Celebration of Israel aims to broaden audience

Celebration of Israel aims to broaden audience

David Broza concert an effort to appeal across the generations

Staff Writer, New Jersey Jewish News

This year, Israel Independence Day is not just for kids. Hoping to reach beyond an audience drawn to carnival booths, crafts tables, and children’s entertainers, the community-wide Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration will feature a concert by Israeli and international singer-songwriter David Broza, who has been recording and selling records since the 1970s.

That doesn’t mean that younger children won’t get a chance to celebrate with their families as well: The Broza concert, on Thursday evening, April 26, at Temple B’nai Abraham in Livingston, is one of nine separate events being held in April, including carnivals and art activities, organized by the Legow Family Israel Program Center of United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ.

But the Broza concert is geared for those who are eager to celebrate Israel on their own, and not just as parents or chaperones, said IPC chair Lisa Lisser. “We’re looking toward the adult community that comes out for serious events,” she said, “but has not been drawn by the carnival,” the afternoon event traditionally held at the Aidekman campus in Whippany. “There is a group of adults now traveling to Israel who are stimulated by advocacy for Israel. This is the kind of event we think they will be interested in.”

The goal, she said, is to generate “the kind of excitement we want for Yom Ha’atzmaut.”

Broza, 56, has been a star in Israel since the 1977 release of the song “Yihye Tov” (“It Will be Good”), written with poet Yonatan Geffen. Among his almost 30 albums of songs in Hebrew, Spanish, and English are collaborations with singers/songwriters Jackson Browne and Shawn Colvin, projects with Arab musicians, and a tribute to the late Texas songwriter and musician Townes Van Zandt.

Over 1,000 people are expected to attend the April 26 concert, cochaired by Claudia and Brandon Minde of Livingston and Mark and Shari Bernstein of Boonton.

Area synagogues will host family celebrations geared to kids in the third through seventh grades. Each will feature the Rishonim — emissaries from Israel spending the year with IPC — or students from MetroWest High School in Ra’anana.

Families will also have an opportunity to celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut at A Party for Israel on Wednesday, April 25, at 4:30 p.m. on the Aidekman campus featuring PJ Library presentations as well as face painting, arts and crafts, and Israeli food.

The IPC is holding an art competition through the area’s religious schools and day schools, requesting entries that depict the young artists’ feelings about Israel on its 64th birthday. The winning artwork will be reproduced in the Broza concert program.

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