Praising “my” group first: Everyone there, punctual, disciplined and in great spirit! It was truly a pleasure to spend this time with you, guys!! Thanks for all the mails and letters and pictures shared (particularly a big thank you to Arndt Zimmermann, our talented and generous photographer!!!)

Unfortunately I could only stay with the group iduring the first 2 days – as the date was colliding with Convene in Vilnius, where I was committed to speak (unfortunately only because the temperatures were much nicer in Israel :), and can therefore report some more about the days in Tel Aviv only. The group then continued to Jerusalem and to the Dead Sea and from what I heard from mails and messages, it must have been super interesting!

Hence back to Tel Aviv and a few selected highlights in the program offered to the group:

Ilana Goor Museum in Old Jaffa:
Ilana Goor is one of the most well known contemporary artists in Israel and quite an interesting character – here some more info about her.

The museum is also her home and a vivid showcase of her work and life: open to all directions, colourful and lively, crazy and creative! The Museum can well be used for events, particularly the roof terrace, overlooking Old Jaffa and the sea, is a very unique environment – filled with plants, artworks, cactus and an (artpiece) horse – at the same time eclectical and theatrical.
I would have loved to meet with the artist but we were not lucky. However, one colleague from Spain, who went for a little walk outside in the narrow streets, bumped into Ilana who then invited him to her private rooms to show him around!

The Nalaga’at theatre project:
Nalaga’at in hebrew means „”please touch”:

Being one of the most innovative theatre projects around the world, the centre is a meeting point for blind, deaf-and-blind and deaf people with those who do not have to deal with these handicaps. The strong message here is to encourage an honest and open dialogue, to learn and also to support the people working there, on their way to unfold their talents.

We had a wine tasting in the completely pitch-dark restaurant at the centre, the “Blackout Restaurant”. Being split in smaller groups under the guidance of a person working there, we felt quite helpless first: being led to our seats, explained the set-up of glasses, plates, bread – we slowly got a feeling on how different conditions can look like, if you can not use all your senses! It was really interesting to experience this completely new situation.

The hosts introduced themselves after the wine tasting and there was no hint of self-pity or complaint – to the contrary! What we could sense was a very positive and life-embracing attitude from which everybody can learn and benefit, putting things in a different relation….

In the MICE industry we always speak of emotions and stories and experiences: Here you could feel them truly and honestly. To me, the visit was my personal highlight of the trip!

“Eat with…” private dinner parties
Instead of a restaurant: a living-room with friends – who really are great chefs too! That is the concept for this program which is available in some big cities around the world.

We were picked up at our bus by the host (otherwise we might have felt a bit uncomfortable in both the part of the city and the backyard we had to cross to get to the place) But wow: what a surprise! A cozy loft, with candles and a big table – somewhere between self-made, trendy, ambitious and Christmas tree!! Two buzzing young hipster types cooking and laughing and creating a wonderful, homy feeling.

And so the food: Israeli homefood at its best! You don’t get these great things in restaurants, they need love and lots of time to prepare! Big applause to the two #Steampunks – Guy und Or!  We had a wonderful evening there! More about it here.

Johanna Fischer