Succot festival in Netanya to showcase Jewish diversity

Festival aims to better acquaint the sometimes self-absorbed Israeli public with their brethren in the Diaspora.

By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER
October 12, 2011 07:24
1 minute read.
A YOUNG haredi man inspects a citrus in succa

Haredi inspects citrus 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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From the outside, the 21 Succot at the International Succot Festival set to take place in Netanya between October 16 and 18, will all look the same: temporary wooden dwellings topped with palm fronds, as stipulated by Jewish tradition.

On the inside, however, they will be worlds apart, organizers said on Tuesday.

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Each will showcase the rich and diverse heritage of 21 Jewish communities around the world that they represent.

“The Russian succa will give lessons on how to paint babushkas,” said Gal Ilan, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs and Public Diplomacy. “The Argentinean one will have tango dancing classes.”

The festival is the second of its kind organized by the ministry with the aim of better acquainting the sometimes self-absorbed Israeli public with their brethren in the Diaspora.

“We organized this festival to introduce Israeli Jews to the Diaspora and show we’re all part of the same big, global and wonderful story,” said Minister of Diaspora Affairs and Public Diplomacy Yuli Edelstein.

Visitors to the British succa at the festival located at Netanya’s Winter Pond Park won’t be able to play soccer, but will have foosball tables instead.

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Meanwhile, those entering the Italian dwelling will be able to partake in making Venetian masques.

Singers Arkadi Duchin, Shlomi Shabat and Shiri Maimon will perform at the festival, while children will be entertained by clown Yuval Hambulbal.

The festival is particularly catered towards young families looking for a free and fun outing during the holiday, but all are welcome, organizers said.

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