Festivals and Memorials

Festivals and Marathons

Returning for the third time, on Feb. 14-16, 2023, after skipping a year of COVID pandemic, is the 3rd Festival BeerShira, this time held at the Writers’ House, located at ha-Avot 53 in the Old City. Attendance is free  but requires advanced registration. This festival includes: meetings with poets, writing workshops, sessions honoring certain poets & their works, and live music. The 1st was held in Dec. 2019 & the 2nd in Sept. 2021. 

In October 2022, the Be’er-Sheva MiKan Fringe Theater added a new tradition to their list of international festivals, by holding an International Children’s Theater Festival; each year, the plays presented would deal with a different theme–the first of which: “Stop the shunning!” 

Each Fall, since 2021Sergio Alaluf (b.1978-), owner of JEMS restaurant in Be’er-Sheva, a runner and trainer for marathons and ultras-marathons, has instigated “Running B7” under his slogan: “Run 2 live – Live 2 run,” at the Gav-Yam High-Tech Park.   

In 2021, Cinema City held a two-day Wine & Cheese Festival in the middle of August with produce from all across the country.

A new Be’er-Sheva Old City music and arts festival, called Petrichor (lit., the smell of the first rain on parched earth) was initiated in December 2019–featuring live music, experimental art and music, & psychedelic, digital and virtual media. Futuristic arts featured against the backdrop of the historic setting.

Since 2010, the Be’er-Sheva MiKan Fringe Theater has held an Annual International Fringe Festival (IFF) each Summer and an Annual Dance Week and Competition each Fall, judged by professional Fringe theaterchoreographers, dancers & theater VIPs, as well as special events and shows for children during holidays and Summer vacations. Location: Old City, Anilevich St. Call: 08-6466657; theFringe.co.il; and http://www.iffb7.com.

At the end of February/beginning of March, during the week of the Purim holiday, the Old City and all of Be’er-Sheva fills with children and adults in costumes, street parties, parades with floats, and comic events in the parks. Three-cornered cookies, called ozne Haman (lit. Haman’s ears; see the biblical Book of Esther), traditionally filled with poppy seeds, but also filled with: prune jam, pressed dates, chocolate, nuts, marzipan, etc. are eaten. 

Chess Club of Beer-ShevaThe 1st annual Israel national Be’er-Sheva Quick-Chess Tournament, in memory of the founder of the Be’er-Sheva Chess Club, Eliyahu Levant, was held mid-March, with 89 participants from across the country, including 14 grand masters, 8 international masters & 1 woman grand master, Ilana David, Director of the Be’er-Sheva Club

Glow RunEvery year since 2012, in the Spring and after sunset, Be’er-Sheva holds a city-wide night “Light/Glow Run” with over 5,000 active participants of all ages and large cheering crowds lining the streets, managed by “Kivunim. Before the race, all the registered runners are given a warmup session and painted and equiped with glowing colors. There are three well-lit courses provided: for 2.5, 5 and 10 kilometer runs. After the race, there is an after-party with well-known local D.J.s and celebs.

Fringe theaterThe annual Smilansky Street Festival originated in July 2005 and by July 2010 had developed into an Annual International Multidisciplinary Fringe Festival held in the Old City of Be’er-Sheva, open to the public and with attractions for all ages and tastes–theater, dance, music, street arts, comedy, drama, improvisation, etc. This high-quality festival was recognized by the European Festivals Association (EFA) in 2017 as being the best festival held in Israel. This street festival was reinstated in August 2021, after a 2-year COVID-19 hiatus.

A new festival was born in July 2019, the Eat & Drink Festival,” held inside the Design Plus Complex, located at 12 Eliyahu Nawi St. (an extension of the Hebron Road near the large industrial area). Three gourmet chefs (incl. Avi Biton), a cocktail bar, a beer pub, are all accompanied by street performers, DJs and live bands. 

Each August since 2015, a 40+08 Artistic/Cultural Marathon is held in the Old City of Be’er-Sheva. During this designated 48-hour period, visual artists of all kinds produce their novel creations, that are then presented to the public as a part of the “Zohar Deromi” (lit., southern glow) Festival at various Old City venues. The name of this marathon refers not only to the time-frame, but also suggests route 40 (that reaches Be’er-Sheva) and telephone area code 08 (for dialing the southern region). Free night-time tours of the Old City are also provided. In August 2019, this multidisciplinary, multimedia, open-to-the-public, interactive festival was renamed the Fountain Festival, lasting for 3 whole days and nights, including: graffiti painting on street-side walls, art workshops, athletic workshops, roving minstrels, various musical shows, singles get-togethers, dance classes, cooking classes, special lectures, Old City tours, etc. 

Beer-Sheva engine no. 70414Every year in September, Be’er-Sheva holds a Wine Festival at the restored Ottoman-Turkish Train Station.

Since 2013, at the start of every academic year in the Fall, the students at BGU hold a huge and loud welcome-to-Be’er-Sheva street party in the vicinity of the University. All are welcome to attend the festivities. 

An annual Beer Fest is generally held in October (as it is in Europe) in the Mall 7 area, just south of (below) the Old City. 

Womens Day in Bell Park 11.10Come November every year, an “Atena” Womens’ Fitness & Sports Day is held outdoors in Be’er-Sheva’s Bell Park for women from the entire southern region. This free event includes aerobic sports, zumba, yoga, a Women's fitness walk Nov. 20102-kilometer march and other healthy activities, as well as a guest artist performance.

Since 2008, an annual conference has been hosted every November on the green campus – the Marcus Family Campus of BGU – to grant “Marks of Distinction for Negev Environmental Quality” to worthy individuals and bodies, sponsored by the NPO Sustainable Development for the Negev.

For over a decade, there have been several English-language folk-music festivals each year, originally held at Ashan ha-Zeman and, in recent years, at the Hen Commercial Center in the Bet Neighborhood (26 Bialik St.) — thus called “Bialik Folk Time” (organized by Negev folk-singer Lauren Ornstein (b.1950-). Each event features well-known folk-singers from across Israel (e.g., Sandy Cash, Eli “Dr. Blues” Marcus) and guests from abroad.


Terror_Attack_memorialEvery year at the very end of August, a municipal memorial service is held in City Hall square, commemorating the murder of the 16 victims of Hamas16 terrorist victims terrorism in Be’er-Sheva, who died in suicidal bus bombings on August 31st, 2004. The monument (established in 2004) was designed by architect Ya’akov Cohen.

Since “Our future is inspired by our past” – join the Society for the Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites http://www.shimur.org.il. You are welcome to come to the Be’er-Sheva Office of the Society, now located in the Old City at Mordey ha-Geta’ot 74 and/or call Michal Montal – 054-4606496.

Music, Songs – Musicians, Singers

Apologies–this is a very large post, because Be’er-Sheva is rife with music and musical talent and, as such, it will never be entirely complete and up-to-date. I want to include examples of everything and everyone associated with music in Be’er-Sheva to date.

As of 2022, independent artists in all the Arts (visual and performing) are invited to join a new creative, multidisciplinary project called “Off the Record” based in the Youth Center in the Old City, run by Bouras-House of Independent Artists – contact: 054-982-7936, art.bouras@gmail.com.


Music education: 

Ruth HillmanThe Be’er-Sheva “Conservatorion – the municipal conservatory of music was founded in 1961 (in memory of philanthropist Samuel Rubin, 1901-1978), by pianist Ruth Hillman (1917-2010) and conductor Nissim Alsheikh (b.1926-). Each year, over 600 students from the entire Negev Region (including Bedouins) attend classes to learn music theory, music appreciation, and how to play all the various instruments.The Conservatorion houses the Hillman Concert Hall and the Municipal Music Library. The current director (2017-) is Jacob (“Yaki”) ReuvenOutstanding students are invited to perform in the various ensembles and orchestras. Many of Israel’s well-known musicians began their musical careers here, such as: mandolinist Avi Avital (b.1978-); mandolinist & musical director Tom Cohen; mandolinist & conductor Shmuel Elbaz; Jewish music producer Gabriel Hassonmandolinist & Conservatorion” Director Jacob (“Yaki”) Reuven; accordionist & conductor Eti Tevel (b.1985-); cellist Ariel Tushinsky (b.1969-); conductor Omer Meir Wellber (b.1981-). It is located at 10 ha-Meshahrerim St. (adjacent to the Municipal Public Library) – 08-6276019. 

Orchestras and instrumental ensembles:

ConservatoriumThe Israel “Sinfonietta” Orchestra (Be’er-Sheva) was first founded in 1973 as a small ‘cameri’ orchestra (22 new-immigrant musicians) by international prize-winning conductor Avi Ostrowsky (b.1939-). After expanding, in 1978 it became a full, classical symphony orchestra, performing under the baton of another internationally acclaimed conductor Mendi Rodan (1929-2009), who served until 1991. Rodan was then followed by violist & conductor Uri Meir (b.1946-) from 1991-1999. Next were: conductor Menachem Nevenhoiz (b.1960-) from 2001-2002; pianist & conductor Yaron Traub (b.1964-) from 2002-2005; classical guitarist & conductor Doron Salomon from 2005-2013; and, most recently, pianist & conductor Justus Frantz (b.1944-) from 2013. The “Sinfonietta” was awarded the 1995 Prize by the Israel National Council for Culture and Art and the 1998 “Wandering Cylinder” Prize by the Israeli “Art for the People”Organization for its service to the entire Negev Region. Office: 08-6266422.     

Nissim Elsheikh 2016Nissim Alsheich (b.1926-) was a co-founder of the Be’er-Sheva Municipal Music “Conservatorion” and founder of the Be’er-Sheva Youth Orchestra, both in 1961. In 1973, he founded the Be’er-Sheva Chamber Orchestra and, in 1996, he founded and conducted the Be’er-Sheva Wind Orchestra (consisting of woodwinds & brass instruments) until his retirement in 2010, when lawyer, conductor Micha David took Micha David - lawyer, conductorover. Alsheich published a Hebrew autobiography entitled My Life’s Symphony: The Realization of a Dream (2016?).

The Be’er-Sheva String Orchestra was re-established in 2014 by “Conservatorion” Director Jacob (“Yaki”) Reuven. The current, internationally- acclaimed conductor (2017-) is Maestro Barak Tal,  was also the recipient of the 2006Barak Tal - conductor Oedoen Partos Award for outstanding performance of an Israeli composition, granted by the Israeli Ministy of Culture.

Be’ershevan accordionist & conductor Eti Tevel (b.1985-, in Be’er-Sheva) received her early classical music training in the city, then studied at the Rubin Academy of Music & Dance in Jerusalem, played with the Israel Police Orchestra, and Eti Tevel - conductorwas a soloist with the Jerusalem Symphony & Philharmonic Orchestras (studying under conductor Mendi Rodan), also playing with the Junior Andalusian Orchestra from 2004. In 2012, she became the conductor of the reconstituted Andalusian Orchestra of Ashkelon. In 2016, she also became the first Israeli conductor ever invited to conduct the German Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Be’er-Sheva-born and trained mandolinist & conductor Shmuel Elbaz andElbaz & Andalusian Orchestra his Israeli Kerman Mandolin Quartet took the 1st prize at the 2003 International  Music Competition for Plectrum Instruments held in La Rioja, Spain. Then, his Israeli Andalusian Orchestra (founded 1994 in Ashdod, Israel) was awarded the 2006 Israel Prize for MusicIn 2021, the Be’er-Sheva Sinfonietta aired an online series of mandolin concerts honoring the city’s local, legendary initiator of mandolin music in Israel, Simcha Natanzonentitled: Made in Be’er-Sheva.

 The Kerman Mandolin Quartet was created in 2000 by 4 talented Be’ershevan musicians trained originally at the “Conservatorion”Jacob (“Yaki”) kerman-mandolin-quartetReuven, Shmuel Elbaz, Avi Avital & Lev Haimovits (with standby mandolinist Tom Cohen). In 2017, the Quartet is now comprised of: Jacob (“Yaki”) Reuven, Mari Carmen Simon (Spain), Fabio Galluci (Italy), & Vincent Beer-Demander (France). This Quartet renders musical works originally written for string quartets on 4 mandolins.

A Be’er-Sheva trio ensemble consisting of local soprano Isabel Marie Hass and local musicians–French hornist Roman Kott and pianist Raimonda Sheinfeld, give classical performances.

Choirs and vocal ensembles:

Cantacapella Choir 2017“Cantacapella” Choir (established 2011), sings classical & world music under the musical direction of bass/baritone & conductor Yoel Sivan – 054-4949854. It has performed at a number of venues in southern Israel and, on a few occasions, with the Israel Sinfonietta Be’er-Sheva and/or with soloists from the Israel Opera Company“Cantacapella” is currently seeking more tenors and basses. Sivan – 054-4949854.

Joel SivanYoel Sivanalso founded and sings in a Renaissance vocal ensemble called“Gloriana” (founded 2010) with soprano Lucy Blochtenor Hillel Sherman, and baritones Yoram Bar-Akivaand/or Guy Pelc. Sivan is also a performing member of the Israeli Vocal Ensemble. He conducts 4 classical choirs: “Cantacapella” in Be’er-Sheva (f. 2011-); “Arava Choir” (f. 1985-); “Adam Choir” in Jerusalem (f. 2002); and the “Modi’in Artistic Choir(f. 2008). Sivan– 054-4949854.

Andinat” (Amharic word meaning: ‘together’) is an Ethiopian children’s choir founded in 2018 at the Haruv” Absorption Center in the Gimel neighborhood    that sings Hebrew, Amharic and English songs, directed by its founder, singer Josh Perets. Netflix airs a filmclip of them performing. They also appear in an Israeli movie depicting Ethiopian Jews immigrating to Israel in the 1980s.

“Coloratura” classical ensemble, founded in 2019 by Diana Eidelszstein (052-5013327) meets every week on Wed. evenings at Matnas Yud Aleph and is currently seeking more singers.

“LOGON” – Light Opera of the Negev (founded 1981) puts on an English-logon-logolanguage operetta or musical production annually, which it performs across the country. Rehearsals are held in Be’er-Sheva. Participation is voluntary, but those who volunteer must perform, excepting cases of illness or injury. To join the cast or stage-crew – 08-6414081 or http://www.lightopera.2ya.com. There’s even a book about LOGON entitled: The stage is our worldIf anyone can tell me who wrote this book and the year of its publication, I’d be grateful. Thanks, Ethelea. By the way, I sang inMerry Widow LOGON 1993 the choir, danced a can-can and a waltz & had a great time with LOGON in 1993, when we put on an English adaptation of the wonderful operetta “The Merry Widow” by Franz Lehar.

In 2021, at the Dekalim” School for Special Education, veteran music teacher, Zhana Mikhailov, created a successful choir, with the support of the local chapter of “Lions – Israel: Ahvah ba-Negev.” The members of the choir range in age from 13-21. Music is a perfect and joyful way to overcome disabilities.

***I heard from someone that years ago Prof. Shalom Altman produced an album entitled: “One God” for the Philadelphia Jewish Community Choir, which includes a song that begins with the words: “Here is Beersheba, where Abraham the Patriarch, leader of …” If, by chance, anyone has this album or knows this song, please contact me in Be’er-Sheva at 972-77-4180008. Thanks, Ethelea

***P.S. I made ‘aliyah’ to Be’er-Sheva from Philadelphia in 1972,after dancing & singing in the late Rabbi Efry Spector‘s Israeli performing troup (in support of Israel). I remember handing flowers to the late Abba Eban decades ago. I also took great pleasure when appearing with the 120-voice University of Pennsylvania Choir and the Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra at the elegant Academy of Music under the baton of the fiery-tempered Maestro Zubin Mehta, who has only recently retired as conductor of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. Not to mention how exciting it was to sing Carl Orff‘s “Carmina Burana” in a huge, old cathedral in Philadelphia–and making the chandeliers shake…

Classical/operatic/cantorial soloists: 

Retired academic librarian Pinhas Ziv resided in Be’er-Sheva and worked at BGU’s Aranne Library from 1970. Around 2010, he began to sing Jewish cantorial music, performing and also recording an album of the same material.

Classical composers:

Max SternContrabassist & composer Max Stern (b.1947-) became a resident of Be’er-Sheva in 1976. Much of the inspiration for his classical and choral works he derived from biblical sources and from the desert environment. In 1990, his chamber-music work “Balaam and the ass” won the Israeli Composers League’s Lieberson Prize Competition. In Tokyo, Japan in 1991, his work for orchestra & narrator, entitled “Perek Shirah” (lit., a chapter of song), was awarded 1st place by the Japanese Contemporary Music Association. From 1993, Stern established the BGU Music Dept., a student choir & a student orchestra.  In 2017, Stern released a classical music disc entitled: “Me’ever le-nehar ha-Sambatyon” (lit., across the [legendary] Sambatyon River, i.e., in exile), that he dedicated to the city. 

Classical musicians:

Avi AvitalBe’er-Sheva-born mandolin player Avi Avital (b.1978-) made Be’er-Sheva proud not only by performing with the “Sinfonietta; the Israel Philharmonic; and other European ensembles but, in 2007, he appeared as the mandolin soloist with the “Metropolis Ensemble” at the New York Center for the Arts, playing the U.S. premier of Israeli composer Avner Dorman’“Mandolin Concerto.

Blachmans in actionFreelance cellist, pianist, music teacher & vocal coach HannahHannah Blachman Blachman and her husband Asher Blachman, a professional violinist, sometimes perform as a piano & violin duo – 08-6413119 (not on the Jewish Sabbath, from sunset Fri.-sundown Sat.). Hannah also gives cello performances with pianist Gila Perach-Hirsch–they call themselves “Tsemed Kol Avi” (lit., the voice of my father duo). 

In 2023, young Beershevan piano prodigy, Amir Grosfeld (b.2010-), will compete in the Pnina Salzman Israeli Piano Competition, after having won 2nd and 3rd places in national and international competitions, respectively, in 2021. He is a student at the Municipal Conservatorium under the tutelage of Marina Epstein.

Shifra Perets (b.1968-), from Be’er-Sheva, is a groundbreaking woman paytanit [i.e., singer of Andalusian piyyutim (hymns)], while accompanying herself on the oudh. She released 2 albums: “Mizan” [i.e., a stanza in a piyyut] (2003) and “Neshimat ‘Olam” [i.e., a breath of the world] (2012); in 2022, she released the first single from her soon-to-be-released 3rd album.

Accordionist Alexander Suslov (b.1979-) often plays for the public at the central train station and in the Old City since his arrival in Be’er-Sheva in 2014.

Classically trained violinist and music teacher Vladimir (Bob) Yourochkin (b.1966-) frequently gets up on an upside-down pail in the Central Bus Station (“The Terminal”) and plays his violin for the public. He has been in Be’er-Sheva since 2015.                Vladimir Bob Yourochkin - violinist

Modern genres and folksongs


The Hebrew/Israeli Song Club usually offers a series of 6 evenings of Israeli folk and pop music at the Hall of the Performing Arts each year – for tickets *8557, line #1. 

Yossi LevFor decades, accordionist & emcee Yossi Lev (father of “Bat Dor” dancer Lior Lev) has given public Hebrew sing-along evenings, accompanied by guitarist & singer Dov Birkenfeld and drummer Alex Bellaish (father of “Bat Dor” dancer Natan’el Bellaish) – 08-6518139, 053-9428780.

Rafi Shaked - accordionistAccordionist Rafi Shaked came to Be’er-Sheva in 1970 to study at BGU and stayed to live here, becoming known as: “the king of evenings of song,” thanks to his frequent public Israeli folk-music sing-alongs – http://www.rafi-shaked.co.il.

Vocal groups, combos and bands:

ha-Hadim Rock groupFor over 45 years, “ha-Hedim” (lit., the echoes, established 1968), the first genuine pop & rock combo originating in Be’er-Sheva, started by guitarists & singers Shlomo (“Momi”) & Avi Asaf (father of Israel Beauty Queen, Ravit Asaf), gave shows filled with nostalgic Israeli and foreign classics from prior decades with: Uri Kariv on synthesizer; the late Ruby Serge on keyboards; and David Ya’akobi on drums. In 1972/3, they had an original English hit single entitled: “Fascination” on the radio, written by the late Ruby Serge and some clips on YouTube. In 2003, they revived the band and produced a special program covering “Pink Floyd”s greatest hits; later on, in 2021, the 9 “Echoes” share the stage with the  Israel Chamber Orchestra,  performing “Pink Floyd”s best songs, together  with the “UK Pink Floyd Experience” in the Omer Amphi.

Signon Acher“Signon Acher” (lit., a different style) is a local vocal jazz ensemble created by Musical Director Yoni Shacham (b.1943-) that does humourous, jazzy & scat singing a-cappella in English and Hebrew, specially arranged by Shacham. In 2014, they put out a double album entitled “SomeSingElse” –http://www.facebook.com/besignonacher.

“Blueband” was a blues & alternative rock combo that existed from ca.1998-2002, founded by songwriter, guitarist & singer David Peretz; with lyricist & singer Elad Chopin; guitarist & singer Yohanan Kressel; keyboardist & guitarist Ya’ir Schleider; and songwriter, guitarist & singer Hagai Nahtomi. They put out one album in 1999.

“Lenses” (existed 2001-2009) was founded by songwriter & soloist Jo’an Safadi (b.1973-) with songwriter, guitarist & singer David Peretz and songwriter, guitarist & singer Yohanan Kressel, that lasted until 2009 and released 3 albums in Hebrew and Arabic.

Hoodska Explosion“Side”Be’er-Sheva‘s British-style electro-rock combo (established 2003) performed original English songs and toured Israel & Europe. Its original 6 Be’ershevan members were: bassist Shai Zrihan; drummer Itamar Abuhatsira (owner of “Feedback Studios”); guitarist Or Dahan; synthesizer Shahar Yampolski; guitarist, drummer & soloist Yossi Shitrit; keyboards & effects David (“Dudu”) Hemed (who is also a soloist in the “Machrumah” Band), later joined by soundman Nir Raveh. Some clips on YouTube.

Marionetta Sol“Marionetta Sol” is an alternative rock combo (formed 2003) by Be’ershevans Amir Grohman (b.1976-) and Ido Karov produced its 1st, mostly instrumental, rock & house album in 2004; in 2005, their 2nd album was released for free on Internet. In 2005, their vocal single “Hey” was aired on Israeli radio. They did a short performance tour in 2006. In 2008 they released 2 more singles. Album no.3 came out in 2009; then, in 2013, their 4th album was released. Current membersAmir Grohman – vocals, guitars, keyboards; Ido Karov – guitar, keyboards, drums, voices; Tal Fogel – bass guitar, sounds; and Nadav Gorali – drums. Former membersElad Chopin – bass guitar; Yaniv Dagan – bass guitar; and Gil Namet – drums.

Pinky combo“Pinky” (formed ca.2004) – a Be’er-Sheva-born punk-rock combo consisting of bass guitarist & soloist Tal Leibel, guitarist & mixer Boaz Even-Ezra & drummer Avishai Hazan. Their first album was “Pink world” (2007) and they put out at least 2 more albums by 2015. Tal Leibel put out his first solo album in Dec. 2017.

Jah-Nos Band“Jah-Nos” Band (formed ca.2006) – comprised of brothers from the Be’ershevan Zennou family: Avi, Ben, Lavi & Shlomi, with three other backup musicians, had 2 ethno-rock hit singles on the radio and put out an album of original songs, some on YouTube.

The combo “ha-Shkhenah mimul” (lit., the neighbor lady across the way; formed 2006) started in Be’er-Sheva and plays original pop music. This combo includes: composer, keyboards & singer Ronen Yarkon; acoustic guitarist, singer & mixer Oren Steinitz; bass guitarist & singer Idan Weisman or Jonathan Balter; guitarist Yitshak Me’ir; drummer & singer Yuval Ben-Hai; and singers Roni Bratslavski and Hilla Millstein.   

“Duo Azulay/Namet” was founded (ca. 2008) by two talented Be’er-Sheva-born singer/songwriters, Nadav Azulay (b.1987-) and Gil Namet (b.1987-, previously in “Marionetta Sol”), who contrast and complete each other. Together, they’ve put out 3 albums: “Ba-tsad shel ha-ra’im” (lit., On the side of the bad guys, 2009); “Ze’ev! Ze’ev!” (lit., Wolf! Wolf!, 2013); and “Telamed oti lirkod” (lit., Teach me how to dance, 2018). They are some of the key representatives of the so-called “Be’ershevan music” scene. 

