Israel Fest: Hillel students celebrate Independence Day

Rebecca Reis

Rain showers didn’t stop students from celebrating Israel’s 64th Independence Day in front of the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center on Thursday.

Israel Fest, presented by Hillel at Kent State, featured a DJ tent, a rock-climbing wall, a photo booth and a mud mask table that represented different aspects of Israel.

Passers-by were invited to climb the rock wall, which represented the Golan Heights, a mountain in the north of Israel.

Keren Pardo-Roques, Israel fellow of Hillel at Kent State, said the goal of the stations was to create something free and fun that would show some of the great parts of Israel.

“We wanted to show another side of Israel, the touristy kind of Israel,” Pardo-Roques said. “We have wonderful nature, and we wanted to share it with these people, so at each station we have pictures.”

The Dead Sea station had pictures of beautiful beaches, and the station attendants offered Ahava mud mask facials. Ahava is a company that makes skin products inspired by the Dead Sea.

Allison Teitelbaum, sophomore nursing major, explained that the Dead Sea has lots of minerals that are good for the skin and body.

“There’s a lot of minerals and good things in it,” Teitelbaum said. “The Dead Sea is mostly salt. When you go there you can’t sink; you completely float in it.”

Teitelbaum also explained that the DJ station was meant to look like a Negev Bedouin tent.

“[Bedouins] are a certain type of Muslim in Israel that live in tents,” Teitelbaum said. “They’re very welcoming and they have these huge tents, they’re awesome. They feed you and give you tea and you sleep in there and it’s really cool.”

Another station had a green screen where participants could get their pictures taken and insert themselves in places like Tel Aviv, the capital of Israel.

Jenna Sisley, junior psychology major, said it’s important to celebrate Israel’s independence.

“It’s like any other [people],” Sisley said. “We celebrate our independence and for us it’s very important for us to celebrate Israel’s independence because it’s become such a huge part of our media. Since we have many Jews here it’s important for us to celebrate the heritage and culture.”

Contact Rebecca Reis at [email protected].