Yom Ha’atzmaut at Beth Weizmann

May 7, 2014 by Brenda Segal
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Melbourne’s Beth Weizmann Community Centre and the Lamm Jewish Library of Australia were transformed into a children’s paradise when the Zionist Council of Victoria held their annual Family Festival to celebrate Israel’s 66th birthday.

Sean Nochomowitz, Sandra Sochen and Ian Samuel

Sean Nochomowitz, Sandra Sochen and Ian Samuel

The Centre was decked out in blue and white, Israeli music playing as children eagerly lined up for a variety of Israel-related activities. The community hub with its flags and energy made you feel like you were in Israel. Australian accents mingled with Israeli accents, and the vibe and energy created was both unique and contagious.

Squeals of delight were drowned out by music and merriment as children of all ages lined up to experience the different cities of Israel. From Ben Gurion airport to Ha’Tsafon, Jerusalem to Ha’Darom kids were treated to a day of fun and excitement.

Leonie Fleiszig of the  Lamm Library

Leonie Fleiszig of the Lamm Library

There was something for everyone – children joined the throng of participants to climb aboard the Tel Aviv gym bus, eager to join in the fun, expend some energy and get into the groove of the day. There was so much to choose from and kids were spoilt for choice as they got off the bus from Tel Aviv and visited Kibbutz Ha’Tsafon to the petting zoo. A giant slide became the slopes Har Hermon and provided hours of excitement.

Children were also encouraged to participate in the arts and crafts available from tie dye to cookie decorating, loom band and jewellery making as well as pita making.

There isn’t ever a festival without food and kids snacked on popcorn, sno cones, fairy floss, hot dogs, burgers, felalfel and chips. No one went home empty handed and the lucky dip and exhibit activities were a sure-fire winner. There were heaps of giveaways and it was an interactive fun and educational event.

Enjoying the day

Enjoying the day

For the more robust there was soccer kick and Israeli dancing, while little ones were treated to a puppet show with Limor in both English and Hebrew. The jam-packed day was filled with sing-a-longs, a flag parade and movies of Israel.

There were oohs and aahs as the toddlers and kinder kids waved their flags proudly in the parade – each knowing exactly what they were there for, the importance of the day and shouts of “Happy birthday Israel” could be heard from the little voices on the stage.

Zionist Council of Victoria President, Sam Tatarka said: “In reprising this Family Festival, we are reaching out to young families, steadfast supporters and our youth in an attempt to engage and involve them in our love and support for Israel and for all that Israel represents to the Jewish community of Victoria.”

 

 

 

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