The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia is anguished and outraged by the senseless violence in Las Vegas. As we begin the new year, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the entire Las Vegas community today.

Also, see our response to recent natural disasters and how you can help.

The number 70 has always been important throughout Jewish tradition. When Jacob’s family went down to Egypt, they numbered “seventy souls.” Moses was commanded to appoint 70 elders as Israel’s first governing body. The Midrash tells us that Torah is so wonderfully multifaceted as to have 70 “faces.” After the Tower of Babel, humankind separated into 70 nations, each with their own language. And now, we’re thrilled to mark Israel’s 70th birthday, a special occasion for the global Jewish community to rejoice in 70 years of independence, vitality, strength, warmth and innovation.

To celebrate, we have a full calendar of events for our entire community in store for you. Join us for the most fun, exciting, and thought-provoking Israel programming of the year. We’ll cook, watch films, tell our stories, study Torah and play matkot. We’ll listen to music. We’ll listen to each other. We’ll dance.

Let’s mark this moment, together.

In planning Israel70, the Jewish Federation turned to the communities of Greater Philadelphia to help design the celebration. Through town halls and public meetings, we spoke with many organizations, synagogues and people across the region. We heard the voices of Greater Philadelphia speaking a unified love of Israel, but also a multitude of ideas on how to best commemorate Israel’s 70th year of existence. From these voices, the Jewish Federation has crafted a year of events, celebrations, and opportunities for engagement so that we may all deepen and enhance our connections to Israel.