Home May 2013 Fun-Packed Festival

Fun-Packed Festival

Now in its sixth year, iFest is going strong.  In fact, according to Eran Hoch, Israel fellow at Orange County Hillel, “This year it’s bigger and better than ever.  It’s a six-year legacy that Jewish and non-Jewish students on the UCI campus – as well as members of the community – enjoy.”
The annual, week-long Israel festival at UCI, iFest is the largest, most dynamic and recognized Israel program on the UCI campus.  It attracts more than 5,000 attendees per year and has featured world-renowned Israeli musicians like Idan Raichel and has become a model for Israel festivals on multiple college campuses.
Hoch hopes that all members of the Jewish community will “feel that iFest is theirs.”  The week-long celebration will begin with a kickoff Shabbat dinner on Friday, May 17.  It will end with a huge party at a club on Thursday, May 23.  Last year’s culminating event attracted 600 students, Hoch said.
In between there will be a variety of events that “look at Israel from a different perspective,” according to Hoch.  There will be a panel on diversity, featuring a rabbi, a minister, a representative from the consul general’s office and a member of Congress.  The many educational offerings will show people all the things Israel has to offer, Hoch said.
Most of iFest takes place on Ring Road, the main pedestrian walkway on the UCI campus.  On Monday through Wednesday, May 21 to 23, there will be booths on campus, featuring displays of flags, food and other festivities.  The street fair atmosphere will feature vendors, information about Israeli universities (Tel Aviv University, Ben Gurion University and others), information about internships and exchange programs, a raffle for free tickets to Israel on El Al, a surfboard company displaying a surfboard with an Israeli flag, T-shirts and other giveaways.  There is something for everybody at iFest, whether people want to stop and have a falafel or learn about the latest in Israeli technology.
Hoch invites the community to “join, participate, sponsor and share ideas.”  He said that Jewish Federation & Family Services and the local Israeli community have been a big help in planning the event.  Jake Farris, vice president of Anteaters for Israel, is the student chair of iFest.
Hoch concluded, “iFest is a chance to say thanks and give a warm embrace to Israel and a chance to show UCI and the rest of the community that we’re standing proudly.”
For details, contact Eran@ochillel.org or (949) 205-9078.

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