Israel is truly amazing in every way. Going there is life-changing. Then there is the next best thing…
“Israel: Higher. Stronger. Faster.” is the theme of Israel Expo 2014, an event that brings Israel to Irvine with sights, sounds and flavors designed to entice all ages while celebrating Israel’s 66th birthday. This year’s expo, slated for Sunday, May 18, from 1 to 6 p.m. and sponsored by Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS), offers the opportunity to see both top-tier entertainment and the kinds of technological advances that have made Israel the “start-up nation.”
“This is the largest assemblage of Jewish people in Orange County and a great showcase for Israel, JFFS and all the Jewish organizations in the community,” said Blossom Siegel, co-chair of the event. “It’s a very exciting day that shows how much JFFS cares and makes it happen, and it’s free.”
Co-chair Idit Ferder explained that the new features of this year’s Israel Expo “tell the story of how Israel excels in different areas – technology and science, music and literature and sports.” She added, “It will focus on the contributions of Israel to the world.”
Specifically, Mini MadaTech will have hands-on, interactive exhibits from Israel’s National Museum of Science, Technology and Space. IsraAID Relief in Haiti will show how Israelis provided the first emergency aid to reach Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. The Health & Wellness Pavilion will offer exhibits and interactive demonstrations by local health and wellness providers. A real highlight is the bone marrow drive, which actually produced a match last year.
The Israeli Excellence Exhibition will showcase Israeli achievements in science, medicine, sports, arts and humanitarian aid. The Shalom Family’s Garden of Readin’ will be a children’s literature fun zone with a complete book fair and book signing.
Headlining the entertainment are the Fountainheads who will be performing during the Lag B’Omer Jewish Unity parade. The Fountainheads, who are described as Israeli singing sensations will also be joined by children’s choirs. Comedian Eric Schwartz is the master of ceremonies, and other entertainers include InJoy Productions and local singer Aviella Winder. Israel in Motion will feature contemporary dance and discussion with Israeli choreographer Idan Cohen, dancer Noa Shiloh and historian Nina Spiegel.
Additionally, there will be demonstrations of Zumba, Pilates, Yoga and Krav Maga. More than 100 commercial vendors will offer jewelry, fashions, Judaica and more. There will be many activities for children, and, of course, there will be sumptuous Israeli food.
Offering further community-building is the Israel Leaders program in which organizations nominate a member of the organization showing the most dedication to Israel, according to Cindy Furst, who is in charge of the program. “Everyone nominated will get up on stage and be introduced,” she explained. “The winner’s organization gets $3,600 and the runner-up’s organization gets $1,800.”
The presenting sponsor is California Southern University, which offers accredited bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as certificate programs. All CalSouthern programs are offered 100-percent online through personalized one-on-one mentoring, ideal for the busy, working professional.
Everyone agreed that the key to the success of Israel Expo is Hagit Partouche, director of event planning and coordination at JFFS. “Hagit puts heart and soul into this event,” Ferder said. Siegel added, “Hagit works tirelessly all year. Because of her, Israel Expo is always tremendous.”
For details about IsraelExpo 2014, please see the website, www.israelexpo.org.
Eric Schwartz Live
Often compared to Jimmy Fallon or Adam Sandler, Eric Schwartz has been described as one of the most creative and original comedians working today. With appearances on “The Tonight Show,“ “Showtime,” “Comics Unleashed,” BET and more, this multi-dimensional showman’s stand-up, songs and characters have made him a favorite at clubs, colleges and the web. His viral videos have aired on E!, G4, CNN and OMG Insider, while YouTube recently named him one of their prestigious NextUp Creators. “E! News Daily” host Ryan Seacrest says Schwartz is “rocking the web” with “videos that have got everyone Googling” and Forbes.com applauds him for having “a minor industry in pop music parodies.”
Enjoy a special sneak preview of the Swan Lake Project, a unique dance collaboration bringing together UC Irvine and Israel and featuring the choreography talents of UCI Artist-in-Residence Idan Cohen and Tong Wang and Diane Diefenderfer of the Department of Dance of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts.
The full production of the Swan Lake Project will be performed on Wednesday, May 28, at 7 p.m. on the Samueli Jewish Campus.
InJoy has been bringing joy and energy to communities around the globe. Led by Israeli born Gilat Rapaport, InJoy performs traditional and contemporary repertoire, making all crowds dance and sing along with the group. Gilat’s warm and powerful voice, her electrifying presence and charisma, along with her incredible band will enhance your deepest emotions and will bring them to life.
Enjoy a mini-tour of Israel’s National Museum of Science, Technology and Space.
MadaTech is dedicated to preserving, perpetuating, popularizing and promoting the rich cultural heritage of science and enhancing science literacy among Israelis of all ages.
Enjoy digital manufacturing with 3D printers, robot shows, physics experiments and more. Activities will be offered throughout the day.
Described as a singing sensation, the Fountainheads are a group of young Israeli singers, dancers and musicians, all graduates and students of the Ein Prat Academy for Leadership, who have joined forces to create new Jewish artistic content for today’s Jewish world.
Through their videos and live performances, the Fountainheads’ work is enjoyed by millions of people all over the world. The Fountainheads perform at special events, trips, concerts, weddings and simchas in Israel, and also tour overseas a few times a year.