Karin Shapira“Ensemble Peham” (lit., the coal ensemble; active 2016) is a local Canaanite-blues band that combines the talents of Karin Shapira (former soloist with the punkband “Tsenzurah” (lit., censorship)) and of Aviv (“Yaniv”) Noiman. Separately, Shapira released her personalAviv Noiman album entitled “Tsemer” (lit., wool) and Noiman released his own entitled “David.”

Lotem Asner“Two Girlz Cookin’ Duo” (established 2017) consists of classically-trained keyboardist, vocalist, composer, yukalele player & percussionist Lotem Asner (b.1983-, in Be’er-Sheva) with vocal coach, vocalist, composer & looper player Maya Maya PenningtonPennington. This very creative duo creates brilliant pop/jazz/classical mashups and gives performances across Israel. Asner released an original solo album “Dived and disappeared” in 2015.

“Havruta Ensemble” (lit., band of buddies, formed ca.2018) – performs classic Hebrew/Israeli songs and provides the words on screen, so the audience can sing along. The band consists of: singer Itamar Abuhatsira on percussion; singer Shlomi Mathias on keyboards; Sha’ul Blachman on bass guitar; and Yossi Shitrit & Daniel Adda on guitars. 054-2030717 – havruta27@gmail.com  –  https://www.havrutamusic.co.il/

Singers, songwriters and DJs:

yosi-mustakiJoe (“Yosi”) Moustaki (b.1939-) composed many Hebrew folksongs and sings a Hebrew & Ladino repertoire. He has lived in Be’er-Sheva since 1949 and was among the first 500 Jewish families to reside in the new Israeli desert town. In 1969, he wrote music for Talmah Alyagon-Roz‘s poem “Be’er-Sheva Iri” (lit., my city Be’er-Sheva). Moustaki is especially well-known for his original song “Yam u-shkiyah” (lit., the sea & the sunset) and the music he composed for the poem by Israeli poetess Rachel (1890-1931) entitled “Zemer nugeh” (lit., melancholy song) – soundcloud.com/yosi-moustaki.

Yehudit RavitzYehudit Ravitz (b.1956- in Be’er-Sheva) is a famous, veteran Israeli pop, rock & jazz singer/songwriter and music producer. She has appeared on many stages & in many shows, on TV, in Israeli films & in a number of YouTube clips, as well as having had many hit songs on the radio during her successful ca.45-year long career. In 1977, 1982 & 1987, she won the “Best song of the year.” Ravitz released 12 Hebrew solo albums (1979-2012) and 5 collections (1982-2007); not to mention her numerous, notable collaborations with other artists over the decades. After receiving an award from AKUM (the Israeli Union of Composers, Musicians and Music Publishers), in Nov. 2022, the Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv presented 3 special programs applauding Ravitz’ long and successful musical career.

Yair Nitzani (b.1958-) grew up in Be’er-Sheva and became a prolific singer/songwriter, screenwriter/actor/comedian, and radio broadcaster, becoming very famous as a member of the popular rock band “T-Slam” (1979-1983, together with Dani Bassan & Izhar Ashdot), that had many hit songs.

Avi Eilot AloushAvi Eilot Aloush (b.1959- in Be’er-Sheva) is a soul and R&B singer/songwriter who’s been singing in the Old City (ha-Simtah; Ashan ha-Zeman; etc.) since he was a boy (from 1973). Most recently, he’s been doing successful shows with singer Shivhiyah Bat-Israel, one of the black Hebrews from Dimona. 

Born and educated in Be’er-Sheva, singer/songwriter/guitarist/ & soundman Oded Galai (b.1960?-) released his first Israeli Hebrew folk-rock in 1981, entitled: “Hasifah” [“Exposure”] and the 1st single of his upcoming second album, entitled: “To the end of the Earth,”in 2022.

Mike KaroutchiMike Karoutchi (b.1963- in Casablanca, Morocco), a Be’er-Sheva resident, is a violinist, a pop ‘cover’ singer, and an events performer of traditional Moroccan folk-music. He was honored in 2014 by the King of Morocco for being an ambassador of Moroccan culture. 

Zahava BenZahava Ben (shortened from Benishti; b.1968- in Be’er-Sheva, twin sister of Etti Levi) is a highly-successful Middle-Eastern-style singer, who has released over 16 studio albums and more than 16  collections. She is known and admired even in Morocco & Turkey and has performed at a number of European venues. 

Etti LeviEtti (nee Benishti) Levi (b.1968- in Be’er-Sheva), twin sister of Zahava Ben) is both a vegetarian and a prolific Middle-Eastern, Moroccan & Arab-style singer. In the years from 1993-2009, she produced 21 music albums, including some duets with Iraqi singer Jacob Nashawi.

David Peretz (b.1970-) is a guitarist, singer & songwriter of alternative rock, blues & Hebrew folksongs. He even started his own record company in Be’er-Sheva, under the “Cactus” label. He put out his first, original solo album “Haiku blues in 2007 and two more albums in 2009 and 2016. He founded the “Blueband” that existed from ca.1998-2002 that put out one album in 1999. In 2001, Peretz became a member of david-peretzthe first Jewish-Arab rock band in Be’er-Sheva  “Lenses”  together with Jo’an Safadi (b.1973-), that lasted until 2009 and released 3 albums. In June 2014, together with Amir Grohman & Ido Karov, he organized a special event combining local poets and songwriters, to present a collection of works relating to the theme: “Ru’ah dromit” (lit., a southern wind or spirit) –  a (primarily) Be’ershevan poetic and musical fantasy; the Hebrew contents of this event may be seen (but not heard) online in the blog “Kikar ha-Ir” of June 11, 2014, in the section by Guy Tene “Shney yesodot.

Etan Fisher (b.1971-) arrived in Be’er-Sheva from Scotland at age 3 and began playing the guitar at age 14. He is not only a Dr. of Mechanical Engineering at SCE by day, but some nights this singer/songwriter performs in local pubs and clubs. He released his first album in of “sensitive rock” in 2012 and is releasing his 2nd album in 2023. In his youth, he performed with a band named “Magnetic Fog.”  

Yohanan KresselYohanan Kressel (b.1972-) has been a resident of Be’er-Sheva since his student days, and is a songwriter, guitarist & singer; previously a member of “Blueband” from 1998-2002 and of “Lenses” from 2001-2009. Besides working as a physiotherapist, he released 3 albums: the 1st, a solo light-rock album (2008); the 2nd, a dark-rock collaboration with members of “Marionette Sol” (2013); the 3rd, a ‘kick-ass’ rock album with soloist Yossi Shitrit from “Side” (2016).

Dikla_(israeli_singer)Dikla Dori (b.1973-) is a live-performing Be’ershevan singer/songwriter, described as a Middle-Eastern (Hebrew & Arabic) rock diva, who produced 5 albums between 2000-2016 and released many videoclips online. In 2002, Dikla performed in the Summer Festival at the Lincoln Center in New York. In 2004, she was named the “Best Female Singer of the Year” in Israel. Later, she appeared in the Israeli movie: “The ballad of the weeping spring” (2012). In 2015, she was awarded ACUM‘s “Uzi Hitman Achievement Award” and she also performed in Be’er-Sheva at the LGBT celebrations

Eviatar BanaiEvyatar Banai (b.1973- in Be’er-Sheva) is a guitarist, keyboardist, singer & songwriter. (His sister is comedian Orna Banai). Between the years of 1997-2017, he released 6 albums reflecting different musical styles: the 1st chamber pop (1997); the 2nd electronic (1999); the 3rd melodic rock (2005). Then he returned to his Jewish-religious roots, as reflected in the next 3 albums of 2009, 2013 & 2017. Many of his singles were radio hits.

Erez BitonErez Biton (b.1973- in Be’er-Sheva) is an eclectic singer/songwriter & DJ, who released his 1st original rock album in 2009. He sings western-style pop, rock & soul music, as well as Middle-Eastern pop – www.erezbit.co.il. 

Rinat Mor - singerRinat Mor (b.1974- in Be’er-Sheva) is an events singer and YouTube ‘cover’ singer, who has also acted in a number of Israeli films since 1985.

Alon de LocoAlon (“de Loco”) Cohen (b.1974-), a native & resident Be’ershevan, is a leading Israeli & international DJ and producer of hip-hop, R&B, reggae & dancehall music. In 2011, he appeared on the competitive Israeli TV reality show: “Living in La La Land” and won the competition. He’s currently signed to Geffen Records – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alon_De_Loco.  In 2020, he released a new  song “Titans” from his  5th & latest  international album of the same name.

Amir BenayounAmir Benayoun (b.1975-) is a very prolific (though occasionally controversial) Be’er-Sheva-born singer/songwriter, who has released 14 full & 2 mini-albums (one in Arabic) between 1999-2017. In 2006, he was given an AKUM Award by the Organization for Music Composers, Lyricists and Publishers in Israel. In 2011, Benayoun made an album in Arabic “Zini” in support of the Syrian people.

Amir Dadon (b.1975-) is a singer-songwriter and actor born in Be’er-Sheva, who will be starring in Ha-Bimah‘s production of “Les Miserables.” His first solo album, entitled “Amir Dadon” came out in 2010.

Nadav Dalumi (b.1976-in Be’er-Sheva, older brother of singer Roni Dalumi) is a pop, rock & indie singer/songwriter who released his 1st album in 2015; 2nd album in 2016; 3rd album in 2019. He writes in Hebrew and English. He also released a single entitled: “Be’er-Sheva” in 2013 and 2 new Hebrew singles: “Hungry winds” at the start of 2020 and, in March 2021, “In the end, everyone wants to go home.” His 2023 Hebrew album is entitled: “All the heroes have gone.” 

Sima Levy-DuchinSima Levy-Duchin (b.1976- in Be’er-Sheva, wife of singer/songwriter Arkady Duchin) is a sing/songwriter in her own right, who released her 1st album in 2006 and her 2nd album a decade later, in 2016. Her eclectic albums present a mixture of musical styles: pop, soft rock, folk and even some country-western, mostly in Hebrew, but also some English songs.

Hanan Dahan (b.1977- in Be’er-Sheva) is a sing/songwriter, who has been releasing original singles and remixed covers since 1998. In 2021, he also began appearing in duets with singer Gilli Argov (b.1973-).

Roy “Chicky” Arad (b.1977- in Be’er-Sheva) is a poet, journalist, political activist, and a singer, who has released 2 albums: “Monster” and “Sonol.” 

Roy EdriRoy Edri (b.1978- in Be’er-Sheva) is a bilingual (Hebrew/English) singer/songwriter who does soul music, reggae, rock & even hip hop. He spent 16 years touring abroad and returned to Israel and his Jewish-religious rootsEdri released 2 albums: one in English“Hear me out” (2008) and the other in Hebrew: Ad ha-sof” (lit., to the end, 2008).

Itay PearlItay Pearl (b.1978-) was born in Safed, moved to Tel Aviv in 1999 to further his musical career; then, in 2012, Pearl chose to reside in Be’er-Sheva. He is a successful singer & guitarist, and writes and produces rock, pop, blues & jazz music for other popular Israeli singers. His 1st solo album came out in 2005; his 2nd in 2008; no. 3, with Dana Berger, in 2010; his 4th original solo blues album was released in 2012; no. 5, with Dan Toren, in 2013; and the 6th solo album in 2018 here in Be’er-Sheva. Pearl says: “I fell in love with Be’er-Sheva, because here I don’t have to pose for anyone.”

Adi CohenAdi Cohen (b.1980-) was born in Be’er-Sheva and says: “It will always be home to her. She’s a Hebrew pop singer who gained national recognition when she appeared on the Israeli TV reality show “A star is born 2” (2004). In 2006, she appeared in U.S. theaters in a live musical production called “Like a movie” consisting of ‘covers’ of theme songs taken from many Israeli films. Cohen released her 1st album in 2008 and her 2nd in 2012. In between, in 2010, she gave an extensive tour, singing in: France, India, the Philippines, the USA & Canada. After studying theater arts, she also became an actress, and first appeared in the Israeli film “Snails in the rain” (2013). She has appeared in over 21 Israeli musicals. Between 2005-2015, she released at least 9 singles on radio & YouTube.

Dana Mazal Malka (b.1982-) spent her childhood in Be’er-Sheva. She has become a prolific songwriter for many of Israel’s popular  singers of the Middle-Eastern genre, such as: Moshik Afiya, Gili Argov and Etti Levi

Noa BabayofNoa Babayof (b.1982- in Be’er-Sheva) is a folk & alternative pop/rock music singer/songwriter, whose first English-language album From a window to a wall” was released in both Israel & the USA in 2007. Her 2nd English album “Blue bound” came out in 2016. 

Mor Luria (b.1982-), a resident Be’er-Sheva lyricist, put out an album including many of her original songs in 2017, together with some originals by songwriter & musical producer Moni Amarillio and with the help of singer Moran Sela and other singers of her lyrics.

Avia Barkao (b.1983-), a resident of Be’er-Sheva, is a singer both of American pop songs and Ethiopian songs; since 2011, she has also been writing original songs in Hebrew. https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Musician-Band/אביה-ברקאו-210777753030610/

Re'em CohenRe’em Cohen (b.1983- in Be’er-Sheva) is a singer with a radiophonic voice that has his own weekday radio program “Brizah” (lit., a breeze) at 101.5 FM. In 2006, he released his first Hebrew single entitled “Transparent in your eyes.” 

Danah LapidotDana Lapidot (b.1983- in Be’er-Sheva) is a pop music singer & songwriter, who became a soloist with “Hamsah” in 2001. She released her most popular Hebrew single in 2008 – “Meshuga’at” (lit., Crazy woman) and then her own 1st album: “Dana Lapidot.” In 2009, she gave a performance tour across Israel and in 2012, she released her 1st videoclip of a song Ve-ulay ha-yom” (lit., and maybe today). Then, in 2015, her 2nd album came out. In 2017, she made Hebrew & French pop-music clips in collaboration with Eli Henree.

Noam Vazana (b.1983-, in Be’er-Sheva) grew up and received classical and jazz music training in the city. She is pianist, trombonist, composer and singer. Now, performing in Holland and in Israel, together with her musical partner, Turkish classical guitarist Aktash Fatih Erdogan (b.1980-), she sings and plays in her original show entitled “In the name of the mother,” based on his mother’s life story. 

Asaf WeitzmanAsaf (“Cortex”) Weitzman (b.1984-, in Be’er-Sheva) is a rare specimen, a religious Jewish DJ doesn’t work on the Jewish Sabbath–so no dance, trance & house on Friday night or Saturday. He put out his 1st album in 2005 and immediately set out on his first DJ tour abroad in Mexico. He owns his own private record label. From 2015, he produces karaoke and musical events.

Vered Meiri (b.1984-), originally a resident of Be’er-Sheva, released her first 2 singles in 2021: “Bata elay” (lit., You came to me) & “Lo me’uhar miday” (Lit., Never too late)Her 1st album of original songs is to be released in 2022.

Eldar Mamo, a Be’er-Sheva restauranteur, wrote, sang and released his first Hebrew single, called:  “You” in 2010 and another: “Someone’s watching over me” in Sept. 2020.

Sivan Talmor (b.1986-, in Be’er-Sheva) is a singer/songwriter who released 3 original English-language albums between 2016-2019. She gives live performances and has a personal music website at sivantalmor.com. In  2012 , she appeared on Israel TV in the 1st season of Israel’s “The Voice.”

Etti Biton (b.1988-) is a Be’ershevan born and bred singer and a self-proclaimed lesbian, with a number of successful singles to her credit. She also acted in 3 seasons of the Israeli HOT TV reality show “The Unit,” about new I.D.F. recruits drafted into the military performing troupe, aired from Sept. 2014-Sept. 2018. 

Proud Be’ershevans, Gil Nemet (b.1987-) with is characteristic mohawk hairstyle, and his partner in music, Nadav Azulay (b.1989-) with his usual wild white hair, have produced 3 musical albums in 2013, 2018 & 2022. In addition, Nemet, also a potter, has exhibited his pottery in the Old City at the Shamarlah Gallery at 39 Histadrut St.                                                       

Israel_Bar-OnIsrael Bar-On (b.1989- in Be’er-Sheva) is a modest Hebrew pop/rock singer/songwriter, who was discovered when he won the 6th season of the Israeli “A star is born” (2008) with his original Hebrew song: “Just as it used to be” that soared straight to the top ten on all the pop-music charts. He went on from there to perform in many children’s musical shows. Bar-On‘s 1st album, consisting of 13 of his original songs, came out in 2010. He continues to do live performances and has clips on YouTube.

Eitan Fischer (b.????), an observant rock & indie-pop singer/songwriter (of spiritual songs), is releasing an original Hebrew album in 2023, entitled: “A broken heart is an axe.”

Miki UzanMiki Uzan (b.1990-) from Be’er-Sheva composed and released his first pop single “Mukhshaf” (lit., bewitched) on YouTube in 2014. In 2016, he appeared on the Israeli reality show: “Eyal Golan’s calling you!” In 2017, he sang a duet with guitarist and singer Reuven Carmel.

Tal Fogel (b.1991-), a resident Be’ershevan singer/songwriter/lyricist, released her 1st Tal Fogel - songwriterHebrew solo album “Piles of dreams” in 2014 and her second solo album “To the large courtyard” in 2016. Musical arrangements done by Amir Grohman.

Well-known Be’er-Sheva-born pop-star stylist, Eyal Hadad (b.1991-), released his first Hebrew single, written with Be’ershevan singer Dikla, in 2020, entitled: “Lo medabrim ‘al ze (lit., nobody talks about that).

Oshri Abarjil (b.1992-), currently a resident of Be’er-Sheva, is a successful singer/songwriter, who was the soloist in the I.D.F. performing troupe of the Ordnance Corps. He has also done live shows with singers Yaron Ilan and David Aharon.  His first solo album came out online in 2014. He has released a few original singles, especially ballads befitting weddings and Tu be-Av. In 2022, he’s working on his second album.

Shanim Maimon (b.1992-, in Be’er-Sheva) sings pop, soul, R&B & rap originals and ‘covers’ in Hebrew, English & Spanish and resides and often performs in London and Tel-Shanim Maimon - singerAviv. She was a winner of the Israeli music TV reality show called Yeshnan banot (lit., there are girls) on Channel 24 and has a number of video-clips on YouTube. 

Erez Farbiash (b.1993-) is a young, local singer/songwriter, bass player & music producer, who released his first Hebrew single, called “And if I went” in September 2020 and his first album, entitled: “An ass on a white horse” in 2021; a second album with 8 original songs was released in 2022. 

Noam Cohen (“Numi”) (1992-2021) was a Be’ershevan rapper/rocker, who put out his first Hebrew album in 2019, entitled: “Rockstar kapara.” He claimed to be a proud representative of the City of Be’er-Sheva, but died tragically in a motorcycle accident in Oct. 2021.

Amir Abu (b.1994-) is a Be’er-Sheva-born Muslim-Arab resident, who participated in the musical reality show “The Four” on Israel Channel 13 in 2018. He sings covers in Hebrew and Arabic. In 2020, during the Corona pandemic, he released his first single: “Balagan.” 

Ofir Alhayani (b.1996-, in Be’er-Sheva) is a singer/songwriter who used to sing with “Tse’ire Be’er-Sheva.He debuted on YouTube singing covers. In 2019,  his original Hebrew song: “It’s still not too late” came out &, in Sept. 2020, he released another Hebrew song entitled: “Calling you.” 

Hadar Zecharia (b.1997-), born , raised, residing and working in  Be’er-Sheva, is a singer/songwriter, guitar teacher and graduate of Ulpanat Bene Akiva. In 2021, she released her first single, “Mayim” (lit., water), followed by “She-yavo tov” (lit., let the good come). 

Ma’ayan Kreisler (b.1997-) is a talented Be’ershevan singer.

Almog Becker (b.1998-) is a Beershevan singer/songwriter, who released a Hebrew single called: “Room  for love” in 2021 and his second Hebrew single in 2022, entitled: “Praying.”

No’a Faraj (b.1999-) was born and raised in Be’er-Sheva. She has written and released three singles: the 1st called: “ha-Yaldah ha-khi yafah” (lit., the prettiest girl”); the 2nd entitled: “Bella and the most recent, in 2020, entitled: “ha-Metsi’ut posa’at” (lit., reality steps onwards).

Ron Ribak (b.1999-) is an upcoming Be’ersheva-born singer/songwriter with several covers on YouTube. During her mandatory I.D.F. service, she sang in the I.D.F. troupe.

Ro’i Zohar (a.k.a. “Brainheart,” 2000-) from Be’er-Sheva, composed and released some electronic pieces on YouTube in 2020 that were picked up by foreign singer/songwriters such as: Ben Shavrin, Tom Star & Diana Miro, who added lyrics and re-released them as: “Younger than I’ve ever been,” and “In my soul.” 

Ta’ir Martsiano (b.2001-), a young Be’ershevan singer/songwriter, released her first Hebrew single, entitled: “A little bit alone” in Sept. 2020, written by Cohen, Assulin & Tobel.  She has since released 2 more singles, as of April 2022, and is performing alongside Mosheh Perets, Elkanah Martsiano and Sarit Avitan.

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” aired on Israel TV Channel 13.

Raz Teitel (b.2002-) from Be’er-Sheva is a singer/songwriter from a musical family. She has released a Hebrew few songs and her latest one, released in early-2021, is called: “After the earthquake.” She promises more to come.

Beershevan Agam Buhbut (b.2003-) has served as a soloist with the Be’er-Sheva Mandolin Orchestra. She has been sporadically releasing Hebrew singles since 2014 and performing at events across Israel. In 2020, she starred in the musical “Mama Mia.” 

Hodayah Shabah (b.2005- in Be’er-Sheva) is a singer/songwriter who released her first Hebrew song in March 2021, entitled: “Tell me who you are.”

Yolanta is a multi-talented, classically-trained contemporary musician–a singer, lyricist, composer & keyboardist who resides in Be’er-Sheva. She has released 4 Yolanta - musicianmusic albums between 2013-2017, some with classical or electronic influences, all featuring her unique voice and special sound. Frequently, her music producer is Amir Grohman from “Marionetta Sol.” 


Daniel Adda (b.1987-) plays some 20 instruments, teaches instrumental music at the Be’er-Sheva Municipal Music “Conservatorion”, and has his own personal recording studio at home in Be’er-Sheva. The international music journal BassLove raved about his unique cover clip of Bon Jovi‘s song “It’s my life” that went viral on Internet, in which he played all the instruments himself (like Andre “3000” Benjamin from “OutKast” in “Hey ya!” in 2003) and sang (though not as good as Bon Jovi).

Adiel Azrai (b.1990-), a graduate of Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, combines music and art when he fashions his unique drums, such as the panticodrum (Kojix) at his studio in the Artists’ Quarter in Be’er-Sheva‘s “Old City.” These drums produce special musical tones and rhythms. He crafts, sells and teaches how to play them.               

Alex Bellaish (father of “Bat Dor” dancer Natan’el Bellaish) is a well-known drummer in Be’er-Sheva.  

Desert drummersThe “Desert Drummers,” founded in 2000 by Dudi Bar-Yosef, give performances and teach drumming in Be’er-Sheva – Sarit 052-4457700.

Beershevan musician Rotem Kornfeld (b.2001-), whose parents work with disabled children at Kefar Refa’el, got his high-school education in the 1st anthroposophical school in the Negev (Neta Erez Yanuch Korczak”), in Beer-Sheva, studied violin at the local Conservatorium, and completed the local, municipal young social leadership training course “LEAD”founded (2020-) “Tsliley Musikah” [“The Sounds  of Music”] to teach and make music with young people (10-21) with & without special needs together.

Avinoam Lasry & his guitarsAvinoam Lasry, a Be’er-Sheva resident, builder of guitars and teacher of guitar building, also writes, sings & produces indie blues & reggae music, including his Be’er-Sheva blues. 

Native Be’ershevan Alon Shacham (b.1980-) is a trained tenor saxophonist & composer of original, Middle-Eastern reggae, funk, traditional ska & jazz music. He’s a member of the “HoodSka Explosive”big band’ (founded 2004) Hoodska Explosionthat produces original dance music, has done a European tour, and released a double album entitled “The misleading” (2007). Shacham is the CEO & co-founder of  Compoze Music Solutions Ltd. (founded 2014).

