Clear your calendar for Sunday, April 1, if you haven’t done so already. You’ll want to set aside the entire day to experience the Seattle Jewish Festival at Seattle Center, from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Don’t forget daylight savings time begins on April 1).
“The cultural richness of everything Jewish” will be celebrated with food, fun and music.
The festival will feature local and national Jewish performers, an international kosher food court, Jewish artistry and crafts, a Beit Midrash or education center, gift items, an extensive book fair, as well as children’s and teen activities and performers. All the entertainment and educational activities are free. The food booths and gift and book fairs will be selling everything from knishes to poetry.
Planning for the festival began over a year ago in order to secure top-name entertainment, such as Israeli pop star David Broza.
Seattle Jewish Festival committee co-chairs Hal S. Jackson and Gail and Dr. Bob Stagman are optimistic that attendance may exceed 20,000 based on the success of the Israel at 50 Festival two years ago.
“We want to give people a taste of the worldwide influences that make our culture unique, as well as contemporary,” said Jackson. Indeed, the Seattle Jewish community, numbering about 37,000, is comprised of many ethnic cultures including Eastern European, Russian, Greek, Turkish, Moroccan, Spanish, German, Austrian, as well as Israeli. The flavors and talents of these worlds combine to create a contemporary tapestry of Jewish music, art, culture and foods. Seattle has the third largest Sephardic or Mediterranean Jewish community in the United States.
The Seattle Jewish Festival is presented by IKEA, and sponsored by the Community Outreach Project of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. Other corporate sponsors include Seattle Center, Noah’s New York Bagels, Deloitte & Touch, Pepsi, The Jewish Transcript, The Eastside Journal and the Samis Foundation.
This Jewish Festival is part of FESTAL. Now in its sixth year, FESTAL represents 14 cultural community festivals at Seattle Center. FESTAL cultural festivals are non-political celebrations, dedicated to showcasing the art, music, dance, performance, foods and heritage of the rich and diverse cultures that populate our community.
For more information, visit the festival Web site, www.seattlejewishfestival.com