The Israel You Love Photo Contest

Show us the Israel you love in a new photograph contest by ISRAEL21c that launches next week and you could win an iPad mini or two runners up prizes of Amazon gift cards.

The new ISRAEL21c photo competition.

The new ISRAEL21c photo competition.

It’s the first time that we’ve run a photo competition and we’re keen to see what you can come up with.

We’re looking for great images that celebrate Israel. Wild, wacky, beautiful, happy, funny, warm, moving, breathtaking – we want to see Israel and its people through your eyes.

The competition begins next week on February 11th and runs until February 25th. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for details.

Readers can vote for their favorite snaps until March 5, and then ISRAEL21c will choose the final three winners from the top 20.
Winners will be announced on March 8.

The best shots will be featured on ISRAEL21c and will be included in a special movie to celebrate Israel’s 65th birthday in April.

So let your friends know, get your cameras out, and start snapping.

Foto Friday – Crowdfunding Kaleidescope

Among many other titles, 2012 can definitely be called “The Year of Crowdfunding”. Last year crowdfunding raised $1.2 billion, according to the Crowd Funding Industry Report for 2011 published by, and the number is expected to be double for 2012.

Crowdfunding, (alternately crowd funding, crowd financing, equity crowdfunding, or hyper funding), according to Wikipedia, “describes the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations.

“Crowd funding is used in support of a wide variety of activities, including disaster relief, citizen journalism, support of artists by fans, political campaigns, startup company funding, movie or free software development, inventions development and scientific research.”

Artistic endeavors are a main beneficiary of the trend. A recent New York Times article reported that has raised over $38 million in the last three years for music-related projects. 17 films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival raised funds via Kickstarter, which has also become — according to no less an authority than Publisher’s Weekly — one of the top 5 indie comic book publishers in America… without even being a publisher.

On a local note, a comic book Haggadah project by Israel’s own Dry Bones by Yaakov Kirschen was oversubscribed on Kickstarter to the tune of $20,000-plus.

2012 was also the year that collective micro-financing reached a tipping point and went global with sites sprouting up all over the globe. Could Israel be far behind?

No, of course not. Enter Start*ART, Israel’s own crowdfunding platform for art and art-related projects, including Kaleidescope Press, whose publisher, photographer Yigal Feliks, is seeking NIS 20,000 for a series of album-quality books of works by some of Israel’s most respected photographers: Yosaif Cohain, Igael Shemtov, Orit Siman-Tov and Feliks himself (click to view video).

Cohain co-founded the photography department at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, and was the first Israeli photographer to exhibit at the Tel Aviv Museum in 1978. The planned book, entitled “Yuval”, will feature 88 black and white panoramic photos from that show.

Shemtov’s work has been collected by museums in Israel and abroad. His “Photographs 1979-1980″ will be a two-volume set depicting an Israel that has all but disappeared.

Siman-Tov’s “What surrounds us” will present 66 images of Israelis and what they do during their leisure time.

As in all other crowdfunding sites, backers can make pledges both large and small, in return for gifts. NIS 10 backers become part of the Kaleidescope community, NIS 50 backers will receive a 10% discount on two Kaleidescope book purchases, NIS 100 get 10% off on five books plus a HD digital book. NIS 170 pledgers will receive a copy of the 18-page volume about the capital city’s downtown scene, “Jerusalem Performance” by Yigal, Feliks, the 10% discount on 5 books plus an invitation to the celebratory book launch where they can pick up their gifts.*

NIS 270 provides backers with a signed copy of the book “1;2;443″ by Yigal Feliks plus launch invitation. The book — named for the highways connecting Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa — presents 52 images from Feliks’ explorations on and around central Israel.


NIS 340 backers will receive a copy of the book “Yuval” by photographer Yosaif Cohain plus launch invitation, NIS 480 backers will receive a copy of the two-volume book “Photographs 1979-1980″ by photographer Igael Shemtov plus launch invitation, NIS 700 gives pledgers a choice of three out of the five volumes to be published, plus the invite.