Oded Shoham (b.1968-) grew up in Be’er-Sheva and has been active for decades, becoming a well-known accordionist, working with dance troupes, hosting community singing events, and always promoting Israeli culture.

Local DJs:

Mor Avrahami (b.1987-); Lior Badash (b.1981-?; “Red Music”); Eldad Ben-Simon (b.1983-); Idan Hagai (b.1985-); Guy Haliva(b.1993-); Shay Manshuri (b.1990-); Arthur Shlaifer (b.1996-);  Hen(“Chilli”) Timsit (b.1990-);  Asaf Weitzman (b.1984-); Oz Zigron (b.1989-).

***If you are interested in the world of Hasidic music, the resident expert in Be’er-Sheva is Rabbi Avraham (“Avi”) Sandik – 054-4805607 (He works with Bet Moriah). It’s also easy to find local klezmer bands, such as: “Tamid be-Simhah” (lit., always joyful); “Mazal Tov!” (lit., Congratulations!); “Nigunim” (lit., melodies); etc. listed in the local Hebrew weekend paper of the Haredi (i.e., ultra-Orthodox) community Mekomi dati (lit., local religious).

Live music and concerts are held in various venues relative to the size and type of the performance and audience. They may be held in the: River Park AmphiHall of the Performing ArtsHillman Hall at the “Conservatorion”Be’er-Sheva Theater; Youth Center; on the Art Museum lawn; and in various halls and many other educational and residential institutions. 

Recording studios

Youth Culture CenterY.R.S. Recording Studio is located at the Youth Center in the Old City – 12 Herzl St., 08-6205003, 050-5872743.

Beer-Sheva Firsts and Feats

Over the years, the City of Be’er-Sheva has won many national and international prizes in recognition of its numerous accomplishments and exemplary actions. Here are some of our firsts and feats:

In 2023, Be’er-Sheva can boast about have a number of successful breweries, and offering refreshing beer-tasting tours to personally experience the local brands … 

In 2022, Goel Drori opened his unique History of Photography in Israel Museum ha-Tsalmaniyah,” located in the Old City at 63 ha-Avot St.

In 2022, while the Israel Ministry of the Interior published statistics showing that the number of residences being purchased in Tel Aviv is down by 12%–the demand for and sales of homes in Be’er-Sheva is peaking at the highest point in the last 20 years, showing an increase of 14% since last year’s sales.

In 2022, the Be’er-Sheva Wind Orchestra, conducted by lawyer Micha David, is celebrating 25 years of existence and being the largest wind orchestra in Israel.

The I.D.F.’s Chief-of-Staff Prize for 2021 was awarded to the Southern Region Homefront Command (Be’er-Sheva).

The Transparency International – Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2021 ranked Israel in the 59th place among the countries in the world; however, Be’er-Sheva is in the 96th place among the cities of the world. Not bad at all!

Both in 2020 and in 2021, the Be’er-Sheva Municipality was rated in first place in Israel for functioning at 100% in the area of Human Resources, according to the following criteria: the status of the Human Resources Dept., the properness of all the personnel tenders, the use of correct, legal means to recruit new employees to valid positions, the absence of wage irregularities, regular employee evaluations, and proper submission of financial reports.

In September 2021, the special Park of Dreams” (a sterile rehabilitation area), built especially for children suffering from/and being treated for cancer, was inaugurated and awarded 4 stars for upholding Israeli Regulation 5281 for ‘sustainability‘ according to the Israeli building code–making it the first ‘green’ educational facility to reach that level in Israel. The ‘green’ architectural plans were  prepared by Architect Avi Speizman.             

In August 2021, the City of Be’er-Sheva was awarded a Mark of Excellence by the World Zionist Organization for its work promoting Jewish emigration to Israel and for the successful absorption of new immigrants in the city.   

Also in August 2021, the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev was ranked by the “Emerging Group as no. 10 in the World in the field of Computer Sciences (in the list of the top 150 academic institutions that give degrees in Information Science and as no. 2 in Israel). In addition, BGU was ranked no. 21 in the world for online professional training and 26th in the category of online entrepreneurship programs.

In May 2021, the City of Be’er-Sheva was awarded the “Do Justice and Love Charity” Mark of Distinction in the presence of the emeritus head of the Israel Supreme Court (Dalia Dorner) by the Israel State Attorney’s Office, the  Office of the President of Israel (Re’uven Rivlin), and the Israel Center for Local Government, in recognition of the municipal investment in the development of voluntary (free) legal services for its local residents.

In March 2021, the City of Be’er-Sheva opened public access to Israel’s largest, man-made lake, covering ca. 5,261 sqm (1,300 acres), at the center of the Negev Desert, filled with recycled sewage and runoff rainwater. This lake site serves as a bird sanctuary and birding observatory, as well as a place offering light boating. Developed by the Be’er-Sheva Municipality and sponsored by the JNF.

In February 2021, Be’er-Sheva became the first city in Israel to open the Duet Center” – The Israel Center for the Research and Treatment of Preschool Children on the BGU Campus, employing: researchers, therapists, educators and legal experts, currently headed by Prof. Na’amah Atzaba-Poria.  

As of July 2020 (and despite the COVID-19 pandemic), Be’er-Sheva is the leading city in Israel, with 92% recycling of product packaging (via the orange containers), as reported by the “Tamir” Recycling Corporation.  Over the past 3 decades, Be’er-Sheva has taken the lead by successfully initiating almost all the various types of urban recycling: paper/cardboard; plastic bottles; batteries; non-refundable glass; used clothing; electronic devices, etc., by means of readily accessible neighborhood recycling hubs, with all the different types of recycling bins clustered together [something I personally promoted for over a decade in the Municipal Environmental Protection Committee, as a local ‘green’ activist].

According to “Dun & Bradstreet” (March 2020), the Be’er-Sheva City Council has the highest percentage of women city-council members (37%) of all the large cities in Israel, with 9 of the 12 members being of the feminine persuasion, plus 1 of 4 deputy mayors, as well.

In February 2020, the Be’er-Sheva Municipality was awarded for its “excellence in computer ‘bigdata’ analysis–commercial & demographic IT” in 2019, from among hundreds of projects rated in Israel by the Professional Committee of the online high-tech news portal since 1981: “The People” (known in Hebrew as: “PC People and Computers”) at https://www.pc.co.il/ 

In July 2019, the Be’er-Sheva Municipality was awarded the “Prize for Transparency in Local Government” by the Israel Ministry of Justice, for granting the general public access to most of the local, city data online via the new multilingual Be’er-Sheva municipal website: https://www.beer-sheva.muni.il/Pages/default.aspx.   

The Be’er-Sheva Municipality was cited by the Israel Ministry of the Interior in 2019 for its effective efforts towards the prevention of sexual abuse against women.

In 2021, the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev was ranked by PitchBook Financial Data in the 44th place among the top 50 universities in the world for start-ups founded by its graduates. These 214-plus start-up companies include, for example: Exaware, Moovit, Innoviz Techn ologies, JFrog, Valens, etc. 

In 2019, the first beer shop and brewery, Beit ha-Birah (lit., house of beer ) was founded in Be’er-Sheva by  Gilad Ne’eman and his friends, and their unique local beer is called Haluts hadash” (lit., the new pioneer). Beit ha-Birah sells over 160 brands of beer. Located on he-Haluts St. in the Old City. Open Mon .-Thur. 11:00-13:00 and Fridays from 9:00-15:00.

In 2018Be’er-Sheva leads the major Israeli cities with the highest percentage of women elected and serving on its City Council (33%).                                                                     

In 2012, the city was awarded the “Design Medal” by the international architecture and design magazine “Domus” in conjunction with: Bezalel’s Dept. of Architecture; the Technion’s Dept. of Urban Planning and Construction; the Israeli Union of Landscape Architects; the Planners Union of Israel; the United Architects’ Association; the Center for Local Government; the Union of Urban Engineers; and the Israel Ministry of Construction and Housing–for the many aesthetic and interesting water features across the city. 

It has also been granted a good deal of international acclaim, such as being declared: “one of the 7 cities of the future on Earth” by the T3 Advisors and in Brandeis International School’s first Global Technology Emerging Markets Study.

In fact, the City of Be’er-Sheva was awarded the sum of $500,000 for 2017 and again for 2018 by the Bloomberg Family Foundation(New York, NY)to be used for the promotion of urban renewal, updating infrastructures and cleaning & maintaining public areas.

Special recognition of Be’er-Sheva as the paragon of animal rights & welfare – In 2018, the Israel Knesset’s Animal Rights Coalition chose the City of Be’er-Sheva as the Israeli city best exemplifying animal rights and welfare, and invited Mayor Ruvik Danilovich to speak about the many enacted & functioning pro-animal projects.

Still in 7.2022, and since 2017, the Saban Birth and Maternity Center at the Soroka/University Medical Center continues to break the Israeli national record for annualSoroka Medical Center deliveries, over 17,150 babies born each year in Be’er-ShevaThat’s between 47-50 babies per day! This includes ca.350 pairs of twins and 6-7 sets of triplets, born in the 25 private birthing suites. The Soroka Medical Center (founded 1959) is the second largest medical center in Israel that serves 60% of the country. Moreover, the Soroka complex is often awarded 5 starssoroka-landscaping for beauty in the “Beautiful Hospitals in a Beautiful Israel” Contesta propos, the staff at Soroka claim that natural beauty is both comforting and has a therapeutic effect.

Also as of 2017Be’er-Sheva is the foremost leader in engineering studies in Israel, with ca.8,000 engineering students.

Be’er-Sheva also heads the Israeli education charts with 1,470 high-school graduates who majored in social studies (social responsibility, civic action, community involvement), which is 65% of all Be’er-Sheva‘s 2017 high-school graduates–as opposed to the national average of 25% of all the annual graduates. 

BGU School of ManagementIn 2017, the BGU Dept. of Hotel and Tourism Management became the first Israeli academic department in its field to be ranked by the prestigious, annual “Shanghai Ranking” of the worlds’ universities (in 42nd place).

In 2017 alone, the city received an Israel Culture and Sports Prize; National Prize for Proper Management; and the Israel Minister of Interior’s Prize for Social Responsibility and Municipal Innovation

In 2017, a radical, new type of kindergarten called Yonah-Gan was founded by Rivka Mayodovnik-Snir, located in Be’er-Sheva’s Bet Yonah” Home for the Elderly, in which healthy oldsters mind preschoolers. This was modeled after a British Channel-4 TV program entitled “80 and four.” 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a ‘healthy city’ is one whose government puts health high on its agenda. The goal of the WHO Healthy Cities Network is to help cities develop and promote a comprehensive and systematic policy with special emphasis on the needs of vulnerable groups. In 2008, the City of Be’er-Sheva became a member of this international network.

Be’er-Sheva has successfully integrated new immigrant Jews (religious and secular) from 72 countries of origin (from all the continents), including the last remnants of the Jewish communities of Albania, Iran & Yemen, along with resident Christians, Muslims, Druze, etc. to form an ethnically diverse society–all living comfortably in heterogenous neighborhoods, working together productively, in an international, pluralistic, pluralism-in-actionmultilingual & multicultural environment. In fact, the International Metropolis Organization paid a special visit to Be’er-Sheva to learn how we did it so successfully. 

Be’er-Sheva is an exemplary leader in Israeli voluntarism and civic action, inBeersheba volunteers 2011 which all the volunteer organizations (NPOs) are coordinated by the umbrella organization “Re’em,” situated on the secondreem-national-logo floor of “Yad la-Banim” (located near City Hall), Sun.-Thurs. 9:00-12:00. Chairperson: Shoshana Agajany; Acting Director: Alin Haviv, 08-6416619, 054-4214251.

Be’er-Sheva‘s E. Levant Chess Center (founded 1973 by Eliahu Levant, a.k.a. “Mr.Chess Club of Beer-Sheva Chess”) is renowned in all the international chess circles for having the second-highest rate of Grand Masters per capita in a city the World (9 and counting, as of 2017)–a longstanding chess superpower. The current director is Ilana David (b.1961-), who is also the Captain of the Israel Women’s Chess Team. The center has players aged 4-90 (in 42 competitive groups)–08-6277431. In 2021, the Be’er-Sheva Chess Club won the Israel National Cup, yet again, for the 30+ time since its establishment, as well as winning the National Chess Championship. In 2020, our Grand Master Nitzan Steinberg  (b.1998-, ranked 12th in Israel) took 1st place in two international Internet competitions: 1) in memory of Shahar Arad and 2) “Chess4Solidarity,” together with another of our local Grand Masters, Evgeny Postny (b.1981-). In 2021, at Israel’s 40th Annual National Chess Tournament, the first places were won by Grandmaster Victor Michalevski (b.1972-), ranked #171 in the world, and Grandmaster Yulia Shwaiger (b.1994-), ranked by FIDE since 2017 as an International Master (IM) and a Women’s Grandmaster (WGM); she is the reigning Women’s Champion in Israel from 2018-2021… 

Haim Shafir - TakiTogether with Haim Shafir (b.1950-), who created the popular card gameTaki card game “Taki” in 1983, the “Lunada” Interactive Children’s Museum has, thus far, sponsored the first two (2016 & 2017, hopefully of many), annual National Taki Competitions in Be’er-Sheva.

In 2016, Beershevan choreographer & entrepreneur Liran Mikhaeli initiated, with the support of the City of Be’er-Sheva & the International Fringe Theater, the first “Fringe Dance Competition,” open to all original works by independent Israeli choreographers and dancers. In 2017, the winning dance “Orpheo, created by Idan Cohen won the 10,000 NIS Best Fringe Dance Prize; the dance “Eshte’olah” created by Sivan Peled won the 2,000 NIS “Kivunim” Unique Dance Prize; and the Outstanding Dancer Award went to Dana Zekharyah.

“Glidah Be’er-Sheva” (Be’er-Sheva Ice-Cream) is a home-made icecream and frozen-yogurt parlor located on Hadassah St. in the Old City. It was glidah-beer-shevafounded in 1950 by Polish immigrant Yulia Rotenberg (1912-Glida Beer-Sheva #22005) and has become yet another symbol of the city, with branches across Be’er-Sheva and Israel. Today second- and third-generation family members (Sharon, Shirah & Itamar Bar) carry on the family business.

In 2006, the Be’er-Sheva factory “Mishkan ha-Tekhelet,” located in the “Emeq Sarah” Industrial Park, produced the largest woolen Jewish prayer-shawl (talit) in the world8 x 12 meters (=ca.26 x 39 ft.), to fill an order placed by the Gur Hassidic community in New York. It is officially listed in the 2006 Guinness Book of Records. The factory has a prayer-shawl-factoryVisitors’ Center where one can see how Jewish prayer-shawls are made – 08-6274161.

Since “Our future is inspired by our past” – join the Society for the Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites http://www.shimur.org.il. You are welcome to come to the Be’er-Sheva Office of the Society, now located in the Old City at Mordey ha-Geta’ot 74 and/or call Michal Montal – 054-4606496.


Families–For You

In 2017, Be’er-Sheva has ca.30,500 families residing within the city limits. Ca.51% of the city’s population are women and ca.25% are children (minors).

There are many amazing families in Be’er-Sheva, such as the Krief familySarah and Simon Krief came to Be’er-Sheva from Tunis, Tunisia in 1952 and raised 15 children (8 girls and 7 boys) here. Their children have given them 87 grandchildren and over 75 great-grandchildren, thus far!! They’ve literally raised a tribe. (Tfu, tfu, tfu! May God keep them well! The Krief‘s confirm my personal opinion that Be’er-Sheva is an excellent place to raise a family.)

Organizations and associations for families

Hadassah-Israel, “Eshel Be’er-Sheva” Chapter is a voluntary Zionist women’s organization that acts to improve the quality of life in Israel and to promote women’s Hadassah Women logohealth, education, immigrant absorption, and to help children at risk. The Hadassah Women also offer Bible classes, a book review club, participation in charity marches and benefits, etc. Meetings are help on the last Monday of each month from 10:00-12:00 at “Gane Ye’elim”  on Aliyah St. in Hey neighborhood. A bimonthly online English-languageHadassah Magazine” may be seen at: http://www.hadassahmagazine.orgIn 1949, it was the American Hadassah Women volunteer nurses who founded Be’er-Sheva‘s first Hadassah Hospital sitehospital, the Hadassah Hospital in the Old City, that delivered the city’s first native-born Israeli Be’ershevans; this hospital served the local population for a decade, until after the dedication of the Soroka Hospital in 1959.

“Na’amat” – a non-political movement for working women & volunteers that provides: a legal aid office; women’s empowerment workshops; couples counseling; preschool daycare services; etc. The main “Na’amat” office is located at the Be’er-Sheva Women’s Rights Center inside the Histadrut Building (adjacent to the City Hall parking lot). Coordinator: Mira Hazaz-Koifman 08-6238196, 08-6463029.

WIZO Be’er-Sheva (founded 1952) is a humanistic, democratic, Zionist organization that: promotes family welfare; supports education and equal opportunity for all (e.g., Wizoemployment for single-parents); and safeguards the equal rights of women & children’s rights, located at 1 Weizman St. in Aleph – 08-6277714, 08-6450936, http://www.beersheva.wizobranch.org.

Assistance and support for families

The Be’er-Sheva Center for the Child and the Family (founded 1995) by the “Yachdav” (lit., together) Association is located at 3 Ya’akov Dori St. in the Vav neighborhood and serves as a place for arranged parent-child visitations (for at-risk children from borken homes) and offers parental counseling and legal aid – 08-6417301. Also at this location, there are meetings of a ADHD-children’s parents’ support group – 08-6206351.

The Bet Moriah Association sponsors the “Warm Home” Project that providesBeit Moriah homeless teenage women (13-17) with: a safe place to live; social and emotional support; and cultural activities at Mendele Mokher Sefarim St. in the Aleph neighborhood – 08-6288812, http://www.bmoriah.org.il.

“Kishurim” (lit., connections) – the Family Center at Bet Moriah, located at 91 Avraham Avinu St. in the Daled neighborhood, frequently holds lectures on parenthood and couples relations – 08-6409760, http://www.bmoriah.org.il.

“Mom-to-Mom” helps new mothers adjust and cope with their motherhood and babies. Experienced, volunteer mothers guide and support the inexperienced moms. This community project, established by Prof. Julie Cwickel, isJulie Cwikel situated at the BGU Center for the Research and Promotion of Women’s Health – 08-6477562/3.

“Nitzan” Be’er-Sheva diagnoses and treats learning disabilities. It’s located at 6 Bene Or St. in the Bet neighborhood – 08-6497438.

English-speaker Sarah Klein is a certified doula who gives childbirth prep-courses for ‘pregnant’ parents-to-be and accompanies the birth-mothers at the Soroka Medical Sara Klein - doulaCenter during delivery, childbirth & post-partum, also providing breast-feeding support – 054-4688470. 

“Tehila” is a discrete monthly support group for parents of LGBT children (some meetings held with the children present, to help them cope, as well). Call Sari Betesh, 054-4910468.

Family education and activities

The Adler Institute – School for Parents organizes parenting education and counseling groups in Be’er-Sheva  Dr. Anat Mishori-Der’i 050-5263693.

“Ashram” – alternative medicine clinic, offers therapeutic massages for pregnant women and babies. Address: 31 ha-Shalom St. in the Gimel neighborhood – Oshrat, 052-3788046.

The Wizo Preschool Center offers educational activities for preschoolers of various ages. It’s located at 5 Elijah, the Prophet St. (near the Levin Community Center in the Daled neighborhood) – 08-6409250/1, http://www.gilharach.co.il.

Some recommended places to go with children, in addition to the parks and promenades throughout the city: Lunada [interactive experiential center] and the adjacent large outdoor Children’s World Park; NegevZooBabylon Parkha-Pa’alton, Azrieli Kids [indoor playgrounds in the various malls]; I Jump [indoor trampoline park]; etc.–and with older children: Carasso Science Museum [interactive educational center]; Performance Rock [for rock-climbing practice]; Skate Park [for skateboarding & snake-boarding]; Bike Park [for extreme biking]; Punky Monkey[extreme indoor playground];  Ice-skating Rink [inside Cinema City Mall], etc.



Senior Citizens–For You

The population of Be’er-Sheva is now both growing and growing younger with every passing year. In 2017, the population of the City is composed of about 27% senior citizens (aged 55-120, God willing), some retired, some still working. The following are only a few examples of organizations, activities, educational programs, voluntary frameworks & care facilities & services geared especially for seniors that are available in Be’er-ShevaIn my opinion, seniors may and should do whatever they can and want to do.

The Municipal Dept. for the Welfare of Seniors may be reached at 08-6205158.

The City of Be’er-Sheva sponsors an annual, collective birthday celebration for its citizens who turn 80; the Hebrew term for the age of 80 is gevurot (lit., acts of heroism). Every now and then the City also salutes its resident centenarians (those over the age of 100).  

For free information regarding eligibility and locations of subsidized/private housing for senior citizens call: 1-800-30-10-30 or 077-9033850 .

Organizations for seniors

Be’er-Sheva has a special Center for Closing the Digital Gap in Israeli Society for those who are digitally challenged, that teaches digital literacy–the use of modern digital tools, e.g., smart phones, computers, Internet, etc. To register call: 08-6486508 or 054-6396099.

Tech7Seniors meet often at CDI in the new BGU/Be’er-Sheva HighTech Park on the 4th floor of Gav-Yam building #1 to encourage digital literacy in seniors and to serve as volunteer advisors to local start-ups developing digital means and products for Ruvik with Tech7Seniors at CDI 10.2018making the later years better than ever – contact Pnina Ifrach at pninaif@gmail.com to join the digital age along with other sociable seniors.  

The “Histadrut” Labor Union’s Be’er-Sheva & Negev Region Retirees Club meets in Histadrut retirees logothe Histadrut Building (next to the City Hall parking lot) and provides its members with all manner of subsidized activities. The current Chairman is Yitshak (“Itsik”) Binyamin – 08-6463017. 

In fact, every major body, institution & company has its own local seniors’ club for its own retirees, such as: the Be’er-Sheva Municipality; Soroka Medical Center; BGU; the large chemical companies like ICL; “Kamag” and many others.

An English-speaking Seniors’ Club meets regularly on Thursdays from 16:00-18:00 to socialize and hear interesting lectures in English at the Payis Seniors’ Club at the back Wizoof the Wizo Womens’ Center (cover charge 10 NIS)  Chairman: Albert Jacob 08-6274670; Peter Lambert 08-6417246

“Amcha” (lit., your People) – the Association for Holocaust Survivors and Their Families – located at 91 Herzl St. in the Old City – 08-6270224. It amcha1has a gallery that displays art created by Holocaust survivors.

Activities & education for seniors

The Be’er-Sheva Welfare & Social Services Department, together with the “Matav” Association (founded 1958), provides activities for seniors at the various “Ha-Shalom” day-care centers – to register call 08-6209439 or 054-4627923 after 14:00. In 2016, the Council for a Beautiful Israel awarded their Decade of Outstanding Beauty Award to the Ha-Shalom” Elder Day Center in the Gimel neighborhood, run by “Matav.”

“Tarshish” a school for seniors located at the Kaye Teachers’ College that offers a variety of Hebrew academic and arts courses, as well as Hebrew lectures and guided trips – 08-6402818. 

The are now 6 Jewish religious schools across Be’er-Sheva for seniors in Be’er-Sheva: at Kolel “Iske Torah” in Daled; at “Minhat Yehudah” Synagogue in Neveh Ze’ev; at “Shirat ha-Rambam” Synagogue in the Old City; at Ahavat Hannah” Synagogue in Chabad HouseNahal Ashan; at the Judaica Library in the Chabad House in Aleph; and in the Rassco villas at the “Netivot Shalom” Synagogue.

“Kivunim’s Municipal Katedra” offers a wide range of Hebrew courses suited for katedraadults & seniors – 08-6414444, line #3, katedra@kivunim7.co.il.

The BGU Center for External [Adult] Education also offers a broad spectrum of academic courses that are open to the public, with special senior discounts – 08-6472626. 

The Be’er-Sheva Theater gives special matinee performances and senior discounts of all each season’s plays – 08-6206261, http://www.b7t.co.il.

