Itzik Avnery

Itzik Avnery
A Short Overview of his life
by Raphael Perez, translated to English by Barry Davidson

Itzik Avnery, the first king of the Israeli nightlife, was important to the development of the Tel Aviv night culture during the 80s and the 90s. He created places of entertainment that catered to every sector of the population and according to their individual needs. He created hip places to be seen for gays, punks, reggae enthusiasts, Northern and Southern Israelis, youth, older persons, etc.

Itzik Avnery was born in 1963 in Tel Aviv. He spent his childhood in the moshav (collective village) Talmei Menashe.
During his army service he was in the airforce stationed in Eilat. Upon finishing his service he began to live in Tel Aviv.
At age 27, he married with Raya Levine. Today, he is the father of a son.

His initial gay sexual experiences began with his relationship with the major players in the life night of Tel Aviv.

Important Power Player in Club Culture
(all listed below are now closed)

"The Teatron" (the theater) -- Mendelli Street 7, Tel Aviv, opened in 1981, catered to a different crowd everyday.

"Penguine Club"
on Yehuda HaLevy 43, Tel Aviv, opened in 1983. This club featured rock and alternative music. This club was where many famous Israeli musicians got their start including: Rami Portim, Barry Sacharof, Sai Haimon, and others.

Kolnoah Dan (Dan Movie Theater) on Hayarkon Street 61, opened in 1985.

Sawetto, on Frishman Street 6, opened in 1988. It featured Reggae and music popular for African Americans.

Metro, on Hillel HaZakan Street 7, opened in 1988. It was the first "Gays-only" night club in Israel.

Touchdown, located on Daon in Herzaliyyah, was opened in 1987 as a youth club.

Allenby 58, opened in 1989, had big party for different population sectors including Gay Israelis.

HaOpera, located on Yehuda HaLevy 43, opened in 1991. (In place of "The Teatron"). It was only for the Gay community.

Names, located on Achat Ha'am Street 22, opened in 1995. It was a small club that was fashioned for different population sectors.

Zoom, located in the port of Tel Aviv, was opened in 1998. It catered to the Gay community.

Secret of Success

Avnery's secret of success in perfecting Israel's night life and its hustle and bustle over the years was a result of his staff, personal relations and his partnerships.

With his creative production tallents, he was an expert in, as to phrase it, "killling two birds with one stone". He resurrected ideas, made decisions on the interior design of the club, and correct marketing that impacted the future of the night life of Tel Aviv.

Ofer Nissim, former boyfriend to 1998 Eurovision Winner and International dance music superstar, Dana International, was the resident D.J. for all of Avneri's clubs and was responsible for the sound, the purchase of the music, arranging the musical tracks and certainly served as the foundation for the creation of Israeli Dance Club music.

Shimon Shirazi, a major mover and shaker in the creation of Israeli Club parties, as the nation knows it today, was responsible for the design of the invitations, club interior design, performances, the linking of ideas to make a continuity of entertainment from club to club and nowadays is considered one of the mac-daddies of the Israeli club industry. He has done and today does parties ranging from major nights at Haoman 17, Jerusalem's world-famous dance club, to the Dome and TLV, in Tel Aviv.

Elana Shirazi, relative to Shimon, was the major player in the formation of parties for women-only which included "Sisters", "Play Girl", and Green Room".

Benny Kavody was one of the major and tough "selectors" in Tel Aviv night life. He created the job of designing audiences for Israeli parites, how they are to dress, what ages should they be, how beautiful they are, etc.