IDF ‘Sunday Culture’ project returns for the first time since pandemic

The IDF’s “cultural Sundays” event is finally making a comeback for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, an IDF statement announced Sunday.

The project, which began in 1987, brings together Israeli soldiers from across the country to enjoy cultural activities, such as theater performances, concerts, movies, and dance performances, with the intention of expanding their knowledge and appreciation of the fine arts.

The Culture Sundays program has not been active since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began to proliferate around the world, marking a nearly two-year hiatus for the program.

Thousands of soldiers are expected to visit theaters across the country and enjoy the performances. Priority set by the IDF Personnel Division and the Education and Youth Corps, although the ultimate goal is to bring performance to all active soldiers in the IDF.

“During the crown period, we had to stop the cultural days, and now we are happy to return, happy that thousands of soldiers return to enjoy various cultural events every week,” General Yaniv Asur said.

ACRE Fringe Theater Festival. (credit: YOHAN SEGEV)

The COVID-related hiatus is not the only episode of adversity that the long-standing cultural program, which is funded exclusively by donations, has had to combat. The project, which hosted more than 45,000 soldiers in 2003, was scaled down due to budget constraints, with only 8,700 participants in 2005, according to Ynet. However, Culture Sundays was saved when the lottery company “Mifal Hapais” donated 800,000 NIS to keep the project running in 2005.

Funding remained an issue for the show, culminating in a 2014 announcement that, to cut costs, it would stop bringing soldiers to theaters for plays, concerts and other functions and that performers would be brought to bases. military to act in the place. The project finally made a full recovery two years later, according to N12.

In 2017, four IDF soldiers were killed in a car attack when a terrorist struck several soldiers. The soldiers were on a guided tour of Jerusalem that was organized by Culture Sundays.

The show, now finally making a comeback after several hiatuses and financial struggles, hopes to regain some of the cultural value that Culture Sundays previously offered.

“The power of the IDF is not based solely on sophisticated weapons or advanced technology,” Asur explained, “but on its human capital, people and spirit.”

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