The 15-month celebration includes a performance by the Israel Defense Forces Band; an appearance by Brigitte Gabriel, a leading expert on global Islamic terrorism; Steve Emerson, executive director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism; a street fair; and partnerships with area arts and cultural organizations.
(Sarasota, FL) The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee (JFSM) is presenting a 15-month celebration of the 65th anniversary of the state of Israel, beginning in November. The organization’s executive director, Howard Tevlowitz, says that JFSM aims “to highlight the educational, cultural, technological and medical contributions that Israel and her people have made to our world in the last 65 years. These events will provide opportunities for people in Sarasota and Manatee counties to join together and demonstrate their solidarity with Israel. It’s also an excellent opportunity to strengthen our relationships with the community at large. We very much want to build on the friendships we made during our first interfaith mission to Israel earlier this year.” Tevlowitz adds that an interfaith committee, co-chaired by Patti Wertheimer and Gail Cox, has been working “diligently all summer to plan events that are open to the entire community and have something to offer for all ages.”
Highlights of Israel @ 65 include:
- The Israel Defense Forces Quartet will perform at the kick-off event on November 11, 2 p.m., in the Beatrice Friedman Theater. The event is free; seating is limited.
- Brigitte Gabriel, a leading expert on global Islamic terrorism, returns to Sarasota on December 12. Gabriel lectures nationally and internationally about terrorism and current affairs and is the author of two New York Times bestselling books, Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America and They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It.
- A “We Love Israel Street Fair and Marketplace” will be held at Robarts Arena on January 27, noon-5 p.m. This Israeli-themed, multi-generational, multi-cultural event will feature food, entertainment, an Israeli marketplace with jewelry and art, and activities for all ages. This community effort will showcase many of our area synagogues, churches and organizations doing humanitarian work in Israel.
- On February 11, Steve Emerson, executive director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism, will screen his new film, Jihad in America 2: The Grave Deception.
“We welcome all members of our community to come together as we showcase the contributions Israel has made to our modern way of life,” says event co-chair Patti Wertheimer. “This is a crucial time for us to express our mutual love and support of Israel and to publicly acknowledge its right to exist.”
Gail Cox, a leader in the Christian community of Manatee County and co-chair of Israel @ 65, agrees. “Christian and Jewish leaders are working together to express their solidarity with Israel,” she says. “The bringing together of the Jewish and Christian communities is very important for us all. We hope this celebration will show that we can work in unity very effectively to promote our love for Israel and the need to stand with her and bless her at this time. These programs will do just that—and we’ll have a great time doing it. Come join us as we salute Israel!”
A number of JFSM’s partners in the cultural arts community will join the celebration. The Sarasota Orchestra will host Grammy Award-winning Israeli violinist Miri Ben-Ari in May 2013; the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is bringing the Voca People, an Israel-based a cappella/beat box ensemble group, to Sarasota for the first time in March. Additional partnership events with The Perlman Music Program/Suncoast, the Sarasota Film Festival and more will be announced as details are finalized.
The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to save Jewish lives and enhance Jewish life in the Sarasota-Manatee region, in Israel, and throughout the world. In addition, the Federation is responsive when worldwide catastrophes occur. For more information about The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, call 941-371-4546 or visit www.jfedsrq.org.