On Sunday, April 22, Israel Fest will return to the Simon Family Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Virginia Beach from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The annual festival will celebrate Israel’s 70th birthday and will offer an authentic Israel experience through art, education and food.
For years Israel Fest has honored the diversity of Israeli culture and strives to share its cherished traditions with the Coastal Virginia community. To spread greater awareness about the celebration of Israel, the Simon Family JCC and United Jewish Federation of Tidewater have arranged for festival attendees to assist in the formation of a large-scale, human Israeli flag.
Each flag participant should arrive to the soccer fields behind the Sandler Family Campus no later than 2:30 p.m. They will then receive a blue or white corrugated board to hold up to create the iconic Star of David and dueling blue strips adorned on the Israeli flag. A drone will take several aerial images of the formation, one which the Simon Family JCC hopes to share worldwide.
“Our goal is to deliver an experience that is authentically Israel with the sights, the sounds, the tastes and the people that make it such an amazing place,” says event coordinator Robin Mancoll.
Israel Fest will also host two special guests, the Israeli-born chef, Guy Alfandari, and Israeli television sensation, Eyal Rob. Alfandari currently resides in New York and plans to share his culinary expertise by preparing customary, Middle Eastern dishes such as spicy Moroccan fish, Bukharin green rice, the pastry-style Jachnun and Araries, a mix of beef and Egyptian lamb on pita. Rob of Tel Aviv will serve as the event’s DJ and emcee and is widely known for his discovery of the Israeli version of MTV.
In addition to food, vendors will sell a variety of Israel-made art, jewelry and other goods. Guests may also enjoy camel rides and compete in a campus-wide scavenger hunt.
Simon Family Jewish Community Center is located at 5000 Corporate Woods Dr., Virginia Beach. The event is free and open to people of all faiths.