Voluntarism for seniors

Be’er-Sheva is an exemplary leader in Israeli voluntarism and civic action, inBeersheba volunteers 2011 which volunteer organizations (NPOs) are coordinated by the umbrella organization “Re’em,” situated on the secondreem-national-logo floor of “Yad la-Banim” (located near City Hall), Sun.-Thurs. 9:00-12:00. Chairperson: Shoshana Agajany; Acting Director: Alin Haviv, 08-6416619, 054-4214251. Those trying to get an idea of where they might like to volunteer may go to Re’em and learn about the many options.

The Civilian Guard (“Mishmar Ezrahi”) trains and certifies volunteers (18-65) to dealMishmar Ezrahi logo with traffic infractions & accidents, terrorism, and other security Mishmar Ezrahi2matters in the city. The headquarters are located at 63 ha-Avot St. in the Old City – 08-6274347; Raz Shwimmer – 050-6277797.  

The Be’er-Sheva Soup Kitchen “Be’er-Sova” (lit., the well of sufficient sustenance, founded 2000) that provides free, hot cooked meals to ca.100 of the City’s indigent population each day and distributes “meals-on-wheels” to shut-ins. The food is served at  located in the Old City at 58 Morde ha-Geta’ot St. – Restaurant: 08-6233355; Office: 08-6412544. Donations of fresh food, contributions of funding, and hours of voluntary service are always appreciated.

The Lions Club “Achva ba-Nege“Orpaz” (lit., brotherhood in the Negev), that engages in Lions Club - Achva BaNegevvoluntary social action, meets at the “Avot ba-Negev” Elder Hostel at 12 Alfasi St. in Yud Aleph – President Emily Burstein 054-4818903; Secretary Dorit Vartsman 050-2974009. 

Be’er-Sheva seniors are invited to join “Friend of Education” (“Yadid la-Hinukh”) to do voluntary tutoring with elementary-school pupilsHannah Hadad 050-7699936, http://www.yadidla.org.il. 

The photo below shows the Founders’ Traffic Circle in the Aleph neighborhood, at the intersection of Balfour and Sokolov streets.Founders traffic circle 1

Pensioners are also welcome to join the project “Senior Citizens Make a Difference” and to do practical volunteer work in their spare time – 08-6268452, http://www.btl.gov.il.

Care of seniors

The Israel National Office for Social Equality has a special hotline for senior citizens *8840 that is on call from Sun.-Thur. from 8:00-20:00 and provides service in: English, Hebrew, Russian, Arabic, Amharic, English & French.

Be’er-Sheva has a number of companies that supply domestic/foreign (even English-speaking), part-time/round-the-clock caregivers, such as: “Matan” – 08-6200666Matan logo.jpg [After years of personal experience with both my parents, I highly recommend “Matan”]; “Amal” – 074-7292670; “D.N. Nursing Care Services” – 073-7588355; “Etgar” –  1-599-550-100; “Orpaz” – 08-6422194; and others.

Be’er-Sheva also has a growing number of decent elder hostels, old-age homes, sheltered & assisted-living facilities & nursing homes that offer safety and relative comfort along with social and cultural activities and medical oversight. They are located throughout the city and more such facilities are being built every year. Some of the larger residential Bet Yonah seniors' homeones are: “Gane Ye’elim – Bet Genyah” in Hey – 08-6101010; “Mish’an – Avot ha-Negev” in Yud Aleph – 08-9526709; “Bet Yonah” in Vav – 08-6407444; “Etanim” in Hey – 08-6199770; “Neveh Shva” in Daled – 072-3226544. There are also a number of smaller elder-hostel facilities, such as: “Butik Shvediyah” (reopened 2019) is located in Daled at 11 Shprintsak St., within “Bet Skandinaviyah” (founded 1996-) that offers a variety of activities. 


Civic/Civil Action

Be’er-Sheva, Israel is part of a democratic, pluralistic society with both a strong social-welfare system (to care for the weak) and an open, capitalistic economy (where the strong may do what they can to succeed). We have freely-elected public representatives, a legal/justice system, civil rights and civic duties. Individuals enjoy many freedoms: of religion, of expression, of self-determination, of privacy, gender equality, and more. Citizens have the right: to live in accordance with their personal beliefs, to get an education, to work, to build families and homes, to have a social life, to enjoy local and international culture–and they also have the right to lodge complaints or to take legally-sanctioned action when they feel something is amiss or can be improved. In fact, Be’er-Sheva has a very active ‘third sector’ comprised of civilian volunteers and activists.

Local leadership and good citizenship

The Mandel Center for Leadership in the Negev is located on the 9th floor of the Train-Mandel Leadership CenterStation Tower at 10 Ben-Tsevi St. and runs numerous leadership training programs and seeks to promote a thriving, pluralistic civil society – 08-6201444.

Courses in mediation, arbitration and conflict management & resolution are often given by various bodies in Be’er-Sheva. BGU now has a special, accredited M.A. Program in Conflict Management & Resolution. Some semesters, B.A. courses are given in the Dept. of Social Work on social justice/social welfare – 08-6472318/332.

The “Bar Si’ah” (lit., worth talking about) A.D.R. Mediation Center, located at 4 Rambam St. in the Old City, houses the Mediation Forum, currently chaired by lawyer & certified mediator Amir Ziman, where A.D.R. (i.e., alternative dispute resolution ) mediation is taught – 08-6650110/12. 

CEPAC – Citizens’ Empowerment Public Action Campaign, to safeguard democratic values and pluralism in Israel – CEPAC.il@gmail.com.

Consumer and/or public complaints 

The Be’er-Sheva Municipality has a 24/7 complaints hotline (dial 106) where all manner of complaints regarding problems within the city limits or with municipal services may and should be reported. For example, if a citizen sees a dangerous things in the public domain, such as: a burst water pipe; a large pothole in a street; a dog that looks sick/dangerous loosed without a muzzle; or a downed electric line; a rat infestation; or something blocking passage on a public sidewalk (forcing pedestrians into a trafficked street); a fetid, stagnant pool of water (where insects may breed); or an abandoned car–a good Samaritan will dial 106 and report it and many other such things.

Complaints about defective products, misleading consumer information, public health or safety risks, etc. may be submitted to the Israel Authority for Consumer Protection and Better Business Practices – cpfta@economy.gov.il, or locally:

To lodge a citizen’s complaint about public health risks (e.g., unhealthy products or government-mall31conditions), turn to the Israel Ministry of Health, Be’er-Sheva Office for Public Complaints, located in the Government Mall, main entrance, building A, Sun.-Thurs. 8:00-15:00, 08-6263511.

To lodge complaints regarding public or industrial safety (e.g., dangerous products or conditions), turn to the Institute for Safety and Hygienelocated in the Central Train-Station Tower – 08-6276389. Be’er-Sheva needs more trained, professional safety inspectors; accredited courses are given on the Open University Campus at Bet Yatsiv in the Old City – 08-6273828.

Complaints about environmental hazards and/or local eye-sores may also be reported to the local community TV cable channel 98 “Mi-Kan” (lit., from here), based at the Youth Center in the Old City – http://www.98tv.co.il or to the local weekend Hebrew news magazines (published every Thursday afternoon), each of which has a column dedicated to spotlighting municipal foibles and faults, such as the “Sheva,” “Yedi’ot ha-Negev or “Zeman ha-Negev.

In cases of complaints having national importance, the Be’er-Sheva Office of the State Comptroller and Ombudsman takes civilian complaints about improper or harmful acts committed by public bodies or government agencies and their representatives. This Office is located at 8B Henrietta Szold St. in the “Rassco City” complex – 08-6232777, http://www.nezivut.mevaker.gov.il.

In regard to problems involving the Israeli military complex, the I.D.F. Southern Command Headquarters in Be’er-Sheva has designated a special phone number, available for civilian complaints and suggestions (24/7) – 08-9906565.

Legal matters and legal aid 

The local branch of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel has an open line for the law-justicegeneral public, Sun.-Thurs. – 08-6521218 and 08-6480108.

The Israel Ministry of Justice has a local Legal Aid Office located in the No’am Building at 33 Shazar Blvd. in the Gimel neighborhood – 08-6404526/7/or 8. There’s also an office of public defenders at this address – 08-6404500.

The Center for Legal Aid to New Immigrants and the Israel Religious Action Center for Jewish Pluralism are both situated in the Levin Community Center at 3 Eliyahu ha-Navi St. in the Daled neighborhood – 08-6492193, as is thAssociation for Residential Tarbut ha-Diyyur logoCulture (“Tarbut ha-Diyyur”) that helps residents’ committees to resolve ‘in-house’ problems in apartment buildings – 08-9103830.

“Adallah” and “Ba-Makom” civil rights associations and other group for Bedouin rights meet regularly at the Mandel Center for Leadership in the Negev in the Train-Station Tower – 08-6201444.


Be’er-Sheva is an exemplary leader in Israeli voluntarism and civic action, inBeersheba volunteers 2011 which volunteer organizations (NPOs) are coordinated by the umbrella organization “Re’em,” situated on the secondreem-national-logo floor of “Yad la-Banim” (located near City Hall), Sun.-Thurs. 9:00-12:00. Chairperson: Shoshana Agajany; Acting Director: Alin Haviv, 08-6416619, 054-4214251. Those trying to get an idea of where they might like to volunteer may go to Re’em and learn about the many options.

In fact, in 2016, following the paradigmatic example established in Be’er-Sheva by the “Shlomit” Association for Alternative National and Civil Service (founded 1993) in conjunction with the  Israel gay youth organization “IGY” (founded 2001)–a first support team and commune was established up North in Afula to help homosexual youths by providing guided education and activities.

The Civilian Guard (“Mishmar Ezrahi”trains and certifies volunteers (18-65) to dealMishmar Ezrahi logo with traffic infractions & accidents, terrorism, and other security Mishmar Ezrahi2matters in the city. The headquarters are located at 63 ha-Avot St. in the Old City – 08-6274347; Raz Shwimmer – 050-6277797.  

The Be’er-Sheva soup kitchen “Be’er-Sova” (lit., the well of Beer-Sovasufficient sustenance, founded 2000) that provides free, hot cooked meals to ca.100 of the City’s indigent population each day and distributes “meals-on-wheels” to shut-ins. The food is served at  located in the Old City at 58 Morde ha-Geta’ot St. – Restaurant: 08-6233355; Office: 08-6412544. Donations of fresh food, contributions of funding, and hours of voluntary service are always appreciated.

The voluntary NPO, “Hesed Lema’an Ehay ve-Re’ay” (lit., benevolence towards brothers and friends, founded 2006) supplies hundreds of food packages, hot meals and household equipment to over 700 needy persons. More volunteers and donations of food donations money are needed to meet the evergrowing demand. Contact – former Be’er-Sheva Councilman Yakov Ohayon (b.1986-) at: https://twitter.com/OhayonYakov.

The Lions Club “Achva ba-Negev” (lit., brotherhood in the Negev), that engages in Lions Club - Achva BaNegevvoluntary social action, meets at the “Avot ba-Negev” Elder Hostel at 12 Alfasi St. in Yud Aleph – President Emily Burstein 054-4818903; Secretary Dorit Vartsman 050-2974009. 

The Be’er-Sheva Rotary Club (f. 1970-) is a private members NPO for businesspeople and professionals who engage in voluntary social action, currently headed by Pres. Yael Pelleg – 052-8119785. They usually meet every Sunday night at 21:00 in the Student Union Bldg., Auditorium #2, on the BGU campus. http://www.beer-sheva-rotary-club.org.il; https://www.rotary.facebook.com/Rotary-Club-Beer-Sheva-722096197859017.


Cyber and High-Tech Innovations

Also, in September 2022the Training Base for the Intelligence and Cyber Units of the IDF Intelligence Division was established in the Ramot neighborhood, as part of Israel’s overall military move southwards.

In 2022, two large photo-voltaic panel installations just north of Be’er-Sheva (one ha-Eshel, producing 16.5 megawatts for “Energix Co.” and the other Efrat, producing 7.5 megawatts for “Tashtiot”) went online to transform ‘green’ solar energy into electricity. This is the first solar farm of its kind in Israel. x

The Advanced Technologies Park (inaugurated 2013) is a joint venture of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Be’er-Sheva Municipality, with other partners, such as: the Israeli real-estate company Gav-Yam; the American design & construction company KUD; and the I.D.F. Telecommunications Division. This innovative cyber & high-tech complex, that will cover ca.200,000 square meters when Double-helix footbridgecompleted (adjacent to the Northern/University Train Station), already includes 70 leading international companies, like: EMC, RSA, Oracle, Deutsch Telecom, Lockheed Martin, JVP Cyber Labs, WiX, Incubit (Elbit), Mellanox, CyActive (Paypal), BGN Tech Transfer (BGU), dbMotion (Allscripts), “Dalet,” RAD Data Communications, Rafael – Advanced Defense Systems, AudioCodes, NESS, WeWork, IBM, an I.D.F. Information Center, and CERT-IL (Israel’s national cyber headquarters) and more–altogether employing over 3,000 engineers & high-tech workers. Moreover, the first Israeli Center for Digital Innovation (CDI, founded 2016) is also situated in this park. 

According to Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu, Be’er-Sheva is well on its way to becoming a “cyber capital” and one of the leading cyber powers in the World. The partnership formed by the Israel National Cyber Bureau (INCB), the Be’er-Sheva Municipality, and the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in conjunction with other academic, industrial & military cyber hubs, form Project “CyberSpark” – a growing cyber innovation arena – 08-8656280, http://www.7×7.org.il. Since 2018, this first international cyber research center is focussing on: cyber protection and regulaton; smart transportation; and smart cities, and has a ‘living lab’ for virtual simulations.

Every year in November, the Gav-Yam Park holds an international “NexTech” NexTech Conference Beer-Sheva 11.2018Conference, at which hundreds of cyber-tech pioneers and interested participants present and hear about the latest cyber and technological innovations in the world: digital, medical, mechanical, geophysical, etc.

In 2020, at the BGU Bioinspired and Medical Robotics LaboratoryDr. David Zarrouk and his doctorate student Avi Cohen developed the fast and capable multipurpose hybrid AmphiSTAR robot, that moves rapidly over land and also swims quickly through water. 

In 2020, Be’er-Sheva dedicated its first ‘smart building‘ — the special G7 office building, located on Ben-Gurion Blvd. near the North/University Train Station, and equipped with ‘green’ eco-energy systems. For more info.: 054-3953328.

In 2019, Dr. David Zarrouk, head of the Bioinspired and Medical Robotics Laboratory at BGU developed a capable multipurpose hybrid flying/driving robot that can traverse land and sky alike.

In 2019, researchers at BGU Technologies discovered a much more efficient way to disintegrate organic wastes in water under high heat and atmospheric pressure for reuse as green fuels.

In 2018, the first (hopefully of many‘international digital-innovation think tanks’, established at the Center for Digital Innovation (CDI) in the Be’er-Sheva High-Tech Park, under the auspices of “Bigidea” (an Israeli summer-camp program for foreign youth held in English in Israel); the Be’er-Sheva Municipality & the Jewish Agency, completed its program. This special outreach program brought bright, technological-minded young people here to brainstorm together, to learn Hebrew, & to realize their potential in Be’er-Sheva – “The Opportunity Capital of Israel.” 

In 2014, two Be’ershevan entrepreneurs, Eliav Elhadad and Mayan Almasi  first produced the colorful, watch-like “Barkid” bracelet for keeping track of the whereabouts of children and/or senile adults. It alerts the responsible family members of their absence and provides GPS/WAZE locations for them on the guardians’ smartphones, when the wards stray farther away from them than the predetermined distance. This prevents the forgetting of babies & small children in parked cars. In 2017, they created an enhanced model called “Carefid Digicare” – https://www.barkid.co.il/pages/contact.

Even though the City of Be’er-Sheva sits in the middle of the Negev Desert and has no natural bodies of water at hand, a number of advanced marine technologies have originated at the BGU Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, that just signed a collaboration agreement with the Wisconsin Water Council to jointly develop newBGU RoboSub 2017 water-related technologies. Since 2013, BGU students have also been involved in submarine technology and keep improving the autonomous RoboSub named “Hydro Camel.

In 2009, the Russian Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg awarded Prof. Ronen an honorary doctorate, their highest honor ever granted to any foreign scientist. Prof. Emeritus Yigal Ronen (b.1940-, at BGU 1970-2015) served as Vice-Rector of the University and Dean of the Kreitman School for Advanced Studies (1995-2002); asYigal Ronen 2007 Dean of the Engineering Faculty (2003-2008); as Head of the Nuclear Engineering Dept. Prof. Yigal Ronenthree times; as President of the Israel Nuclear Society; and as a fellow of the American Nuclear Society. He published a book and over 180 scientific articles in the fields of nuclear science and archaeology (his hobby). Among his discoveries are: the efficient use of the element Americium as a nuclear fuel; the 27-N nuclear correlation (named the “Ronen Correlation”); Ronen‘s “GoldenRule for Cluster Radioactivity;” and for his valuable work on the ‘denaturing’ of reactor-waste plutonium by the addition of Americium to create a “proliferation-resistant fuel” that cannot be weaponized

Prof. Moti Herskowitz (at BGU since 1979) in the Chemical Engineering Dept. served asMoti Herskowitz BGU‘s Vice-President and Dean for Research and Development since 2003. His Blechner Center/I-CORE research team developed an alternative to the use of crude oils–a technique for the production of renewable fuels by the direct hydrogenation of CO2 and he developed an eco-friendly, on-vehicle hydrogen fuel system that produces the required hydrogen fuel inside the vehicle while releasing 45% less toxic CO2. 

Prof. Emeritus Sidney Loeb (1917-2008, at BGU from 1967-1982) was one of the pioneersSidney Loeb 2in the field of ‘reverse osmosis’ (RO) (a new source of green energy at that time). He developed a semi-permeable anisotropic [i.e., directionally-dependent] membrane and invented pressure-retarded osmosis–both essential to the processes of desalination, food processing, waste purification, etc.

Prof. Yigal Meir (b.1957-, at BGU since 1994) of the Physics Dept. and the Ilse Katz Center for Meso- and Nanoscale Science and Technology solved the “0.7 anomaly” conductance problem in the field of nanoelectronics.

In 2007, General Manager Judah Simon and his Be’er-Sheva-based company – EST [Environmental Systems & Treatments] – developed a mobile device for treating dangerous chemical wastes by superheating them and rendering them into harmless gases.

In 2007, BGU students from the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering designed the first in a Ethelea in BGU racing carBGU racecar 2018series of formula race-cars named “Spirit of Ben-Gurion” that participated in the USA 2007 FSAE  [Formula Society of Automotive Engineers] Competitions. A decade later, they’re still designing and racing their latest models. 

In 2006, a group of five 9th-graders (age 15-16) from the Rager High-School in the Neveh Ze’ev neighborhood (Ran Di’i, Eyal Halali, Oren Freud, Nadav Eliyahu & Tamir Zvidah) developed an inflatable sleeping bag that won them the 1st place in the 2006 Israel Southern Region Young Entrepreneurs Contest and 5th place in the national competition. They now own and manage the profitable international “Sleep Air” business.

Students–For you

There are 6 major academic & professional institutions providing higher education in Be’er-Sheva to about 30,000 studentsthe Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU BGU Campus 1founded 1969, ca.20,000 students) – http://www.bgu.ac.il; Sami Shamoon College of Engineering (SCE founded 1997, ca.3,600 students) – http://www.sce.ac.il; the ORT Technological College of Be’er-Sheva (TCB founded 2007, ca.920) – SCE flying-saucerhttp://www.tcb.ac.il; the Kaye (Regional) Academic College of Education (founded 1954, ca.3,000 students) – http://www.kaye.ac.il;Kaye Teachers' College the Open University – 08-6277777; and the Israeli Airforce [Cadets’] Technological College (founded 1976) – http://techni-bs.iscool.co.il.

The BGU Marcus Family Campus has been voted both the most beautiful and the bgu-campus-6friendliest campus in Israel a number of times in the annual student polls, thanks to its unique desert-oasistamarisk-shade-3 landscaping/gardening (essentially creating a man-made micro-oasis inside the natural Be’er-Sheva macro-oasis and following in the biblical tradition of hospitality established by Abraham the Patriarch.) The bgu-campus-walkBGU Campus is a microcosm with an international academic community and a constant stream of visitors and migrating birds from the world-over. Not to mention (as I do just that) the large number of unique raw-concrete buildings in the “brutalist” style–such as the prize-winning Senate building that lacks 45-degree angles and has a mini-U.N.-style, round, wooden Senate/Conference Hall.

In 2014, the BGU Campus was internationally recognized as a “green campus” rated no. 24 (among 362 “green” universities around the world) by UI GreenMetric. BGU has a dedicated Green Council. For example, BGU offices use both sides of each leaf of paper before recycling it; climate-appropriate grass & gardens that are not watered midday; lighting that is mostly energy-conserving LED; and accessible recycling bins. BGU offers a B.Sc. in Environmental Studies and a M.Sc. in Energy Engineering, as well as many other “green” courses. Some student eco-activists also belong to the Be’er-Sheva “Green Trend” Cell (founded 1997).

The University Campus is like a city within a city with the basic facilities provided on campus, such as: cafes & restaurants, a bank, a post office, some stores, 2 medical clinics (Kelalit & Maccabi), a campus synagogue & the sports center. Also BGU has a student dance troupe “Pola, anBGU Pola dance troupe orchestra & a choir, as well as many nearby student cafes, pubs,Munchilla student pub nightspots & movie theaters, in addition to special discounts for cultural events & student parties, an informative & entertaining campus magazine, academic-singles groups, a student employment center “Sha’al” (in the Student Union building) and more. The BGU Hillel House is the center for Jewish life on campus – http://www.HillelBGU.org.il.

ladyonthemovelrgjBGU offers a special mentoring program for women students and post-doctoral researchers in which senior women academicians provide guidance and support to women trying to succeed in academia: Contact Prof. Vered Slonim-Nevo, 08-6472320 or the BGU Women’s Forum – 08-6472326. P.S. In 2020, there are ca.490 women Bedouin students studying at BGU (70% of the  ca. 700 Bedouin students currently enrolled).

Every year, thousands of BGU and SCE students volunteer to help special children succeed in their studies and lives, pupils who are: physically or mentally disabled,Perah Project at BGU dyslexic or slow learners, or from high-risk homes, as part of an Israeli “Big Brother”-style program called the “Perah Projectand the “Open Apartments Project.In compensation for their efforts, these students are awarded either a partial scholarship or 4 academic credits. 

The University and, in its wake, the leading colleges in Be’er-Sheva offer a very popular accredited course called “Meet the Orchestra” (a music appreciation course that sends students to attend monthly Sinfonietta” concerts), the registration for which closes within minutes of its being opened, despite the 800 seats available in the concert hall.

The Be’er-Sheva Jewish House welcomes all students looking for home hospitality, Sabbath meals, communal prayers, classes and eventsNo’am & Re’ut Karov 052-8618482, http://www.betkarov.org.il.

An Ayalim”  Bohemian student ‘village’ (established 2009) – a residential community Ayalim student residenceand social &  cultural center is located at 33 he-Haluts St. and has successfully restored the Old City’s vitality and night-life, thus encouraging more students to seek the subsidized housing there –  – 054-204-1405.

People considering coming to live and study in Israel can get information and assistance from the Israel Ministry of Aliyah & Immigrant Absorption, Israel Student Authority:

• For information and advice on study options in Israel
• To check your eligibility for our assistance
• To have your documents evaluated in Israel
• To help you choose the best absorption program to suit you
• To register for a summer Hebrew language course (ulpan)
English speakers: aceng@moia.gov.il or tel. 02-6214589.
French speakers: acfr@moia.gov.il or tel. 02-6214582.
Spanish speakers: aclat@moia.gov.il or tel. 02-6214605.
Russian speakers: acrus@moia.gov.il or tel. 02-6214619.

In 2019, some Be’er–Sheva resident students formed an NPO named “Mabruk” (lit., congratulations on something new) that helps economically-challenged fiancees have a nice wedding.  https://www.facebook.com/mabrooc.project/videos/759905427532195/ & https://www.b7net.co.il/קהילה/285152/3







Soldiers–For You

All the Hebrew information and forms needed by I.D.F. draftees may be found online at: http://www.aka.idf.il/giyus/main.

