Israel Independence Day party set for May 7
A community celebration for Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, will be held in St. Petersburg on Sunday, May 7, featuring activities for those of all ages, including camel rides, Jewish/Israeli food, a movie and Israeli dancing.
In addition, the extravaganza celebrating Israel at 69 will include a bungee jump, music by DJ David Ania and guitarist Gyrogy Lakatos, an opportunity to put a note in the Kotel, face painting and henna tattoos, Krav Maga demonstrations, arts and crafts, a sandbox archaeological dig and a torch lighting-ceremony.
The event, sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at Congregation B’nai Israel, 300 58th St. N.
There is no cost to attend and all activities are free. Food will be available for purchase. Celebrants are asked to bring a donation of canned food for Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services.
Among the highlights of the day will be the torch lighting ceremony, representing the 12 Tribes of Israel, which will recognize community leaders.
The movie, On the Map, will be shown at 2 p.m. The screening is officially the final event of the Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival.
On the Map tells the story of an unforgettable upset victory by the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team against a Cold War adversary. Demoralized by the Yom Kippur War, the Munich massacre, and its sagging economy, Israel was hungry for a collective triumph as it pursued the 1977 European Championship Tournament.
Facing impossible odds, the underdog Maccabi Tel Aviv team, comprised of Israeli players and NBA also-rans, is matched up against the powerhouse Soviets in the semifinals. In a David-and- Goliath battle, the Israelis topple the four-time defending Soviet champs, and in doing so, rally a nation. The so-called “Miracle on Hardwood” is thrillingly related by team captain and Israeli basketball hero Tal Brody, NBA great Bill Walton, former NBA Commissioner David Stern, and former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, along with other observers from the sports and political worlds.
Collaborating agencies for the event include Temple Beth-El, Congregation B’nai Israel, Congregation Beth Shalom, Temple B’nai Israel, Temple Ahavat Shalom, Benjamin Tower Foundation, Menorah Manor, Inn on the Pond, Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services, Israel Bonds, Hadassah, Chabad of St. Petersburg and Chabad of Clearwater.
For more information, contact Maxine Kaufman, director of arts, culture and education at the Jewish Federation office, at (727) 530- 3223.