Celebrating Israel’s 69th—Community played, shopped, learned, and danced with Israel

by | May 12, 2017 | Other News

Sunday, April 30 was a beautiful day all around—not just the weather—as more than 1,200 people attended the Simon Family JCC’s annual Israel Fest to experience the culinary, cultural, and artistic gifts of Israel.

Attendees at the celebration were treated to fresh cuisine prepared by Israeli chefs Guy Marom and Nir Margalith from Puzzle Israel, Israeli music and dancing, and a Krav Maga (Israeli martial arts) demonstration. The Leon Family Art Gallery showcased a unique photo exhibit, J-Champs: The Triumph of Jewish Sport, featuring athletes from the 1920’s, and JFit offered an opportunity for spinning enthusiasts to ‘take a ride through Israel.’ Kids of all ages were able to engage in myriad Israel activities including with a Friends of the Israel Defense Forces obstacle course and by riding a camel.

Jay Klebanoff, president of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater says, ”It is existentially important for Israel to count on government support from the United States. Having Congressman Scott Taylor attend and speak at our Israel Fest celebration shows that Scott respects our Jewish community and, as a former SEAL, understands the importance of Israel to Jews everywhere.”

Gloria Siegel was so impressed with the variety of the day. “I have been to many Israel festivals over the years, and this one was so uplifting. There were kids carrying Israeli flags, everyone was raving about the delicious Israeli cuisine, and families were enjoying themselves and dancing to Israeli music. It was a perfect day,” she says.

Shikma Rubin also had a wonderful day with her family, noting that “the Israel Fest gets better and better every year.”

Israel Fest was part of the 6th annual Israel Today series presented by the Simon Family JCC, Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and community partners.

The generous support of Simon Family JCC corporate contributors and JCC Spotlight on Israel Today series donors made this event possible.

The 6th annual Israel Today series, including Israel Fest, was presented by Charles Barker Automotive, Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer, P.C. and WealthQuest Financial Services.

– Michele Goldberg