Equipment and supplies for basic training/reserve duty may be found in a few stores, Retasuch as: “Tso’adim la-Hayyal vela-Metayel” (lit., marching for the soldier & trekker), located in the Egged Central Bus Station, store #24 – 08-6285872; “Reta” in “BIG” at 60 Hevron Way – 072-3258054 ; and “Ricochet” in “BIG” at 21 Hevron Way – 08-6285872.

To practice shooting, marksmanship & target practice in Be’er-Sheva one may go to the computerized, acoustic “Reta” Shooting Range at 60 Hevron Way – 072-3258054. 

Whenever enlisted soldiers encounter problems related to military service, for help, he/she should turn to Ketsin ha-Ir (lit., the City Major), located in the Old City at 49 Gershon (Dubenboim) St. – 08-9903139, 08-9903128.

The Advisory Unit for Decommissioned Soldiers is located at 10 Ben-Tsevi St. on the 10th floor of the Central Train Station Tower – 08-6204325/6.

A local support group for Israeli soldiers and veterans recovering from wounds or suffering from PTSD, Ahi’ad, is managed by the Israel Organization for Disabled Veterans (f.1949-) and is located at 9 Sderot Ben-Zion Carmel & reached at: 08-6251100.

The I.D.F. Southern Command has dedicated a special 24/7 phone line for civilian queries, complaints & suggestions regarding military matters – 08-9906565.

The local I.D.F. Homefront Command is located on the 4th floor of the Avisror Bldg. at 7 the-biggest-fishBen-Tsevi St. (across from the Central Bus Station) – 076-8600018, 08-9207341, and 104 in emergencies. During emergencies, civilian assistance is welcome.

Whenever a soldier needs somewhere to stay in Be’er-Sheva–he/she should go to “BetSoldier's House he-Hayyal” (the Soldiers’ Home) just above the Old City in the Tet neighborhood at 2 Bet Lehem St., where there are lodgings, hot kosher meals, sports, social activities and a swimming pool during the summer months – 072-2702159.

Member families in the “Eshel Avraham” Conservative Eshel Avraham SynagogueCongregation adopt solitary soldiers in need of a supportive ‘home’ environment for weekends, holidays & leaves – 08-6420989, 077-7117015.

If an enlisted soldier needs medical attention/treatment/sick leave–he/she should either go to Mahane Natan (lit., Camp Nathan), facing the Kiryat Yehudit IndustrialSoroka Medical Center 1 Park, located on Afikim ba-Negev St. or, in cases of serious injuries, to Ram 2″ situated within the Soroka Medical Center complex – 08-6400389 or 08-6400345.

Physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and the rehabilitation of wounded or disabled I.D.F. soldiers is done at “Beit Halochem” (the Veterans’ Home) founded in 2010 by the I.D.F. Disabled Veterans Organization, located at 9 beit_lohem_beer_shevaBents Carmel Ave., as well as providing social, cultural & sports events for the vets & their families – 08-6251100.

A Be’er-Sheva veterans’ club “Mo’adon ha-Shalom” (lit., the peaceIDF veterans logo club) meets a 80 Ye’elim Blvd. in Hey neighborhood – 08-6436579.

The Organization for the Commemoration of the Fallen Soldiers in Israel’s Wars & the Care of Their Families is situated in “Yad la-Banim” (the Soldiers’ Memorial Memorial for Fallen SoldiersHouse) near the Be’er-Sheva City HallThe Soldiers’ Memorial House honors the city’s military casualties and maintains a standing exhibit; annual memorial ceremonies are held on Israel Memorial Day for I.D.F. Casualties & the Victims of Terrorism.

Libraries and Archives

The Be’er-Sheva Municipal Public Library (founded 1950) is located on Derekh ha-Meshahrerim (next to the Conservatorium [of Music]) and provides Hebrew literature,Public Library educational reading materials, and a good place to sit and study for the entire population of Be’er-Sheva. The Library also regularly sponsors guest lectures by authors, art exhibits in the foyer, and occasional poetry readings. The Public Library also has two small branches: in the Old City (in Be’eri” Elementary School – 08-6283958) and in Neveh Noy (in Ma’anit” Elementary School – 08-6450908).

In 1961, with the founding of the Conservatorium, the Music Library & Archive came into being, keeping all the musical scores for the orchestra, theConservatorium  music teachers, and musicians, as well as exemplary record albums of classical music concerts and performances from various other times and places.

The original, basic academic library (only ca.1,500 books) was established at the Hias House in 1965 by the Institute for Higher Education to support Bachelor Degree studies in science and engineering. Then in 1969, the University was founded and the Library began to expand its collections toaranne-library-at-bgu1 support studies in the new and growing faculties and to enable the granting of higher degrees (Masters & Doctorates). By 1972, with the opening of the BGU Aranne Central Library (named for the late Minister of Education, Zalman Aranne, 1899-1970) on the “New Campus” (now called the Marcus Family Campus), the Library collections held ca.71,000 printed books. Today (in 2017), the Aranne Library offers open-shelf access to over a million printed academic books and periodicals and to electronic books, articles & databases, in support of the academic fields taught in all BGU’s faculties and schools. The Aranne Library (open to the adult Aranne Library viewpublic without charge) also has ongoing art exhibits and academic guest lectures, occasional book-sales and a “take-a-free-used-book” table, as well as an “Aroma” Cafe in the entrance lobby for study breaks and ‘refueling’. In 2022, the BGU Library building was rated among the top 13 most notable edifices in Israel. Main office – 08-6461402; Loan Desk – 08-6461412.

The 4th floor (room 402) of the Aranne Librarhouses the Tuviyahu Archives of the Negev (named after the first Jewish mayor of modern Israeli Be’er-Sheva, David Tuviyahu, 1898-1975) that preserves documentary materials about BGU, David Ben-Gurion, Be’er-Sheva and the Negev Region  08-6461425.

In 1999, the Americans & Canadians in Israel (AACI), Southern Region established AACI Library at Matnas Yud-Alpehthe AACI Regional Public English Reading Library inside the Yud-Alef Community Center, located at 11 Mordekhai Namir St. Occasionally, literary events, such as English poetry readings or book review clubs, are held here. This facility is managed by volunteer librarians. In 2019, the AACI Library holds over 8,000 reading books in all the literary AACI English Librarygenres, with some in simple English and some in large print, and the entire collection now has a computerized catalog – 08-6433953.

Award-winning community center “Beit Moriah (founded 1993) is located in the Daled neighborhood on Mendele Mokher Sefarim St. It has a library with Beit Moriahhundreds of children’s books from Israel & abroad that may be borrowed – 08-6288812.

The Yitzchak Shavit Library (dedicated 2001) and the Pamela & Stanley Chais Library (dedicated 2005) at the Sami Shamoon Academic College of Technology (SCE) in the SCE librariesAleph neighborhood primarily stock technical and scientific books, journals & databases. This library is located in a unique, eco-friendly, 21st century structure – 08-6475612.  

Since 2017, there are free public used-book exchanges located in many of the residential neighborhood commercial centers. Exchange libraryYou’ll see what looks like a bus-stop, but full of book- shelves where you may leave books and magazines you’ve read and no longer want and take others to read, left by someone else, that may be returned afterwards.x

ohel-shlomo-kiryat-wolfsonIn addition, there are a number of Judaica libraries in Be’er-Sheva, situated in various synagogues, institutes, kolels & yeshivahs, such as: the Misha’el Dahan Judaica Library located in the “Lev ha-Melakhim” Yeshivah at 125 Bialik St. in the Bet neighborhood; at the Bnei Akiva Yeshivah “Ohel Shlomo” on the Kiryat Wolfson Campus in the Daled neighborhood; at theOrot Yisra’el” Institute at 10 Ramhal St. in Bet – 08-6222030, Orot Yisrael kolelhttp://www.orotisrael.co.il;  in the“Lev Ahim” Judaica Library, near the“Shevet Ahim” Moroccan Synagogue on ha-Hidah St. in the Yud-Alef neighborhood; and in the new Chabad synagogue “Bet Mashi’ah” on ha-Shelah St. also in Yud-Aleph

Used Hebrew books may also be purchased for a symbolic sum at “Sippur Hozer” (lit., a repeating story), founded ca.2011 by Ms. Adi Nuriel-Avraham. It’s part of a national chain of ‘social welfare’ bookstores that hire temporary help requiring rehabilitatioAdi Nuriel-Avrahamn, a sort of halfway entry into the job market. This bookstore is located in the Old City at 1 Rambam St. http://www.rebooks.org.il. 

Special Needs and Diets

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a ‘healthy city’ is one whose government puts health high on its agenda. The goal of the WHO Healthy Cities Network is to help cities develop and promote a comprehensive and systematic policy with special emphasis on the needs of vulnerable groups. In 2008, the City of Be’er-Sheva became a member of this international network. The following are only some examples of what exists in Be’er-Sheva to serve the needs of its special citizens.

Special physical needs

Some special associations:

Beershevan musician Rotem Kornfeld (b.2001-), whose parents work with disabled children at Kefar Refa’el, got his high-school education in the 1st anthroposophical school in the Negev (Neta Erez Yanuch Korczak”), in Beer-Sheva, studied violin at the local Conservatorium, and completed the local, municipal young social leadership training course “LEAD”founded (2020-) “Tsliley Musikah” [“The Sounds  of Music”] to teach and make music with young people (10-21) with & without special needs together.

The office of the Be’er-Sheva Association for the Blind/Visually-Impaired “Sheshet” (founded Pninah Amir1956, by Peninah Amiris located in the Blind Culture House at the corner of Sha’ul ha-Melekh & Mivsta Yo’av streets – 08-6435976.

“Tigbur”  (lit., reinforcement) is an employment agency that helps place disabled adults in appropriate jobs – 08-6280704.

The Organization for the Disabled and Widows of Victims of Work Accidents in the South is a NPO run by volunteers who assist disabled civilians and work-widows withyossi-dadush their problems. It is headed by Be’er-Sheva resident and City Council member Yossi Dadush (b.1955-), who is also the Chairman of the Israel National Association of Work-Accident Disabilities – 050-5394723.

Special handicapped driving systems may be installed into vehicles, for example, by  “Titkadem le-Taman” is located in the Kiryat Yehudit Industrial Park, 1 Totseret ha-Arets St. (inside the Schroder complex) – 08-6655044, http://www.tmn.co.il.

Some special facilities and activities:

In 2021, at the “Dekalim” School for Special Education, veteran music teacher, Zhana Mikhailov, created a successful choir, with the support of the local chapter of “Lions – Israel: Ahvah ba-Negev.” The members of the choir range in age from 13-21. Music is a perfect and joyful way to overcome disabilities.

Shai Grinberg (b.1996-), a professional dancer from Be’er-Sheva, founded the “Latados Dance Academy” for ballroom dancing. He also offers special therapeutic classes for sufferers of Parkinson’s disease.   

“Ogen Kehilati” (lit., community anchor, founded 2006), run by the “Yahdav”(lit. together) Organization and sponsored by the Rashi Foundation, is a youth village situated within a Be’er-Sheva residential neighborhood that serves as a residence for some 700 at-risk youths and also as an educational center for their families.

The Southern Deaf/Hearing Impaired Multi-Service Center is located in the Deaf Services CenterAleph Neighborhood at 10 Kaplan St., between Kaplan Square and SCE. It provides treatment, rehabilitation and family counseling to the entire southern region of Israel, as well as recreational, sports and cultural activities.

Since 2017, “ELIYA” – the national Organization for the Advancement of Blind/Visually-Impaired Children) has been running a new, special preschool and kindergarten rehabilitation center for blind/visually-impaired infants and children (ages 6 mos.-6 yrs.), located at 4 Amos Yarkoni St. in the new Vav neighborhood, with a special facility called “The Junk Yard” that provides guided experiential sensory-motor learning and independent ‘trial & error’ learning for children from the entire Negev Region – 08-6270971. 

The Ilan Center for severely disabled children is located in the Ramot neighborhood at Ilan Israel logo15-19 ha-Mada St. – 050-5620202.

“Merkaz Sport ha-Peninah” (founded by Peninah Amiris a special gym that serves people with all manner of physical disabilities, provides rehabilitative training, and a variety of regular sports clubs and events, also for the blind/visually-impaired and the deaf. Annual ping-pong tournaments for the deaf are held, sponsored by the Municipal Sports Dept.Handicapped sports center

The Meyerhoff Culture Center for the Blind (a.k.a. the “Blind House, founded 1998), located at the corner of Sha’ul ha-Melekh & Mivsta Yo’av Center for the blindstreets, is the main center for social, cultural & sports clubs and events for the local blind/visually-impaired – 08-6435976. It also has a library of audio books that may beGeorgina Meir-Dullmann heard. Georgina (“Gina”) Meyer-Dullmann introduced successful art and dance activities for the blind/visually impaired. This facility is also used by the “Nur (lit., light) Association” to serve the blind/sight-impaired Bedouin in the Negev Region  050-2296772

“Sheshet” (as a branch of “ELIYA” – the national Organization for the Advancement of Blind/Visually-Impaired Children) runs a habitative residence for blind/visually-impaired at 21 Havatselet ha-Negev St. in the Neveh Noy neighborhood – 08-6233460.

“Sheshet” also runs a special ‘sheltered’, rehabilitative workplace for the blind/visually-impaired, located at 113 Sha’ul ha-Melekh St. – 08-6468426.

Special therapeutic exercise classes for sufferers of fibromyalgia are given by Varda Varda Tsizer-KorelsteinTsizer-Korelstein – 052-2709300.

Wheelchair basketball is played at high-schools “Makif Alef” in the Gimel Handicapped basketballneighborhood and “Makif Rager” in Neveh Ze’ev, and at the “Veterans’ Home” at 9 Bents Carmel Ave. in the Ramot neighborhood. Wheelchair Israeli folk-dancing exists at the Ramot High-School.

Every Spring, ca.700 physically-disabled children come from the entire Negev RegionKaye Teachers College to Kaye Regional Teachers’ College to enjoy a Special Sports Day. Kaye College also offers special exercise classes for diabetic and obese children – 08-6402720.

“Shufersal Deal” supermarket set an example by making their facility wheel-chair accessible and even providing a special check-out counter for the disabled.Wheelchair

Some special equipment:

“Yad Sarah” (founded 1975) is a volunteer organization that rents/sells medical and nursing Yad Sarah - Jusidman Houseequipment (wheelchairs, walkers, bedguards, bedpans, etc.) at low cost on demand. It has two branches–one situated in the Jusidman House at 2 Sha’ul ha-Melekh St. and the other on the groundfloor of the Soroka Medical Center complex, Medical Services Bldg. – 08-9112000, 08-6450747, and at http://www.yadsarah.org Open: 10:00-15:00.

A large variety of special equipment and products (e.g. wheelchairs, adult diapers, etc.) may also be ordered for disabled or elderly people (with home delivery) from “Liberty” suppliers, located at 106 Herzl St. – 1-700-70-22-70 Open: 10:00-14:00.

Many classrooms in Be’er-Sheva have been specially equipped for hearing-disabled pupils. All public facilities in Israel are supposed to be wheelchair accessible by law.

Some special clothing:

People who suffer from sensitive skin or who are allergic to various synthetic materials can find natural, organic cotton clothing locally at “Cotton” clothing store at 91 Herzl St. in the Old City. 

Some special shoes:

People who suffer from various foot troubles can get orthopedic shoes or individually-crafted insoles in a number of stores, some situated in the Government Mall, such as “Medent” or  “Ofir Medical.”

Special intellectual or communication needs

Some special associations:

AKIM Be’er-Sheva (founded 1985) is an association for the habilitation of the intellectually challenged, located at 27 Herzl St. in the Old City – 08-6231190. The “Yahdav” (lit. together) Project, for those over the age of 18, prepares such people for employment; the “Lev” (lit. heart) Project is for those over the age of 21, to help them become self-sufficient & autonomous.

“ALUT” – The Israel Society for Children and Adults with Autism (founded 1974) is active in many educational and habilitative facilities in Be’er-Sheva – to volunteer: *9093; for help: 03-5718190, alut.org.il.

The Ami Association for the Care of People with Developmental Intellectual Disabilities is located in the Old City at 49 ha-Atsma’ut St. – 086409757.

“Yachdav”Association (Be’er-Sheva) for intellectually challenged adults is located at 1 Max Binett St. in Gimel neighborhood – 08-6209935.

Some special facilities:

“Keshet Elementary School for Autistic Children” – run by the Shulamit Society (NPO). Contact: Shirah – 050-8884479; shiraah@shlomit.org.il, in Old City, Hadassah 49. 

“Beit Homa” – Community of Negev Artists is located in Gimel neighborhood at Arlozorov 50. It is an art studio & gallery that focuses on the interface of art and mental health–the power of art as expression and therapy. They also sponsor exhibits of art by artists from the “Yozmah” (“Initiative”) Program. “Homa is run by Yogev Vanunu, Shahar Knafo, Ronen Mars, Liron Yifrah & Aviran Moyal.

Kaye College hosts the “Mikhlala Hevratit” (lit., the social college; founded ca.2014) that offers three courses of study for adult special intellectual or communication needs students: social; artistic; or professional. Each special student is personally accompanied by a mentor and the professional course is tailored to suit each individual special-needs student. Classes are held twice a week – Dr. Nitzan Cohen 054-4909128.  

“Kfar Irusim” (lit., village of irises; founded 2009) is a hostel, school, habilitative and social center for adults with autism, run by “ALUT” – The Israel Society for Children and Adults with Autism, with the assistance of volunteers from NPO “ha-Ru’ah ha-Tovah” (lit., the good wind/spirit). It provides housing, employment, individual mentoring & sociocultural activities, as well as lectures for volIrises near Be'er-Shevaunteers and family members. It’s located in the Ne’ot Lon neighborhood at 20 Ilan Ramon Way and has an additional facility at 25 Zalman Aranne St. in Yud Aleph – 08-6214566; Yuval 050-6514243; *9093.

The “Ma’as” Occupational Therapy Project for intellectually challenged adults is run by the “Yachdav” Association (Be’er-Sheva). The handicrafts/items produced by the Jews and Bedouins in this rehabilitative workshop are sold and offset the costs of their rehabilitation. This occupational rehabilitation center  is located at 1 Max Binett St. in Gimel neighborhood – 08-6209935.

Tigbur” is an employment agency that helps place intellectually challenged adults in appropriate jobs – 08-6280704.

AKIM Be’er-Sheva oversees 4 schools for people (aged 3-21) with developmental/intellectual disabilities and 4 afternoon leisure clubs that provide sports, art, dance, theater and other activities – 08-6231190.

The (Leonard) Cohen House of the Ami Association provides sheltered housing for intellectually challenged adults (aged ca.20-ca.75) in the Gimel neighborhood, under the direction of Ety Ya’akov – 08-6651661. 

Special psychological needs

Some special associations:

“Enosh,” – the Israeli Association for Mental Health offers help and rehabilitation for the psychologically challenged at its Be’er-Sheva branch, Enosh House (founded in 1989), located at 16 David Ben-Gurion Blvd. See: https://bit.ly/3DitfW6 or contact: Rita Roizman, 054-9299506, or via: rita.s@enosh.org.il. 

The NPO, “Rakefet” helps people to cope who have been traumatized by the COVID-19 pandemic or who suffer from social anxiety or extreme shyness. This association is directed by Avner Dafni  (its founder, b.1973-) and has 4 separate therapy groups for: children, teenagers, young people & adults.  077-2017032 and https://www.rakefet-group.org.il.

The Association for Equality and Justice for the Disabled, headed by Dalia Zilberman, trains disabled people to serve as advisors to others who are also disabled, to instruct them regarding their rights and to empower them – 28A Yosef Ben-Matityahu St., 08-6483456.

ERAN – Emotional First Aid by Telephone & Internet, 24/7 – dial 1201

  • Hotline for Holocaust Survivors & Families call 1-800-24-1201
  • Hotline for Soldiers, Veterans & Their Families call *2201.
  • Internet Hotlines go to the Hebrew website www.eran.org.il.
  • Hotline for the Elderly call *3201.
  • Russian Language Hotline call 1201 ext. 3.
  • Arabic Language Hotline call 1201 ext. 2 (12:00 – 20:00).

Alcoholism – Alcoholics who want to join discrete, local Alcoholics Anonymous support groups can contact either Ya’akov at 052-4088742 or Elinor at 052-4735219 for information.

The Municipal Center for the Treatment & Rehabilitation of Alcoholics and Compulsive Gamblers may be reached via 08-6206582 or alcohol@br7.org.il.

Drug Addiction – The Municipal Center for the Treatment & Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers – “Merkaz Hosen” may be reached via 08-6236198 or Hosen1@br7.org.il.

Some special facilities

The Society for the Prevention of Cancer provides guidance & moral support to cancer Edys House - Maaganpatients and their families in “Edy’s House – Ma’agan (founded 1999) at 13 Har Beka St. in the Ramot neighborhood – 08-6490802.

A privately endowed hostel and rehabilitation center helps chronic schizophrenics (aged 25-69). They’re taught arts & crafts and their works are sometimes exhibited at the “Avivim Gallery” in the “BIG” commercial center.

Special dietary needs and support

Gluten-free foods; sugar-free foods; and lactose-free products are available: at Be’er-Teva” in the Mall ha-Keshatot (lit., the Mall of the Arches, situated in the Leonardo Hotel) – 08-6285898; Eden Teva Market” at 21 Derekh Hevron –  1-800-468-468“Tavline Maimon”  in “BIG” – 08-6288218; and “Rotem” Natural Products on Rambam St. in the Old City – 08-6278006; as well as in special sections of most supermarkets.  

Those who need professional help to overcome obesity can turn to their specific HMO’s nutritionists or to the discrete, local “Weight-Watchers” (Heb., Shomre Mishkal) groups that meet at 3 different locations and at various days and times – *2480.

Some special facilities:

There are many vegetarian and some vegan restaurants and eateries around the city (several certified kosher; a few with ‘take-away’), and also a number of health food bars; they may easily be located via the Internet (by searching in either Hebrew or English).

Special bioenergetic or spiritual needs – mind & body alligned

To learn or become a practitioner:

Those who wish to study alternative medicine may do so at the Reidman College for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (e.g., natural nutrition, phytotherapy, holistic psychotherapy, reiki energy healing, zen-shiatsu, ayurvedic medicine, etc.), located at the Bet Yatsiv/Open Uinversity Campus in the Old City – 08-6237451, http://www.reidman.co.il. Holistic medicine (e.g., Thai massage, Chinese & herbal medicine, guided inagination, naturopathy, etc.) is taught at the Adar College for Natual Holistic Medicine, located at Kaye Teachers’ College – 1-800-303090, http://www.adar-college.org,

Some special treatment centers:

Those who seek unconventional/alternative psycho-physical/spiritual support or therapy can turn to the alternative medical clinics of their HMOs that offer therapeutic massages, reflexology, shiatsu, tui-na, acupucture, aroma therapy, and more. Be’er-Sheva also has a number of centers that offer: spiritual development via the study of mysticism, ancient wisdom, movement therapy (Merkaz ha-Or, lit., the center of light, at 96 Hadassah St. in the Old City – http://www.merkaz-haor.co.il); individualized therapy sessions, yoga for pregnant women, yoga for parents & children, holistic PT, hydrotherapy, Indian sauna, etc. (Ma’or” Center for Personal Development – Ariel 052-6303842; Anna 054-5931945, http://www.maor4u.co.il); and others. Moreover, there are spas, like: Mateh Midbar” at 22 ha-Histadrut St. – 08-6233370 and the New Olympus Spa at 10 Henry Kendall St.077-4260001, http://www.o-spa.co.il.

Some special therapists & practitioners:

The city also has a wide range of private unconventional/alternative therapists and practitioners, such as the following examples, who apply: Mediation & deeksha yoga (Yuval – 054-4798865 & Ravit – 054-4965597, http://www.deekshayoga.co.il); Chinese astrology & feng shui (Alia Kantor – 054-8010377); laughter yoga (Debbie Iancu – 054-6400043); falun gong/falun dafa (Nataly – 054-6330342 or Dina Gordon – 052-5549966, http://www.falundafa.org.il); tai chi (David Kafri – 050-2024596); reiki – the healing touch (Yaniv Bruder –  050-3399453); sujuk – treatment of palms of hands (Dolev Smile Center, 4/1 Asirey Tsiyon  St., 08-6236991); healing hands (Uri’el Garon – 052-6711407); chirology & palmistry (Elah Tadmor – 052-3371348); numerology (Shuki Gabay – 054-3055570); psychographology (Batyah Cohen-Kroytoro – 08-6519421, 050-6912303); tarot & palm reading (Shulah Mits – 08-6108323); healing gems – “Avne ha-hoshen” (Sarit’s Gallery, 113 ha-Palmah St. in the Old City – 050-8858535); rings & charms made of 5 metals inscribed with Hebrew letters & healing crystals (Mikha’eli Jewelry, 74 Keren Kayemet le-Yisra’el St. in the Old City – 08-6278064); to name just a few examples.

