United Jewish Federation of Stamford, New Canaan, and Darien will host a week of activities to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Israeli independence, April 19 through April 26. With a theme of “Beyond the Dream: Finding Yourself in the Israeli Mosaic, “the festivities promise something for everyone.
Come explore, taste, hear, learn, and connect to Israel during this community-wide celebration.
“I am thrilled that Federation can convene the community on the occasion of Israel’s milestone birthday. It shows the strength of our community when we work together, “said UJF CEO, Diane Sloyer about Israel@75.
Beginning on Wednesday April 19 at 7:00 pm, enjoy an Israeli art show at the Stamford Jewish Community Center featuring contemporary and classical Israeli work from artist across New England. A wine and cheese reception will kick off the exhibit and the week of Israel@75 festivities.
On Thursday, April 20 at Temple Beth El at 7:00 pm, experience the “art of movement" with Israeli Dance Teacher Leng. In addition, there will be special programming and event for all teens in the area at Temple Sinai, with activities ranging from Israeli dancing, Krav Maga, pita-making, and a fully kosher dinner. Don’t miss out on this free event!
On Friday, April 21 in conjunction with UJF's PJ Library program, children will enjoy a Pre Shabbat Tot Kabbalat Shabbat featuring activities and crafts at Emmet’s Playground at Temple Beth El starting at 4:30 pm. This will be followed by a Mediterranean Musical Oneg Shabbat at 7:00 pm. Taste buds will be treated to “Happy Birthday Israel” cakes at each synagogue over Shabbat.
On Saturday, April 22 at 9:00 pm, UJF NextGen group will celebrate Israel@75 with a Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) Party at a private residence. For more information, contact NextGen Director, Melanie Vorm email@example.com.
Another treat for the palette will be a ruggelach baking demonstration with Instagram sensation Chaya Rappoport, on Sunday, April 23 at Chabad of Stamford at 11:00 am. Also on Sunday morning, a light breakfast and screening of the Israeli film, Wasserman The Rain Man will take place at Schoke Jewish Family Service beginning at 11:00 am. If you miss the screening, Wasserman The Rain Man will be available to stream on Monday, April 24.
On Tuesday, April 25 starting at 12:00 pm at the JCC, bring your own lunch and join Rabbi Cohen for an hour of Torah thoughts on Israel. Beginning at 6:30 pm at Congregation Agudath Sholom, join UJF for a Yom Ha'Zikaron (Israel Memorial Day) and Yom Ha’Atzmaut Ceremony –“A Knock on the Door”. This moving program will commemorate Israel’s fallen soldiers at sundown, as the day changes to Israel’s Independence Day, and the chance to celebrate Israel@75 together.
Finally, on Wednesday, April 26 at 5:30pm, a Yom Ha'Atzmaut Festival will be held at the Stamford JCC and include a camel ride for children, bounce houses, contests, music for everyone and lots of fun. There are sponsorship opportunities available for many of the planned activities so please reach out to Sharon Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org or Yoav Yaron, Community Shaliach at email@example.com.
The week of events is a true community collaboration including sponsorship by the Stamford JCC, Hadassah, Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy, Chabad of Stamford, AJC Westchester/Fairfield, Congregation Agudath Sholom, Temple Beth El, Temple Sinai, Young Israel of Stamford, Jewish National Fund, Israel Cancer Research Fund, Schoke Jewish Family Service and Friends of the IDF.
“This is going to be a fantastic week of celebration, and we hope that our community will feel closer to Israel as a result,” said Dinah Marlowe, UJF Board member and Chair of the Israel and Overseas Committee.
Sharon Lewis is the Director of the Jewish Community Relations of United Jewish Federation of Stamford, New Canaan and Darien. This article appears in the April edition of The New Jewish Voice.