Celebrate Israel marks 75 years of a home away from home

May 10, 2023 | Article, Event, Newsletter

Celebrate Israel marks 75 years of a home away from home

May 10, 2023

Celebrate Israel @ 75 Walk & Festival

On Sunday, May 7, 2023, JEWISHcolorado brought together more than 1,500 members and allies of the Jewish community at Denver’s Great Lawn Park for “Celebrate Israel,” Colorado’s largest festival dedicated to the people, culture, and land of Israel.

A mom takes a picture of her kids at Celebrate Israel @ 75

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.

Board Chair Rob Kaufmann and Shinshinim at Celebrate Israel @ 75

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.

Cochairs with US Flag

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 Doron at Celebrate Israel @ 75

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.

Shinshinim sing at Celebrate Israel @ 75

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.

Start of Walk

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.”

Marching at Celebrate Israel @ 75

Through the park, past sculptures, down neighborhood streets, families connected, catching up with old friends and making new ones.

Celebrate Israel @ 75 Walk

Celebrate Israel brought together people representing synagogues and Jewish organizations from across the state.

Celebrate Israel @ 75 Walk & Festival

It was a day when small children learned the responsibility of carrying a big flag into the next generation.

Celebrate Israel @ 75 Festival

It was a day when Jews showed up to share their love for Israel.

Rolling girl in big ball at Celebrate Israel @ 75

For children, it was a day of pure fun, starting with inflatable bubble balls…

Girl playing with bubbles at Celebrate Israel @ 75

…including the chance to chase real bubbles….

Celebrate Israel @ 75 Festival

…meet a lady who can make magic with balloons….

Face paint at Celebrate Israel @ 75

…and go home with some meaningful face paint.

Shaanan Streett of Hadag Nahash at Celebrate Israel @ 75

No Celebrate Israel festival would be complete without music, provided by Israeli rapper Shaanan Streett who traveled from Israel to Colorado for Celebrate.

Dana Friedman and Renée Rockford at Celebrate Israel @ 75

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. Bill Silver at Celebrate Israel @ 75

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.”

Peace at Celebrate Israel @ 75

At the heart of Celebrate Israel this year and every year is Americans’ hope for peace in the world and in Israel…

Colorado and Israel flags at Celebrate Israel

…and the reminder that Colorado Jews will forever be connected to Israel.