JCC’s 2013 Israel Festival: Happy 65th!

by | May 3, 2013 | Uncategorized

Diana Shocket

Diana Shocket

More than 1,000 people attended Israel’s 65th birthday celebration at the Simon Family JCC on Sunday, April 28. The JCC’s biggest party of the year, Israel Festival celebrates Yom Ha’Atzmaut, the official anniversary of the State of Israel.

From main stage musical and dance happenings to the 10 Walktheland65 murals that adorned the campus, the day was filled with myriad of activities and events. Israeli dancing, performances by the Israeli rock band The Shuk and Hebrew Academy singers, camel rides, artisan vendors, Ben Yehuda Street Marketplace, Israeli food, inflatables and games, an archeological dig, and a balloon artist were among the afternoon’s offerings.

The Kell family particularly enjoyed finding Israeli coins in the sandbox on an archeological dig. Ayla, who came to the festival last year with her parents and brother Eli, says, “I did it last year, and I already can’t wait to come back again next year.” The six-year-old says she found a few Israeli coins in the sandbox, but that her older brother Eli found “like, tons of them.”

Those who made Israel Festival 2013 a reality include lead sponsor Charles Barker Automotive, Old Point Bank, CBN, Congressman and Mrs. Scott Rigell, Jeannie and Bruce Frieden, Terri and Lonny Sarfan, The Community Relations Council of the UJFT, and the long hours logged by JCC volunteers and staff.

“When I see hundreds of people coming together to celebrate Israel and community at the JCC, I think, this is what we exist for, this is what it’s all about,” says Terri Sarfan, JCC president.

by Leslie Shroyer