Judeo-Arab Cultures

The Judeo-Arab (Sephardic) cultures originated in three different geographical areas–from two continents, Asia and Africa, and from the Middle East, bringing Be’er-Sheva Jews from: Algeria, China, Cyprus, Egypt (+Karaite Jewry), Erithrea, Ethiopia (+Falash Mura), Greece, India, Iran (+Persian Jewry), Iraq (+Babylonian Jewry), Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen and other countries. In general, all of these Judeo-Arab immigrant communities (with the exception of the Karaites) share the same core Jewish traditions and customs, but each one also has its own unique Hebrew dialect, ethnic/national history, Jewish liturgical style & elements, extra-rabbinic customs, and separate community synagogue(s). One lovely tradition shared by the variousMy beautiful picture Judeo-Arab ethnic groups is the celebration of henna parties (engagement parties) for brides/grooms. When I first married in 1973, my kind Yemenite inlaws-to-be threw me a henna party along with that of my husband-to-be and bedecked me accordingly. 

Algerian Jewry

The Algerian-Jewish community celebrates a unique holiday they call “Molke Tsiyon” or the “Feast of Siyum” in adoration of Zion on the Thursday preceding the reading of the Hebrew Bible portion “Yitro” (“Jethro”) in the synagogues (usually in February). Traditionally, at this feast they have soup. Little is know about the true origin and meaning of this celebration and custom.

Babylonian/Iraqi Jewry

The Be’er-Sheva Association  & Center for the Preservation of the Tradition of Babylonian (Iraqi) Jews, founded in 1991 by 5 key Iraqi figures in the city: Chairman of the Scholarship Fund (and my neighbor for decades), Ovadya Kalai; historian, Dr. Nissim Kazaz; lawyer & notary, Balfour Kvity; former Director of the Public Library, David Sa’ad; and car-dealer & philanthropist Ezra Yerucham (who funded an advanced Cancer Research Laboratory at BGU in 2014). This center maintains a fund that grants academic scholarships to students of Iraqi origin who reside in Be’er-Sheva  www.universities-colleges.org.il/P32473/?show=4&f=91163.

From 1975-1980, architect Nahum Zolotov, a master of raw concrete architecture, completed the unique Central Synagogue of the Iraqi-Jewish Community of Be’er-Sheva (in memory of Eliyahu the-star-synagogueHalachi) at 5 Montefiori St. in Aleph–nicknamed “the Star Synagogue” or “the Pyramid,” due to its rare star-of-David shape. It features a central lectern podium, around which the men sit, while the women sit in the 6 points of the star, under stained-glass windows. At night, when lit, a beam of light shoots out of the point at the top of the star.

In 2016, the Park of the Babylonian Immigrants, located in the Gimel neighborhood (on Babylonian immigrant park 2016Wingate St.) was dedicated in memory of “Operation Ezra and Nehemiah” (1950-1951) that brought the bulk of Iraqi Jewry to Israel, many becoming founders of the City of Be’er-Sheva. It’s right near the oldest Iraqi community synagogue in the city “Magen David.” 

Egyptian + Karaite Jewry

The first synagogue you encounter, “ha-Avot” (lit., the fathers), located on Be’er-Sheva‘s unique “Synagogue Row” on Shabazi St. in the Aleph neighborhood, belongs to the Egyptian-Jewish community.

Most of the original members of the Karaite community and synagogue in Be’er-Sheva came from Egypt. This congregation is mostly located in the Old City, under the leadership of Rabbi Moshe Firrouz. The Karaites are accepted as Jews and their marriages are recognized by the State of Israel. They are distinct from mainstream Judaism, since they do not accept Jewish ‘oral law’ and the post-biblical rabbinic traditions and strictly adhere to the fundamental dictates of the Hebrew Bible. For example (like Muslims today), they remove their shoes before entering holy places, as indicated in the Hebrew Biblehttp://www.karaite.korner.com.

Persian/Iranian Jewry

The central organization of the Persian/Iranian-Jewish community in the Negev Region is called “Tsiyone Iran” and is located in the Bet neighborhood at 40 Bialik St. at the corner of Betsalel St. 08-6413253, 08-6463023, 050-5690390, 052-3235374.   

The fifth synagogue you encounter on Be’er-Sheva‘s unique “Synagogue Row” on Avraham Erets-KedoshahShabazi St. in the Aleph neighborhood belongs to the Persian-Jewish community and was built in memory of Avraham Erets-Kedoshah (1931-1955), who was randomly shot and killed by snipers on the road to Eilat.

Libyan Jewry

The third synagogue you encounter, “ha-Nasi,” on Be’er-Sheva‘s unique “Synagogue Row” on Shabazi St. in the Aleph neighborhood belongs to the Libyan-Jewish community.

Moroccan Jewry

The Association des originaires du Maroc en Beersheba, currently headed by Haim E. Melca, holds Moroccan culture evenings, the proceeds of which are used for student study-grantshttp://www.melca.info, 08-6433751.

A Moroccan community synagogue “Minhat Ya’akov” (once called “Tehillat David”) located in the Daled neighborhood, contains a memorial corner where some congregants light candles in memory of Rabbi Chaim Ibn-Attar (or Hayyim Ben-Attar, a.k.a. “Or ha-Hayyim ha-Kadosh,” 1696-1743), a famous Moroccan Talmudist and Kabbalist.

“Maghreb” is a local Moroccan theater group that occasionally performs original or translated plays in Moroccan dialect at the Culture Hall.

The Mabrukah” (lit., congratulations!) – Moroccan Treasures Hall seats up to 350 guests and offers authentic kosher Moroccan cuisine, atmosphere and folklore & catering – 08-6450749, mabruka.mazaltov2u.co.il.

“Yakota” (opened in the 1965) is a beautiful kosher Moroccan restaurant that totally Yakota - Moroccan cuisineimmerses you in a Moroccan atmosphere. ‘Veteran’ Chef Beber Ben-Moyal (b.1959-) personally prepares 150-year old family recipes and caters to every special request. Although it’s located in the Old City at 27 Morde ha-Geta’ot St., you feel like your sitting in Fez or Tangier and the food is delicious! – 08-6232689, 050-7949495.Inside Yakota Restaurant

Maghrebi/North African Jewry

Every year, on the night that marks the end of the Passover festival week (with its many dietary restrictions), North African Jews in Be’er-Sheva (and their guests) celebrate the “Mimouna” when returning toMimouna celebration an unrestricted diet by covering large tables with fresh fried and colorful baked sweets, donning traditional ethnic costumes, playing traditional ethnic music, and opening their homes to guests.  

An unique, annual “Rosh hodesh ha-banot” (“New-moon girls’ festival”) is celebrated by North-African Jewish women in the middle of Hanukkah (the Festival of Lights, usually in December)

Tunisian Jewry

“AYOT” – the  Be’er-Sheva Association for Jewish Immigrants from Tunisia has a Center for the Promotion of the Tunisian Heritage located at 103 ha-Shalom St. in the Gimel Neighborhood. The association provides remedial classes for school children in need of help. Some of the local founders and leaders of the community are: Dani Fitousi, Rene Teshuvah, former City Council Member Nissim Na’im, & Ruthi Tsarfati.

A new main synagogue for the Tunisian community of Be’er-Sheva is being built on Mivsta Uvdah in Yud Aleph, intended to be an exact replica of the “Great Synagogue” in TunisUnfortunately, it appears that the construction has been stalled for some time due to insufficient funds for its completion; obviously another donor is being sought.

An unique, annual “Seudat Yitro” (“Feast of Jethro” or “Fete de Yetrou”) is held by the Tunisian-Jewish community on the Thursday preceding the reading of the Hebrew Bible portion “Yitro” (“Jethro”) in the synagogues (usually in February). It ostensibly celebrates the end of a plague that killed many Jewish men and boys in Tunisia. It’s also considered a Sons’ Feast, at which a festive miniature 3-course meal is served to the boys on miniature dishes, in miniature cups, shot glasses and with small ‘desert’ utensils. Even the food portions are minimalistic and include: 1st course–smallTunisian deblah sweetbreads, traditional farina & date cookies shaped like children & animals (makroud) & bite-sized, rosebud-shaped, fried deblah; 2nd course–vegetable pies (ma’akouda), salads & green fava beans; and the unusual 3rd & main course: pigeons stuffed with hard-boiled eggs, each inscribed with the name of the boy being served. The origin of this strange, uniquely Tunisian, festival is still unclear.  

“Yasmina” is a newly-established (2017-, hopefully annual), specifically Israeli-Tunisian cultural event held in Be’er-Sheva in the middle of the Sukkot Festival (Tabernacles, usually in October), to bolster the Tunisian-Jewish cultural heritage through authentic Tunisian-Jewish music, stories & foods.

Yemenite Jewry

In Be’er-Sheva, the “Shabbazi Community” aids and supports new immigrants from Yemenite Heritage AssociationYemen and Aden, holds frequent religious and cultural events, and publishes a Hebrew weekly online journal. Some of the leading figures are: Zechariah Aharon, Zion Ahraq, Rabbi Shabbazi SynagogueNatan’el al-Sheikh, Attorney Moshe Danoch, David Erez, Zechariah Hajbi & Yosef Matana. Elgen Long-On wings of eagles,1949The Abba Shalom Shabbazi” Synagogue (baladi liturgy) and“Bet ShabbaziCommunity Center are both located on Shabbazi St. in the Aleph neighborhood. On Thurs. March 8, 2018, a special evening was held in honor of the last living crew member of Alaska Airlines, British Capt. Elgen Long (aged 91), who flew Yemenites to Israel in 1949; in the audience were 1 baby and 1 fetus who had been on that life-saving flight. Capt. Long, a righteous gentile, had never been back to Israel since 1949 and was amazed by all he saw. He also stated that he was only 1 member of the crew and accepts the honor on behalf of the entire rescue team posthumously.

Other Yemenite synagogues in Be’er-Sheva are: “Sha’are Tsedeq” (shaami liturgy) also on Shabazzi St. in Aleph; “Al-Sheikh” (baladi liturgy) in Daled; and “Afiqe Teman” in the Ramot neighborhood.

An amateur Yemenite theater group called “Penine Teman” (lit., Yemenite pearls) has put on original Judeo-Arabic plays in the Yemenite dialect, such as: “Sa’id and Sa’idah” (2006).

Authentic, kosher Yemenite cuisine is available in a number of places, for Yemenite foot-bone soupexample: Shabbazi Restaurant in the Old City at 16 Smilanski St., where one can order delicacies, such as: Beef foot-bone soup, head meat, tail meat, and pita-bread hot off the tabun-oven wall; “Falafel ha-Kerem 2” – “the most Yemenite in town” at 2 Shimoni St. in Bet with take-away – 052-2460530); “ha-Felafel ha-Temani” at 17 Gershon Shufman St. in Neveh Ze’ev (with take-away – 053-9377950); and “Megulgalawah” at 4 Yemenite jahnunYitshaq Ben-Tsevi in the Merkaz Ezrahi neighborhood (facing the Government Mall) that makes Yemenite foods like malawah and jahnun (fried breads); and Uri’s Yemenite Felafel at 35 Pinhas ha-Hotsev St.

Parks and Promenades

In general, Be’er-Sheva blossoms anew every Fall and Spring after the rains (though we always pray for more rain than we usually get here in the desert).  Many of the main shady-lane-in-neot-lonstreets and boulevards are tree-lined and more shade trees are being planted with each passing year. Each neighborhood has its own public park, some larger, some smaller, most with grass, benches, shade trees and a children’s playground equipment, and there are also a few groves of shade trees, such as in Ne’ot Lon.

In 2019 (following the example set in 2015 by “Earth’s Promise” behind the Kalisher Absorption Center in Gimel), typically barefoot Nilo Peleg (b.1984-) and a group of fellow eco-activists planted the second urban food forest within the Be’er-Sheva city limits, located at one edge of the newly renovated Sofrim Park in Bet neighborhood. Such planned, man-made forest gardening provides sustainable eco-agriculture while restoring natural local habitats and ecosystems.                                

The city’s academic campuses are beautifully landscaped and have well-kept gardens, where it’s bgu-campus-6pleasant to sit or walk about. Some special walking and biking paths already exist, that span the city’s width and height, and more are being developed. Be’er-Sheva also has a 42-kilometer green path, the “Be’er-Sheva Ring Trail,” for hiking and learning about local nature & history; guided tours are available via the Desert vegetationlocal Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI). Every year come Spring (in March) the city holds an “Urban Nature Week,” full of free outdoor events, nature tours, bird-watching, etc.Outdoor rest-stop parlors

The first public park in 20th century Be’er-Sheva

Allenby Park, located in the center of the Old City, was one of the first public parks in Allenby Park 1917Israel, originally created by the Ottoman-Turks in 1902 following a round, axial French-garden design. Later on, after the British conquest of the Holy Land under the command of Field Marshall, Lord Edmund Henry Allenby (1861-1936), this park was named in British Imperialgeneral-allenbys-statue Governor Allenby‘s honor. His bust was commissioned and sculpted by Abraham Melnikov and situated at the hub of the park, atop a high pedestal, but was later damaged during the Arab rebellion of 1938. With the restoration of the park in 2015, the damaged bust was replaced by another sculpted by Etienne Millner, situated on a lower, broader column. In his diary, Allenby wrote: “Beersheba is a lovely place, in which it’s pleasant to be.”

The first public park in Israeli Be’er-Sheva

“Gan ha-Rishonim” (lit., the park of the first ones) is located in the Aleph neighborhood along Rager Boulevard, facing the Rassco Commercial Center

Landscapped urban-desert parks near seasonal watercourses

Yud-Aleph Park is a lovely example of successful urban-desert landscaping, pleasant by day and night. It’s a parkpark-yud-aleph running along both sides of the Nahal Olim seasonal watercourse for several kilometers (in sections interrupted by roads) with paved walks, shade trees, benches, playground areas, several different kinds of bridges, and night lighting. It’s enclosed byPark Yud Aleph1 gardened stone terraces. The local lizards often sun themselves in the mornings on the dry, rocky riverbed and it’s a haven for many types of birds. It’s also a favorite spot of Park Yud Aleph2mothers with baby-carriages and preschool children – in the warm mornings, of senior citizens towards sunset – in the cooler evening air, and of young couples – for romantic strolls at night.

The Be’er-Sheva River Park stands alongside Nahal Be’er-Sheva (the Be’er-Sheva seasonalRiver Park Walk watercourse) covering a distance of ca.8 km (=5 miles). It already has 3.25 km (=2 mile) promenade and bike paths that also cross the watercourse on the unique Pipes Bridge (opened 2011); a free public park – Bell Parka large outdoor amphitheater that can seat ca.12,000 and has a special ‘Light-Sail’ that produces spectacular Amphi Light Sail Beer-Shevalight shows at night; a children’s playground, and the Beit Eshel (1943-1948) pre-Israel independence historic site. Soon, it will also have a sizable ca.81-dunam (= 20-acre) man-made lake with water-sports facilities, surrounded by restaurants, cafes, picnic grounds, a bird sanctuary. Finally, 2 Chalcolithic archaeological sites will be developed for public viewing, one at each end of the park. 

In March 2021, the City of Be’er-Sheva opened public access to Israel’s largest, man-made lake, covering ca. 5,261 sqm (1,300 acres), at the center of the Negev Desert, filled with recycled sewage and runoff rainwater. This lake site serves as a bird sanctuary and birding observatory, as well as a place offering light boating. Developed by the Be’er-Sheva Municipality and sponsored by the JNF.

Several examples of children’s themed playgrounds/parks

Opened in August 2020, the Ramot Children’s Play-Park is among the largest (60 dunams = almost 15 acres) in Be’er-Sheva, located on Avigdor Avital Way. It includes something for children of all ages, physical abilities and disabilities, even some extreme sport facilities, most of them well shaded, like the sitting areas.

The commemorative Ilan Ramon Rocket Park is located on Yehudah ha-Levi Street in the Daledilan-ramon-rocket-park neighborhood. It’s dedicated to the memory of Israel’s first astronaut, Colonel Ilan Ramon (1954-2003), who grew up in Be’er-Sheva. He was one of the pilots who flew the mission that successfully bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981. He perished in the Columbia space shuttle disaster that occurred during the attempted re-entry to the Earth‘s atmosphere on February 1st, 2003.

The free public Children’s World (opened in 2017) adjacent to the Lunada” Interactive Science Museum, has a nautical theme and is located between the Neveh Menahem andChildrens Park Beer-Sheva Nahal Ashan neighborhoods, at 35 Egoz St. It’s a very large (60 dunams = ca.50 acres) area, at the center of which there is a small artificial lake (5,500 sq. m. = ca.59,200 sq. ft.) with a big pirate ship, ducks and aquarium fish. The park also includes a waterfall, a cable slide, walking & biking paths, benches, a kiosk, and other activities. 

Marmalade Park, just past the North/University Train Station entrance, is great for bikes, roller-skates, skateboards, kiddy-cars, etc., and has a small ecological pond with goldfish and lily-pads. It also has a mini-basketball court.

Other theme parks

The Hadassah Women & JNF Ceramics Park, located just off Rager Boulevard at the Hadassah Ceramics Parknorthern edge of the city, was planned by Israeli landscape architect Zvi Dekel for the First International Biennale of Ceramics held in Be’er-Sheva in 1995. This park displays artist Israel Hadany‘s ceramic creation, a large outdoor installation, entitled: “Oasis environmental sculpture.”  

The Park of the Australian Soldier (opened 2008) is located at the corner of Sha’ul ha-lighthorse-charge-statueMelekh and Abba Ahime’ir streets in Yud Aleph. It tells the full story of the liberation of Be’er-Sheva from the Ottoman-Turkish Empire during WWI by the horse-ridden British Commonwealth & ANZAC forces on October 31, 1917, featuring a marvelous life-like bronze statue of a soldier in the “Lighthorse” Regiment charging the city. This park also has playground equipment that is especially suited to use by disabled children. Annual, international commemorative ceremonies are held in this park with the participation of dignitaries from Israel, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere. 

Parks and groves OKed for barbeques

Bell Park; Ne’ot Lon Grove; and soon the River Park area near the man-made lake.

Dog parks

Thus far, there are special dog parks in the following neighborhoods: Aleph, Bet, Daled, Dog care signHey, Tet, Yud-Aleph and Ne’ot Lon. These a places where the dogs may be loosed to run around freely and do their ‘business’. The dog-poop-laws1municipal regulations that apply to the dog owners are clearly posted at the entrances.

VIPs and Celebrities

Be’er-Shevan VIPs

Be’er-Sheva resident Eli Alaluf (b.1945-) is an active, life-long local-patriot and, since 2015, also a Knesset Member on behalf of the “Kulanu” (lit., all of us) Political Party. He brought to Be’er-Sheva and financed many large projects as the 17-year General Eli AlalufManager of the “Rashi Foundation.” From 1989-1992, he served as a member of the Be’er-Sheva City Council and currently serves as Chairman of the Knesset Labor and Welfare CommitteeIn 2011, Alaluf was awarded an Israel Prize for lifetime achievement and his contribution to Israeli society, as well as being granted honorary doctorates by both BGU and the Technion.

Be’er-Sheva resident Bella Alexandrov (b.1984-) was chosen to participate in the Obama Foundation’s Junior Leadership Program. She then went on to become the Bella Alexandrov - Eretzir (2)General Manager of the national “Eretzir” Association for 6 years (2013-2019). http://www.eretzir.org.il.

Native-born Meir Babayoff (b.1950-) is the Chairman of the Negev Branch of  Meir Babayoffthe Histadrut – Israel Labor Union.

Ronen Bahar (b.1975-) was born and spent his youth in the Bet neighborhood in Be’er-Sheva. In 2002, he moved to Oslo, Norway and joined and became active in the Jewish community there, married a Norwegian Jewess, and had two daughters. In 2008, he became the first Israeli Chairman of the Norwegian Jewish Community. He said: “Be’er-Sheva is forever fondly imprinted on my soul.”

Aryeh Bar (b.1944-) is an avid local-patriot and has continued to reside with his family in Be’er-Sheva despite serving in a few major national-government positions–Aryeh Baras General Manager of the Israel Ministries of Transport; Construction & Housing; and the Interior. He has stated on several occasions that: “I truly love Be’er-Sheva and won’t leave it.”

Beershevan Solomon Bitton (b.1955-), served in the I.D.F. for 29 years until going blind, and then served as a volunteer with the I.D.F. Logistics Unit for another decade. He was granted a “Lifetime Service Award” by its Brigadier General Ronen Cohen. 

Tomer Biton - TreasurerIn 2016, accountant Tomer Bitton (b.1966-), the Be’er-Sheva Municipality‘s veteran treasurer, was elected (from among ca.256 Israeli city treasurers) to serve as the Chairman of the National Union of Municipal Treasurers (founded 1960s), voted “Treasurer of Treasurers.” In Aug. 2021, he was officially chosen to serve as the Executive Director of Local Government on behalf of the Israel Ministry of the Interior

Ruvik Danilovich (b.1971-) is Be’er-Sheva‘s first Be’er-Sheva-born mayor, elected to serve as the 8th mayor in 2008 and re-elected by a landslide in 2013. He’s the pimary author of a vision for a modern, Ruvik Danilovich - Mayoryet “green,” metropolitan Be’er-Sheva by 2030. In 2015, he was awarded the “Green Globus” for promoting a self-sustaining urban vision and initiating a longterm eco-transformation process for the “greening” of Be’er-ShevaIn 2017, the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev awarded him an honorary doctorate for ‘picking up Ben-Gurion’s gauntlet’ and his successful promotion of the rehabilitation, development and greening of the City, bringing it into the 21st century.

Amira Dotan (b.1947-) is an ex-Be’er-Sheva resident who spent 20 years in the city, where she got her higher education at BGU, married and raised her family. While serving in the Israeli military from 1965-1988, Dotan was the first women in the I.D.F. to reach the rank of Brigadier General. Afterwards, she held several Amira Dotanprestigious executive positions: Vice-President of BGU; member of the Board of Directors of the Israel Military Industries; and Board member of the Jewish Agency. She also served from 2006-2009 as a Knesset member on behalf of the “Qadimah” Party. 

Dalia Ehud (b.1949-) arrived from Tunisia to settle in Be’er-Sheva in 1967. She worked as a municipal social worker from 1971, always concerned with the welfare of the less fortunate. Ehud also served as the Southern Region Head of the Israel Social-Workers’ Dalia EhudUnion and as a President of “Re’em” – the umbrella organization for all the local voluntary organizations. From 2008-2013, Ehud sat on the Be’er-Sheva City Council handling the “PR, city branding & promotion portfolio” and sitting on a the committees for: ethics; voluntarism; & the status of children. 

Ofer Einy (b.1959- in Be’er-Sheva). In 1999, he was appointed head of the Government Workers’ Union and then, in 2004, head of its Professional Branch. From 2006-2014, heOfer Eyni became the Chairman of the Histadrut – Israel’s General Labor Union. Since 2014, Einy has served as the head of the Israel Soccer Union. Recently in 2017, he was appointed as President of the “Invo” Real-Estate Fund.

Sharon (Shawn) Evenhaim (b.1967) from Be’er-Sheva) has been serving as a self-appointed emissary and ombudsman for Israel in the U.S. for over 30 years, sitting on the Board of the Israeli-American Council, fighting the BDS, giving talks and organizing Jewish community action. 

Drora Gopas, who served for many years as the Principle of the prize-winning Amit Comprehensive (Religious) Girl’s School in Be’er-Sheva, was awarded the “Mark of Distinction in Education for 2021”  by the Israel Commission for Education 2030. 

