If you usually visit the Arsenal Mall for Target or Home Depot, put something new on your calendar: Check out the Celebrate Israel Festival on June 11, kicking off at 2 p.m.

The Israeli American Council (IAC) and Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) will join to celebrate the Jewish and Israeli communities in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.

The Celebrate Israel Festival is a true community collaboration that brings together local Jewish and Israeli organizations, synagogues and schools to celebrate the art and culture of Israel,” says CJP president Barry Shrage. “We can’t wait to bring everyone together, and we’re thrilled to partner with the Israeli American Council to make this possible.”


What does this mean for kids? Fun! For Hebrew learning activities, join IAC Keshet in partnership with PJ Library, the Israeli Schools of Brookline and Lexington, Merkaz Ivri and Hebrew Play. They’ll organize activities centered around Israeli kehilah (community), safa (language) and tarbut (culture). Kids can browse books, decorate bookmarks and test their Hebrew vocabulary.

Older kids should chill at the IAC Eitanim Teen Lounge. Alumni of IAC’s Eitanim leadership program for Israeli-American and Jewish-American teens host the lounge, where tweens and teens can hang out, listen to popular Israeli music or play foosball and air hockey.

There’s music, too. Groove to Tzofim (Israeli Scouts) Friendship Caravan, a professional troupe of Israeli teens who dance, sing and tell stories. They spend a year rehearsing for this performance, so you know it’s good.

And, of course, food. Feast on a variety of treats thanks to Machane Yehuda Shuk. Run by 15 alumni of IAC Boston’s Gvanim adult leadership program, Celebrate Israel hosts a market modeled after Jerusalem’s famous Machane Yehuda market. Sip on limonana (lemonade with mint) and browse booths with fruit, Israeli snacks and sweets, olive oil, spices, dried fruit, hummus and pita and dollar-store toys.

It’s a fun way to connect Israeli culture with life here in the States. And by attending, you’re part of something bigger: The 2017 Celebrate Israel festivals are the largest coordinated celebrations outside of Israel. They unite 50,000 people across 15 cities coast to coast.

Get tickets here.