Hillel presents Israel Fest 2006

Josh Echt

While Israeli rock music blared from speakers, Beth Bloom, sophomore integrated language arts major, walked around Risman Plaza, answering questions about Israel during Hillel’s Israel Fest 2006.

“I discovered Hillel because my resident assistant was Jewish,” Bloom said. “I’ve also been to Israel; it’s good to take part in a festival like this.”

Hillel held Israel Fest 2006 yesterday afternoon at Risman Plaza, featuring a climbing wall in front of the M.A.C. Center and a camel ride in nearby Manchester Field.

“I’d say about several hundred people showed up,” Hillel Executive Director Jennifer Chestnut said “It’s real exciting to see people who don’t know much about Israel show up today.”

Israel Fest 2006 co-chair Harrison Heller, junior psychology major, said the festival celebrates the nation’s independence.

“It falls on May 3, 2006, on the English calendar,” he said.

The Hebrew calendar follows a different time schedule, he added.

Planning began several months ago. The festival’s camel ride was a unique touch, Heller said.

“A Hillel member knew someone that had a farm that had exotic animals such as bears and camels,” he said. “So we got the camel.”

Heller said the best part of the festival was bringing awareness of a different culture to students.

“It’s a good way to show a positive side of Israel, not just what you see in the news,” he said.

Contact general assignment reporter Josh Echt at [email protected].