Published On: Wed, Apr 11th, 2018

Thousands to Celebrate Israel’s 70th Birthday at Free Community Event in Mizner Park on April 18

Amid a sea of blue and white flags, banners and attire, on April 18, 2018 thousands of local residents of all ages will once again come together in solidarity and spirit for Israel at the Mizner Park Amphitheater. The full vibrant diversity of Jewish South Palm Beach County and more will be on hand to celebrate Israel’s 70th Birthday at this year’s “Israel Fest.”  Image result for israel fest mizner park

Free of charge, the community-wide festivities will start at 6:00 pm with children’s activities and a fair to showcase an array of Jewish community resources. Kosher food and drinks including falafel, chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream and cinnamon buns will be available for purchase.

The program onstage, including a concert by the international Jewish Fusion band, The Shuk, will start at 7:15 pm. The program will begin with a multimedia Yom HaZikaron (Israel Memorial Day) ceremony involving local teens, before the Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel Independence Day) festivities start at sundown.

Called “one of the leading international music groups” and a “high-energy, cross-genre band that has performed in over 30 countries,” by the Jerusalem Post, The Shuk blends elements of jazz, rock, ethnic and progressive music with their Jewish traditional and klezmer roots. The vibrant young performers, who hail from both Israel and the U.S., have trained extensively in both countries and perform around the world.

The commemoration will also feature greetings from Lior Haiat, Consul General of Israel to Florida and Puerto Rico, along with community leaders in support of Israel. Students from local congregational and day schools will parade to the stage and lead the American and Israeli national anthems.

“We are thrilled to invite the whole community to come together for this extraordinary 70th anniversary celebration,” said Judi Schuman, who is serving as Honorary Chair of the event with her husband, Allan. “Bring your friends, your neighbors, your colleagues to be part of the exceptional experience of fun, music, delicious food and profound love of the Jewish homeland.”  

“For a few hours, we’ll be transported to the sights, sounds and tastes of Israel,” said Debra Halperin, who is chairing Israel Fest with her husband, Larry. “Thousands from all across our community who support our homeland have gathered for our Federation’s powerful Israel celebrations in previous years, and this 70th anniversary celebration promises the same. South Palm Beach County will once again demonstrate that we are united in recognizing the vital importance of the ties between Israel and the United States, and in celebrating how much Israel has achieved in such a short period of time.”

PJ Fun Zone Kibbutz Petting Zoo

Hands-on, Israel-themed activities for the whole family will start at 6:00 pm in the PJ Library® Fun Zone. “PJ Library looks forward to once again bringing families from across our Jewish community for great fun and learning,” said Joanna Drowos, who co-chairs PJ Library in South Palm Beach County. 

“They’ll enjoy visiting a Kibbutz Petting Zoo, climbing the Masada Rock Wall, Building the ‘Kotel’ with bricks and Velcro; and crafts including making Israeli flags. Of course, families will be able to sign up for PJ Library’s high quality free monthly books and music.”

“Israel Fest is a time to remember and rejoice in the miracle of this pioneering country. With the greatest pride, we’ll pay tribute to Israel’s phenomenal, rapid transformation – amid wars and terror – into today’s creative, dynamic, culturally vibrant democracy at the cutting edge of technology, research and entrepreneurship,” said Matthew C. Levin, President & CEO of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County.

“Don’t miss this opportunity to join as a community to observe this incredible moment together.”

Israel Fest is presented by the Federation, with its Judi & Allan Schuman Center for Israel Engagement and Deborah & Larry D. Silver Center for Jewish Engagement.

The event will take place rain or shine under the big amphitheater tent. Limited seating will be available; blankets are suggested for the lawn. Complimentary self-parking will be available, with early arrival recommended.

Squire Patton Boggs is the generous Israel Fest Presenting Sponsor. Corporate Sponsors include Boca Raton Regional Hospital, BNY Wealth Management, Hotwire Communications and Polen Capital. The event’s media sponsors are ESPN West Palm, WLRN Public Media and The Florida Jewish Home. Corporate Partners are Silverstein HR; Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith; Morgan Stanley/The Popper Group; and WLRN.  The PJ Fun Zone is generously sponsored by Smiles by Dr. W & Dr. R Quality Orthodontics and Florida Blue.

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