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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


 

May 20, 2016  RSS feed
Front Page

Text: T T T

Israel birthday: time for joy, remembrance

By Thais Leon-Miler Jewish Press


Celebrants do some impromptu Israeli dancing. Celebrants do some impromptu Israeli dancing. For those who love Israel, it was an evening of remembering and rejoicing.

The combined Yom Hazikaron commemoration and Israel Independence Day celebration was held Thursday, May 12 at Temple B’nai Israel in Clearwater. The event was sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties along with the Pinellas Board of Rabbis.

The event featured music, food and three bounce houses for younger set.

The evening began with a service for Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s memorial day, which always occurs the day before Israel Independence Day. Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948, which on the Jewish calendar was the 5th of Iyar. This year that date corresponded to May 11-12.

Attendees gathered in the temple sanctuary joined in song, prayer, and a candle lighting in memory of Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism. Participants were led in a rendition of “The Last War,” before reciting prayers for both Israel and her soldiers.


Beth Morris at the Jewish National Fund information table. Beth Morris at the Jewish National Fund information table. Afterward, Dr. Michael Gizzi, a Presbyterian ruling elder and a member of the group Presbyterians for Middle East Peace, led a brief discussion about the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. (See related story above)

Near the front entrance of the temple, children waved Israeli flags as they ran from bounce house to pony ride, stopping to get hot dogs from the Jo-El’s kosher deli’s cart or shaved ice from Tropical Kona Ice truck. There was also a petting zoo, courtesy of HorsePower for Kids, complete with goats, chickens, ducks, tortoises, rabbits and ferrets, which the children either held close or chased around a wired pen outside.

Inside the social hall, the adults visited tables set up by community organizations and synagogues and danced to Israeli music, while children played with sand art, or dug up artifacts in a mock archaeological dig site.


Joel Goetz and daughter Sharon at their hot dog stand. Joel Goetz and daughter Sharon at their hot dog stand. Congregation Beth Shalom contributed homemade falafel to the mix. Patrons also had the opportunity to take a “green screen” photo that placed them in famous locales in Israel or riding Carl the Camel, a cardboard cutout.



A youngster at the Israel Independence Day celebration shows his support for Israel. A youngster at the Israel Independence Day celebration shows his support for Israel.

Rabbi David Weizman of Congregation Beth Shalom shows off a homemade falafel that he and Dan Gerson, left, served celebrants. Rabbi David Weizman of Congregation Beth Shalom shows off a homemade falafel that he and Dan Gerson, left, served celebrants.

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