By Linda Alpert, Israel Committee Chair
Sunday, April 15th, 3,200 people of all ages came out for a spectacular countywide celebration in honor of Israel’s 70th birthday organized by the Westchester Jewish Council.
The grand opening ceremony featured remarks from Ambassador Dani Dayan, Consul General of Israel in New York, followed by greetings from Eric S. Goldstein, CEO, UJA-Federation of New York, Congresswoman Nita Lowey, Congressman Eliot Engel, and Westchester community Shlicha (emissary), Oshra Rosenberg. Interspersed between speakers were musical performances by the FIDF Musical Ensemble.
Entertainment continued throughout the day in the “Machane Yehuda” open air marketplace with musical performances by the Westchester Day School Choir, the Westchester Torah Academy Choir, Westchester Klezmer Band, Schechter Westchester Choir and high school band, Rami Stosberg and Friends band and Kol Hazzanim, the Cantors of Westchester. Snack stalls by Marzipan Bakery, G.I.T usa, importer of gourmet kosher foods, and Ben & Jerry’s had a steady stream of customers, and children were delighted by the opportunity for face painting, spray tattoos, and “Midrash Manicures” (Israel themed nail decals and nail polish designs). An exhibition of Israeli products and Judaica for sale, and informational tables by organizations provided a vibrant space for attendees to shop and learn.
The Bronx Jewish Community Council had a special tribute to Israel’s 70th on April 22nd, after which it also honored three of our WJC members: Marc Karell, Larry Thaul and Neil Schwartzreich (aka the Three Musketeers), who have been longstanding volunteers delivering packages to the South Bronx every Chanukah and Pesach. (Pictured are the three honorees plus Niti Minkovwe, director of volunteers).