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Federation announces new event … call it ‘Israel in the plaza’?

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Eighteen days after announcing it was canceling Israel in the Gardens this year, the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation this week said it will present a 90-minute Israeli Independence Day gathering in San Francisco.

The Yom HaAtzmaut celebration will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 6, at Justin Herman Plaza on the Embarc-adero.

The event, in celebration of Israel’s 66th birthday, is being presented in partnership with the S.F.-based Jewish Community Relations Council, “with a special thanks to the Consulate General of Israel,” according to a press release.

The free community event will feature Israeli music from the bands the Peatot, Sol Tevel and possibly others, plus appearances by local politicians and community leaders. The winners of the Israel in Our Hearts Awards, recognizing “dedication and passion” for Israel, will be announced at the event.

Falafel and other Israeli food will be available for purchase from vendors; as of this week they had not been named.

Additionally, the federation announced that over the coming weeks, it will sponsor and develop Yom HaAtzmaut–related events at local congregations; provide grants to local JCCs for Yom HaAtzmaut events; partner with the JCRC to create educational units for local day schools and religious schools on Yom HaAtzmaut; and co-sponsor Israeli arts and cultural programming.

Israel in the Gardens, a one-day festival that has drawn crowds of 15,000 to Yerba Buena Gardens the past two years, is going on hiatus this year, the Israel Center announced in its March 7 newsletter. The center, a program of the federation, handles the logistics of the long-running festival, usually held in early June. It has been held downtown since 1995, when an Israel Independence Day picnic and celebration took place in Yerba Buena Gardens, not long after it was built. — j. staff


Posted by jackiej
03/31/2014  at  05:02 PM
No Israel in Gardens

Why is it not being held?  Letters have been written.  We are all very uncomfortable about this.  We deserve to understand this, don’t we please?

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Posted by paul
04/03/2014  at  02:06 PM
It isn't great.

The Federation need to reconsider Israel In The Gardens because, we all need to Stand Up For Israel’s right to exist. We all need to Stand for Israel. If the Israel in the plaza, going to be in the public place then, it’s a great victory for the protesters such as a so-called Jewish Voice for peace, who always show up to disrupt Israel In The Gardens together with the Bay Area Women of the Black and their followers. Because it will be in open space and without security, it will be easy for them to enter the Justin Herman Plaza in SF and disrupt the event. Please, Federation, let’s do it in the Yerba Buena Gardens in SF and in June 1ST. I don’t want to see the JVP and their followers who doesn’t want Israel’s right to exist entirely. That was the stupid decision on behalf of the Jewish Community Federation. When we all need to support Israel and celebrate Israel, our Federation showed us, how wee our JCF is. Our Federation need to be more Pro Israel,period.

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Posted by annarog
04/04/2014  at  07:48 PM
Pro a truely democratic, just Israel

Those that are truly “Pro-Israel” will put their energies to supporting Israelis that are pro-justice and pro-equal rights for ALL.  Those are the true Jewish values that will turn Israel into an admired and safe “homeland”. Encouraging and supporting land theft, oppression, unjust laws and courts, the brutal Occupation, and impunity for attacks and killings of “the Other” is not the Judaism I know, and leaves Israel reviled worldwide.

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