SUN, APRIL 30, 2023
EXPLORE | TASTE | HEAR | LEARN | CONNECT | CELEBRATE
Join us here in Tucson as we build a living bridge to Israel! Explore, taste, hear, learn, connect, and CELEBRATE 75 YEARS of Israeli statehood with a community-wide immersive festival experience for all ages. Engage with the many faces of Israel through music, food, art, lectures, games, activities, vendors, inflatables, wine + whiskey tasting, face-painting, and so much more! What will you discover?
Event is free and open to all: Registration is requested.
*Subject to change
Opening ceremony (welcome address, color guard, National Anthem and Hatikvah Chai Notes) – Main Stage in the Jill Rosenzweig Memorial Sculpture Garden
12 torches ceremony – Main Stage in the Jill Rosenzweig Memorial Sculpture Garden
Yemen Blues – Main Stage in the Jill Rosenzweig Memorial Sculpture Garden
Israeli Wine tasting Presented by Feast – Garden of Hope (Separate ticket required CLICK HERE)
Lecture: A Briefing on Current Events in Israeli Politics by Assistant Professor Daniel Arnon – Ballroom
Lecture: How Arizona and Israel are working together on water solutions- Sharon Megdal, Ph.D. and Director of The University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center (WRRC)- Ballroom
Chai Notes performance- Main Stage in the Jill Rosenzweig Memorial Sculpture Garden
Whiskey tasting – Garden of Hope (First group; Separate ticket required, CLICK HERE)
Birthday Celebration – Main stage in the Main Stage in the Jill Rosenzweig Memorial Sculpture Garden
Whiskey tasting- Garden of Hope (Second group; Separate ticket required, CLICK HERE )
Yemen Blues- Main Stage in the Jill Rosenzweig Memorial Sculpture Garden
Rabbi Metz felt art activity – Catalina Room
Krav Maga Class presented by Tucson’s Rising Phoenix Fitness and Defense – Ballroom
Rabbi Metz’s felt art activity – Catalina Room
*All activities run by organizations, kids activities (inflatables, petting zoo, balloon artists, face painter, glitter tattoo artist), Humans of Israel photo exhibit, food and vendors will be available between 12-4pm
FUN FOR ALL AGES
Bounce Houses, Petting Zoo, Face Painting, Balloon Artist, Glitter Tattoos, Felted Art Project, “Toe Fishing” in the Kinneret, Birthday + Greeting Card Making, Planting + Decorating Succulent Pots, Air Dry Clay Crafts, Sand Art, Israeli Games, Ya’akov’s Tent in the Desert, Israeli-Style Birthday Party and more!
LIVE MUSIC FROM YEMEN BLUES
Yemen Blues is a unique musical project that combines the traditional sounds of Yemenite and West African music with blues, jazz, and rock elements. Led by the talented musician Ravid Kahalani, the band has gained international recognition for their electrifying live performances and their ability to blend different musical styles into a seamless, cohesive whole. Check them out HERE.
WINE + WHISKEY TASTING
Did you know Israel was a renowned wine-producing region centuries before France, Italy and Spain established their reputation in the industry? And while the country has no historical tradition with whiskey, in more recent years, distilleries have begun popping up, offering high-quality whiskey’s using new techniques — keeping with the spirit of Israeli innovation.
Wine tasting: Join local wine connoisseurs from Feast in the Catalina Room at 1pm to taste and learn about four different Israeli wines, and take home an engraved souvenir wine glass. Wine tasting tickets are sold separately. Click HERE to purchase.
Whiskey tasting: Sample a selection of Whiskeys from northern Israel with Congregation Beit Shalom in the J’s Garden of Hope at 2:30 or 3pm, and take home an engraved souvenir rocks glass. Whiskey tasting tickets are sold separately. Click HERE to purchase.
