Sequel to Israel festival planned at House of Israel
By Sandy Golden
SAN DIEGO — Where else but in Israel can you find an entire wall made of Jerusalem stone, a replica of the Dead Sea Scrolls on permanent display, and information about Israel’s 2500-year history and also its modern rebirth and amazing achievements during the past 63 years?
It’s hard to believe, but on Sunday at the Yom Haatzmaot Celebration at Mission Bay, we discovered that many native and resident San Diegans, even some Jews, did not know about the existence of this “hidden treasure” where visitors can view and experience a taste of Israel, right here in San Diego, free of charge. Known as “The House of Israel” (HOI) this little cottage which was originally established in 1948, right after the State of Israel came into being, is located in the unique community of International Houses in Balboa Park. To those who came before us, it, like the State of Israel, was a dream come true!
To those of us who currently volunteer there on Sunday afternoons, the dream was further enhanced when the cottage was transformed, after it underwent its first remodeling last May, and a new generation of volunteers led by former HOI Vice-President Dr.Arnold Flick, saw their own “Dream House” become a reality.
And so that is why, on Israel’s Independence Day Celebration, the HOI Booth featured a competition for artists of all ages to draw and write about what they envisioned as their own Dream Houses. Using materials such as an outline of a House, magic markers and sparkling glitter of all colors, children and adults alike, with guidance from HOI remodel-designer Smadar Samson, expressed their creativity. in pictures and words, as they entered the competition.
On Sunday, May 20th, all of their pictures will be displayed at The House of Israel, for everyone to see, and prizes will be awarded to the participants. Also, on that very same day, at 2 p.m., The House of Israel will host its annual Lawn Program, which, this year once again will feature singing, dancing and delicious Israeli food.
This year’s program will include performances by well-known local Jewish groups as well as audience-participation Israeli dancing. Included in the program, will be:”The Connection,” a performance troupe from Ner Tamid Synagogue directed by Cara Freedman; Yochanan Winston and BECKO (Beth El Klezmer Community Orchestra) who will be performing classic and uplifting Israeli melodies; the Israeli Cultural Center dance and singing troupe led by Jennie Starr, and the San Diego Jewish Men’s Choir.
The grand finale will encourage members of the audience to participate in Israeli Dancing with Dalya, after which visitors are invited, as they are every Sunday, to visit The House, and view its exhibits. For additional information visit the HOI website at www.CottageOfIsrael.com
Golden is a freelance writer and a member of the House of Israel’s board of directors
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