Be’er-Sheva resident Amira Haim (b.1951-) was appointed interim General Manager of the Israel Ministry of Education for 2005-2006. As the GM of the Southern Region, she Amira Haimwas instrumental in promoting the “A Laptop Computer for Every Teacher in Israel” Project that began in 2006 and is still in progress.

Sapir Halamish (b.1994-, in Be’er-Sheva) is not only a ‘pink freak‘ and a connoisseur of celebratory wreaths for crowning the heads of honorees, but has her own design studio since 2015 and has become a stylist and costume designer for many media and stage celebrities in Israel.

Be’er-Sheva resident, Tsiporah Halfon is rightly known as the “Mother of all the I.D.F. soldiers in the South” for her many years of voluntarism with the Association for the Wellbeing of Israeli Soldiers.

Zipi Harpenes, has been the Principal of “Amit” Technological High School in Be’er-Sheva for over 8 years, and was invited to be a torch-bearer at the ceremony celebrating Israel’s 73rd Independence Day (May 2021), in gratitude for her excellent work as an educator, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Upcoming Beershevan model, Shahar Hayun (b.2000-) landed modelling work in Dubai in December 2020.

As of 2018, BGU Professor of General History, Yitzhak Hen (b.1963-) is Yitzhak Hen - IIASserving as the Director of the Israel Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS, founded 1975, in Jerusalem). He previously published 7 academic books.

Neal Hendel (b. 1952 in N.Y.) is a certified lawyer and an observant Jew who settled in Be’er-Sheva in 1983. From 1988-1997, he served as a judge in the Be’er-Sheva Magistrate’s Court and from 1997-2009 asNeal_Hendel a judge on the Be’er-Sheva District Court. Then in 2009, he was appointed to sit on the Israel Supreme Court, where he is held in high esteem by his colleagues for his clear and well-founded decisions and moderation. 

Moshe Hogeg  (b.1982-, in Be’er-Sheva) is a high-tech entrepreneur who, at Moshe Hogeg - entrepreneurthe young are of 35, already owns about 35 companies and holds a portfolio consisting of more than 12 venture-capital funds worth over a billion U.S. dollars.

Hofit Klimovsky-Schatz (b.1990-, in Be’er-Sheva) was chosen in March 2021 to be the Managing-Director of the Al-Qassum Regional Council (consisting of 7 Negev settlements and a number of unrecognized Bedouin shanty-towns. She is the first woman to hold such a position in Arab-Israeli society. 

Dorel Ishai  (b.1992- in Be’er-Sheva) is a gifted & extraordinary young man who has managed, before the age of 30, to found a music co., to sit on the City Council, to be honored by the Municipality, and also to create & serve as the CEO of AnyApp Software Company (founded 2012-). In 2020, the international magazine Forbes chose Ishai to be among Israel’s top “Tech 30 under 30.”

Be’er-Sheva raised and educated Amir Lati (b.1974-) has been appointed in 2021 as Consul General to Hong Kong and Macao SAR.

Be’er-Sheva resident, Attorney Ofrah Levy (b.1969-), was appointed in Sept. 2021 to serve as the Director of the Economics Unit in the Office of the Israel State Attorney.  

“Mahsane ha-Shuk” Supermarket, owned by 2 local Beershevan families, Na’aman and Cohen, first opened in Be’er-Sheva in 1996 and, by 2021, has  become a huge chain of supermarkets, with 63 branches across Israel

Gabriel (Gaby) Maimon served on the Be’er-Sheva City Council from Gabi Maimon2003-2006; as the GM of the Israel Ministry for Industry, Employment & Commerce from 2006-2009; and GM of the Ministry of the Interior from 2009-2011. 

In December of 2021, Brigadier-General Orly Markman of Be’er-Sheva was appointed to serve as the President of the I.D.F. Court of Appeals. She will soon be awarded the military rank of General.

 Elimelekh Miller (b.1950-, in  ) was privileged to serve a Prime Minister Golda Meir‘s personal bodyguard from 1972-1975.

Moshe (Mokki) Ohana (b.1966-) from Be’er-Sheva, has been residing in Oslo, Norway for over 30 years, with his Jewish wife and family. He established and manages his own brand, “Mokki click & change” sunglasses for children; in 2020, his company was chosen for having one of the 10 most innovative products in the world by RedDot – baby Et children brand. He recalled: “One of the most beautiful and unforgettable periods in my life was my childhood in Be’er-Sheva.”

Moshe Oz - Alpha rifleMoshe Oz (b.1967-, in Be’er-Shevaserved in a an elite I.D.F. unit and went on to work in the field of military defence, founding a munitions-related factory in Kiryat Gat. In 2004, he first devised an improved design for the Kalashnikov attack rifle. Then, Oz produced the Israeli “Ofek 1” rifleIn 2016, his Israeli-made “Alpha” rifle was well received in the U.S. Currently, his factory exports ca.300 munitions-related items. He claims that Be’er-Sheva is forever in his soul.

In 2008, Oshri Paz-Tal (b.1978-) founded “Pri ha-Dimyon (lit., fruit of the imagination) in Be’er-Sheva, that provides stunning platters and arrangements of seasonal and exotic fruits that can be ordered for all manner of occasions. It also opened a branch in Rishon le-Tsiyon and makes deliveries across the entire country. Located at 149 Bialik St. ; tel. 08-6280111, website: https://www.perot.co.il.

Moshe Ponte - judoMoshe Ponte (b.1956-) spent his entire childhood in Be’er-Sheva. He studied judo in the “Ne’urim” Club, coached by Morris Smadga. He also served as an Israeli Olympic judoka and trained bronze Olympic medalist Oren Smadga. From 1988-1996, he coached the Israeli Representative Judo Team. In 1996, together with Shani Hershko, he founded “Meitav”  an NPO to promote judo culture, opening many dojos and clubs across Israel & improving infrastructures. In 2012, Ponte became the Chairman of the Israel Judo Association.

Prof. Emeritus Bracha Rager-Zisman  (b.1938-) came to reside in Be’er-Sheva in 1989. She’s a well-known, award-winning immunovirologist, who did decades of advanced research at the BGU, Faculty of Health (1987-2012). She also served as: the Chief Scientist of the Israel Ministry of Health (1997-2002); the President of Israel’s Bracha RagerOrganization for Rehabilitation and Training (ORT, 2007-); and as a member of the Directorate of “Teva” Pharmaceuticals Industries (1996-1997) and of the Israel Council of Higher Education (MALAG, 2006-2012). 

Yitzhack (“Ijo”) Rager (1932-1997) was Be’er-Sheva‘s 5th mayor (1989-1997), who strove to transform and improve both the image of the city and its actual appearance in order to put it on the World map, and who accepted and absorbed tens of thousands of new immigrants from the world-over, thusijo-rager enlarging the residential population while enriching the city’s cultural assets, to spur growth and development. Rager promoted Be’er-Sheva by means of active PR work, initiating international cooperative projects with a number of Jewish communities abroad and foreign “twin” or “sister” cities, and getting financial support from the Israeli Government and from foreign donors.

Amir Rozenblit - spokesmanA Be’er-Sheva resident since 1965, journalist for the Davar newspaper (1982-1995), and Spokesman for BGU since 1995-, Amir Rozenblit (b.1954) is also serviing since 2016 as the Spokeman for the Israel Council of Journalists.

Marina Rozenberg-Koritny, who came from Kazakhstan in 1995 to reside in Be’er-Sheva, served as a member of the City Council and later as an Ambassador to Chile, has since 2015 also served as the World Zionist Organization‘s Head of Aliyah Promotion, for which she was honored in the US in 2020. 

Yasmin Sacks-Friedman, born in Be’er-Sheva (b.1973-) and served as a  member of the City Council (2018-2021) on behalf of the “Yesh Atid” (lit., there is a future) Party, then becoming the City’s first woman Knesset Member, as part of the “Shinuy” (lit., change) Coalition in the 24th Knesset, under Naftali Bennett & Ya’ir Lapid

Be’er-Sheva resident, Avi Sagi (b.1997-), as a firefighter and member of the Israel National Rescue Unit, was sent to Surfside in Miami, FL, to help locate and recover the bodies of those buried due to the sudden collapse of a high-rise residential building on June 24, 2021.

Nisim SasportasNisim Sasportas (b.1960-, from Be’er-Sheva) served from 2007-2016 as the CEO of “Kivunim”–that runs the city’s community centers and and all the municipal sports clubs and culture classes for children and adults. In 2016, he became the CEO of the Israel National Paralympic Committee and of the Israel Sports Association for the DisabledSasportas ensures thatIsrael Paralympics suitable paralympic delegates from Be’er-Sheva participate in the Israeli delegations to the international competitions. 

Be’er-Sheva-born Yosi Sheli (b.1957-) served as the General Manager of the Be’er-Sheva Municipality (1994-1997) and then as the GM of the Israel Postal Service (2002-2005).Yosi SheliHe sat on the Be’er-Sheva City Council (2008-2009). In 2017, he was appointed to serve as the Israeli Ambassador to Brazil.

Be’er-Sheva born Adi Yosef (b.1984-) was appointed in 2021 to serve as the Head of the Southern Branch of the Ministry of the Peripheries, the Negev and the Galilee.

Be’ershevan celebs

Be’ershevan performing mentalist Israel Boyom (b.1970-) has given mind-reading shows Israel Boyom - mentalistacross the globe and has published two Hebrew books entitled: This Is the Secret of Magic (2009) and Magic and Science (2016) – 052-6309595, http://buiumshow.com.

Beershevans Avraham Maimon (b.1954-) first started grinding and selling spices in his father’s small plant and shop in Be’er-Sheva after his I.D.F. service in 1975. Now, with the help of his son Lior (b.1981-), he prepares, packages & sells imported spices and baking aids from a chain of Maimon’s stores across Israel, oversees ca.120 employees, and provides about 45% of Israel’s spice market

Mor Maman - Miss Israel 2014Mor Maman (b.1995-, in Be’er-Sheva) was crowned “Miss Israel” in 2014 and started a modeling career. She is currently a partner in two cosmetics companies (“Mer d’or Paris” & “Ilanit Yarden“) and in an Israeli real-estate company. 

A creative native of Be’er-Sheva, Matan Shaked (b.1986-), has become an internationally acclaimed fashion designer. At the young age of 16, he already had a clothing store in Be’er-Sheva and now, at age 21, he was granted the honor of opening the prestigious galaMatan Shaked designs fashion week in New York City on Fifth Avenue with his haute-couture evening-wear collection “Desert Flower.” He designs dresses for internationally acclaimed singer Shiri Maimon and other famous models and celebrities.

Shai Shalom (b.1969-, Be’er-Sheva) is an another successful (though shy) ex-Be’er-Shevan elite fashion designer, recognized for his talent across Israel and in Europe and the U.S. Among his many special accomplishments, he has created collections for “BeautyShai Shalom City” in Tel Aviv and for the Chanel Gallery in Europe, and makes costumes for the internationally broadcast “Eurovision Song Contest.”

Itsik Shlomo (b.1969-, Be’er-Sheva) founded the first “Authenty – all the good things” – a fresh spices and dry-goods shop in 2001, and now successfully owns and manages a chain of over 100 shops across Israel – 1-700-555-806.

Champions and Winners

Athletics, dance & sports champions

Sports and dance organizations and groups:

1949 The Ha-Po’el Be’er-Sheva Soccer Team Ha-Poel Beersheva 2017 won the Israel Premier League Championships inha-poel-beer-sheva-national-champions-2015-201619752016, 2017 and 2022. In Israel, this team represents not only the City of Be’er-Sheva, but the entire spectrum of the Negev community. It has also represented Be’er-Sheva & Israel in various Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) leagues. In 1975, I had the honor of being Efrayim Tsvi‘s upstairs neighbor and one of his many fans.

1950 In the 1950s and 1960s, amateur boxing matches were occasionally held in three now-defunct Be’er-Sheva movie theaters. In 1956, two Jewish North-African champion boxers arrived, Prof. Suissa & Nissim Asraf. Nonetheless, the “Ha-Po’el” Boxing Club eventually failed. In the 1970sIsaac Shtiel convinced Judge Eliezer Rivlin & Vice-Boxing sportsMayor Bentz Carmel to support this sport, and in 1975 “Betar Be’er-Sheva” Boxing was born. After the arrivals of former Soviet champion boxers David Katz & Leonid Mordekovitz (1975), boxing matches were held again in the “Makif Gimel” High School. Since 2006, Dmitry Reznikov (1977-), himself an Israeli champion lightweight boxerhas been coaching classical (Olympic) boxing in Nahal Ashan at the Maccabi Be’er-Sheva” Boxing Club; several of his boxers have since become Israel Lightweight Boxing Champions. For example, i2016 + 2017, the gold medals in the Israel Junior Boxing Championships (under 59 kg) went to Eitan Gavdolin and, in 2017, Maor Rozhnov won the gold medal (up to 38.5 kg) and Niv Rahamim won the gold medal (up to 46 kg).

1953 Zvi Bruner (1932-2009) first introduced men’s outdoor basketball in Be’er-Sheva (there were as yet no appropriate sports halls in the city). Then in volleyball1954, brought volley ball to Be’er-Sheva. In 1985, the ASA girl’s team from the Makif Gimel High-School won the Israel ASA Junior League Volley Ball Championships and in 1989, the ASA girl’s team from the Korczak School did it again.

1960 During the 1960s-1980s, a number of champion wrestlers arrived to Be’er-Sheva from various parts of the globe, such as: Jackie AzoulaiIsrael Wrestling Champion in the 1960s was followed by Hakiashvili in 1973. After the arrival Greco-Roman champion Coach David Netis in 1975, Be’er-Sheva began to achieve national and international recognition, dominating the Israeli championships from 1980-1988. Benny Israeli_Pro_Wrestling_Association_(logo)Chachashvili was the Israel Wrestling Champion at least 13 times. World Wrestling ChampionshipsAlso, Morris Chachashvili won Israel’s 1st gold medal for cadet wrestling at the World Wrestling Championships (WWC) in 1981; Moshe Ben-Simon  got a gold medal for cadet wrestling at the 1983 WWC; and Meir Chehanski got a gold medal at the 1985 WWC. Others qualified to represent Israel & Be’er-Sheva at the various Olympics. In 1994, Leonid Shulman became the Israel Junior Wrestling ChampionBy 1994, there were 3 professional freestyle wrestling schools in the city: “Ha-Po’el Be’er-Sheva;Wrestling - Ha-Po'el Hesegi“Maccabi Ami Be’er-Sheva” (founded 1994); and “Ha-Po’el Hesegi Be’er-Sheva” (founded 1998), that also began to train women wrestlers in 2003In 2003, Gotcha Chachashvili won the WWC. During the 2010s, the Maccabi “Ami” Be’er-Sheva Wrestling Club, under coach Leonid Shulman produced a 5-time Israel Junior Freestyle Wrestling Champion, Liran Supitsky, in the 53-74 kgs. weight class. Then, in 2018two young Be’er-Sheva wrestlers coached by Leonid Shulman at “Ami” took gold medals — Lior Altshuler (to 125 kg) and Uri Kalashnikov (to 86 kg) –at the International Competitions for Wrestlers under the Age of 20 held in Austria and also took 1st place in the 2018 Israel Wrestling Championships held in Be’er-Sheva at the Dennis Survival School: Uri Kalashnikov, Gennady Bungayev & Lior Altshuler each won 2 gold medals & Liran Supitsky and Liran Bungayev got 1 gold medal a piece. In 2022, Daniel Kagalovsky, an 11th-grader at Amit Comprehensive High School, became the Israel Junior Wrestling Champion in the 80 kg. weight class.

1960 During the 1960s, Shlomo Razi the city’s first ASA handball club. In 2005, Roni Tesler founded the Be’er-Sheva Handball Club; in 2010-2011, the children from the Rabin High-School won the Israel National Junior Handball Championship.

1965 The “Betar Be’er-Sheva” Table-Tennis (“Ping-Pong”) Club was born. In 1973Mendel Noyman founded the “Ha-Po’el Be’er-Sheva” Table-Tennis Club.Table tennis In 1979Amnon Ben-Shahar became an Israel Table-Tennis Champion. Then, in 1993, the first women’s table-tennis team was established. The failed Betar Be’er-Sheva” Table-Tennis Club was revitalized in 1995. Later, in 2008, Pavel Timnogorov took the Israel Cadet Table-Tennis Championships and Dan Israel table tennisMatan won the Israel Junior Table-Tennis Championships  both of them representing the local “Hovte Aryeh” Table-Tennis Association. In 2010, this time Timnogorov became the Israel Junior Table-Tennis Champion. In 2012, couples players, Ronel Davidov & Yulia Dubov, from “Hovte Aryeh” won the Israel (U-13) Couples Championship.

1974 The competitive Olympic sport of fencing was introduced into Be’er-Sheva by Boaz Israel Fencing logoLifschitz. In 1977/78, the first to become an Israel Champion Fencer (using a saber) was former Ukrainian champion Mikhail Fishman. In 1981Elinor Artzieli, from the Technological College’s ASA Womens’ Fencing Team, won the Israel Womens’ Fencing ChampionshipsFrom 1981-1989, Be'er-Sheva Fencing Clubthe reigning Israel Fencing Champion from Be’er-Sheva was Gregory Gross, who was also the ASA the Ha-Po’el champion, as well as the 1st place fencer at the 19811989 Maccabiah Games; he is still a fencing coach at the  Be’er-Sheva Fencing Club.

1991 Year after year, the “Boris Dojo” Shotokan karate club, founded and coached inBoris Dojo the Daled neighborhood by Boris Esctchin brings home medals and trophy-cups from the Israel National Karate Championships and from International Shotokan Boris Esctchin Dojo champsChampionships all over the world. For example, in 2013 in Malta, they returned to Be’er-Sheva with 13 1st-place medals.

1999 The “Rogozarski Dojo” founded and coached by Predrag Rogozarski brings home medals and trophy-cups from the Israel National Karate Championships and from ASA Tournaments. For example, in 2008, Victoria Muhitadinov became the Israeli National Female Sparring Champion and the “Rogozarski Dojo” took 1st place in the ASA Open Tournament. karate-dojo-rogozarskiFrom 2008-2017Diana Petrescu has held the title of Israel Women’s Karate Champion (under 61 kg) and, in 2017, Coach Rogozarski‘s son, Matya, took 1st-place (under 75 kg). At the 2022 Maccabiyah Games, the brothers Matya Rogozarski (b.1999-) and  Nikola Rogozarski (b.2003-) each won a personal gold metal, as well as a gold medal for the group heat.

2005 The Be’er-Sheva Center for Athletics and Trampolining and the roni-teslerMaccabi Be’er-Sheva” Trampoline Teams are managed and coached by former Israel Athletics Champion Roni Tesler with Coach Yelena Kirchenko. In 2007, the Be’er-Sheva Trampoline Teams won their first of many gold medals in the Israel National Trampoline Championships that are often held in Be’er-Sheva. For instance, they won 5 more gold medals in 20141st-place

2005 The ASA/Be’er-Sheva “Camels” Rugby Club (founded 1992), coached by Eduardo Kavrel at the BGU Sports Center, won the double: the Israel Cup and the ASA International Championship.  

2006 A 10th-grade team from the “Rabin” Yud-Alef High-School took 1st place in Artistic gymnastics2the Israel Open School Athletics Competitions and was chosen to represent Israel and Be’er-Sheva in the 2007 International Sports Federation (ISF) World Schools’ Championships (WSC) in Athletics in Paris.

2006 The Academic Sports Association (ASA) of BGU won the Israel National Cup for Israel Academic Sport AssociationIndoor Soccer, coached by Vikko Haddad. They then represented Israel at the International Federation of Association Football European FIFA Cup Finals.

In 2007 and 2009, the Maccabi Southern Region Rhythmic/Artistic Gymnastics School of Be’er-Sheva (founded 1997), directed by Diana Goldfeld, took 1st place in the Israeli National Championships.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA In 2011, it hosted the 1st International “Gymnostrada” in Be’er-Sheva and an Israeli National “Gymnostrada” in 2016. They continue to glean “Grand Prix” cups – http://www.rsj.co.il. 

2016 The “Rager” Comprehensive High-School in Be’er-Sheva began hosting annual, Israel Open National Grappling Championships in Grappling Israelconjunction with “Kivunim,”the Israel Grappling Association & the local club “Spirit,” run by Moshiko Ben Shimol, who arranged these yearly tournaments.

2017 Several students from the “Makif Gimel” High-School became this year’s Israel national champions: 7th-grader Tal Gan in judo (to age 14); 9th-grader Misha Shimon in freestyle wrestling; and 12th-grader Noam Ozer in ju-jitsu.

2017 14 young athletes from the “Negev Athletes”  in Be’er-Sheva, trained by Idan Shapira (b.1982-), took 1st place in the Israel National Athletics Competitions held in Tel Aviv. The Israel champion team includes: Gal Kadmon, Juman Jubran, Anastasia Muchkayev, Daniel Kramer, Yif’at Zelikovitch, Laurel Greenholtz, No’a Berli’a, Dina Mazidov, Veronica Chainov, Galina Reznik, Sarah Misheyev, Margarita Belov, Alona Valodin & Tal Weiss.

2017 The Premier Negev Region Little-League Basketball Team (Be’er-Sheva + Bene Shim’on), under coach Ronen Yoseftook 1st place in the Israel National Championships.

2018 Be’er-Sheva’s “The Mexican” Minifootball Team (founded 2006 & owned by Guy Lautmanwon all the Israel Minifootball Championships across the board: sevens, sixes and fives. ‘Minifootball’ is soccer played in indoor arenas, each team consisting of 5-6 players and a goalie. 

2018/2019 The Amit/Wasserman High-School produced 9 Israel national champions, such as: two-time student champion Orel Yizraelov; wrestler (up to 92 kg) Yuri Kalishnikov;  wrestler Ronen Kolesnik; wrestler (up to age 23) Danny Popov; 2018 Decathalon champion Israel Yashuk; 2018 Table Tennis champ Dennis Lev; 2018 judo (up to 48 kg) Etty Nisimov; student wrestlers (up to  52 kg) Rattan Agnisian and Sarel Yizraelov.  

2018+2019 The Israel Reserve Basketball Team (up to age 20), starring two opening-5 players from HaPo’el Be’er-Sheva (in the Israel Premier League)Team Captain Ya’ir Kravitz (b.1999-) and Amit Suss (b.2000-), has won the European Reserve Basketball Championships twice-in-a-row.

2019 The Kaye College Girls’ Rhythmic/Artistic Gymnastics Team, coached by Tatiana Abramson took 1st place in the August Israel National Gymnastics Championships, returning to Be’er-Sheva with 32 medals for various apparatuses, 4 cups, and the title of Israel Champions.

2021 The “Bet ha-Lohem” Wheelchair Basketball Team made it into the Israel Super League, under coach Gal Mailik.   

2023 The “ha-Po’el Be’er-Sheva Swim Team,” coached by Oleg Takachenko has been winning medals for years, and recently amassed 4 gold medals and won the “Jerusalem Cup.”  

Champion sportsmen/women and dancers:

1962 Tunisian judo champion Morris Smadja (b.1932-) arrived in Be’er-Sheva, effectively introducing judo into Israel. He began teaching in the Bet Israel Judo Associationneighborhood. He trained his son [Shay] Oren Smadjawho brought honor to Be’er-Sheva and Israel by winning an Olympic bronze medal in at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona; another bronze medal at the 1992 European Judo Championships in Paris; and a silver medal at the 1995 World Judo Championships held in Tokyo. Former judoka Oren Smadja now trains bronze and gold Olympic medalists Or Sasson and Sagi Muki, respectively. In April 2022, at age 90, Morris Smadja was awarded a “Lifetime Contribution to Sports Award” for his coaching by the Israel Ministry of Culture & Sports and the Wingate Institute of Physical Education & Sports.

1965 Yehuda Kaplan settled in Be’er-Sheva and founded his school for competitive gymnastics in the Bet neighborhood. During the 1970s and 1980s, he also directed the Athletics Dept. of Ha-Po’el Be’er-Sheva (soccer & basketball). He coached his son Ron Kaplan (b.1970-, Be’er-Sheva), who won the gold medal at the 1989 “Maccabiah; became a 4-time Israel All-Round Gymnastics Champion 1989-1992; and went on to represent Israel at European, World & Olympic events. After retiring, Yehuda Handicapped basketballKaplan coached people with special needs at the “Peninah” Sports Hall; after retiring ca.1995Ron Kaplan became a TV sports commentator.

