The biggest challenge of throwing an annual birthday celebration for Israel is doing something new and interesting to keep the Twin Cities Jewish community coming back year after year. But it’s a challenge that the St. Paul JCC has embraced in planning this year’s event
“We’re all programmers – this is what we do,” said Alyssa Golob, program director at the St. Paul JCC. “We want to kick it up a notch. We want something on the list for everyone who wants to come celebrate.”
This year’s event – celebrating Israel’s 69th birthday – is Sunday, May 7 from 3-5 p.m. at the St. Paul JCC. The event is funded by the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul and the Israel Center of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation. Also sponsored by the two JCCs, the St. Paul JCC and the Sabes JCC in St. Louis Park alternate hosting on non-milestone years.
“It has a similar vibe every year, but we want it to be family-friendly and community oriented,” said Golob.
This year features two new events: The Tel Aviv Beach Party at the pool and biking through the Israel National Trail on spin bikes. But there are old favorites as well, including: An Israeli DJ and dance party; Climb Masada on the giant inflatable; An Israeli-style birthday party game room for kids; Watch some of Israel’s favorite TV shows; Israeli trivia and more.
The event is free and will have food available for purchase.
While this event has been shared between the Twin Cities’ two JCCs for years, it highlights a three-year period of increased collaboration between the two agencies – a priority for both CEOs, Joshua Wert at the Sabes JCC and Michael Waldman in St. Paul. And, this event is a demonstration of the ongoing collaboration and partnership with the two Federations to bring the community together.
“The crossover is happening and Yom Ha’atzmaut provides a spotlight,” Golob said. “It’s two JCCs, but one community. So, let’s get together and have a party!