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Approximately 7,000 people from across the Greater Philadelphia area attended the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia's "Israel in Our Hearts" Israel Independence Day celebration on May 21 at Eakins Oval in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Fetes Fifty-Eighth Anniversary of Israel

Thousands attend Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia's "Israel In Our Hearts" Israel Independence Day Celebration
The event began with the blowing of the shofar ceremony. Fifty-eight shofars, one for each year of Israel's independence, were sounded at the opening of the celebration 
Dr. Victoria Werth, dermatologist at U. Penn. Health System
Onstage performances included the Hasidic rock group Reva L?Sheva and Yoni Rechter. Yehudah Katz (above) and Eliezer Blumen performed for Reva L'sheva. Local choirs, a DJ, Israeli dancing with RakDan and the interactive music video game DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) provided entertainment throughout the day.
Dan Loeb and Charlie Smolover of the Philadelphia Jewish Voice
Attendees lined up at ShopRite's "Taste of Israel" pavilion to enjoy cooking demonstrations and receive free food samples. Cultural exhibits and activities included science, history, entertainment and junior Maccabi sports pavilions; and the Israel Festival, which featured an Israeli marketplace, camel rides, arts and crafts activities, food vendors, a Bedouin tent and a teen tent.
Maxine Elkins of Israel Crafts
Rabbi Weber demonstrating the use of tefilin to Alex Lassoff
Dr. Melissa Lerman, Deborah Stern Silver and Judith Hodara enjoying delicious falafels.
"Renaissance Man" Yohai Koday owner of 17th Street Falafel Stand and professional photographer.
Dignitaries included Theodore Herzl (founder of modern Zionism), David Ben Gurion (1st prime minister of Israel), Golda Meir (4th prime minister of Israel) and Ilan Ramon (Israeli astronaut)  
Rachel Dunaief of the Jewish Relief Agency accepts donations. 
 "Israel in Our Hearts" sponsors include: ShopRite, Blank Rome LLP, Boscov's, Fairmount Park Commission, Consulate General of Israel in Philadelphia, Jewish Exponent and Fox Rothschild.

Federation's Center for Israel and Overseas organized and coordinated the event. The Center develops and administers community outreach, cultural and relief programs that facilitate the Greater Philadelphia Jewish community's strong connection with and support for Israel. Event co-chairs were  Jeff Perlman, Cindy Smukler Dorani, Ian Michel

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