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Tampa JCC prepares for Israel Independence Day

Dancers perform at the 2013 Israel Independence Day festival. This year’s event will be May 4.

Tampa Jewish Community Center and Federation

Dancers perform at the 2013 Israel Independence Day festival. This year’s event will be May 4.

An estimated 3,000 people will gather May 4 when the Tampa Jewish Community Center and Federation hosts Kibbutz Cohn, a festival honoring the 66th anniversary of the state of Israel being declared independent of Palestine.

The annual Israel Independence Day celebration will take place from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Maureen and Douglas Cohn Jewish Community Campus, 13009 Community Campus Drive.

For one afternoon, the campus will be transformed into a replica kibbutz, the name used for Israel's agricultural communities where much of the country's farming is done. The event will include a petting zoo and cow milking station. Guests also will enjoy live music, Israeli foods, games, children's activities and shopping.

"It is important to celebrate Israel not only on a global scale but within our own individual communities," said Brandy Gold, arts and cultural director for the Tampa Jewish Community Center.

The community is invited to the celebration, which will include a visit from Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham at 4:30 p.m. to present a proclamation honoring the Israeli holiday. Admission is free. Food and some activities will be available for purchase. An all-inclusive wristband is available for $18.

For more information, visit


Also in honor of Israel Independence Day, the Tampa Jewish Community Center and Federation will present "Israel's Vision of Continuity: A Rabbi's Journey, a Soldier's Story," featuring speaker Rabbi Shalom Hammer of the Educational and Cultural division of the Chief Rabbinate of the Israeli Defense Forces, at 7 p.m. May 7 at Congregation Schaarai Zedek, 3303 W Swann Ave., Tampa. The public is invited to this free event, which will include a wine and cheese reception. For more information, visit

Sarah Whitman can be reached at


Grace Family Church, 5101 Van Dyke Road, will host a Financial Freedom workshop beginning at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. The one-day event will teach participants how to manage life on a budget. Instructors will discuss the three aspects of handling money: spiritual, emotional and practical. A continental breakfast will begin at 8:15. To get more information and to register, visit

City Life Church, 8411 N Dale Mabry Highway, will present Leadercast, a live simulcast featuring top Christian leaders, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 9. Speakers will include Laura Bush, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, author Andy Stanley and screenwriter Daniel Wallace. Each will talk about what it means to serve as a leader. Tickets are $79 if purchased by Wednesday. The cost includes breakfast, lunch, a goodie bag and a Leadercast notebook. Tickets are available online at or by phone at toll-free 1-855-223-1008. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. the day of the event.

Brandon Christian Women's Connection will host its end-of-season luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 12 at the Bell Shoals Special Events Center, 2102 Bell Shoals Road. The event will include a fashion show. Cost to attend is $14 for members or $9 for first-time guests. Registration is requested by May 5. For more information or registration, call (813) 740-0098.

Tampa JCC prepares for Israel Independence Day 04/23/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 3:24pm]
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