The excitement is building to a crescendo. Each year, Jewish Federation & Family Services, Orange County, produces a huge community gathering in celebration of Israel. This year, Israel Expo 2011 will be on May 22 from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Samueli Jewish Campus in Irvine. More than 6,000 people are expected to attend the event to celebrate Israel’s 63rd birthday. This year’s theme is building a caring community – together – in Orange County and in Israel. Gordon Fishman, M.D., is the founding chairman of the event, and Blossom Siegel and Idit Ferder are the Israel Expo 2011 co-chairs.
Expo 2011 will feature a multi-media performance by the Revital Company from Israel and upbeat, energetic entertainment from the InJoy Orchestra. Long-time favorites — Israeli dancing with Broadway veteran Yoni Carr and the Fishman Family All-Community Children’s Choir — will also be on hand. There is something for everyone — shopping, Israeli food, rides, games and many other attractions. This year the Expo will also feature the first Simcha Expo, a pavilion with many exhibitors to help attendees to plan their next simcha.
Admission is free, and so are parking and shuttle services at Mariners Church. People with disabilities can park at TVT Lower School at no cost. VIP parking at the TVT Upper School is available for $10. Every guest who registers at the entrance to the Expo will join the opportunity drawing for El Al Israel Ticket and will receive a bag with coupons and gifts from the JFFS and the Expo vendors.
As always, the day is replete with entertainment for all ages. Whether the entertainers come from Israel or Orange County, they will be performing throughout the day.
1 p.m.: GILAT & INJOY ORCHESTRA
Gilat Rapaport and her band InJoy have been bringing joy and energy to many Jewish communities around the globe. Gilat, the band leader and lead singer, was born and raised in Israel and began her career while attending the Tel Aviv Conservatory for classical music. Performing traditional and contemporary repertoire, InJoy Orchestra inspires people to sing along and join the celebration.
1:50 p.m.: JSTAGE – THE JCC’S YOUTH THEATER GROUP PERFORMING FROM FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
The Merage JCC’s youth theater program, JStage, introduces children and teens (ages 7-17) to the wonders of the performing arts. As a teaching theater, JStage is devoted to producing quality shows by children and teens, for audiences of all ages.
2 p.m.: CEREMONY
Michael Gerstner and Adam Riley from JFFS YLD will serve as masters of ceremonies, joined by Mayor Sukhee Kang of Irvine.
2:30 p.m.: THE JEWISH UNITY PARADE
The Jewish Unity Parade, Israel Expo’s second annual children’s parade, will involve hundreds of Jewish youngsters joined by the Fishman Family All-Community Children’s Choir in a festive march around the Expo, concluding with a performance by the choir onstage. The Jewish Unity Parade is a joint venture of Jewish Federation & Family Services, Orange County congregations and Chabad of Orange County. All children are welcome to join the parade. Parents should bring participating children to the TVT gym at 2 p.m. Each participating child will receive a free parade t-shirt and a chance to win an iPad in a special opportunity drawing. Jewish American Hero Tibor Rubin will lead the parade as the guest of honor.
2:45 p.m: THE FISHMAN FAMILY ALL-COMMUNITY CHILDREN’S CHOIR
Eight children’s choirs from our Jewish community will be on stage, all at the same time, singing together.
|Congregation Shir Ha Ma’alot|
|Tarbut V’Torah Community Day School|
|Temple Bat Yahm|
|Temple Beth David|
|Temple Beth Sholom|
|Temple Beth Tikvah|
Cantor Arie Shikler from Congregation Shir Ha-Ma’alot will conduct the choir.
3:15 p.m.: The Revital Company of Israel in the musical, “Hope (Hatikvah).”
Fourteen young Israeli entertainers will provide a journey of hope, longing, deep emotion and laughter, expressed through dance, song and spoken word, multimedia staging and dozens of costumes. Revital is known for its original musicals “Jerusalem Forever,” “Israel-From Genesis Until Tomorrow” and this year’s new hour-long show, “Hope (Hatikvah)” which tells the story of the history of the State of Israel from its beginning until today. The plot is woven with well-known Israeli songs. The dances in this performance span many genres, and the staging is filled with video and images.
4:15 p.m.: ISRAELI DANCING WITH YONI CARR
Carr has performed on Broadway and toured around the world as a soloist with the Inbal Theater and Karmon Group. She has more than 20 years of experience in teaching and performing Israeli dance.
5-6 p.m.: GILAT & INJOY ORCHESTRA
Other Attractions for All
More than 60 commercial exhibitors will include:
- Jerusalem Marketplace: Choose from Israeli fine art, gifts, Judaica, fashion, jewelry, books, music, skincare, accessories, green services and products.
- NEW! Simcha Expo: Find everything to help plan a special simcha — photographers, videographers, caterers, event and design experts, linens and rentals, florists, invitations, photo favors, venues and lighting.
Games and rides include the camel ride, carnival rides, clowns and jugglers, rock-climbing wall, arts and crafts, balloon artists, air brush face painting, trackless train, mechanical bull, storytelling and magician show.
KIDTOPIA will feature arts, crafts, performances by and for children and interactive activities featuring the theme of “WE ARE ALL ONE”. Unity in diversity is the theme of this year’s Israel Expo kids area. Local children’s performing troupes featuring dances and songs have been invited to participate.
The Puppets & Players Little Theatre was founded in 1991 by Laurie Branham and Gilbert (Gil) Olin to revive traditional puppet theatre. “Puff, the Magic Dragon” is a half-hour show features marionettes and hand puppets, delightful songs, and an energetic live performance by Gil Olin, who doubles as a storyteller and a pirate.
Movies will be shown in TVT’s multipurpose room. They include:
1:15-1:45 CALIFORNIA ORANGE JEWS: THE STORY OF THE JEWS OF ORANGE COUNTY (2010)
1:50-1:55 SAFESCHOOLS PROJECT (THE COLOR RED)
3:00-3:25 ISRAEL UP CLOSE: ISRAEL BUILDS A CARING COMMUNITY AT HOME
· Israelis Care for Terror Victims
· Caring for the Elderly and Lonely in Israel
· Preparing the Underprivileged for College in Israel
· Israel Aids Abandoned Arab Mothers
· Feeding the Needy in Israel
· Israeli Vintners with Disabilities Create Fine Wines
3:30-3:35 SAFESCHOOLS PROJECT (THE COLOR RED)
3:40-4:10 CALIFORNIA ORANGE JEWS: THE STORY OF THE JEWS OF ORANGE COUNTY (2010)
4:15-5:00 THE MACHAL VOLUNTEERS: VOLUNTEERS IN ISRAEL’S WAR OF INDEPENDENCE) (1998)
5:10-5:35 ISRAEL UP CLOSE: ISRAEL BUILDS A CARING COMMUNITY AROUND THE WORLD
· Israelis Help Katmandu Street Children
· Israel Saves Sudanese Refugees
· Israel Helps to Solve World Poverty
· Israeli Doctors Care for the World
· Israeli Know-How Helps Developing Countries
TALIT Nation, Israeli Scouts and StandwithUs will offer Israel Time Travel. Israel Expo attendees are invited to join the travel in time, meet important figures in this long and rich history, play games and re-live the history of Israel.
The TVT Student Art Exhibition at Israel Expo will highlight “Trees of Life,” creative drawings that represent the students’ whimsical interpretations inspired by text from the Torah. Along with the trees, there will be a show of animals, fish and other life forms. The exhibition will take place at the TVT Multi-Purpose Room.
Chabad will offer Lag B’Omer activities.
For more information, contact IsraelExpo@jfoc.org or call (949) 435-3484.