It was truly a bumper year for videos at ISRAEL21c. Our YouTube videos received almost one million views this year, bringing the total views since we began making videos to nearly 4.64 million.
Viewers came from all parts of the world, even countries that don’t have diplomatic relations with Israel, giving us a chance to show everyone a completely different picture of Israel than is traditionally seen in the international media.
Take a visual trip through a busy and exciting year and check out our top 10 videos below.
- Happy Tel Aviv-Yafo
Of course, “Happy” came in number one. Who could resist the combination of a great tune by Pharrell Williams and the sight of Tel Avivians dancing in the streets? We shot “Happy” over two beautiful days in Tel Aviv. While some of the guests were friends and readers we invited to take part, others were just people we met on the street. “Happy” quickly went viral and the United Nations picked our video to feature in its Day of Happiness.
- Where will YOU eat your apples and honey this year?
Rosh Hashana isn’t Rosh Hashana without some apples and honey, so we decided to find some of the strangest locations people eat their favorite holiday snacks. Sky diving — really? We quickly discovered that the locations you can eat this holiday treat are limited only by your imagination.
- Holy Capoeira
A personal favorite, our video shows brothers Miki and Yehuda Hayat taking Capoeira, an acrobatic mix of martial arts and dance, to Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community. The film is stunningly shot by videographer Asi Aivas in the Old City of Jerusalem and music is by Brazilian singer-songwriter Elisete.
Israeli company Brainsway is making waves with its revolutionary new deep TMS technology that uses energy similar to MRI to stimulate deep structures of the brain and regulate their electrical activity. The non-invasive, pain-free device can be used to treat anything from addiction to depression.
- Postcard from Israel: Tel Aviv Boardwalk
Videographer Elahn Zetlin captures the heart of life on the boardwalk in Tel Aviv during the hot summer months for our wildly popular Postcard from Israel series. The beach is the city’s playground, and at one time or another, residents and visitors all make their way there to enjoy the sea breezes. This is Tel Aviv at its hot and steamy best.
- Hula-Hoops in Tel Aviv
Who knew hula-hooping could be so sexy? Our film, which focuses on the growing dance and fitness trend in Israel, was shot in the middle of the conflict with Hamas this summer. Even in the midst of war, Israelis made an extraordinary effort to continue living as usual despite the barrage of missiles from Gaza hitting the country. “You just want to dance and forget all about it,” says Shimrit, one of the hula-hoopers.
- Postcard from Israel: Tel Aviv Port
No matter what day of the week, or even what time of day, the Tel Aviv Port is bursting with life. Bars, restaurants, shops and a long wooden boardwalk beside the Mediterranean Sea – what more could you ask for? The Port has won design awards and continues to grow and develop. We took a camera down there to give you a taste of this fabulous leisure destination.
- Life’s a beach in Jerusalem
Yes, you heard it right – this summer, Jerusalem got a beach. The city may be landlocked on hills miles away from the sea, but Jerusalemites didn’t let that stop them. Tons of sand were brought in to create a manmade beach at the hip First Station complex in Jerusalem.
- Chocolate Festival
Israelis are just like everyone else – they love chocolate. In recent years, the country has seen a rise not just in boutique wineries, but also in boutique chocolate. To celebrate the incredible diversity of chocolate now being created in Israel, a widely popular chocolate festival was held in Tel Aviv.
10. Postcard from Israel: Safed
Located high up in the mountains of the Upper Galilee, Safed (Tzfat) is a truly unusual Israeli city. It is here that kabala, or Jewish mysticism, first took root and visitors flock to see the colorful historic synagogues and alleyways of the Old City, which also boasts a lively artists quarter. You’ll find winemakers, candle-makers, cheese-makers and textile artisans in this most beautiful and unique of locations.