Festival for Israel’s 71st promises family fun

Phoenix duo Erez and Gal will perform Israeli music at Tucson’s Yom Ha’atzmaut festival April 28.

A family-friendly Yom Ha’atzmaut festival, marking the 71st anniversary of Israel’s Independence, will be held Sunday, April 28, from 4-6:30 p.m. in the Sculpture Garden at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. “This is an opportunity to celebrate Israel’s birthday,” says Jennifer Selco, the Tucson J’s director of Jewish life and learning. “What better way than throw a big party open to the entire community.”

For children, there will be a petting zoo, and a variety of games and crafts. Performances will include folk singers Erez and Gal and the J’s Sparks Cheer team. Israeli film shorts will be screened, followed by discussion with the shinshinim, young Israeli ambassadors to Tucson.

The Nachalat Binyamin fair will imitate a market in Tel Aviv, featuring a dozen local agencies and artisan stalls. Proceeds from these vendor’s market stalls will support a refugee child at camp this summer.

Savory and sweet food options and Israeli beer and wine will be available for purchase. As the festival date coincides with the Moroccan Jewish Mimuna celebration marking the end of Passover, there also will be a  belly dancer demonstration and a stall preparing mufleta, fried dough wafers resembling pancakes, traditionally served on this holiday.

The free festival is hosted by the Weintraub Israel Center, a partnership between the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the J. For more information, visit or call