Bring your shopping list and checkbook along with you to the Israel 65 Festival on Sunday, May 19. Eight artisans from throughout our Jewish homeland will bring their creations to the Pennsylvania Convention Center from noon to 4 p.m. to showcase the diversity of Israeli arts and culture.
Whatever your taste and budget, there will be something to satisfy at the festival’s Artists Showcase.
Featured artists include:
Michael Elkayam — Michael specializes in creating works of Judaica. He is known for his colorful scroll creations. His work, which is filled with Jewish symbols and motifs, is influenced by biblical stories and Kabbalah.
Itai Lachman — Itai represents a family boutique workshop that produces organic grooming materials made from healing herbs that are grown in their community and local cold pressed oils. He will also bring with him art, ceramics and Israeli crafts produced by his wife, Esther Lachman, and other women from their region.
Inbar Carmel — Inbar’s mother, Sara, creates art using such materials as ceramics, papier mache, glass, cloth and wood.
Ofra Ben Natan — Ofra produces paintings made with acrylic on canvas, paper, rounded stones and ostrich eggs.
Ronen Horev — Ronen’s glass work and Judaica items use raw materials like glass, ceramics, stones and wood. He then combines them with metals, such as brass, copper and tin.
Yaffa Dadon — Yaffa paints, sculpts and designs. She is best known for her hanging ceramics which integrate aquarelles with a unique combination of materials.
Yaron Bob — Yaron creates statues made out of Kassam missiles that have rained down upon the Israeli people during terrorist attacks. He has literally transformed instruments of death, weapons of war, into objects of beauty that represent his hope for a peaceful future.
Lemlem Barkolin — Lemlem is one of 12 Ethiopian artists who produce traditional native art including basket weavings and sculpture. Lemlem and her colleagues practice their art at the Ethiopian Cultural Center in Netivot — one of two communities in Southern Israel connected with the Greater Philadelphia Jewish community through its involvement in Partnership2Gether.
More than 22 arts and crafts vendors will participate in the festival.
Planting the Seeds of Israeli Agricultural Growth
Members of the Philadelphia Chapter of Israel Scouts, the only youth movement in the Jewish homeland that is both non-political and non-sectarian, will assist festival guests in the planting of a brand new variety of Israeli tomato seeds.
These seeds, named in hon-or of Israeli President Shimon Peres for his work on behalf of residents of Southern Israel, were presented to the 89-year-old leader during an official visit to a farm under the auspices of the Sedot Negev Agricultural Council.
Sedot Negev, like Netivot, is a Federation Partnership2Gether community. Zion Cohen, a member of the community’s Agricultural Council, said the new variety of seeds gift was selected because of “its exceptionally long shelf life and ability to withstand adverse conditions,” adding “these are qualities which typify you, Mr. President.”
Admission to the festival, part of a gala community celebration of Israel’s 65th anniversary of independence, is free. Please enter the Pennsylvania Convention Center at 12th and Arch Streets.
No backpacks or large bags will be allowed.
For more information about the festivities, visit: www.jewishphilly.org .
Post-Festival Shopping Showcases
If you can’t come to the Israel 65 Festival, the participating Israeli artists and crafters will present their work at two free community showcases on Monday, May 20, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Congregation Adath Jeshurun, 7763 Old York Rd., Cheltenham, Pa., and on Tuesday, May 21, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at Adath Israel Congregation, 250 Highland Ave. North, Merion Station.
Adath Israel wil also play host to synagogue gift shop and store managers for a special opportunity to view, purchase and/or order Israeli art on Tuesday, May 21, 10:30 a.m. to noon.