Israel Week comes to University of Maryland

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By Jake Parsky, news editor, @mitzpeh

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Israel Fest 2015 on McKeldin Mall. This university’s Jewish Student Union puts on Israel Fest, part of Maryland Hillel’s annual Israel Week event, to celebrate the state of Israel. Dovid Fisher/Mitzpeh.

Israel Week takes place beginning Tuesday and continues through April 19. Each year, Maryland Hillel hosts a series of events exploring different aspects of Israeli culture.

Tuesday, April 12 – 7:30 p.m.

The first event, a presentation by Chanoch Levin about Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, was held at the Maryland Hillel Rosenbloom Center for Jewish Life. Levin is a recently retired Iron Dome project manager at Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. In 2012, Levin received the Israel Defense Award from then Israeli president Shimon Peres. Levin was only recently revealed as the mastermind behind the Dome.

Wednesday, April 13 – 6:30 p.m.

In room 1119 of Susquehanna Hall, Israeli fashion blogger Liraz Cohen will speak about the history of Israeli fashion. From both a historical perspective and a fashion perspective, Cohen will demonstrate how historical events have influenced the creation of an “Israeli outfit.” In addition to the presentation, participants will have the opportunity to try on new and old Israeli accessories.

Thursday, April 14 – 7 p.m.

There will be a screening of Eran Riklis’ “A Borrowed Identity,” a film exploring the complex nature of the relationship between Jewish-Israelis and Arab-Israelis. Riklis, who directed “The Syrian Bride” in 2004, uses film to dig into the ways the conflict affects Israelis, who may not be Jewish, on a personal, emotional level. “A Borrowed Identity” will be screened in Susquehanna Hall.

Friday, April 15 – 8:15 p.m.

Maryland Hillel will host Israel Shabbat. At 8:15 p.m. following Orthodox, Conservative and musical services at 7 p.m., the kosher cafeteria will serve Middle Eastern food, such as falafel and shawarma.

Sunday, April 17 – 2 p.m.

There will be a free Krav Maga lesson on McKeldin Mall. Krav Maga is a form of street fighting created in the late 1940s by Imi Lichtenfeld. It was made for Israeli citizens to defend themselves against anti-Semitic protesters.

Tuesday, April 19 – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Israel Fest finishes up the week April 19. The event, which takes place on McKeldin Mall,  advertises free Aroma coffee, falafel and camel rides. Israel Fest is organized by the Jewish Student Union.

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