Those giving NIS 1260 will receive signed copies of all five volumes plus launch invitation, NIS 1500 backers will be given the signed five volumes along with a 26cm x 40cm size museum-quality numbered photographic print, plus invite. NIS 2500 offers donors the signed five volumes along with a 36cm x 55cm size museum-quality numbered photographic print, plus invite. And NIS 5000 donors get the whole store: signed five volumes, a large-size 50cm x 75cm size museum-quality numbered photographic print, plus the invitation to the book launch.

For anyone who loves and/or collects Israeli photography, this is a wonderful and relatively low-cost opportunity to get involved with the Israeli art scene. The Kaleidescope Press project closes on January 26 so don’t delay — crowdfund today!

* In all cases, shipment will bear an additional charge for postage and handling.

Foto Friday – Elyssa Frank’s MADEINISRAEL Hannukah CELEBRATION!!!

Photographer Elyssa Frank is passionate about Israel. Leaf through her MADEINISRAEL page on Facebook, read her comments and you’ll see that enthusiasm shining through. This week, Tel Aviv-based Frank was in Jerusalem, viewing Hanukkah in the city through her own unique lens and voice…

Frank delivers a personal message through her comments. In this image of the women’s section at the Western Wall she wishes all a genuine, heartfelt ***HAPPYHANNUKAH***.

“to me, Israel is a country of CELEBRATION. . . so , when there’s a birthday & its during Hanukah. . . its the sweetest celebration ever. . . even sweeter when its your best-friend. . .”

Frank caught this ghostly image of a Hannukia, the nine-branched holiday candelabra, on a dark lonely street. She writes: “fo’ SURE. . . i thought i was having some weird spiritual siting as I wandered through the HOLYstreets of the OLD CITY of JERUSALEM. . . 3rd night. . .”

On the lighter side she notes, “ISRAEL’s the masters of the POP-UP shop. . . DONUT factory. . . on-the-spot!”

Although, in fact, there is a price to pay for the lighter side:
thats a wild berry chaser. . .
and yeah, thats just STUFFd with CHOCoLATE!
O my HOLY DIET!!!! woo. . hoo!!!!!
living the holiday of SOFgayNYOTS!!!!”

This past Monday, Frank attended TEDx Jerusalem (as did I), an independently organized TED event. Like its parent, TEDx Jerusalem was “devoted to ideas worth spreading” and the day featured some of Israel’s most inspired speakers and inspirational ideas.

One such idea came originally from New Orleans-based artist and TED Fellow Candy Chang, who turned an abandoned house into a giant chalkboard asking a fill-in-the-blank question: “Before I die I want to ___.” The answers written in by her neighbors became an unexpected mirror for the community.

Chang’s “Before I die, I want to ___” video is listed among the 10 Most Motivating and Life Changing TED Talks and chalkboards have sprung up all over the world. This week, Elyssa Frank snapped a shot of the latest — a different kind of wall in Jerusalem.

I had such an eye-opening, inspiring & enjoyable day. . .
I left with a few ideas i would like to share:
Strive to ALWAYS b UNIQUE. . .
BE YOU, its the strongest BE you can be. . .

Amen, amen! And a genuine and heartfelt happy Hannukah to all!

A silver lining to rocket barrage from Gaza?

November 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: A New Reality, Blogging, coexistence, General, Israeliness, Life, News, War 

Rockets were launched at Tel Aviv Thursday. (Marc Israel Sellem)

Unfortunately, the ‘reality of daily life in Israel’ is quite unreal these days, and getting more surreal by the moment.

One day into Operation Pillar of Defense, the offensive launched by the IDF to stop the barrages of rockets being launched from Gaza, over 200 rockets have been fired by Hamas and their cohorts, killing three Israelis. Two of the rockets of this writing have been launched far north as parts of Tel Aviv.