1990 World-class ballroom dancing couple, Evgeny Vaiman & his wife Lucy, founded the “Bravo” Ballroom and Latin Dance School in Be’er-Sheva at the Yud-Alef Ballroom dance championsCommunity Center. Vaiman is an accredited international judge for the Amateur Israel Dancesport Association (A.I.D.A.), who also trained local international champions, Roman Borokhov and Yulia Prokopenko, and local national champions, Shay Greenberg (b.1996-) and Asliya Mirazahimov (b.2001-). 

1991 Boris Esctchin founded the “Boris Dojo” Shotokan karate club in the Daled Boris Esctchinneighborhood where he has been producing national and international champions ever since, bringing great pride and recognition to Israel and Be’er-Sheva.

1999 Predrag Rogozarski founded the Shotokan karate club “Rogozarski Dojo” (whichPredrag Rogozarski became the largest karate dojo in Be’er-Sheva)where he has been producing national karate and ASA champions over the years.

2002 Former judoka Tanya Simantov came as a child from Uzbekistan in 1993 to stay in Be’er-Sheva. From the age of 9, she trained with judo coach Igor Derek at the Be’er-Tanyah Siman TovSheva “Fighter” Champion Judo Club. In 2002, 2004 & 2005 she was the European Junior Champion; in 2003, she won a gold medal at a European Youth Olympic Day (EYOD) in Paris; and she’s a 4-time Israel Women’s Judo Champion in 2003, 2004, 2007 & 2008

2004 Soccer referee Moshe Buhbut from Be’er-Sheva entered the Major League.

2005 Ballroom dancing couple Roman Borokhov and Alexandra Kompanits (under the age of 21) represented Israel and Be’er-Sheva in the World Ballroom Dancing Competitions, where they took 1st place. From 2009-2015Borokhov and his wife Yulia Roman Borokhov & Yulia ProkopenkoProkopenko were the Amateur Israel Dancesport Association (A.I.D.A.) Champions. In 2012, Prokopenko appeared on Israel Channel 2’s “Dancing with Stars.” After becoming certified instructors, in 2012, the couple founded the “Tandem” Ballroom-Dancing School in Be’er-Sheva – www.tdance.co.il, 052-4714545.

2006 Marina Okhman (b.1982-) from Be’er-Sheva has, thus far, held theIsrael Weightlifting Federation title of Israel’s Adult Women’s Weightlifting Champion for 11 straight years (2006-2017), for both ‘snatch’ and ‘clean and jerk’. She is also on Israel’s Senior Olympic Team.haim  1106017  calcalist14.JPG

2006 Bedouin judoka Rani Abu-Ghanim, trained in Neveh Noy by former Israel judo champion Coach Yo’av Lavi, became an Israel Judo Champion (to 90 kg) and played on the National Youth Judo Team. Coach Lavi also trained the 2009 Israel Judo Champion  (to 90 kg), Itay Gorlitzky in Neveh Ze’ev.

Dmitry Rezincov - boxer2006 Dmitriy Rezincov a champion lightweight boxer from Russia has been coaching boxing in Nahal Ashan at the Maccabi Be’er-Sheva” Boxing Club.” Rezincov trained 4-time Israel champion boxer (2009-2012Victor Barak.

2007 Liza Bich (b.1995-) from Be’er-Sheva became the Israel Women’s Judo Champion at age 12, in the lightweight category under age 23.

2007 Hanit Schwartz was born in Be’er-Sheva (b.1988-) and played goalie in the Ha-Po’el Be’er-Sheva Women’s Soccer Team for 5 years, until  doing her Hanit Schwartz - goaliemandatory service in the I.D.F. Afterwards, she became a goalie on the Israel National Women’s Representative Soccer Team, where she has been in games at home and abroad for the last decade.

2008 Young athlete Tamari Dayan (b.1990-) from Maccabi Bene ha-Negev and “Rabin” Yud-Alef High-School became the champion of the Israel Women’s Septathalon and also earned the title: “Israel’s Junior Athletics Queen.”

2008 After being trained by champion Sensei Amit Hakim, Be’er-Sheva‘s junior mixed Amit Hakim & Ram Banano 2008martial arts (MMA) champion Ram Banano took the title of Israel Champion of Champions and went on the represent Israel and Be’er-Sheva in Brazil, where he took the gold medal at the FILA International Grappling Tournament. Later in 2011, he won the Israel Brazilian Ju-Jitsu (BJJ) MMA Championship.

2009 Between 2009-2017, Israel champion Yevgenia Zabolotni, Yevgenia Zabolotnioriginally from “Maccabi Bene ha-Negev” in Be’er-Sheva, broke the women’s hammer-throwing distance record 25 times! Her latest record (2017is 60.60 meters (=ca.198.82 ft). The current (2017) Israel Junior Hammer-Throwing Champion is Alona Valodin from “Maccabi Kivunim Be’er-Sheva” who broke the Israeli record for girls this year.

Vitaly Semyonov2011 Vitaly Semyonov opened a mixed fight combat (MFC) school in Be’er-Sheva, at 80 ha-Histadrut St., where a combination of: boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai & Israeli krav maga are blended into one self-defense artform. He has since organized three MFC Mixed fight combattournaments that are open to all fighters who pre-register on the international website “Sher Dog,” so that the fighter, the fight and the outcomes may be officially recorded and published. The fights were temporarily being held in the parking lot in front of the “Narniyah” Events Hall (for lack of a more appropiate venue). Such MFC tournaments were not yet found elsewhere in Israel and put Be’er-Sheva on the national and World maps

Eyal Dadon2013 Eyal Dadon (b.1989- in Be’er-Sheva) is a graduate of Bat Dor and is a modern dancer/choreographer who has created choreographies for the BGU student dance troupe “Pola” and who dances in and choreographs works for the “MiKan” Fringe Theater‘s dance troupe “Sol.”  He has danced in “Kamea” and in the “Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company.” In 2013, his dance solo “Intro” won the first prize in Eurograde, Bulgaria and in 2015, his work Pishpesh” took first prize at the “International Choreography Dance Competition” held in Hannover, Germany. Dadon has also produced choreographies, such as the dance “Same, same” for the prestigious Stanislavski Ballet of Moscow that won the 2017 “Russian Creation of the Year” Prize. Dadon‘s works have been and are also currently being performed in China, Germany, Hungary, Russia and elsewhere across the globe – https://www.eyaldadon.com.

2013 Beershevan Shmil Yagayev (b.1994-) became an Israel National Boxing Champion.

2015 Be’er-Sheva resident Alex Raskopin (b.1995-) won the European Judo Cup for Alex Raskopin judokayouth up to age 23, held in Lund, Sweden. Then, in 2017, he won the bronze medal in the European Judo Championships for youth up to age 23, held in Warsaw, Poland.

2016 The Be’er-Sheva ballroom dancing couple Shay Greenberg and Asliya Mirazahimov became the new A.I.D.A. Ballroom and Latin Dancing Champions.

2016 Be’er-Sheva-born Shai Barbivi (“Barbie,” b. 1996-) was born with an ailment known as ‘specific fibrosis‘ which kept him in a wheelchair. Despite his limitations, he succeeded in becoming a certified sports coach & physical-education teacher, the coordinator of a basketball team, and playing almost every type of wheelchair sports in existence. At age 20, “Variety” awarded Barbie its special award for “extending the boundaries of sports.”

Alex Nikulin - MMA2017 Following a hiatus of several years, the first MMA “Desert Combat” was held in the Kunkhiyah” Sports Auditorium, where 14 veteran men &Kunkhiyah sports hall women competitors from 8 different MMA clubs across Israel fought before a crowd of some 700 fans of the sport. The winner of the main round was MMA Hajime Academy, Beer-ShevaAlexander Nikulin (“The Lion”, b.1988-) from the Be’er-Sheva MMA Hajime Academy. A woman MMA fighter alsoLaurita Chibiris - MMA fighter training here is Laurita Chibiris (b.1994-), a Be’er-Sheva resident since 2002 [photo: Shai Shmueli].  It is hoped that this will become a regular, annual event here.

2018 “Bat Dor” ballerina, Lior Sheiner won 1st place in the Vancliffen “Attilas Akilas Silvester” International Ballet Competition held in Pietra Ligure, Italy.

2019 Be’ershevan world-class swimmer Daniel Polischuk (b.2001-) has qualified to compete internationally for Israel in various European Junior Open Water Championships.

2019 Denis Kozlov (b.2003-) from Be’er-Sheva represented the Israel Tennis Association (ITA) at the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF)Junior Boys International Tennis Tournament” held in Armenia, where he took 1st place.

2019 Moshiko Ben-Shimol (b.1989, in Be’er-Sheva) first earned his black belt in self-defense at Be’er-Sheva’s Dennis Survival School, went on to teach ju jitsu, and later founded several MMA schools across the Negev region. In November, Ben-Shimol was chosen to represent Israel in Sweden by fighting a showcase battle against retired Swedish icon, ex-Iranian champion, Reza Madadi, in defiance of Iran’s refusal to allow Iranians to compete against Israelis… 

2020 Roy Yarlip (b.2006-), from Bat Dor Be’er-Sheva, won the 2020 Israel RAD (British Royal Academy of Dance) Scholarship Contest, granting him a year’s study at the ballet school in Yorkshire, England.

2020 David Pavlov (b.2004-) of Be’er-Sheva won the Israel Junior Power-Lifting Championships, coached by Manny Shemesh.

2020 Semiyon Brodsky (b.2002-), from the Be’er-Sheva Negev Athletes Club, won the Israel Junior Decathelon; and in 2021, he became the Israeli Senior Athletics Champion, setting 2 new personal records–for shotput to the distance of 12.87 meters and for pole-vautling to the height of 4.30 meters.

2020 Natural bodybuilder Gal Maimon (b.1996-) from Be’er-Sheva became “Mr. Israel” in the category of 69+ kgs. and Israel’s Champion of Champions.


In 2021, Be’ershevan natural bodybuilder Oshri Ben-Hanan (b.1981-) took second place in Israel.

In 2022Nir Abelson (b.2010-) of Be’er-Sheva  won the gold medal to become the Israel Judo Champion for Youth on the Autistic Spectrum for boys age 12-18.

In 2022, Beershevan fencer, Ran Treitel (b.2008), though only age 14, met the criteria for 17-year olds, and represented Israel in the European Fencing Championships held in Serbia, placing 56/77. Keep an eye on Ran…

2022 Shai Barbivai (b.1996-), who was born in Be’er-Sheva with a physical disability, became a presenter for the “Strauss Company” and also a member of the Israel Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball Team that won the 2022 Paralympic College Championships held in the U.S.A.   

2022 At age 74, veteran athletics coach, Barukh Shapira (b.1948-)  received “Lifetime Contribution to Sports Award” from the Israel Ministry of Culture & Sports and the Wingate Institute of Physical Education & Sports.                                                          

2022 Yitshak Amar (b.2004-), a student at Amit Comprehensive High School,  trained at the “Spirit Dojo,” became the European Jiu Jitsu Champion (in the age 18 category) in the competition held in Crete, by beating 4 European karate samurais.  

2022 Ori Sarusi (b.2004-) won the Israel Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Championship in the categories of up to 21 age and under 65 kgs. and will represent Be’er-Sheva’s “Spirit Dojo”, his coach Moshiko Ben-Shimol, and Israel in the European Championships. 

2022 Four “Negev Athletes” who train in Be’er-Sheva, returned from the Maccabiyah with gold medals: David Hayun for running 110 m in 14.04 seconds; Noah Yaski for participating in the group 4×400 m relay race (as part of the Israel National Team; Roni Hovav won her gold medal in the junior high-jump contest by clearing 1.60 m; and Ilan Yashuk got the gold medal in the junior triple-jump.

2022 Young tennis player, Shon Bratikov (b.2012-) from Beer-Sheva’s Israel Tennis and Education Center, took 1st place in the 2022 Israel National Tennis Championships, held by the Israel Tennis Association for players to the age of ten.

2023 Rafael “The Cop” Aronov (b.1995-), from Be’er-Sheva, is a welterweight MMA fighter, who became Israel’s International MMA Champion at an event sponsored by the IWCC (Israel World Combat Championship).

2023 Peninah Aronov (b.2000-) took first place in the European Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships, held in Bucharest.

2023 Beershevan Pini Schechter (b.1940-), in the indoors Master’s Men’s Triple Jump Tournament, in the 80-85 age group, took first place with 7.98 m at the international competition held in Romania

For much more detailed information on historic Be’er-Sheva sports champions see theyithak-shatil-ethelea-katzenell Hebrew book: The History of Sports in Be’er-Sheva (c2012) written by Isaac Stiel (a.k.a., Yitshaq Shatil, 1941-2019).

Winning groups of other contests/competitions/prizes/honors

Winning groups or institutions:

1973 Be’er-Sheva‘s E. Levant Chess Center, founded by Eliyahu Levant, a.k.a. Mr.Chess Club of Beer-Sheva Chess” (1928-2017), is famous in all the international chess circles for Eliyahu Levant - Chesshaving the second-highest rate of Grand Masters per capita in a city in the World (9 and counting…)–as a longstanding chess superpower. The players’ ages range from 4-90 (and they play in 42 competitive groups). In 2022, the Be’er-Sheva Club won yet another National Championship and the State Cup. In this predominantly male sport, Be’er-Sheva currently has 3 women World Chess Champions competing locally and internationally: Ilana David (b.1961-); Aleksandra Aleksandrova (b.1973-); and Alexandra Simchayev (b.2005-). Also, in 2022, Yuliya Shvayger (b.1994-) became the Israeli National Champion.  

1991 Esterika Nagid, a successful Be’ershevan talent scout, initiated the Annual Be’er-Sheva and the Negev Beauty Pageants that provide Be’er-Sheva‘s official candidates Israel Beauty Contestsfor the Annual Miss Israel Beauty Pageant. From among those chosen representatives have come, thus far, 3 Miss IsraelsNicole Halperin (1989)Mor Maman (2014)Ma’ayan Keren (2015); also, in 1992Sarit Afangar was chosen as the 2nd Runner-Up. Thus far, there have also been 5 more Miss Israels who were born in Be’er-Sheva and made us equally proud: the late Nili Drucker-Sasson, also known as “the Brooke Shields of Israel” (1986)Ravit Asaf (1992, who also reached the final round in the Miss World Contest and now manages her personal School of Cosmetics and Fashion in Be’er-Sheva)Miri Bohdana (1995, who also reached the final round in the Miss World Contest)Mirit Greenberg (1997); and NiritEsterika Nagid & fat queen Bakshi (2000)In 1995Nagid also started the first annual contest especially for beautiful heavy women (weighting 80-120 kgs = ca.176-ca.265 lbs), entitled: Israel’s Miss Fat and Beautiful Pageantbreaking all the stigmas and conventions; and then she went on to hold two more such contests:  The Married Beauty Pageant and The Senior Beauty Pageant, as well

1995 The Israel “Sinfonietta” Orchestra, Be’er-Sheva (founded 1973) was awarded the Israel Prize for Music by the National Council for Culture and Art and, in 1998, Conservatoriumthe Wandering Cylinder” Prize by the Israeli “Art for the People” Organization for its service to the entire Negev Region.

1998 The “Beit MoriahCommunity Center, located in the Daled neighborhood on Beit MoriahMendele Mokher Sefarim St., was granted an award by the Israel Ministry of Education’s National Council for the Child for making Jewish heritage studies available to immigrant and underprivileged children. In 2002“Beit Moriah received the Israel Prime Minister’s Award “Magen ha-Yeled” (lit., child’s shield) for advancing proper nutrition in educational institutions. Then in 2011it received a Midot “Seal of Beit Moriah community centerEffectiveness” for being an efficient and professional philanthropic organization.

2006 The BGU Youth Advanced Mathematics Club – “Kidumatikah” took 1st place in the Israel National Mathematics Championships.

2006 The “Kleen” Factory in Be’er-Sheva, that makes cleaning products, took 1st placeSwan soap container in the “Israel Star” Contest for the swan-like design of its liquid dish-soap container; this design also represented Israel in the International “Worldstar” Competition for the Best Product Packaginghttp://www.kleen.co.il.

2007 Every two years, Israel’sColmobile” Hyundai Motors Company chooses its best automotive diagnostician to serve as Israel‘s delegate to the South Korean Biennial “OlympiHyundai” Contest, where the leading experts from around the globe compete to provide the highest quality automotive services. The 1st place contest winner in 2007 was none other than Be’er-Sheva‘s Yaron Ruimi, who was chosen again to represent Israel in 2017

Great Mosque of Beersheva2016 A Restoration Medal was awarded to the restored Great Ottoman-Turkish  Mosque of Be’er-Sheva (built in 1906), currently serving as the Museum of Islamic and Near-Eastern Cultures, where relevant exhibits and lectures are regularly hosted.  

2016 The Council for a Beautiful Israel awarded their Decade of Outstanding Beauty Award to the “Ha-Shalom” Elder Day Center in the Gimel neighborhood, run by “Matav.”

2016 A BGU-born agricultural technology company, Enzootic,” founded in 2012 by Dr. Assaf Schechter and Prof. Amir Sagi, took 1st place at the International “Agribest” Conference Contest for the development of advanced agricultural products, held at the Weizman Institute.

2016 A group of 10th graders from the Makif Gimel High-School won the 1st place in the Israel National Competition for Young Entrepreneurs. They founded a company called “Pinapple” and created a product called “Kisoto” (lit., car pocket) – a specially designed cloth with pockets to be hung inside an automobile that holds various items in an organized fashion, such as a mobile phone, coffee cup, flashlight, etc.

BGU Jusidman Center2017 For the first time ever, a group of bright high-school students from BGU’s Jusidman Science Center for Youth, after taking 1st place in the Israel National Robotics Olympiadrepresented Israel in the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) held in Washington, D.C.  Then again in 2018, the Robotics Team from the BGU Jusidman Science Center for Youth took the 1st prize in the Israel National Robotics Olympiad & will represent Israel in the 2018 World Robotics Championships held in Houston, TX.

2017 Following a survey taken by the Israel Ministry of Health of 11,000 patients treated at the 27 large, general-hospital Emergency Rooms in Israel,Soroka Medical Center the Soroka Medical Center ER was found to be the most satisfactory (74.4%). 

2017  Of the approximately 85 Clalit” Medical Services “Smile” dental clinics located across the country, Be’er-Sheva’s “Shila” Cinic (founded 1995) took 1st place for its outstanding service.

2019  Seven Be’ershevan students in the Israeli Orthodox “AMIT Educational Network became physics champions at the Israel National  Physics Olympics: 4 boys–Daniel Korkin, Leon Trosnitsky, Vladimir Yarmolenko and Michael Baloshvili, from the Wasserman” High-School, and 3 girls–Hen Nahum, Kamilah Sharf and Ma’ayan Tsadik from the “Oriyah/Dykeman” Ulpanah.

2020 “Amal Re’ut” High-School of Technology (Be’er-Sheva) won the “3rd Annual Interactive Quiz: In the Footsteps of the Fighters in the South” sponsored by the Israel Ministry of Defense’s Dept. of Defense and Society, in which ca. 6,000 students participated.

2022 “Soroka/University Medical Center” was cited for excellence by the JCI -Joint Commission International for its patient safety and quality of health care in the international community. 

Individual winners:

2003 Be’er-Sheva-born mandolinist & conductor Shmuel Elbaz and his Israeli Elbaz & Andalusian OrchestraMandolin Quartet took the  1st prize at the International  Music Competition for Plectrum Instruments held in La Rioja, Spain. Then, his Israeli Andalusian Orchestra (founded 1994 in Ashdod, Israel) was awarded the 2006 Israel Prize for Music.

2005 Ronen Farache (b.ca.1971-, in Be’er-Shevabegan designing clothes while still a student at Makif Vav High-School; he then studied at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design. He established his own design brand “Kuccita” and opened a bridal shop in Be’er-Sheva. In 2005, he founded “Farache Fashion.” He won the prestigious 2006 Israel’s Upcoming Designer Contest and his wedding and evening gowns are also sold in Tel Aviv and Paris. 

2006 Sima Aviv, a resident of Be’er-Sheva, an artist, and a veteran Soroka Oncology Ward volunteer with the “Hayim” (lit., life) Association for Children with Cancer in Israel was awarded the Health Minister’s Shield for Outstanding Volunteers.

2006 Prof. Emeritus Gerald (“Geri,” Ya’akov) Blidstein (b.1938-2020), a long-time resident of Be’er-Sheva and lecturer Prof. Gerald Blidsteinat BGU, was awarded the Israel Prize in Jewish Thought after publishing numerous books and articles on Jewish law and ethics. Prof. Blidstein was also chosen in 2007 to be a member of the Israel National Academy of Sciences (a great honor). 

2006 Ohad Ivri, a student in the BGU Dept. of Politics, Government & Communications, won 1st place in the “Roaring Lion” Competition, sponsored by the Israel Association of Media Consultants and Public Relations (ISPRA).

2006 Paul Schwartz, Head of the Be’er-Sheva Stamp Collectors’ Association won the gold medal in the World Stamp Competition held in Spain for his series of stamps called “Luxembourg.”

2006 Yan Wolfson immigrated from England to Be’er-Sheva and became an industrial expert in social responsibility and quality assurance while working for Bromine Compounds Ltd. He was appointed to serve on the ISO Working Group on SocialYan Wolfson & Shimon Peres Responsibility Wolfson was the recipient of the 2006 National Outstanding Auditor of the Year Award and the 2009 National Outstanding Quality Worker of the Year Award. He is the Israeli Coordinator for “Responsible Care” (a program to promote responsibility and transparency in the global chemical industry).  

2007 Be’er-Sheva’Reuven Teper was named “the leading hairstylist in Israel” and Reuven Teperalso took 2nd place for his evening-out hairdo at the 2007 National Beautifaro Competitions. His salon is hairstyling salon is called HeaDs.” 

Tamar Kronman2007 Tamar Kronman (b.1990-) from “Ulpanat Ohel Shlomo” in Be’er-Sheva became the 1st runner-up of the Annual International Bible Contest for Jewish Youth, held in Jerusalem on Israel Independence Day. 

Elad FinishIn 2008 Elad Finish (b.1990-), from the “Amit” High-School in Be’er-Sheva took 1st place, wining the International [Hebrew] Bible Contest (Hidon ha-Tanakh ha-Benle’umi)In 2017, he developed a Hebrew Android app for preparing for the Hebrew Bible Contests.

2009 Students from the Makif Vav High-School took 1st place in the national “So Can I” Contest for their invention of a special ‘singing kettle’ for the blind.

2010 The Israel Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award  was given to Kidushah Roitman-Bamenolker from Be’er-Sheva, who teaches at the Gevim Experimental School.

2011 Alon (“de Loco”) Cohen (b.1974-), a native Be’ershevan, a leading Israeli artist,Alon de Loco producer & D.J. of hip-hop, R&B, reggae & dancehall music, appeared on the competitive Israeli Hebrew TV version of the reality show: “Living in La La Land” and won the competition. He’s currently signed to Geffen Records – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alon_De_Loco.

2014 Prof. Emeritus Shimon Glick (b.1938-), is an American-born physician and an esteemed member of the U.S. Institute of Medicine. From 1965-1967, he served as the President of the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists of the US. In 1974, he came to Be’er-Sheva to help found the BGU Faculty of Medicine and then became Dean of the BGU Faculty of Health Sciences (1986-1990). His Prof. Shimon Glickspecialties include: internal medicine, endocrinology, Jewish medical ethics & bioethics. He’s well-known for riding his bicycle to the Soroka Medical Center almost daily for decades. He also headed both the Prywes Center for Medical Education and the Jakobovits Center for Jewish Medical Ethics, as well as serving as a consultant for the Israel Ministry of Health. Glick was awarded the 2014 “Nefesh b’Nefesh Bonei Zion” (lit., builders of Zion) Prize.

2015 Be’ershevan barman and mixologist David Kalinchev (b.1989-) mixed the winning David Kalinchevcocktail, called “El camello…loco” (lit., the crazy camel) for “Bar Shira” at the 2nd Israeli Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition, the goal of which is to create a new cocktail which would then be served in 14 other countries. Then in 2017, he represented Israel in the 11th Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition, where his original Zalame ACBcocktail