Last week we talked beaches, and this week we’re heading west! Whether you pick a stop for the day or make a full weekend of it, the Berkshires is alive with arts and culture all summer long. It’s a perfect, relaxing Shabbat retreat with a little something for everyone.

If you’re into modern dance, LeeSaar The Company is bringing a contemporary Israeli sensibility to Jacob’s Pillow this year. The company is trained in Gaga (not Lady!), a dance style pioneered by the incredible Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin (you can see samples of this unique company here). They’ll be in the Berkshires Aug. 20-23 (tickets and info here).

Pack up your folding chairs and bring a picnic for a relaxing evening with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which also heads west for the summer and offers beautiful concerts at Tanglewood. Leonard Bernstein’s famous opera “Candide” is a great way to end Shabbat on Aug. 16.

Muse & Schmooze: A Guide to the Berkshires
Izhar Patkin’s “The Wandering Veil” at MASSMoCA





MASSMoCA is featuring “The Wandering Veil” by New York-based Israeli artist Izhar Patkin through September, straight from the Tel Aviv Museum (see photo at right). These mural-sized works on tulle are just begging to be walked through—it’s a must see!

There’s an incredible assortment of artists showing ceramics, fibers, metalsmithing and more at the Berkshires Arts Festival on July 4-6. Head out on July Fourth and spend the weekend there. Given how many Jewish artists participate, I wouldn’t be surprised if you found a mezuzah or two!

Any place known for good art usually has great cuisine to follow. Depending on where you find yourself, the Berkshires is loaded with creative chefs using the freshest local ingredients, which is no surprise given the amount of land and farming. For a real taste of the Berkshires, check out a farm-to-table restaurant; you won’t be disappointed.

There are a lot of shows throughout the Berkshires all summer. Here are a few picks:

Looking for a contemporary and funky theater experience? Local boy Ilan Bachrach is artistic director for “L.A. Party and An Evening with William Shatner Asterisk” (for all you Trekkies!), two new shows that bring technology to the stage in surprising ways. Check it out July 24-26.

Since many of these places are over an hour away from one another, you may want to stay overnight to make the most of your trip. Airbnb has some fantastic house options, so live it up!

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