MUNSTER │ The Jewish community celebrated Israel Solidarity Day on Sunday at the Jewish Federation.
The event was held in honor of Israel’s 66th birthday and featured food, music and art.
Omer Eshel, Israeli consul for tourism for the Midwest, said it is not only the celebration of the independence of the state of Israel but also the independence of the Jewish nation worldwide.
“I came to support the community here,” Eshel said. “I think it’s important for an official from the Israeli government to come down and pay homage to this event.”
Eshel said the Jewish Federation in Munster understands how to balance between the Jewish audience and the non-Jewish audience.
“That is so crucial to the smaller Jewish communities,” he said.
The day included Yom Hazikaron, a special service because it’s a memorial service for the soldiers who’ve died protecting Israel. Solidarity Day Chairwoman Judy Katz said in Israel they also remember those who were lost in terrorist attacks.
“It was a beautiful service,” she said.
The event included booths of artwork presented by Israeli Artists United. Members from Israel are staying with local families during their visit to the region. Soon they will move on to other events in St. Louis, Milwaukee and New York.
“The art community is a very warm-welcoming community so whenever Israelis come over here we encourage them to stay with us,” said Katz, who has two women staying at her house.
One of the IAU members, Shiri Meir, said being at the Munster event was “interesting and exciting.”
Solidarity Day in Munster also featured a falafel stand and singers and dancers from Western Galilee in Israel. The Jewish Federation partners with Western Galilee and helps raise funds for its organizations.
Also on display at the event was an ambulance from the Magen David Adom, which is Israel’s national emergency medical, disaster and blood bank service.