More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the “Celebrate Israel Festival,” being held in recognition of Israel’s 71st anniversary of independence, on Sunday, May 19, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center.
The event includes music, unique cultural attractions and creative interactive activities. Vocalist Lior Narkis will headline the festival, which also includes pavilions with hands-on activities for all ages around the theme of “the Israeli spirit.”
The festival starts at 11 a.m. at the festival’s entrance with a one-mile “Celebrate Israel Walk” with StandWithUS to show solidarity and support for Israel. Another highlight will be the “Heroes: Jewish Trailblazers Experience,” a Museum of the Jewish People project that offers information about Jewish scientists, intellectuals, leaders, revolutionaries, cultural figures, athletes and more.
Festival goers can also pose for photos with replicas of Israeli landmarks, play in the sand and enjoy food at a replica of Tel Aviv’s beach, and sit on top of a desert landscape. A Tiger Squadron formation flyover at 4 p.m. will launch the official ceremony with local dignitaries hosted by Actor Mike Burstyn.
“We were incredibly lucky to grow up in a place like Israel, surrounded by our history, our heritage and a rich and diverse culture. Now that we live here, we want our fellow Americans who have embraced us so warmly to share in the experience of all the beauty that is the modern-day miracle called Israel,” said festival founder Naty Saidoff. “This one-day festival is the closest you can come to truly being there.”
The event’s growth over recent years reflects the Israeli-American community’s increasing public activism and cohesion. Extra security measures are being implemented on and around the festival premises and entrances.
Tickets are $30 at the door. The Cheviot Hills Recreation Center is located at 2551 Motor Ave. For information, visit celebrateisraelfestival.org/la.