Francophonie in Israel


Lana Ettinger and Tamar Eisenman/Photo: Elizur Reuveni
By Ayelet Dekel

La Semaine de la Francophonie celebrates the French language with a festive week of events including film, theatre, lectures and chansons. A festive week for those who know French and those who don’t know French will wish they did!

Not to worry – translations abound so don’t let your linguistic imperfections get in the way of enjoying this diverse lineup of events:

Tuesday, March 16 at 16:00 at Tel Aviv University, Gilman Building, room 144
Professor Marc Fumaroli of the French Academy and Emmanuel Halperin will discuss French literature and identity, with French Ambassador Christophe Bigot in attendence. The discussion will be in French, with simultaneous translation in Hebrew.

Belgian filmmaker Benoît Mariage’s Les Convoyeurs Attendent will be shown at the French Institute in Tel Aviv (7 Rothschild Blvd) at 20:30.

Wednesday, March 17 at 19:00 Professor Michèlle Lenoble-Pinson will discuss linguistic developments from Latin to Creole, followed by the film Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis at the French Institute.

Thursday, March 18 at 13:30 there will be a colloquium on The Great Women of French Judaism held at the Academic College in Netanya, with French Ambassador Christophe Bigot in attendence. Further details:

Friday, March 19 there will be a grande dictée (yes – a spelling bee) at the French Institute in Tel Aviv with Prof. Michèlle Lenoble-Pinson presiding. Open to young and old alike, it’s a chance for Francophiles to engage in friendly competition and show off their linguistic prowess. Prizes will be awarded. The intellectual endeavors will be followed by music throughout the afternoon. Further details:

The pleasures and power of the French language were beautifully demonstrated in the opening garden party hosted by Belgian Ambassador Bénédicte Frankinet who bestowed a warm welcome on the multi-national crowd of Francophiles. French Ambassador Christophe Bigot spoke of the desire to promote the French language in its cultural and linguistic diversity and noted that it is a language spoken on 5 continents, with 201 million French speakers and 390 million people who study or use French as a second language. Lana Ettinger and Tamar Eisenman lent their lovely presence to the evening with an intimate acoustic performance of French chansons, kindly singing a few verses in Hebrew for the French-impaired. Among the guests were Patrick Belliard, Head of Francophonie at the French Embassy, and Hervé de Colombel, Director of the French Institute in Tel Aviv where many of this week’s activities will take place, and Emmanuel Halperin who will be one of the speakers in today’s event at Tel Aviv University. TV5Monde sponsored the party and many of the events of the week, as it has done throughout the years as part of its support of French language and cultural activities worldwide.

tudents of French in Israel are currently participating in competitions on knowledge of French culture and performance of chansons. The semi-finals for the high school competition of French chansons are held from March 8 – 18, and the final competition will take place at the Givatayim Theatre on May 3.

There will be additional events and performances throughout the week in schools and other venues. For further details on all events: 03-7968000.