While there is certainly no substitute for spending time in Israel –after all, what could be – the Twin Cities annual Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration is a close replica.
This year’s event – celebrating Israel’s 71st birthday – is Sunday, May 19 from 3-5 p.m. at the St. Paul JCC. The event is funded by the Minneapolis and St. Paul Jewish Federations, as well as the Sabes and St. Paul JCCs. The two JCCs alternate hosting on non-milestone years.
This year’s event is “Celebrating Israel Through The Arts,” with many events focusing on culture in Israel. The Israeli Shuk, an iconic Israeli experience, will have a variety of an amazing array of vendors and artists with items for purchase. The Israel Fine Arts Experience is featuring visiting P2G Artists Pazit Assouline, Anatt Friedman and Roni Schechber who will help to facilitate an interactive arts experience.
“There’s a lot that is similar to an American-style Yom Ha’atzmaut party, but we will have more flair and a more nuanced tie to art,” said Tracey Agranoff, the Jewish Life & Family Coordinator at the St. Paul JCC. “The majority of our experiences will be hands-on, focused on the arts – music, dance, and culinary.”
The Tel Aviv Beach Party will take place at the pool, which will be open for free swim, pool party games, and Israeli music. There will be an Israeli Folk Dance/Zumba demo and workshop.
The Family Kef (Fun) Zone will let you climb “Masada”, play Gaga and more; there will be Israeli Trivia Kahoot Lounge-The lobby lounge will turn into an Israeli Trivia through Khaoot, an app that can downloaded to play the game.
“There is no better way to celebrate Israel, than through the arts,” said Robyn Awend, Twin Cities JCCs Cultural Arts Director. “We are so fortunate to live in a community with such diverse talent.”
There will also be performances by the HMJDS Choir and Indoor Street Performers. The event is free and open to the public.