Festibayit for Habayit

December 13, 2017 by Hayley Hadassin
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Festibayit is an annual event run by the Zionist Federation of Australia’s Habayit, the home of Israeli language and culture.

Held at Melbourne’s Beth Weizmann Community Centre the Chanukah and Israeli festival was a huge success with over 1000 people attending the afternoon festivities.

Festibayit brought together the Israeli community and the general Jewish community. There were hundreds of young families who partied together with the older members of the community as they celebrated Chanukah and Israeli culture with food, music, children’s activities and entertainment.

This was the first year that Habayit created their own band, which performed throughout the afternoon and there were a record number of community organisations actively involved, hosting stalls and activities.

Hallely Kimchi, Habayit coordinator and event planner, organiser, performer (she’s a multitasker and the list goes on,) said: -“I was so proud to see the community unite at Festibayit, all there enjoying the multitude of talents in our community. I see the event as a true demonstration of community spirit and a celebration of the beauty of Israel culture and spirit. The level of volunteerism – from setup to cleaning to hosting stalls and presenting and performing – was outstanding and higher than in any previous years. This was our 5th Festival – and the best yet!”

Festibayit continues to be a pivotal unifying event for Israelis in our community and over the past 5 years, has succeeded in attracting the Israeli community as well as the general Australian Jewish community. It is an opportunity to add value to other Jewish community organisations by providing the opportunity for engagement with this demographic – which has previously been a particularly challenging demographic to attract.

Volunteer: Zvia Fremder said: – “I loved being involved as a volunteer, it made me feel part of something bigger and important. It’s a good event for a beautiful community, Israeli as we are.”

Habayit runs Hebrew classes for all ages and in 2018 this will be no different, providing lessons for all levels of Hebrew, exciting holiday programs for Primary school children and continued variety of cultural events; lectures, films, music, art and food.

Netzer Shaliach,Uri Levin has attended many Habayit events, and said that: – “The event was a combination of fun activities, full of Israeli culture and music, with perfect weather and a brilliant atmosphere. It was great to hear so much Hebrew, to meet so many community members and to feel ‘at home.’ Many of the families who came have children and it was wonderful seeing them engaging directly with Zionist youth movement leaders who were presenting a wide range of activities.”

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