Klezmer Music Festival Safed, Israel

Filed in Culture by on 01/07/2013 3 Comments
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Klezmer Music Festival in Safed (Tzfat) August 6-8, 2013

The annual free popular Klezmer Music Festival in Safed (Tzfat in Hebrew) attracts tens of thousands of people from all over the world. Klezmer music with its unique sound and instrumentation originated among Yiddish speaking Jews in Eastern Europe and, when these Jews immigrated to America, they were also influenced by jazz. The result is fused jazz sounds combined into a fascinating mix with old Klezmer tunes.

Klezmers Playing

Klezmers Playing (Photo: Flavio, CC BY 2.0)

Guest artists this year include: David Daor, Aharon Razel, Eyal Shiluah, Mirel Reznik, Golan Azulai, Hamadregot, Ben Snof, Daniel Zamir, Jimmy Lloyd, Womens group “Klezmiriot”, Musa Berlin and groups and special artists from around the world including Bimat Karliback and more.

The three day festival is held on stages throughout Safed and you can walk from concert to concert while taking in the wonderful atmosphere of Safed’s picturesque streets and alleys. As you stroll through the Old Jewish Quarter and the Artist Quarter you will see outdoor stalls and tables where artists display and sell their crafts. Concerts are five to 15 minutes away from each other and begin around 9:00 pm until midnight. However, a Klezmer Jam Session will go on until the wee small hours of the morning.

Safed has a Visitor’s Information Center to help you get around. The phone number is: 972-4-692-4427.

What To do in Safed

Musical Tours, Workshops and Historical Sites

Klezmer musicians will also give musical tours in cooperation with the JNF and there will be workshops and tours on the theme of the mystical town of Safed. Safed’s rich history goes back thousands of years and there are all kinds of things to see and do here like visiting the old Jewish cemetery where many famous rabbis are buried, Crusader ruins and old Turkish buildings. Be sure to stop by the Davidka, a model of the weapon used by Jewish soldiers in the fierce battle for Safed during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence and see the old Palmach building in Defender’s Square.

Culinary Treats and Wine

While in Safed you may also want to visit the Yoshbe Winery or culinary delights like the HaMeiri Cheese Shop in the Old City that has sheep milk cheese recipes going back hundreds of years. The owners claim the high quality of their milk and cheese is because their sheep graze in the open rather than being confined in pens, and in this musical town they, like King David, play music to calm the sheep.

HaMeiri Museum

HaMeiri Museum (Photo: מזליקה, CC BY-SA 3.0)


Check out also the HaMeiri Museum that depicts the rich history of Safed over the last 200 years. The street floor rooms are over 400 years old and there is a synagogue and a mikveh (ritual bath) from the 16th century that used only pure rainwater.

The Rosenfeld Doll Museum houses beautiful porcelain dolls that are clothed in hand-made authentic Jewish and European folk costumes from the past. This is a fun way for the whole family to learn about Jewish folklore customs.

Did You Know?

During the Klezmer Festival a special stage “Klezmerim for Kids” gives them a chance to try to play Klezmer instruments, hear story-telling, watch plays and skits and see a show by a magician.

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Sites That Link to this Post

  1. Safed : Baruch Haba Magazine | 24/07/2013
  1. laurie says:

    Visitors should be forewarned that the roads into Tzfat close at 5:00p.m. After that, guests must park outside the city (in prepared parking lots) and come in by bus. There is a small fee for this service.

    Visitors who arrive before 5:00 can drive into the city but the main streets of the Old City/Artist Quarter are closed off.

    all of the stages are free and are within a 15-minute walking distance from one end of the town to the other

    • rj says:

      Thanks Laurie for this heads-up and I see you are working for the group that is sponsoring the event! Looks like it will be a great time for everyone!

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