Over 8,000 people attended the Israeli Expo here on Sunday. Organized by the Zionist Federation (ZF), it catered to all and exhibited a wide range of Israeli goods and brands with a special emphasis on traders from northern Israel.
From Israel with Love was held at Brent Town Hall in Wembley, northwest London. With over 150 exhibitors, it offered a diverse range of Israeli goods: from wines and foods, jewelry, books, art, Judaica and crafts, to services such as Israeli real estate companies, banks and lawyers offering advice on buying property and living in Israel. The Jewish Agency also proffered advice on work, training and living opportunities in Israel while Israeli university representatives gave advice on studying opportunities.
Alan Aziz, director of the ZF, hailed the Expo's success.
"I think everyone will agree that the Expo was a huge success, with record numbers of attendees. The ZF are grateful to all those exhibitors and attendees who continue to work with us to ensure Israel is supported and valued within the UK. Of particular significance this year was that we were able to give support to the communities of northern Israel who went through turmoil this summer," he said.
An exhibit by Israeli fashion icon Michal Negrin was particularly popular. Sigal Ivry, owner of the Windsor store, explained, "The Expo provides the perfect opportunity to help create, and then enhance a brand. Michal Negrin is a leading jewelry and fine accessory brand in Israel and throughout the world and we are delighted to be supported by the ZF in maintaining this reputation."
One of the highlights of the day were the 'Supernatural' performances by Haifa resident Lior Suchard, who enthralled with his mind-reading skills and supernatural powers.
Lior said he was "thrilled" to be at the Expo, "I met Alan Aziz [director of the ZF] in bizarre circumstances and we got to chatting. He suggested I come to the Expo and I was not disappointed; it gave me the chance to further my UK profile and the audience and whole atmosphere were fantastic."
The Expo also hosted an exhibit for the Christian Friends of Israel (CFI). Geoffrey Smith, deputy director of CFI, commented, "We are enormously grateful to the ZF for the opportunity to be here and for all the help, advice and support they have given us. Christians are among the strongest supporters of Israel for the last 300 years. We send three groups to Israel every year and have thousands of supporters around the country, who in turn share their passion for the cause in their churches and within their communities."
Sigal Gelbrun, an Israeli living in the UK, remarked, "It comforts me to experience such open, and practical support for Israel from the ZF and wider community. It has been hard watching the events of the past few months outside of Israel, but I feel strongly connected to the UK Jewish community and I am grateful for unique events like the Expo, which unites Israel and UK as they should be."