gap year in israel

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Those who choose to live in Tel Aviv for their gap year are sure to visit Tel Aviv’s artists’ market, better known as Nachalat Binyamin, on at least one occasion. The market is an iconic part of Tel Aviv’s creative scene and when it opens on Tuesdays and Fridays it is filled with unique goods ranging from jewellery to Judaica, paintings and other bits and pieces.

One of the most regular stalls belongs to the artist Itai Ron-Gilboa who studied visual communications and illustration at the Bezalel Academy of Art. Itai creates sculptures from wires after being inspired to do so by one of his university professors. He comes to the market all year round in order to “connect” with the crowd, both locals and tourists from across the world.

Another regular at the market is Sima who has been selling leather jewellery at the market since 1989. Each piece she makes is completely unique and “has a story”. You can still find a few items for sale that she created 25 years ago as well as her latest creations. She draws her inspiration from others’ and her own tastes and one of her most popular items is a black leather and turquoise bracelet that she initially made for her son’s wedding.

There are many painters who come to sell their work at Nachalat Binyamin and one of the most successful artists is Osnat Zemach. There are people who come from all over the world to buy Osnat’s art and one collector in Canada has 17 of her paintings. Osnat is an architect by profession but she paints for herself and comes to the market in order to escape into the real world away from the loneliness of the studio.

If you like ceramics then you should take a look at Nora’s stall where you can find everything from mugs to bowls. She is a relative newcomer to the market having been there for just four years but has quickly gained a loyal customer base thanks to the quality of her work.

Throughout Israel you will find loads of Judaica on sale, particularly if you venture into the tourist shops. However, if you are looking for a souvenir or a gift and want something a bit different then the husband and wife team of Nachman and Gila have an excellent stall in the market. They sell the usual pieces, such as menorahs and seder plates, but they incorporate sand into the artwork to make decorative swirls and markings within the glass to add texture and movement. Here you will find a huge range of pieces and it is an ideal place when looking for a gift to take home.

The Nachalat Binyamin market is always changing and these are just a few of the numerous vendors that can be found there every week. While living in the area be sure to take a look around every so often as you never know what gems you may find.