New venue offers room for Memphis Israel Festival to grow

File photo from 2014 event

The Memphis Friends of Israel are holding the 9th annual Israel Festival in a new location.

The Nov. 13 event will be at the Agricenter International, 7777 Walnut Grove Road, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Memphis Friends of Israel is a pro-active, non-denominational, non-political, non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the Mid-South community about the positive aspects of Israeli society and about the value of American support for Israel. The biggest event each year is the Israel Festival that draws as many as 7,000.

“We are excited about hosting our event this year at the Agri-Center,” says Scott Baum, President of Memphis Friends of Israel. “The Agri-Center will allow us exciting opportunities to grow the Israel Festival. We are expecting this year to be our largest and most exciting Festival to date.”

Educational tents include Ask the Rabbi, Ask the Israelis, travel information, famous and interesting Israelis, places and things. There will also be information about Israeli advancements in technology, medicine and agriculture.

For children, there is a moon bounce, rock climbing wall and slide, face painting, camel riding, an archaeological dig, crafts and a petting zoo.

A Jewish Food Tent is a combined effort of all the Memphis synagogues and local kosher restaurants to cook Jewish, Mediterranean and European foods.

The main tent will feature the Bornblum Jewish Community School choir at 10:30 a.m., followed by Israeli folk dancers, a falafel eating contest and the Wachtel Klezmer Band. The final performance of the day will be Naqshon’s Leap blues music.

The education tent will feature Jonathan Feldstein, Israeli Deputy Consul Ron Brummer from the Atlanta Consulate and Temple Tours with Rabbi Joel Finkelstein. Earl Cox, an Israel goodwill ambassador, will speak about why standing with Israel matters, author Bill Koenig will speak about the practical versus the Biblical regarding a two-state solution, and Professor Abe Hank will speak about threats facing Israel and the Middle East.

Tatiana Becker of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America will speak about what is and is not in the media when it comes to Israel.

At 2 p.m. there will be a Stand With Israel All-Festival Rally in the main tent.

Admission is $5, ages 12 and under are free.