The Jewish community across Monmouth and Greater Middlesex counties is gearing up to celebrate Israel’s 70th birthday in a big way – with a celebration spanning more than six months!
Israel turns 70 on April 19, 2018 – on Yom Ha’atzmaut, or Israeli Independence Day. It is the national day of Israel, commemorating the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948.
- Kicking off the celebrations is a concert featuring Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple Choir, Cantor Anna West Ott, Conductor; Highland Park Conservative Temple—Anshe Emeth, Cantor Mike Weis; Makhelat Hamercaz Jewish Choir of Central NJ, Cantors Anna West Ott & Sheldon Levin, Conductors; Neve Shalom Adult Choir, Hazzan Sheldon Levin, & Rabbi Eric Rosin; and Sons of Tikvah Band, Cantor Bruce Rockman, Director. The concert, sponsored by the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey, takes place Sunday, April 22 at 7 PM in North Brunswick. The event is free and open to the entire community. Refreshments will be served.
- Also April 22, at 10 AM, Daniel Kurzer, will speak in Metuchen. The annual Israel and Shirley Segal Memorial Lecture will feature the former Ambassador to Israel and Egypt, who will speak about "Forks in the Road: U.S. and Israel Policy Challenges in the Middle East." Questions will be answered and refreshments will be served. There is no admission fee and the event is open to the entire community. This event is sponsored by The Segal Family and Neve Shalom.
- April 22 will be a banner day for little ones too, with Bagels and Blocks celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut. The fun includes story time, play time, crafts and noshing. Afterwards, enjoy a Yom Ha’atzmaut fair put together by the temple’s 7th graders! The event is sponsored by the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey and PJ Library in the Heart of New Jersey. All aged 1-3 are welcome. For info contact 732-747-9365.
- April 29, the Ezra Schwartz Memorial FIT 5K Run-Walk takes place in New Brunswick. This fun 5K race/1M walk is the highlight of the center’s spring fundraising. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the race begins at 10 AM. All are invited to this great morning for the great cause of connecting the hearts and minds of young people to Israel. Early Bird prices, $10 for Students, $25 for adults until April 13. Details
- On May 14, 7:30 to 9 PM, Keepers of Jewish Excellence with guest speaker David Kramer takes place in New Brunswick. In his book, "United Nation: The Humanitarian Spirit of Israel," David Kramer shares the side of Israel most people do not hear about -humanitarian efforts, which go back as long as Israel has been in existence. Israel’s history of international humanitarian efforts is sure to surprise and inspire audiences of all ages. Cost is $18 per person. Details
- May 23, award-winning author and leading thinker on Israeli-Palestinian Peace, Yossi Klein Halevi, is coming to speak in our community as he launches his latest book, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor. Halevi has been active in Middle East reconciliation efforts, and serves as chairman of Open House, an Arab-Jewish educational project in the working-class town of Ramle. This event is a partnership between the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey and the Jewish Week Media Group/New Jersey Jewish News. Details
- On June 3, hop on one of the Heart of New Jersey buses leaving from a local synagogue and march down Fifth Avenue in New York for the Celebrate Israel Parade! This year’s festivities promise to be especially great with the theme 70 and Sababa! Sababa is a term Israelis use to mean “very cool.” To sign up in Monmouth, CLICK HERE, and for Greater Middlesex, CLICK HERE. For questions, contact email@example.com.
- Also this summer, the Axelrod Performing Arts Center offers an array of Israeli films as part of its Israel Film Festival. The festival presents a dozen international films that celebrate the Jewish experience, most of which have received awards at major film festivals around the world. Showings will take place at various locations around Monmouth and Middlesex counties. Watch for details at https://www.axelrodartscenter.com/apac-film
As we say goodbye to summer, the fun is just heating up.
- Celebrate Israel IN Israel! Join with friends and neighbors from Monmouth and Greater Middlesex on the Jewish Federation’s Four Corners of Israel journey October 14-22. Envision the beaches, culture, world-class cuisine, high-tech wonders, nightlife, awe-inspiring history, and spirituality – all yours for the taking, and at an affordable price to boot. Sign up for info session and get trip details at jewishheartnj.org/missions.
- And in honor of Israel’s 70th, this fall, the entire community will welcome wo Israeli Shinshinim – teen ambassadors who will help connect more American Jewish teens with the land, the people, and the ideals of Israel. These teens will have recently graduated high school when they arrive here for what we know as a “gap year” before entering the Israeli Army for a year of goodwill service. They’re planning ways to connect with our teens, such as a Israel Advocacy Day for teens this fall. Be among the first to find out about their exciting plans! Learn more and contact firstname.lastname@example.org.