What that means is that everyone’s involved now, it’s not an issue solely focusing on the southern border communities – now, the heart of Israel, the bubble, the emblem of modern Israel is under attack for the first time since the Gulf War in 1991.

I’m not sure what that means actually, except that the residents of Tel Aviv who thought that they could remain in the bubble received an abrupt wake up call today.

Nobody knows where this is headed – there’s talk of an Egyptian-brokered truce, even though it’s unclear if Egypt can play a neutral role with President Morsi making belligerent statements. At the same time, there’s talk of an elongated ground action by the IDF. And once we enter Gaza, we won’t be leaving so quickly.

Residents in the targeted areas, which now includes a good part of the country, are facing the tough choice of staying home for the weekend, or taking advantage of a plethora of offers coming in from all kinds of communities, organization and parties who are offering to find host families for them in ‘safe’ areas.

There’s likely to be a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and areas in the center/north of the country, and the true hospitable spirit of Israelis will have the opportunity to be put into play.

If there’s a silver lining to the tense situation we find ourselves in now, it’s witnessing that essence of the idealistic country that we aspire to be, manifesting itself in the sense of community, offers of assistance and shelter, and the feeling that no matter where the rockets are falling, we’re all in this together.

Israeli fashion in the spotlight

The five fashion bloggers in Israel (Noa Magger)

Five of the blogosphere’s most popular style writers were recently in Israel checking out our style culture and meeting some of the country’s top fashion designers.

The group consisted of:

BryanBoy — one of the most popular fashion bloggers in the world, who also happens to be a judge on the hit US show “America’s Next Top Model”

Daniel P. Dykes – originally from Australia, but now the editor-in-chief of the UK-based website

Ada Alti — a 23-year-old Greek fashion writer for Eau de Style and a regular contributor to some of Europe’s most popular fashion and style publications

Rumi Neely — an LA-based blogger and photographer for

Robb Young — a fashion/style journalist, critic and consultant, whose writings have also appeared in The New York Times and Vogue

Their week-long visit included tours and workshops with some of the country’s leading designers including Dorin Frankfurt, Maya Negri and Danielle Lehavi.

They also met the graduating class from Shenkar College’s fashion design program who presented their final projects to the international bloggers.

According to The Algemeiner, the group also attended a runway party hosted by Couture IL (which promotes Israeli fashion to the world), went on an intimate behind the scenes excursion to the beating heart of Tel Aviv’s fashion, style and design scenes, courtesy of TLVStyle, and met with Efrat Gosh, one of Israel’s leading musicians.

Combined, the bloggers attract at least 10 million followers in over 200 countries.

During their visit, they shared their experiences non-stop through every imaginable social platform: updating their blogs and facebook pages, posting photos on Instagram and tweeting all day with glowing references to Israel and Tel Aviv.

Although the fashion bloggers blogged primarily about, well, fashion, they also raved about the dynamic Tel Aviv nightlife, the beach and food, the warm Israeli hospitality, the amazing architecture, and the edgy arts and culture scene.

Quite simply, they did what no amount of op-eds or statements from Israeli government officials ever could: They helped create an emotional bond between Israel and millions of people around the world who would never have thought of it otherwise in such terms.

Here are some of their comments at the end of their trip

Daniel P. Dykes: “Israel is the forgotten gem of the Middle East.”

BryanBoy: “The people are what makes Tel Aviv complete. They are so open, warm, generous.” He had earlier also tweeted to his 320,000 followers: “Tel Aviv: Best in Night Life.”

Robb Young: “The fashion here is sexy, edgy, exciting.”

Ada Alti: “There are just so many talented designers here.”

Rumi Neely: “The innovation level is just insane!” At the end of the trip, Neely also posted a photo of Tel Aviv beach, with the caption: “I don’t want to leave! Here’s why.”

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