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Upper Valley to celebrate 63rd anniversary of Israel’s independence

AMHERST – A celebration of the 63rd anniversary of Israel’s independence will be held May 8 from 1 – 5 P.M., at the National Yiddish Book Center, 1021 West St. Amherst. Organized by the Anna P. Housen Israel Desk of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, the event will feature continuous live music, periodic Israeli Dance instruction, a full size Archeological Dig, Israeli food, Israeli products and more. The event will be held rain or shine, with activities moved indoors if necessary. Organizations of the Upper Valley co-sponsoring the event with the Israel Desk include Beit Ahava, Congregation B’nai Israel, Hadassah, Jewish Community of Amherst, PJ Library and others.

Junior Archaeologists at work at a "Dig the Past" event like the one to be held on May 8th.

A hands-on archeological program, called “Dig the Past” is implemented by an Israel based organization of the same name. This aspect of the celebration is made possible by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. The program will feature activities for all ages. A short historical film on Israel’s independence will be followed by a question, answer and discussion session. The film and discussion will be repeated at 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Israeli dance instruction will be held at 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. and from 3 to 3:45 p.m.

Vivian Newman, author of a new children’s book about Israel, called “Ella’s Trip to Israel” will read her book and do other activities for children of all ages at 2 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4 p.m. as part of a PJ Library activity. Israeli sports and Israeli arts activities will be held all afternoon.  Vendors selling Israeli products from art to Jewelry to Yiddish books from Israel will be featured, including Rich Michaelson Galleries from Northampton; Concepts of Art from Greenville, Gita Gilad form Longmeadow, Schoen Books from South Deerfield, Temple Beth El Gift Shop Israeli products from Springfield and more. Groceries produced in Israel will also be on sale.

Food for sale will include fresh made falafel, Humus, Israeli salad, and more.  Two food vendors will also sell drinks and hot dogs. The event is free, including parking and is open to the public.  For more information, contact Conrad J. Koller, director Anna P. Housen Israel Desk of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts at (413) 737.4313, ext. 157 or ckoller@jewishwesternmass.org

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