This was a day for pictures—lots of pictures—as parents and children, young and old, marked a milestone—75 years since the founding of the state of Israel.
Even JEWISHcolorado Board Chair Rob Kaufmann could not resist taking a selfie with JEWISHcolorado’s four Shinshinim in their red staff T-shirts. These young Israelis, who spend a year in Denver doing community outreach, celebrated their homeland even if they were far from home.
Event Co-chairs Josh Yeddis and Dana Friedman greeted the crowd with a reminder of the robust and long-lasting connections between American Jews and Israel.
Mayor Eran Doran, who was visiting from JEWISHcolorado’s partner region Ramat HaNegev, thanked the Colorado community for all it has done to support the people of Israel.
The Steve Brodsky Band led everyone in the singing of Hatikvah and then, Itai Divinsky, JEWISHcolorado’s Shaliach (Community Israel Emissary), and the Shinshinim counted down—in Hebrew, of course—to start the traditional walk for Israel.
Some people danced, some walked, some strolled, but everyone shared a sense of joy in the gathering of community for one purpose—to reinforce and strengthen the bonds to a country many marchers consider “a home away from home.”
Through the park, past sculptures, down neighborhood streets, families connected, catching up with old friends and making new ones.
Celebrate Israel brought together people representing synagogues and Jewish organizations from across the state.
It was a day when small children learned the responsibility of carrying a big flag into the next generation.
It was a day when Jews showed up to share their love for Israel.
For children, it was a day of pure fun, starting with inflatable bubble balls…
…including the chance to chase real bubbles….
…meet a lady who can make magic with balloons….
…and go home with some meaningful face paint.
No Celebrate Israel festival would be complete without music, provided by Israeli rapper Shaanan Streett who traveled from Israel to Colorado for Celebrate.
By the middle of the day, Co-chair Dana Friedman, who was celebrating her eighth year at the helm of Celebrate Israel, and JEWISHcolorado Interim President and CEO Renée Rockford could have their own celebration of an event that was a success for everyone.
Dr. William Silvers may have summed up the festival best when he said, “This is our people. It’s who we are and what we do.”
At the heart of Celebrate Israel this year and every year is Americans’ hope for peace in the world and in Israel…
…and the reminder that Colorado Jews will forever be connected to Israel.