I had a great time in Tel Aviv visiting Israeli magicians. Not only did I learn a lot from very talented people, but I discovered how incredible the magic fraternity is. People I hardly knew let me stay at their houses, showed me around, and invited me into their circle of friends.
Roei was the one who arranged everything for me. He is a full-time professional who does mentalism at corporate parties/events. I'm getting into mentalism, so this was nice. But Roei was also quite talented with cards, even having put out a set of lecture notes. He has the best (and simplest!) version of Reset that I've ever seen.
I also enjoyed browsing Roei's library, which included the Tamariz trilogy (Five Points, Magic Way, Sonata) and other fascinating hard-to-find books.
Roei told me about Israel's first international magic convention, which he organized almost single-handedly. The convention drew 100 people and some major headliners (Max Maven, Flip, Pit Hartling).
I also met Tomer, a busy professional who does illusions and (I'm told) a beautiful dove act, and Binyamin, a close-up magician who must have thick skin. His next gig is performing walkaround - on a moving bus of American tourists! Binyamin was quite talented and gave me great ideas on tricks with everything from cigarettes to shekels (Israeli coins). Four or five other magicians were also there, and we sessioned until five in the morning!
For such a small country, I'd say the magic scene is thriving. And I've only seen a small portion of it. I'll keep you up to date as the exploration continues. Can you say Guy Bavli, Yaniv Deutsch, and Yigal Mesika?