Throughout Israel70, we have hosted a number of new and exciting programs to celebrate, honor and commemorate Israel in a multitude of ways and across all of Greater Philadelphia. To see what we’ve been up to, see the list below of our past Israel 70 events.

Fall 2018

Civil Dialogue for Uncivil Times

October 29, 2018
Congregation Beth Or

Jewish-American thought leaders J.J. Goldberg and Jonathan Tobin debated arguments from the Left and the Right about the complex issue of peace in Middle East, demonstrating how we can come together to determinedly but civilly articulate one’s opinion, even if we disagree.

Rabbi Lila Kagedan

October 21, 2018
Levering Mill House

As part of the Jewish Federation’s Torah MiTziyon program, Lechu Neranena, Lower Merion’s partnership minyan, welcomed Rabbi Lila Kageden for their scholar-in-residence weekend.  Rabbi Kageden spent Shabbat in our community, speaking about her path to ordination as an Orthodox woman along with the options and obstacles that Orthodox women face — within their families, within their communities and from the larger Orthodox world.

Summer 2018

Humans of Tel Aviv

August 21 - September 3, 2018
Sister Cities Park

The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, in partnership with Citizens Diplomacy International, presented a public art exhibition of “Humans of Tel Aviv” to help Greater Philadelphians discover the diversity of Tel Aviv.

Since October 27, 1966, Philadelphia has maintained a special connection to Tel Aviv as one of our sister cities. The Sister Cities Program, overseen by Citizens Diplomacy International, links Philadelphia to 11 international cities, promoting economic ties, strengthening cultural understanding and providing humanitarian assistance. The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia is proud to partner with Citizens Diplomacy International in fostering cultural understanding between Greater Philadelphia and Israel.

Festival Ahava: Caribbean Beach Party

July 26, 2018
The Chevra

On Tu-B’Av (Israel’s Valentine’s Day) The Chevra hosted its annual Festival Of Love to brought our communities together for an evening of peace, love and harmony, featuring renowned Israeli livetronica band G-Nome Project.

Making Israel Real

April 13 - June 29, 2018
Temple Judea Museum

In this exhibition Greater Philadelphia artists reflected upon Israel as a nexus of world-wide Jewish culture. As if in conversation with artists from the formative years of the State of Israel, these 2018 artists provided a new context from which to explore Israel70, alongside works from the Temple Judea Museum’s Contemporary Israel Art Collection.

Israel Gay Youth

June 20, 2018
Mekor HaBracha

Israel Gay Youth’s (IGY) International Secretary Liana Meirom and Coordinator of Arab Groups Nizar Helawy shared IGY’s work creating welcoming environments across Israel where teens and young adults can freely express their sexual orientation and gender identity. While working with counselors to navigate their experiences and challenges, participants of IGY’s 40+ social and support groups gain a sense of empowerment and invaluable leadership skills.


May 14 – June 9, 2018
KleinLife, Philadelphia

Did you know Israel’s marine area is larger than its terrestrial territory? Through this interactive exhibit, our Greater Philadelphia communities discovered Israel’s vision of “Blue Growth,” the sustainable development of its coast and surrounding waters.

Pairings on the Parkway

June 7, 2018
Sister Cities Park, Philadelphia

The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and Citizens Diplomacy International presented Israeli singer-songwriter Hadar McNeill. Israel-born but longtime Philly resident, Hadar performed her own electronic pop music as well as hits from her homeland as listeners dined from their picnic baskets or sampled the park’s delicious summer grilling menu.

The Oslo Diaries

June 3, 2018
The Kimmel Center, Philadelphia

As a special screening from the Israeli Film Festival, this documentary draws information from the personal diaries of participants of the secret peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, diving into the behind the scenes negotiations of the Oslo Accord through never before seen archival footage.

Timbalooloo Family Concert

June 3, 2018
Congregation Kol Emet, Morrisville

This family-friendly concert was a fun and interactive way to celebrate Israel’s 70th birthday.

Founded by Israeli clarinetist Oran Etkin, Timbalooloo strives to reimagine the way music is taught and how music can be conceived by children during their formative years. Instead of emphasizing traditional notes, Timbalooloo encourages young musicians to discover how to make their instruments speak.

Spring 2018

Israeli Flag Raising Ceremony

May 14, 2018
Philadelphia City Hall

On this day in 1948, Israel declared its independence. To commemorate this important date in Jewish history, we raised the Israeli Flag for the first time ever at Philadelphia City Hall, alongside brief remarks by elected officials and a performance by a local choir.

Rabbi Ken Spiro

May 13, 2018
B’nai Israel - Ohev Zedek

As part of the Jewish Federation’s Torah MiTziyon program, renowned historian and author Rabbi Ken Spiro presented his conversation, “Zionism & Judaism: Bridging the Gap – Understanding the Background of the Religious/Secular Debate in Israel Today.” A Senior Lecturer and Researcher for Aish HaTorah, Jerusalem, Rabbi Spiro earned his B.A. in Russian Language and Literature from Vassar College, followed by graduate studies at the Pushkin Institute in Moscow.

