Israel Fest

by | Mar 17, 2017 | What’s Happening

Sunday, April 30, 11 am–4 pm
Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus

On May 14, 1948, Israel’s future first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, publically read Israel’s Declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel, marking the ending of the British Mandate. The joyous mood to celebrate can only be imagined, in spite of an invasion by angry neighbors the next day.

On this national holiday, Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Independence Day), Israelis drape their blue and white flags from balconies, attach tiny state flags to their car windows, and sing and dance in the streets. Regardless of religious observance or affiliation, businesses close, while Israelis enjoy fireworks, rowdy family picnics, and concerts in commemoration of this day.

To honor Israel’s 69th Independence Day, the Simon Family JCC invites everyone to its largest community celebration, Israel Fest. This yearly festival, presented by Charles Barker Automotive, Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer, P.C., and WealthQuest Financial Services, offers a unique opportunity to experience some of the diverse culinary, cultural, and artistic gifts of Israel without leaving Tidewater.

Israeli chefs, Guy Marom and Nir Margalith of Puzzle Israel (see page 24) will tantalize taste buds with their authentic Israeli cuisine, and local synagogues will serve food, treats, and drinks.

The Friends of the Israeli Defense Force (FIDF) in partnership with the Simon Family JCC, will create an obstacle course on the campus grounds, playfully testing participants’ physical readiness for military IDF service and offer a Krav Maga (Israeli karate) class.

Between sips of Israeli beer or refreshing lemonana, attendees can tap their feet to the tunes of an Israeli DJ, climb a rock wall, or even ride a camel. Arts and crafts, a petting zoo, bouncy inflatables, Elite Fleet’s remote controlled ships, jewelry by local artisans, an Israeli Shuk (Marketplace), along with booths sharing abundant educational materials about Israel, will make certain there is something for everyone at this year’s celebration.

Event is free and open to the public (Tickets required for some experiences and food.) For more information visit,

Sherri Wisoff