By: Joshua Danker-Dake | Category: Other | Issue: October 2007
Pictured is Russ Newman, chairman of Temple Israel’s 2007 ShalomFest.
Are you looking for some free entertainment and maybe a little culture? If so, the 14th Annual ShalomFest, hosted by Temple Israel, is the place for you. Held Sunday, October 7, the event will be a great opportunity for people to taste Jewish food and see entertainment in a family-friendly, alcohol-free atmosphere. Jews and gentiles alike are welcome.
“What we have here is Temple Israel hosting for the community a celebration of Jewish religion and culture,” says Russ Newman, chairman of ShalomFest. “Our congregation is inviting the public to join our celebration. It’s exciting because there are over 300 volunteers from our congregation.”
Founded in 1914, Temple Israel has over 500 families in its community. It is affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism, the national organization of Reform Judaism. With its worship services, lifecycle events, Hebrew education, activities and meetings for congregants, there are many ways for every member of the family to get involved.
Eager for a taste of Jewish food, music and art, anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 people have been attracted to ShalomFest in the past. “A lot of people come for the food,” says Newman. “We have a wide assortment of foods from places Jews have lived all over the world.” This includes Israeli-style falafel, hummus, borekas, which is an Israeli pastry, cabbage rolls, kosher hot dogs, New York-style pastrami, borscht, bialys, latkes, as well as hamentachen and rugelach, two traditional pastries.
ShalomFest will have entertainment in abundance, including performances of traditional songs and music. Included will be music of the Jewish holidays and performances by Temple Israel Junior and Rock ‘n Soul choirs, both led by Cantor Kari Seigal-Eglash, and Rebecca Ungerman, Jody Weise and Jan Simpson. Temple Israel’s Levite Band will also perform, in addition to the Klezmer Band, which is led by Joe Eglash.
Guests will have the opportunity to learn a lot about Jewish culture. There will be model ceremonies of Jewish lifecycle events, including weddings and bar and bat mitzvahs. Group tours of the temple will be given, and the Israeli education room will be open for observance. Additionally, there will be displays of ritual art and Israel exhibits.
ShalomFest will have something for every member of the family. If shopping is your thing, you can check out the book sales and the wide variety of Judaica available, including jewelry, ritual objects, and holiday items. There will be activities for the kids, including hands-on crafts, a play area and a Jupiter Jump.
ShalomFest will be held Sunday, October 7, from noon to 6 p.m. Admission is free. Temple Israel is located at 2004 E. 22nd Place, just south of Utica Square. For more information, call Temple Israel at (918) 747-1309 or visit the website at www.templetulsa.com.