Radio Darom (lit., south radio) was established in 1997 and may be heard at 95.8 FM, 97 FM & 101.5 FM and online – “That at-home sound.” It’s the only local and regional radio station in southern Israel and has ca.420,000 listeners. The most famous radio host on Radio Darom is Didi Harari (b.1956-). In 2010, the station won a prize for having the best current-affairs programming in Israel – http://www.radiodarom.co.il. He’s likely to host his own TV program in 2018.
Harela Ishay is Be’er-Sheva‘s veteran matchmaker (Heb., shadkhanit) and founder of “Doo-Lev” (lit., two hearts) matchmaking service (founded 1992), that has 4 branches located in: Be’er-Sheva, Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv & Ashdod. Ishay has published two Hebrew books, the first entitled Couples Status: The Role of the Matchmaker (c2015) and the second is: Two Sugars (2017). She often appears on Israel TV and speaks on local radio programs
Avri Sabhat (b.1981-), who was born in Be’er-Sheva with impaired vision, has become a successful radio broadcaster, a familiar voice both on “Radio Darom” and on “Gale Tsahal.”
Negev Community Television is an NPO founded in 2012 and based in Be’er-Sheva. It frequently films and airs Hebrew programs about significant things going on in the Negev’s capital. The video photographers, producers, actors, etc. are all volunteers. The broadcasts appear on satellite channel 98 under the title: “Southern exposure” – Ora Levin – 08-6424865.
The local news channel “Mi-Kan” (lit., from here) is sponsored by “Kivunim”, a municipal corporation that provides recreational, cultural, and community services, such as clubs, extracurricular classes and activities in the Be’er-Sheva community centers.
Some prominent radio and television personalities from/in Be’er-Sheva are: Newscasters – Rina Matsli’ah (b.1956-), Danny Kushmaro (b.1968-), Gal Gabai (1970-), Amir Ivgi (b.1976-) & Almog Boker (b.1979-); weatherman – Danny Doitch; sportscasters – Moshe Nir, Shlomi Daniel, Sharon Nissim & Ron Kaplan; and our local ha-Po’el Be’er-Sheva sportscaster – Mati Ben-David.
The Hebrew Israeli TV series “Zaguri Empire” created by Be’ershevan Maor Zaguri (b.1981-, in Be’er-Sheva) ran for two seasons (2014-2015), a total of 51 episodes, and was filmed entirely in Be’er-Sheva. It won an Israel TV Academy Prize. Tom Cohen (b.1983-, in Be’er-Sheva), an internationally acclaimed musician and music producer, wrote the series’ theme song.
The 23rd chapter of the 5th season (2016) of the popular Israeli, Hebrew TV series “Shemesh,” starring Be’er-Sheva-born celebrity Zvika Hadar was a parody on the fans of the Be’er-Sheva soccer team – ha-Po’el Be’er-Sheva.
A very successful, Beer-Sheva-born comedian & actress is Orna Banai (b.1966-, sister of singers Meir & Eviatar Banai). She began as a stand-up comedian in a number of clubs, began acting in films from 1994 and on television from 1997. Her most popular comic character is “Limor.” In 2011, she outed herself as a lesbian and, in 2012, she returned to doing stand-up comedy shows. She has always been an outspoken animal-rights activist.
Almog Boker (b.1979-, in Be’er-Sheva), a veteran local writer and newscaster for Israeli Channel 10, is also commonly referred to as: “Our Journalist in the South.” As of 2017, he is also the Channel 10 presenter of the Friday evening series: “Ototo Shabbat” (lit., it’s almost the Sabbath).
Be’er-Sheva-born singer, Adi Cohen (b.1980-) was discovered on the 2nd season of the TV show: “A star is born” (2004). In 2006, she performed on U.S. stages in a Hebrew musical show called: “Like a movie,” consisting of covers of songs from Israeli films. In 2013, she acted in an Israeli movie entitled: “Snails in the rain.”
Maya Cohen (b.2002-) from Be’er-Sheva reached the final round (Sept. 2019) in the 5th season of the Israeli version of “The Voice.”
Gal Gabai (b.1970-, in Be’er-Sheva) is a well-known Israel TV presenter, journalist, mandolinist & a social activist, who says: “Whenever I come back to Be’er-Sheva, my heart-beat changes. The food tastes better, the wind’s more pleasant, something inside me relaxes and is reconnected. This city taught me about diversity, about wisdom, about love, and about simplicity.”
Rina Matsliah (b.1956-) from Be’er-Sheva, a journalist and a respected radio/TV news & political commentator, who covered the major peace talks and agreements, was presented with the 2017 “Roaring Lion” Award by the Israel Association of Media Consultants and Public Relations (ISPRA), especially for her work uncovering the saga of the kidnapping of Yemenite babies and children.
Ya’ir Nitsani (b.1958- in Be’er-Sheva) is a singer, comedian, song & script writer, TV & radio host, and has starred in a number of Israeli comic & satirical TV shows. He first became famous as a singer in the “Tislam” Rock Band (1980-1983), especially for his solo as Hashem. Since 1985, he has also acted in a number of Israeli movies.
Zion Rubin is a prolific, multi-tasking, TV personage: photographer, writer, editor, director, etc. from Be’er-Sheva. He created the highly-rated Hebrew “Combat medics” (Heb. “Taagad”) TV series first aired in 2016 on Israel’s “Yes” Channel. In the summer of 2017, Rubin filmed for an upcoming movie in the Gimel neighborhood, where he grew up. He claims he’s considering returning to Be’er-Sheva to pass on his expertise by teaching the television and film-making arts.
