About ID Festival


In the Bible, the Hebrew calendar begins with the month of Nisan, which marks the beginning of spring. However, during the 1st or 2nd centuries CE, it was decided to move the new year to the autumn, to the month of Tishrei. One shouldn’t be too concerned about Nisan, it has an important holiday already: Passover. At the midpoint of the month, when Nisan’s moon is full, Jewish people recount the founding myth of their nation, the Exodus. The following morning, they begin counting seven weeks. Thus, fifty days after Passover, we celebrate Shavuot, the feast of the harvest.  

Modern researchers point to a wealth of parallels between the customs and traditions of various ethnical groups that inhibited the ancient Middle East region. Christianity, which sprang forth from Judaism, placed its commemoration of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the 50th day of Eastern Season, the 7th Sunday from Easter Sunday. Pentecost is Latin for 50th. In 2022, the holiday falls concurrently with the Jewish Feast of the Harvest on June 5, the day of this year’s ID Festival.

Apart from Shavuot’s agricultural aspect, the main tenet is that on that day, the Thora, the Book of Books, was revealed to Moses and the Israelites at the biblical Mt. Sinai. Pessach represents the end of enslavement, and Shavuot: the (trans)formation of a nation, with the epic receipt of the Ten Commandments.  

Transformation is at the heart of our festival’s explorations this year. Keeping with the holiday and its tradition of readings, our MIFGASHIM series highlights stories, poems and texts: Dory Manor and Eran Zur will explore the translation process between poetry and music; Mati Shemoelof will introduce the visionary power of multilingual writing. Photographer Benyamin Reich will argue that forbidden sexual liaisons – such as described in the Book of Ruth, which is traditionally read on Shavuot – are catalysts for great transformations.

We are all awaiting positive changes. Life entails constant changes, and the expectation of positive developments is imo a desirable modus operandi overall. Frankly, I am positive we’d be able to get together in person on June 5th. Finally. Hear hear, as I write this, the pandemic is seeing a spike in cases globally.

And there’s also the catastrophes of the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war. I hope that by the start of the festival some agreements will be reached between the parties to bring an end to this disaster. 

Shavuot. It was one of the biblically ordained three pilgrimage festivals. In the post-Temple era, there are no longer specific laws on Shavuot, only the tradition of eating dairy foods and “being in a state of joy”. ID Festival has both traditions aimed at: Nearing sunset, Eran Zur, one of Israel’s most celebrated singer-songwriters, will be hosting an arsenal of renowned Israeli musicians on stage with him. The show, titled Kreuzberg Sonata, will include recitations of passages from Tolstoy’s Kreutzer Sonata, which first appeared in Hebrew in 1916 in the Jewish town of Pinsk. It is not unlikely that Tolstoy’s passages were also recited at the documented celebration on Shavuot that year; the event drew much of the Jewish population of Pinsk, and I could well imagine that the family of my grandmother, who was born there, also attended. 

At the end of this rock-and-prose extravaganza, we can taste Shavuot dairy delicacies and toast with a glass of wine at the FRAMED @ ID Festival cultural salon with an exhibition, live painting and performances by the most sought-after young bands on the Tel Aviv music scene. 

We – the artists, participants and festival team – are really looking forward to welcoming everyone to ID Festival: Schawuot in person. 

~ Ohad Ben-Ari, Founder & Artistic Director

© Merav Maroody

Our History

ID Festival was founded in 2015 with the aim to serve as a platform for Israeli artists to showcase their works to local audiences. The “Israel-Deutschland” festival highlights the connection between the “I” and the “D” of its acronym as a paradigm of hope, change, tolerance and understanding. It fosters collaborations between Israeli artists and local artists and art institutions, with further focus on building bridges with other minority groups in Germany.

© Bureau Hoyer
© Adar Aviam & Charlotte Sauvaget
© Adar Aviam & Charlotte Sauvaget
© Adar Aviam & Charlotte Sauvaget