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Israel65. Celebrate! is the largest and greatest celebration of Israel in Baltimore. It is organized by volunteers from across the community and by professionals from more than two-dozen organizations.

Be there!

Israel65. Celebrate! is a family fun, nonreligious, nonpolitical, full-day event. It is kids’ activities and crafts, ashuk with artists and vendors, Israeli food, educational opportunities and an innovation exhibit with fascinating examples of the high-technology coming out of Israel.

It’s an awesome concert by Matis-yahu, whose song “One Day” cries out, “We don’t want to fight no more, there will be no more wars, and our children will play.” That’s a call for unity.

Please come!

Israel65. Celebrate! is a chance to show the city, the country and maybe even the world that Israel has made it — and has the support to keep making it.

Here are 6.5 reasons why you need to be at this event, which takes place June 2 at the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC:

1. Israel is always among the first to respond with humanitarian aid in times of an international crisis. The doctors who treated many of the victims of the Boston bombing said they were trained by Israelis. (An opportunity to take part in a spectacular hands-on volunteer experience happens from noon to 4 p.m.)

2. Mobileye Inside: Luxury European BMWs and Volvos will now protect themselves with Israeli anti- crash technology. (A showcase of Israeli innovations runs from noon to 4 p.m.)

3. Israel’s SodaStream, which became the first Israeli company to advertise during the Super Bowl, is an “Active Green” product, meaning that consumers are actively reducing their CO2 footprint every time they make soda or sparkling water at home
instead of buying it from the store. (SodaStream’s president, Yonah Lloyd, speaks at 1 p.m.)

4. Jews’ ancient connection to Israel affects the personal lives of Diaspora Jews today. We need to reinforce the centrality of Israel in Jewish life in America and to foster American Jews’ connection with Israel. (Israel parade marches at 2:30 p.m.)

5. For the sixth year in a row, the Golan Heights Winery in Northern Israel has been awarded medals in what is touted as the world’s leading wine competition. The Decanter World Wine Awards in London is renowned for its rigorous judging process, with more than 200 judges tasting more than 14,300 wines. The Yarden Heightswine 2011 won Best in Show for the regional category of Sweet Wines from the Middle East, Far East and Asia. (Young adult wine tasting starts at 3 p.m.)

6. Israel has its own distinctive music culture, and it has come together for more than a century — a combination of Jewish and non-Jewish traditions. (Matisyahu concert plays at 4 p.m.; he’s not from Israel, but he filmed his music video “Sunshine” there.)

The final half reason (.5) is because I am asking you to come. Yes, the JT is a media sponsor, and we’ll have a booth at which you can have your picture taken and transposed on a cover of the Baltimore Jewish Times. It’s very cool.

But that’s not why I am asking. It’s because Israel65. Celebrate! is very Israel. It is vital that we celebrate our connection to the land of Israel and the people of Israel.

Show up!

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