to the home of the metal sculptorer Alex and painter Inna Gutman

  • A visit to the home of clay sculptorer Amos and writer Ronit Redlich

  • Lunch and a meeting with dancer Roni Valdman Falach at the Hostel "Tzipor Midbar"

  • A visit to Yaffa and Itzik Gamliel's metal sculpture garden including a meeting with the natural soap maker Yonat

  • Anna's iced coffee and a meeting with artist Zvi Leonhard at the new "Studio Coffee" shop located in the artists' quarter

Trip Details

A Yemenite Heritage visit at Simcha Madar Kaplan's home including a meeting with textile artist Aliza Ben Ner

Simcha Madar Kaplan is such a vibrant character and a visit to her home includes a first-hand experience tale of the Yemenite immigration to Israel during the period of the 'Magic Carpet' operation (ca. 1949-1950). Her stories about the early days in Israel are interwoven with singing, dancing, drumming and a traditional Yemenite Sabbath meal. Phone: 052-8977099

Above: Simcha to the left and her daughter and granddaughter on the top right with me

On the occasion of our visit, we met with Aliza Ben Ner, a textile artist who hosts groups at her morrocan style home gallery. Phone: 054-3150526

Above: Aliza Ben Ner next to one of her textile paintings

A visit to the home of the metal sculptorer Alex and painter Ina Gutman

Alex and Ina tell a different story of their immigration from Belarus, their backgrounds in art, differences in style and sources of inspiration.

Above: Alex and Inna in their artistic home

A visit to the home of clay sculptorer Amos and writer Ronit Redlich

Amos is proud to share with you his Germany rooted family history and his "Clay Tales" as he calls his lovely home-gallery. His wife Ronit shares her sources of inspiration with stories from her childhood in Jerusalem.

Phone: 053-7737562

Above: Amos and Ronit Redlich

Lunch and a meeting with dancer Roni Valdman Falach at the Hostel "Tzipor Midbar"

Michal, the hostess of "Tzipor Midbar" is a tour guide who returned to her spacious family home in Arad and turned it into a hostel that welcomes guests from all over the world and organizes interesting evenings from time to time. We were happy to meet Roni Valdman Falach, a young dancer whose act is called "From Yemen to Rajasthan". Her performance brings forward her story of exposure to different cultures and includes live demonstrations of Flamenco, Yemenite, Indian and Gypsy dancing. Roni is willing to come to other locations in Israel and you can either order the performance or host a private Flamenco or Gypsy dance workshop for you and your friends.

Phone: 054-7893327

Above: Everyone wanted a photo with Roni in her magnificent outfit so we ended up with a group photo taken by Yossi Souva

A visit to Yaffa and Itzik Gamliel's metal sculpture garden including a meeting with the natural soap maker Yonat

I was blown away by the metal sculptures in Itzik's garden. Itzik is a funny Yemenite man and the tour of his garden is a step into a humorous wonderland full of droll anecdotes. His wife Yaffa learnt how to make professional pastries and the visit includes a taste of her delicious cakes.

Phone: 052-2707031

Above: With Itzik Gamliel and his baby dinosaur

At Itzik and Yaffa's home, we also met Yonat, a natural soap makerer who also hosts groups in her home, where she tells about her academic journey that led her to study traditional soap making from the Beduins. At her studio you can also conduct a soap-making workshop or join her for a herbal tour in the desert.

Phone: 052-5307616

Above: Yonat with her soaps

Anna's iced coffee and a meeting wtih artist Zvi Leonhard at the new "Studio Coffee" shop located in the artists' quarter The flavored iced coffee and freshly baked pastries made by Anna were just the thing to seal the day. The "Studio Coffee" shop also doubles up as an eclectic art gallery and as an Asian-Israel cultural exchange center. It even has a traditional Japanese tea room where tea ceremonies can be presented. We met with one of the artists Zvi Leonhard who told us about the sources of his inspiration. By the way, Anna, Jonathan and Zvi are all American.

Phone Anna: 058-6275976

Clockwise from top left: Anna and Jonathan owners of coffee studio, the delectable cupcakes, with artist Zvi Leonhard and the Japanese tea room in the complex.

Food This post is all inclusive.

Accomodation Aside from the "Tzipor BaMidbar" hostel, you can find hotels and B&Bs in Arad such as: Inbar Hotel, Yehelim Boutique Hotel, Villa 1000 and Desert Call.

My Timeline The drive to Arad takes about 1.5 hours. The trip took a day.

Although I've given you the direct contact number of all the above, in case you need additional assistance in organizing a full day that combines several locations, you are welcome to contact the local tourism office at: 08-9951871.

Next time you visit the south, I hope you decide to meet with some of the lovely people in Arad!

Talma

P.S. You can see some of my related trip posts in the strip below. Also, if you're interested in travel-related offers, you're welcome to view my 'best deals' page. Subscribers also have 'members only' benefits such as my updated events bulletin. To subscribe go here.

Disclaimer: The blog may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through these links, I will receive a small percentage of the profits at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Israel-Best-Trips.com

#Art #Food #Dance

Disclaimer: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through these links, I will receive a small percentage of the profits at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Israel-Best-Trips.com

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