1pm: A Briefing on Current Events in Israeli Politics byAssistant Professor Daniel Arnon, School of Government and Public Policy, UA
After a series of four elections and a short-lived centrist government, in November 2022 a new right-wing government was formed in Israel, headed once again by Benyamin Netanyahu.
The new government has centered its first months on a judicial overhaul. Critics have argued that these policies may end Israeli democracy as we know it and have mobilized hundreds of thousands in weekly protests.
In his briefing, Dr. Arnon will explain the core functions of the Israeli parliamentary system, its legal and constitutional basis, and the systems of checks and balances which the reform is intended to change.
2pm: How Arizona and Israel are working together on water solutions by Sharon B. Megdal, Ph.D., Director of UA Water Resources Research Center
Israel is known for its wise water management and innovative water solutions. The University of Arizona is known for its excellence in water research and programs. Tucson’s own water expert, Dr. Sharon B. Megdal, Director of the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center, will speak about how water users, researchers, communities, and officials are collaborating to improve water and food security in Israel and Arizona. Come learn about how the University of Arizona is connected to the Arava Valley of Israel through the Kasser Joint Institute for Food, Water, and Energy Security. Hear about new things going on with drip irrigation in Arizona, and how flood control and professionals from the regions are connecting. The session will be interactive, so come with questions about water in Israel and Arizona!
12 TORCHES CEREMONY
Each year in Israel, when Yom Hazikaron (Israeli’s Memorial Day) is over and Israelis begin to celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut( Israel Independence Day) 12 torches are lit on Mount Herzl symbolizing the 12 tribes of ancient Israel. These torches are lit by people who have committed to the betterment of Israel on a national or an international level. Tucson is proud to emulate this very important and respected tradition.
Join us in honoring the following individuals at 12:15pm:
Mayor Regina Romero, Holocaust Survivors Group of Southern Arizona, Ken Goodman, Bobby Present, Austin Cohen, Teresa Cavendish, Diego Pena Lopez, Rabbi Thomas Louchheim, Rep. Alma Hernandez, Adina Karp, Deanna Evenchik Brav, Linda Behr, Talya Fanger-Vexler, and Zach Schlamowitz
We are offering a free bus from both Oro Valley and Green Valley. Below is the bus schedule for both buses and information on where you can pick up the Israel Festival bus. We still have plenty of space on both buses. If you did not register for the bus, but wish to take the bus, that is not a problem. Please make sure you arrive a little early to park and load the bus. The buses will be departing promptly at the designated times.
Green Valley Bus pick-up and drop-off location – Temple Center Beth Shalom (1751 N Rio Mayo, Green Valley, AZ 85614).
11:15 am – Bus departs Temple Center for the Tucson JCC
1:15 pm – 2nd bus departs Temple Center for the Tucson JCC
2:00 pm-Bus departs JCC and return to Temple Center Beth Shalom
4:10 pm- 2nd bus departs JCC and return to Temple Center Beth Shalom
Oro Valley Bus pick-up and drop-off location – Ooroo Auto Shop (12945 N Oracle Rd, Tucson, AZ 85739)
11:15 am – Bus departs Ooroo for the Tucson JCC
1:15 pm – 2nd bus departs Ooroo for the Tucson JCC
2:00 pm- Bus departs JCC and return to Ooroo
4:10 pm- 2nd bus departs JCC and return to Ooroo
Parking will be available on site. There will be Wild West guards stationed in the parking lot to help direct traffic. There will be extra handicap parking spots in the first few rows of the J lot. Parking is on a first come, first serve basis. Once all onsite parking is filled we will have satellite parking available at Khalsa Montessori school and Brandi Fenton Park. We will be offering a free shuttle from both locations. The shuttle bus at Khalsa will pick up and drop off in front of the main entrance. The shuttle bus at Brandi Fenton will pick up near the Brandi Fenton Memorial. That being said, if you see the Brandi Fenton bus driving through the lot, please feel free to wave it down. Please drive slowly through parking lots and pay attention to the guards for instructions.