Dorel Saadon (b.2000-) represented Be’er-Sheva in the 7th season of the Israeli reality show “Rising Star for the Eurovision” (2019-2020), though, sadly, the “65th Eurovision Song Contest” meant to be held in Rotterdam, Netherlands in May 2020 was cancelled due to the dreadful international Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Bat-Hen Sabag (b.1984-, in Be’er-Sheva) created the Israeli Hebrew TV series “Metumtemet” (lit., stupid woman) that has had 2 seasons since 2016, with an upcoming 3rd season slated for 2018.
On the night of May 25, 2017, starting from 20:00, Be’er-Sheva held its first free, public alternative Short-Film Festival in the Old City; a variety of short Israeli films were screened at different venues, including pubs and other popular night-spots, with some of the film-makers in attendance. Afterwards, the public was able to react to the films and to interact directly with their creators. It is hoped that this will become an annual event.
“Forty-thousand horsemen” (1940) is an Australian film (100 min.) about the last horse-ridden charge in modern warfare, when, against all odds, on October 31st, 1917, Australian, New Zealander & Commonwealth (ANZAC) mounted riflemen (not cavalry) charged and conquered the Ottoman-Turkish city of Be’er-Sheva, effectively marking the beginning of the end of WWI.
“The Lighthorsemen” (1987) is an Australian feature film (131 min.) about the WWI horse-ridden charge on Be’er-Sheva and its liberation from the Ottoman-Turkish Empire on October 31st, 1917 by ANZAC forces. This charge will be re-enacted in Be’er-Sheva, on the centenary of this astounding charge on October 31st, 2017, as the culmination of the ANZAC Trail – www.kkl-jnf.org/people-and-environment/kkl-jnf-projects-partners/dfu-2012/anzac-trail.
“Wassermill” (2007) was written and directed by a native-born Be’er-Shevan, Mushon Salmonah, and tells the story of three Be’er-Sheva youths, each from a different cultural background, each striving to succeed as a soccer player, and how their friendship evolves. This movie won the 2007 Judges’ Prize at the Jerusalem Film Festival and represented Israel in the 2007 International Film Competition in Salonici, Greece. Wassermill Stadium was Be’er-Sheva‘s first stadium (decommissioned in 2016).
The Be’er-Sheva Theater (founded 1973) produces at least 5 new plays in Hebrew each season and employs ca.50 professional actors/actresses. In 2010, it got a record number of 9 nominations for the Israel Theater Prize mostly for the play “The Count of Monte Christo.” The Be’er-Sheva Theater was awarded Israel Theater Prizes for one or two of its productions in: 1997, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 & 2016, and counting. In conjunction with the Municipal Welfare Dept., a Theater for Children & Youth was founded in 2015 – 08-6209259, and another for senior citizens (08-6463901). The Be’er-Sheva Theater – 08-6266442, www.b7t.co.il.
The Larry & Lillian Goodman Acting School of the Negev (founded 2005) is located in the Gimel neighborhood near City Hall. The current manager, Idan Avisar (b.1981-) is a former Goodman student – 08-6464940, 08-6658080, www.act-b7.co.il.
The Youth Center in the Old City has an Acting Studio for young people aged 10-17 (founded 2016). The participants put on an end-of-the-year performance annually – 08-6783890/1.
LOGON – The Light Opera of the Negev (founded 1981) puts on a semi-professional production of a different operetta or musical each year in English (with Hebrew translation). The players, singers & dancers are volunteer amateurs of all ages and from diverse backgrounds. LOGON is always on the lookout for new talent.
The Be’er-Sheva “MiKan” (lit., from here) Fringe Theater was founded in 2010 by Idan Avisar and is located in a cheerful blue building in the Old City at 15 Mordekhai Anilevitch St. It promotes ‘fringe’ art, music, drama & dance, and holds all manner of open public events, including special events and activities for children and an annual International Fringe Festival (IFF) – http://www.iffb7.com, 08-6466657.
“Shlofta” (founded 2012, in Be’er-Sheva) – a genuine, live comic show performed by an improvization ensemble with audience interaction. In 2013, “Shlofta” won the “ImproLeague Competition” sponsored by the Israel Improvization League. They also give improvization workshops. If you’ve got an audience–they’ll gladly provide you with a one-of-a-kind, very funny show – 050-8655402; 054-2622167.
The Be’er-Sheva “Playback” Theater (founded 1995) began on the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Campus and later moved to the Old City, where performances are held at the “Ayalim Village” at he-Halutz 33 in the Old City – 054-5718893.
At BGU, the Community Action Department sponsors the “Barvaz” Theater (founded 2001), as a part of the University’s “Community Outreach Program.” Highschool children (in 7th-12th grades)
There are psychodrama groups for adults – 08-6469602, 052-4223878 and such groups specifically for mothers of teenagers – 050-6223812.
Children’s drama clubs are also given in the “Kivunim” community centers – 08-6290060, http://www.kivunim7.co.il/hugim, and by the Be’er-Sheva Center for Excellence in Theater (founded 2010) that gives drama classes in the schools – 08-6266485, he-il.facebook.com.
And there are even seniors’ drama clubs at some of the elder hostels and homes, such as the Yona Nursing Home, where they performed an original play in 2009 entitled Grandma’s stories – http://www.myparents.co.il.
People in Be’er-Sheva theater
Native Be’er-Shevan Gilad Kalifa (b.1989-), despite his severe dyslexia, not only acted, sang & danced in many plays and musicals, but has become a successful playwright and theater director, who has even directed musical theater in New York City and at Jewish summer-camps in the U.S. Moreover, he is a multi-talented musician and owns a recording studio.
Ex-Be’er-Sheva resident, comedian and actor David Kigler (b.1965-) still enjoys kidding about Be’er-Sheva in his stand-up routines.