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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.


 

March 23, 2018  RSS feed
Front Page

Text: T T T

Israel’s 70th birthday bash offers something for all


A sampling of the photographic exhibit that will be on display at the event. A sampling of the photographic exhibit that will be on display at the event. It will be an afternoon of speeches, food, family fun, photographic art, music and festivities when the Pinellas/ Pasco Jewish community celebrates the 70th anniversary of the birth of Israel on Sunday, April 15 in Largo.

Hosted by the Jewish Federation of Pinellas and Pasco Counties, the free celebration will be held at the Creative Pinellas/Pinewood Cultural Center, 12211 Walsingham Road, Largo, from 1 to 4 p.m.

One of the featured guests will be Israeli photographer Erez Kaganovits, who will talk about an exhibit of his work, Humans of Tel Aviv, that will be on display throughout the day.

“My goal is to give people around the world an inside look into the rich and remarkably diverse lives of Tel Avivians and showcase Israeli multiculturalism and its vibrant civil society,” Kaganovits said.

Kaganovits’ photos reach as many as 500,000 people per month including many in the Arab world through his blog, which he began in 2012. Accompanying each photo is a brief story about the person he has captured with his camera.

“What I love most about this project is that I can reach people in a way that I’m not forcing my ideas upon others, but rather simply taking a photo, telling a story, and letting it speak for itself,” the photographer said.

“You can see religious Orthodox Jews, Muslims and Christians alongside gays, lesbians, and transsexuals; you can see refugees from Africa who fled to Israel, and sophisticated people from Rothschild Boulevard,” Kaganovits explained in an interview with Israel21c.org.

A variety of other speakers also will be on hand to remind folks of the importance of the Jewish state and what the nation faces as it continues to grow and bloom. Rabbi Ed Rosenthal of Hillels of the Florida Suncoast will speak about the challenges Jewish students face on college campuses around the Tampa Bay area when speakers and student groups voice positions against Israel.


Photographer Erez Kaganovits, creator of the Humans of Tel Aviv exhibit, will be at the Pinellas Israel Independence Day event on Sunday, April 15. Photographer Erez Kaganovits, creator of the Humans of Tel Aviv exhibit, will be at the Pinellas Israel Independence Day event on Sunday, April 15. Two authors will discuss their Jewish-themed books. Roslyn Franken of Seminole will talk about her book, Meant To Be: A True Story of Might, Miracles and Triumph of the Human Spirit. It is a love story about how her mom, who survived Nazi concentration camps, and dad, who was in a Japanese prisoner of war camp, met and fell in love.

Author Lynda Lippman-Lockhart of St. Petersburg will also speak about her book, The Laundry Room, which is a tale of Israeli resistance in 1946, two years before the state of Israel was created. Both authors will be available for sales and signings of their books.

Another speaker, Eric Lynn of St. Petersburg played a large role during the Obama administration in getting approval and funding for Israel’s Iron Dome rocket defense system. Lynn will discuss his work on the project, which is credited with saving hundreds of civilian lives.

For musical entertainment, Rabbi Danielle Upbin of Congregation Beth Shalom of Clearwater will lead a sing-a-long, accompanied on guitar by Blake Lenett, a congregant at Beth Shalom.

Food will be complimentary with traditional Israeli and Jewish food, provided by Jo-El’s Delicatessen and Marketplace of St. Petersburg.

For the kids there will be a bounce house, an archeological dig, face painting, balloon art and the opportunity to make Israeli flags.

For all ages, there will be Krav Maga self defense demonstrations and Israeli dancing.

“A committee of individuals representing synagogues and agencies has worked to create a day of fun and celebration for everyone,” said Maxine Kaufman, the Federation’s director of arts, culture, and education. “This is a very special year for Israel, and we’re bringing together the entire community in recognition of this big event.”

The venue will offer both indoor and outdoor space, some of it under tents, for the festival’s activities, so folks can get out of the heat if needed.

The celebration is being sponsored by the Florida Arts and Culture Division.

More information about the Israel Independence Day celebration can be found on the Federation’s website, www.jewishpinellas.org or by calling (727) 530-3223.


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