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It's time to say goodbye....

They say old soldiers never die, they just fade away...

It's been a blast from the very start, at times the stress was huge, the days were horrendous and the nights sleepless, but in the end Eurovision in Tel Aviv gets a 10/10 from me...

Thanks for everything, thanks to the readers, the viewers and most of all thanks to Andy for the opportunity all those years ago.

Much Love and peace out :-)

What's another year

Andy on Sat, 05/18/2019 - 23:50

It is again this time of the year. Eurovision is coming to its end and so is another season of ESCKAZ work. 18th season.

To start with, it was quite uncertain that there would be another season after Lisbon, but eventually, we gave it a go on the same level as we did in the previous years. It is getting harder and harder every year to keep up the work of the bilingual website, provided the EBU/Premier PR approach to the international websites, which nowadays are valued lower and get much fewer accreditations, than purely national, non-English projects made of people from one country. It is an extremely strange approach, which keeps slowly killing at least our work.

Anyway, we have done reasonably well, as Israel has provided us with a wonderful opportunity to enhance our specialization covering organization of the contest itself.

Tel Aviv has been a welcoming city and despite budget issues, the organizers have faced there were hardly any serious problems on the ground. Two major ones - prices in the city and transportation in Shabbat probably have nothing to do with Eurovision, but as a blossoming city for tourists, there will be a need for solutions found at the end.

Sadly, this time I had no opportunity to attend any concerts or musical shows due to their price - I miss going to Air Supply in wonderful Caesarea for example, or musicals in great Tel Aviv theatres. Besides Eurovision, I've been to two events - Memorial Day and Independence Day concerts on Rabin Square. The latter featured Transistor band singing songs of late Arik Einstein - a true legend of the Israeli music. I used a chance to visit his grave in Trumpeldor cemetery and pay a tribute to the legend.

Tel Aviv offered some great opportunities for tours - we went to the Dead Sea, and on our own visited Jerusalem and Haifa. Despite I was in Jerusalem two previous years (it's getting a good tradition) - it is a city that never fails to impress, and this time I've also visited Russian orthodox church of Alexander Nevsky (and also I visited later Russian church in Tel Aviv). I've also gone to Nalagaat centre for deaf and blind people, on which we have reported in one of the previous articles. I also went to Kabbalat Center and visited Baha'i Gardens with a tour - two religions and two completely different impressions, while Kabbalat left an impression of being a commercial venture aiming to get money from the devotees and sort of current pop fashion, Bahai one left an opinion of being very sincere and open.

My colleagues also throughout enjoyed the free dinners offered by Municipality and Eatwith project and some culinary tours. We have also walked around Tel Aviv with a wonderful Tel Aviv Greeter Lorna (sadly we've missed Safari and hot balloon opportunities due to being very busy). I had only 1 day to go to the beach, but it was very enjoyable, of course, and deeply missed since 2012 and Baku.

All in all, there hardly is anything to criticize: friendly security, hardly noticeable volunteers and helpful staff, amazing huge packed Eurovillage (apparently it reached 80,000 attendance this final night), nicely set up Euroclub and Eurocafe (with a bit late start of the performances though).

Complimentary boat trips are fun - Sailor Yacht Club, Jaffa

ESCKAZ.com played tourists today with the complimentary boat cruise from Jaffa Port courtesy of the Sailer Yacht Club Jaffa


Boat Trip - Sailor Yacht Club Jaffa

This was an amazing 2 hours on a boat that does daily trips in the Tel Aviv area - our Captain, Amit, was a perfect host and we felt so comfortable and welcomed, just like everywhere else in Israel. The port area of Jaffa is a really nice backdrop too, well worth a vitas and a day out, maybe lunch and then a small cruise to explore the Tel Aviv skyline from a different angle.

Boat Trip - Sailor Yacht Club Jaffa

The only scary moment was the every small entrance in and out of the historic harbour - it’s approximately 20m and takes real skill to navigate. The evidence of less skilled sailors is there for all to see with a crashed boat on the rocks

Highly recommended to take a trip there, and all the links you will need are below

Boat Trip - Sailor Yacht Club Jaffa

With Thanks to the Sailor Yacht Club


+972 77-212-0366

Semi two predictions....after San Marino who know's what will happen...

The Netherlands
North Macedonia

Austria is borderline and could switch with Lithuania - though I would love to see Ireland do it!

The Netherlands
North Macedonia

Norway could just make it but not sure who I would put out for that

Australian Ambassador House hosting

Eran on Tue, 05/14/2019 - 19:42

Yesterday, the Australian ambassador to Israel, Chris Cannan, hosted an event at his residency.


In the event, the historian Dean Vuletic gave a lecture about the history, the political roots and the political influence of the Eurovision Song Contest, as described in his book "Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest". The title of the lecture was "Why Are Australia and Israel in The Eurovision Song Contest". Obviously it did not evolve around the technicalities (Israel is part of the EBU and therefore allowed to take part), but rather around the cultural connections that lead to both countries to not just participated, but also be heavily invested in.


We were also informed at the event, Vuletic is currently working on a new book, that will evolve around the "Intervision", the soviet bloc song contest. We'll be waiting on that one.


Ambassador Chris Cannan,


Dean Vuletic

Visit to Nalaga'at Center

Andy on Tue, 05/14/2019 - 19:34

We usually try to cover some of the characteristic events outside the Eurovision bubble which would tell on some of the interesting features of the host city. As part of the press-tours offered by Tel Aviv Municipality, ESCKAZ team has visited Nalaga'at Cultural center -the non-profit arts and cultural foundation that represents a meeting place between deaf, blind and deaf-blind individuals together with the public. The Nalaga’at Theater was established in 2002 with the purpose of integrating deaf-blind people into society, advancing their needs and aspirations and to grant them the opportunity of self-expression and exercising the most basic of their rights – contributing to the society.

Nalaga'at is divided into four sections which are: Theater (which is unique in the world and features deaf, blind and even deaf-blind actors), Blackout Restaurant (the only in Israel and one of 12 in the world), Workshop Center (offering for example Wine and Cheese tasting in the dark, Chocolate tasting workshop, Sign Language Workshop etc) and Kapish Events. Our initial interest was in Children of the lesser God theater play, but unfortunately, it is not screened during Eurovision week, but there's another one - Edgar on 16th of May at 20:30. I have been always fascinated by blind and deaf people and my ambition is to learn sign language one day, so when selecting our plan for Tel Aviv Nalaga'at center definitely had to be in the list.

The event was organized very smoothly, but sadly there were no other media present, and we need to say they should not miss this experience. We were accompanied by a volunteer from the Tel Aviv municipality. First, we had a chance to speak with CEO of the Center Oren Itzhaki and then we could actually enter the Blackout Restaurant - in which food is served in complete darkness, and tried some chocolates there. As Kirill has said it was kind of "eyes opening" experience, to feel what blind people feel - and were amazed by their courage and they act as role models to our society. After the event, we had a chance to speak to one of the employees Galina Bakshiev, who is visually impaired.

HQ Photos were provided by Ella Danino, Marketing manager of the Center. Read more at https://nalagaat.org.il/en

Nalaga'at Center