The Westchester Jewish Council invites you to be a part of its spectacular countywide celebration to mark Israel’s 70th anniversary. The celebration will be held on April 15, 12 p.m.-5p.m. at Schechter Westchester Upper School, 555 W. Hartsdale Avenue, Hartsdale, NY 10530. Cost for the day is $10 per adult before April 1 and $20 per adult after. Children 18 and under and college students with ID are free. Tickets are available online at www.westchesterisraelat70.com. The festival will take place rain or shine and will have activities for all ages.
The day’s activities will pay tribute to the great achievements of the Jewish homeland and will include appearances by a number of special guests including Miss Israel 2013, Yityish Titi Aynaw, as well as a variety of exhibits, speakers, interactive workshops, performances, children’s activities and, of course, great food. Kosher food will be available for purchase, including Jewish Mediterranean cuisine that is representative of the region, such as falafel, Israeli salad and shakshuka, as well as kosher food trucks serving burgers, hot dogs, pizza and other family-friendly fare.
There will be something for everyone—activities throughout the day will include a musical performance of the children’s book “Ella’s Journey to Israel,” a lecture about the history of Israel through song, a Krav Maga (Israeli self-defense) session and a photo exhibit showcasing the moving work of photographers documenting the diversity in Israel today. Take a virtual hike through Israel on “Shvil Yisrael” and participate in a communal art project, “My Tie,” a collaborative art project using ribbons to express personal feelings about Israel, which is being done by communities throughout the U.S. and Israel. Israeli hi-tech will be experienced up close through Start Up Nation exhibits and presentations.
Distinguished speakers are scheduled, including David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, who was honored 15 times by governments across the globe for his international efforts in defense of human rights, and Shahar Azani, executive director, StandWithUs (Northeast Region), an international nonprofit pro-Israel education organization dedicated to supporting Israel around the world. Prior to assuming this role, Mr. Azani was the consul for media affairs and spokesperson at the Consulate General of Israel in New York. Also speaking will be Sivan Ya’ari, recognized by Forbes Israel as one of the “50 Most Influential Women in Israel” and founder and CEO of Innovation: Africa, an organization that has changed the lives of 1 million Africans by bringing Israeli technology to their villages.
A toddler room containing age-appropriate activities will provide respite for the very young and their parents. Snacks and entertainment will be available at the Machane Yehuda shuk (reminiscent of a traditional Israeli open-air marketplace), where there will be opening and closing ceremonies, including greetings from dignitaries. In addition to snack stalls, and non-stop entertainment through the afternoon—music, dance, a photo booth, children’s face painting and spray tattoos—we will also have “Midrash Manicures” (Israel-themed nail decals and nail polish designs) and inflatables. In addition, there will be a grand exhibition of Israeli products and Judaica for sale as well as informational tables for organizations.
The lead sponsor of this wonderful day is UJA-Federation of New York. Sponsoring partners include AJC Westchester, Friends of Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), Jewish National Fund (JNF), Lisa and Michael Leffell Family Foundation, StandWithUs, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Israel Bonds, Hadassah Westchester, AIPAC and Tel Aviv-Yafo Foundation. Corporate, individual and family sponsorships are also available. Sponsors will enjoy a VIP reception from 12:15-12:45 where they can mingle with the day’s special guests and elected officials visiting for the day.
The Westchester Jewish Council comprises 160 Jewish organizations, synagogues and schools and represents Westchester County’s 150,000 Jewish residents. Westchester County ranks eighth in Jewish population in the U.S. The Westchester Jewish Council connects these Jewish communities and strengthens relationships with other ethnic and faith-based groups, elected officials, Israel and the community at large.
By JLBWC Staff