5-6-70 Israel!

May 6, 2018
Event Center at the Valley Forge Casino Resort

On May 6th, so many members of our Greater Philadelphia communities gathered for the ultimate birthday party to celebrate Israel’s 70th anniversary of independence. Our celebration was packed with cooking demos, wine and olive oil tastings, Israeli dancingGaga courts, short Israeli films, art and science exhibits, vendors offering fine crafts and Judaica, local music and the popular Israeli cover band Capaim. It was truly a day of community, a day of family and, surely, a day to remember. But most importantly, it was a day for Israel.

See photos here.

David Broza: Live in Concert

May 6, 2018
Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El

As a triumphant finish to the birthday festivities, multi-platinum Israeli singer-songwriter David Broza delighted listeners with his famously charismatic and dynamic performance, combining influences from Israel, Spain, and England, which result in his signature pop sound.

Hosted by Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El and sponsored in part by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

Israel’s Relationships with Her Neighbors

May 3, 2018
National Museum of American Jewish History

In this enlightening conversation with Dani Dayan, Consul General of Israel in New York; Dr. Joshua Krasna, a Robert A. Fox Fellow; and Carole Nuriel, Anti-Defamation League Regional Director – Jerusalem, the panel illuminated the evolving relationships between Israel and her neighbors over the last 70 years and the many new initiatives underway in the region today.

Hosted in partnership between the Philadelphia ADL International Affairs Committee, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and the National Museum of American Jewish History.

My Israel Story

January - April 2018
Various Locations, Greater Philadelphia

The Jewish Federation and First Person Arts, Philadelphia’s premier storytelling organization, teamed up to host storytelling workshops throughout Greater Philadelphia. Participants worked in small groups led by professional coaches in order to draw out and craft their personal story about their affinity with Israel. Afterwards, they recorded a professionally filmed telling of their stories, which will be shared via social media.

Israel70 Celebration with the Children of the World

April 29, 2018
KleinLife, Philadelphia

At this multicultural concert,  children from our communities offered the gifts of songs and dances to Israel for its 70th birthday. Alongside numerous Israeli songs — performed in both Hebrew & English, and Israeli dancing — children from Africa, Albania, Georgia, India, Korea, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and the United States each staged a traditional performance, filling KleinLife with our global love of Israel.

Rabbi Binyamin ZImmerman

April 29, 2018
Congregation Beth Hamedrosh, Wynnewood

As part of the Jewish Federation’s Torah MiTziyon program, Chief Educator of the Zomet Institute of Halacha and Technology, Rabbi Zimmerman joined Congregation Beth Hamedrosh live from Israel to discuss Zomet’s work over 35 years devising practical and pragmatic solutions for institutions, businesses and private citizens in order to help them merge Halachic Judaism with modern life, focusing on utilizing security technology on Shabbat.

Hummus! The Movie

April 24, 2018
Prince Theater, Philadelphia

After a very special screening of Hummus! the Movie, showcasing the personal stories of the men and women who live their lives and love their hummus, we mingled over hummus and light refreshments.

This screening was hosted in partnership with JerusalemU, the Jewish Federation’s NextGen, the IAC, the Chevra and the Jewish National Fund.

Yom Hazikaron (Israeli Memorial Day) Ceremony

April 17, 2018
Har Zion Temple, Penn Valley

In memorial of Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror, our communities gathered for a bilingual program honoring Israel’s Memorial Day. Sponsored by the Israeli American Council, the Consulate General of Israel in New York and the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

BuxMont Kehillah Israel Games

April 17, 2018
Congregation Beth Or, Maple Glen

Students in grades 3-6 at Bux-Mont Religious Schools joined for a friendly Maccabiah-style afternoon filled with relay races, gaga games, Gadna (army) competitions, Israel trivia games, team banner making and team ruach (spirit)! Hosted in partnership with and funded in part by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

Hummus Smash

January - May 2018
Various Locations, Greater Philadelphia

Are you a hummus whiz? Throughout Greater Philadelphia, our communities hosted hummus competitions where friends and family competed to find out who really has the best chickpea chops. Victors took home prizes (along with bragging rights, of course) for the best tasting, most interesting and most beautiful hummus platter.

Winter 2018

Israel in Film

March 3-25, 2018
Various Locations, Greater Philadelphia

This year, the Israeli Film Festival of Philadelphia expanded its first-class offerings to new locations across Greater Philadelphia, showcasing the best Israeli films of the year. Hosted in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. 

