Tel Aviv 2019

‘Shabbat will not affect a contest in Jerusalem’ says minister

With a new Eurovision season fast approaching, the question on everyone’s lips remains the same – Where in Israel will the contest be held next year? While Jerusalem & Tel Aviv are the two front runners in the race to host the contest, the former has come under fire.  Religious parties have requested that the event must not interfere with Shabbat – the holy day.

Culture Minister: ‘“Eurovision always takes place on a Saturday”

Israel’s minister of culture, Miri Regev, has spoken to Ynet in response to concerns raised by religious parties who are against the contest clashing with the period of rest.   She has insisted that the contest’s schedule will not be altered, regardless of Shabbat.

“The Israeli broadcaster who is currently liasing this issue with the EBU, have not yet decided where Eurovision will take place.  Right now, this question is irrelevant. However, I can assume that if Jerusalem is awarded hosting duties, rehearsals will take place on Saturday. We will then need to explain this to religious parties and clarify that this is not at our discretion.  

Eurovision always takes place on Saturday, as was the case in 1999 when Jerusalem hosted before.  We will need to come to an agreement with the religious parties on this matter.

Regev added that Rehearsals would run as planned during Shabbat and that there would be no construction work taking place during that time.

What is Shabbat?

Shabbat is a 25-hour period of rest lasting from just before sunset on Friday evening until nightfall on Saturday. The idea is to take a break from ordinary life, and focus on family, community, and spiritual growth. In our fast-paced lives it can be a welcome change to stop rushing from work to preschool to the grocery store…and instead enjoy a weekly reconnection with the people and ideas that really matter in life.   (

“We want this to be without violating the Shabbat”

A member of the Ultra-Orthodox party SHAS, Michael Malkiel, spoke in response to the ministers explanation.

We want the Eurovision contest to take place without violating Shabbat – so that all preparations will take place on Thursday and only after the end of the holy day.

The EBU is expected to confirm the chosen host city as well as the dates for the next year’s contest within the next few weeks.

Earlier this month, Netta took ‘TOY’ across the pond where she made her US debut on NBC’s The Today Show.

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