At the end of a long day of festivities Sunday, the crowd screamed as Israeli singer Eyal Golan wrapped an Israel flag around his body onstage at Rancho Park’s Cheviot Hills Recreation Center.
Monique Benabou might be a guy’s ideal woman. The 23-year-old former contestant on NBC-TV’s reality singing competition show, “The Voice,” handpicked by pop star Christina Aguilera, is beautiful and equipped with soulful pipes, along with being adventurous, compassionate and proud of being Jewish.
One adult ticket to this Sunday’s newly relaunched Celebrate Israel Festival in Rancho Park (purchased online in advance): $15. Transforming the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center for the Israel-themed blowout party, the biggest of its kind in the United States: $800,000 and counting.
I was very moved and touched by Rob Eshman’s editorial last week (“I Miss Us,” May 13). I was born and raised in Los Angeles and, other than my years in Israel or New York, I spent every single Yom HaAtzmaut at a community Israel festival. Whether it was the 18K Walk for Life we had throughout the ’70s, culminating in a festival in Rancho Park, or Pan Pacific Park, or, more recently, Woodley Park, the festival is something that is a built-in part of my community identity as a Jew. I, too, loved to complain about the food, and I was always most anxious to go around to each booth and strike up a debate on an issue. I remember going to the JDL booth, and then to the Peace Now booth, and would love playing the “other side,” because the whole day felt like a living page of talmudic debates.
This year, for the first time in decades, Israel Independence Day came and went without a major public celebration in Los Angeles, and local Jewish leaders are vowing that won’t happen again. “We are completely committed to having a communitywide celebration for Israel’s Independence Day,” said Jay Sanderson, president and CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater of Los Angeles. “We need to create something that is really a community event, something people X off on their calendars and look forward to and talk about afterward.”
A lack of funding has forced organizers to cancel this year’s Israel Independence Day Festival in Woodley Park, a community event that at its height attracted as many as 30,000 people. An immediate donation of around $30,000 could reverse the decision, according to Yoram Gutman, executive director of Israel Independence Day Festival, which runs the event. The festival honoring Israel’s 63rd birthday was scheduled for May 15.
Critics and audiences alike can try to search for a political message in the 23rd Israeli Film Festival's premiere films
I left The Jewish Journal's booth at last Sunday's Israel Festival just before a loyal reader came up and asked whether I was around because he wanted, "to clean an editor's clock.
In Los Angeles, our Israel Festival is on May 15 at Woodley Park in Van Nuys.
It was meant to be the "not Wagner" concert: Daniel Barenboim, the pride of Israeli music-lovers, conducting his Berlin orchestra, the Staatskapelle, on the last night of this year's Israel Festival. Little did we know.