Dalia Fadila

March 22, 2018
Gratz College

Specializing in Arab society in Israel, leadership, and women’s leadership, Dr. Fadila is the Director of Al-Qasemi College for Science and Engineering in Baka al-Garbiyyeh and heads its School for Practical Engineers. In 2008, Dr. Fadila founded Q School – a school for English language skills and human development where she educates the next generation of Arab citizens. Since 2017, she has been the Knesset’s official advisor on matters of education for Israel’s Arab society.

Jamie Geller Food Demonstration

March 18, 2018
Old York Road Temple-Beth Am, Abington

Raising funds for the Kehillah of Old York Road’s AFMDA ambulance campaign, Abington-born celebrity kosher chef, Jamie Geller, famously of, demonstrated cooking tips and tricks along with new Passover recipes. Hosted in partnership with and funded in part by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

The U.S.-Israel Relationship: A Conversation with Ambassador Daniel Shapiro

March 8, 2018 | 8:00 p.m.
Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El, Wynnewood

The Honorable Daniel Shapiro, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel during the Obama administration, called on his 20+ years in senior foreign policy and national security positions to give insight into the recent political relationship between the two countries under Presidents Obama and Trump.

Kallah: A Night of Jewish Learning

February 24, 2018 | 6:45 p.m.
Ursinus College, Collegeville

The Kehillah of Bux-Mont and the Kehillah of Chester County teamed up to renew the Kallah: Night of Jewish Learning, an evening of “Celebrating Israel through Sights, Sounds and Tastes” through classes taught by local rabbis, a keynote address by Consul General Dani Dayan and socializing over dessert. Hosted in partnership and funded in part by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

Mehereta Baruch-Ron

January 30, 2018 | 6:30 p.m.
Stokes Auditorium, Haverford College

Mehereta Baruch-Ron currently serves as Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv, the first woman of Ethiopian heritage to serve in that capacity. Born in 1974 in Seramle, Ethiopia, she made aliyah in Operation Moses in 1984. Although not formally educated as a young child, once in Israel she went on to receive a B.A. in Psychology and Human Services and an M.A. in Organizational Psychology from Haifa University. Now, she oversees the city council’s social services and welfare programs. Co-sponsored with Hillels in Philadelphia and the Bi-Co Friends of Israel and Citizens Diplomacy International.

Scholar in Residence Weekend: Dr. Ruth Calderon

January 19-21, 2018
Adath Israel, Merion Station

Scholar, author and former member of the Knesset, Dr. Ruth Calderon has always been an innovator. With her unique approach to Israeli-Jewish identity, considering traditional learning through a modern and sensitive lens, she has begun to transform the way many Israelis think about Jewish texts and heritage. This was a weekend of meaningful learning at Adath Israel with a scholar who is changing both Talmud study and Israeli identity for this generation and the next.

Co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

Amal Elsana Alh'jooj

January 17, 2018 | 7:00 p.m.
Temple Beth Zion - Beth Israel

Former candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, Amal Elsana Alh’jooj is a renowned activist in the Bedouin community in Israel. She began her career as a community organizer at age 14. At 17, she established the first Arab Bedouin women’s organization, and ever since her work promoting women’s rights, Arab citizens’ rights and Jewish-Arab relations in Israel has helped to revolutionize public opinion for minority groups in Israel.Today, Amal is Executive Director of ICAN-McGill at McGill University, School of Social Work.

Fall 2017

A Queer Country

December 4, 2017
2100 Arch Street, Room 200, Philadelphia

Lisa Morgenthau’s directorial debut in documentary, A Queer Country, explores Israel’s buzzing LGBTQ community. Interweaving the personal and political, this documentary builds an intimate portrait of the struggle between the country’s liberal and conservative attitudes. After the screen, viewers participated in an engaging discussion of LGBTQ life in Israel.


December 3, 2017
Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia

A day-long learning fest, hosted by LimmudPhilly and the Center City Kehillah, welcomed everyone in Greater Philadelphia to immerse themselves in study with a special Israel track added to the lineup. Children 3-12 also had their own amazing Jewish learning experience at YoungLimmud! Hosted in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

Rock in the Red Zone

November 18, 2017
Adath Israel, Merion Station

Filmmaker Laura Bialis traveled to the Negev city of Sderot where, despite regular rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, she discovered a thriving music scene that captivated her and changed her life. The screening of this thrilling and emotional film culminated with a unique musical performance and a conversation with the filmmaker.

Sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, the AI Israel Affairs Committee, and the Havdallah Film Café.

Wrestling Jerusalem

October 18 - November 5, 2017
Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Philadelphia

At the Philadelphia Theatre Company, acclaimed actor/playwright Aaron Davidman performed his award-winning play “Wrestling Jerusalem,” a multidimensional journey into the Middle East. The three-week run includeds two special performances, hosted by the Jewish Community Relations Council: Interfaith Night, welcoming people of all faiths for an evening of exploration and conversation, and Jewish Community Night, when our community came together for the play and a post-performance panel discussion.

Back to Israel70 Events

Israel70 still has tons more programs throughout 2018. Click here to return to our events page.