2018-04-25 / Home

Thousands come out for community-wide Israel 70 celebration

By DAVID PORTNOE Voice Editor


The Israel 70 Celebration began with a send-off from local dignitaries and a parade from Cherry Hill East to the Katz JCC. JCC President Jeffrey Gottlieb (top photo, left), and Executive Director Les Cohen showed their support for Israel during the parade. SJR BBYO members helped volunteers paint a garage door for the JCC Camps at Medford. Painting with six-year-old Rivka Kamienny (middle photo) were BBYO members (from left), Evelin Cloth, Jessica Bender, Hannah Borenstein, and Lily Cohen. Synagogues and organizations from throughout South Jersey got into the Israel 70 spirit with booths on the “Ben Yehuda Street” pedestrian mall in the JCC parking lot. Cong. B’nai Tikvah-Beth Israel of Sewell’s booth (bottom photo) featured Israeli-flag painting. Asher Cohen (9) and Rachel Tompkins (7) displayed their flags, as (from left), Jennifer Klavens, her mother Renee, and Izzy Wellman, all teachers at BT-BI, looked on. The Israel 70 Celebration began with a send-off from local dignitaries and a parade from Cherry Hill East to the Katz JCC. JCC President Jeffrey Gottlieb (top photo, left), and Executive Director Les Cohen showed their support for Israel during the parade. SJR BBYO members helped volunteers paint a garage door for the JCC Camps at Medford. Painting with six-year-old Rivka Kamienny (middle photo) were BBYO members (from left), Evelin Cloth, Jessica Bender, Hannah Borenstein, and Lily Cohen. Synagogues and organizations from throughout South Jersey got into the Israel 70 spirit with booths on the “Ben Yehuda Street” pedestrian mall in the JCC parking lot. Cong. B’nai Tikvah-Beth Israel of Sewell’s booth (bottom photo) featured Israeli-flag painting. Asher Cohen (9) and Rachel Tompkins (7) displayed their flags, as (from left), Jennifer Klavens, her mother Renee, and Izzy Wellman, all teachers at BT-BI, looked on. Sunday’s Israel 70 Festival Community Celebration brought out thousands of Southern New Jersey residents for a parade from Cherry Hill East to the Katz JCC, followed by shopping, music, food, and informational booths from synagogues, organizations, the Jewish Federation and its agencies. The crowd was huge and the afternoon featured bright sunshine.

Jaclynn Shweky, event co-chair with her husband Evan, could not have been happier. “Our hope was to get people from every part of the Jewish community from South Jersey to share a day together…people are telling us that they are seeing people they have not seen in years and that they are learning things about Israel,” said Jaclynn. She said that she was thrilled that over 500 people marched in the parade and that over 2,000 people came out to shop, eat, and hear music at the “Ben Yehuda Street” pedestrian mall set up in the Katz JCC parking lot.

One of those who were really impressed with what he saw was Arkady Hasidovich, who will be arriving with his family in August to take up the role of Israel Shaliach. Visiting for the week, he said that he was really surprised by the size of the crowd and the very pro-Israel feeling. “It’s a vibrant, great celebration. I feel at home here today,” he said.

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