Celebrating Israel’s 70th Birthday


It’s 2018, the year of Israel’s 70th birthday. To commemorate this significant milestone, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia is pulling out all the stops. 

Israel70 will be a year packed with outrageously fun and seriously thought-provoking programming that will allow us to bond with the young Jewish homeland, grapple with its evolution and celebrate its very existence. It will be a year of building bridges: between our communities and Israel, but also between our local communities and one another. This will be a year of making space for listening, empathy and discussion.

No matter how you express your support for Israel, no matter what the roots of your connection or your questions may be, Israel70 welcomes you. This is a moment for us to come together to honor and reflect, in so many ways, on the wonderfully diverse country that is Israel.

Israel70 includes a series of events throughout the year that highlights Israel’s impact on the Philadelphia Jewish community. With 2018 now underway, please be sure to take note of three exciting and innovative programs: Israeli Change Makers, My Israel Story and Hummus Smash. For more information on these programs taking place in the next few months, and all our other events, visit jewishphilly.org/israel70 or contact Addie Lewis Klein at [email protected] or 215.832.0828.

Israeli Change Makers

Our yearlong speakers’ series will feature social innovators from Israel who will share their insights on topics at the heart of contemporary cultural conversations at evening events across the region. Upcoming events:


Jan. 17, 7:00 p.m.

Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel

300 S. 18th St.

Philadelphia, PA, 19103

Former candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize Amal Elsana Alh’jooj began community organizing at age 14 in a Bedouin village in the Negev. At 17, she established the first Arab Bedouin women’s organization in Israel. Today, she serves as executive director of the International Community Action Network at McGill University and co-founder of AJEEC-NISPED, a nonprofit organization dedicated to social change and Arab-Jewish partnership.


Jan. 30, 6:30 p.m.

Stokes Auditorium, Haverford College

370 Lancaster Ave.

Haverford, PA, 19041

Mehereta Baruch-Ron is the first woman of Ethiopian heritage to serve as deputy mayor of Tel Aviv. She made aliyah in Operation Moses at age 10, earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and human service and a Master of Arts in organizational psychology at Haifa University, and acted professionally before entering public office. Now holding the portfolios of social welfare and culture on the city council, she works tirelessly to create an economically accessible Tel Aviv for all.


March 22, 7:00 p.m.

Gratz College

7605 Old York Road

Elkins Park, PA, 19027

Specializing in Arab society in Israel and women’s leadership, Dalia Fadila is the director of Al-Qasemi College for Science and Engineering and also heads its School for Practical Engineers. In 2008, she founded Q School, a school for English and human development where she educates the next generation of Arab citizens. Since 2017, she has served as the official adviser to the Knesset on matters of education for Israel’s Arab society.

My Israel Story

What’s your Israel story? Were you speechless in Jerusalem? Swept off your feet by Tel Aviv? Was your trip an adventure of a lifetime? Were you surprised by the people, the food, the landscapes?

Join us throughout Greater Philadelphia to learn to weave the answers to these questions — and many more — into your personal Israel story. At one of our multiple workshops led by professional coaches from First Person Arts, Philadelphia’s premier team of storytellers, you’ll practice the art of narrative, culminating in the chance to record your very own Israel-themed tale at a professional filming session.

Join us at one of the following storytelling workshops, all offered free of charge:

January 14

10:00 a.m. – 12:00  p.m.

Jewish Community Services Building, 2100 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA, 19103

January 21

10:00 a.m. – 12:00  p.m.

Shir Ami Synagogue, 101 Richboro Road, Newtown, PA, 18940

February 18

10:00 a.m. – 12:00  p.m.

Temple Brith Achim, 481 S. Gulph Road, King of Prussia, PA, 19406

March 4

10:00 a.m. – 12:00  p.m.

Har Zion Temple, 1500 Hagys Ford Road, Penn Valley, PA, 19072

Hummus Smash

Fun and lighthearted or a heated competition — a Hummus Smash will be an opportunity for those in your community to compete head-to-head, whipping up their best hummus recipes. Nothing brings a kehillah together like a big bowl of hummus.

Throughout early 2018, several of our kehillot from across the region will host individual Hummus Smashes, which will culminate in the Grand Smash, a Greater Philadelphia-wide competition at 5-6-70 Israel! on May 6 at the Valley Forge Event Center!

The Jewish Federation will provide kits for each location, which will include planning guides and all the tools you’ll need. However, we’re encouraging all participants to get creative and shock our judging panel on May 6 with some creative and delicious new recipes!


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