Broward County

Celebrate Israel Festival to take over Pembroke Pines park

A replica of the Western Wall be on display at the Celebrate Israel Festival Sunday at C.B. Smith Park.
A replica of the Western Wall be on display at the Celebrate Israel Festival Sunday at C.B. Smith Park. Israeli-American Council

Ever wanted to leave a note or prayer message in the crevices of the Western Wall, one of the holiest places in Jerusalem?

The Israeli-American Council is giving everyone the chance — and you don’t even need a passport.

On Sunday, the council will hold the Celebrate Israel Festival, complete with a replica of the wall. And all of the letters left there will be taken to Israel this summer and delivered to the real Western Wall.

“Our goal is to give people the look and feel of what Israel is really about,” said Florida Regional Director Denise Tamir.

The festival, which is one of several around the nation, is being held to celebrate Israel Independence Day, which was April 23. Tamir said the Israeli-American Council wanted to spotlight the arts, culture and innovation that is going on in Israel. Other festivals, expected to draw thousands of people, will be held in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Boston and New York throughout May.

“It’s unfortunate, but many people see Israel as a country in crisis,” Tamir said. “There is so much more.”

So the idea is to transform C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines into a mini Israel. There will a Tel Aviv beach, a Mahane Yehuda Market — styled after an outdoor marketplace in Jerusalem — and traditional Israeli activities, including a backgammon contest, Israeli-style karaoke and folk dancing. On the stage will be Israeli pop star Shlomi Shabat and other performers.

There will also be Israeli street foods, including hummus, salads and watermelon.

But Tamir said she is expecting that the wall, which is made out of wood and foam, will be a big hit.

“It’s an iconic symbol of the Jewish people that represents their connection to the land of Israel,” she said. “The tradition is when you wedge it into the cracks, God will get the message.”

To go:

What: Celebrate Israel Festival

When: From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday

Where: C.B. Smith Park, 900 N. Flamingo Rd.

Cost: Tickets are $6 in advance for adults and children under 12; $6 for children and $10 for adults at the door.

Information: Visit: www.iacflorida.com. or call 1-800-316-8559.

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