Celebrate Israel Festival kicks off throughout US

50,000 expected to participate in largest celebration of Jewish state on record in Diaspora.

PEOPLE PARTICIPATE in a Celebrate Israel Festival event in 2016. (photo credit: LINDA KASIAN PHOTOGRAPHY)
PEOPLE PARTICIPATE in a Celebrate Israel Festival event in 2016.
Some 50,000 pro-Israel Americans are expected to participate in the annual Celebrate Israel Festival events across the country, according to the organizers of a month-long affair that kicked off Sunday in Arizona, New Jersey, Los Angeles and Chicago.
Organizers include the Israeli American Council, Jewish Federations of North American and Jewish community centers, which say this year’s festival will be the largest coordinated celebration of Israel in the Diaspora on record. The year’s events are focused on the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, as well as Israel’s 69th Independence Day.
“We are thrilled to bring people together from across the pro-Israel community to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification in what will be the largest celebration of Israel in the history of the Diaspora,” council CEO Shoham Nicolet said. “Israeli-Americans are very proud of the increasing role that we are playing as a bridge between the America and Israel and within the Jewish and pro-Israel communities here in the United States.”
Each event will feature its own depictions of Jerusalem’s reunification. In Los Angeles, a seven-meter tall Tower of David, a life-size replica of the Western Wall and a past-and-present photography exhibit by Noam Chen are on display. Meanwhile, in Boston, attendees are invited to participate in an archeological dig, shop in a replica of the Mahaneh Yehuda market and watch performances from a range of Israeli and Jewish artists and student groups.
Events in New York, Las Vegas, Arizona, Seattle, Boston, Salt Lake City, Tucson, St.
Louis, Atlanta and Omaha are scheduled to be held over the course of the next month.
On June 4, the annual Celebrate Israel Parade will take place in New York City, an event that typically draws thousands of Israel supporters.
Israeli artists scheduled to perform include Ninet Tayeb, Dudu Aharon, Ethnix, Roni Dalumi and Rinat Gabay.
The celebrations will continue until June 11.