Calendar announced for Kaleidoscope Israel

BY ROBERT A. COHN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF EMERITUS

Plans are beginning to come together for an extended year-long community celebration of the ever-changing spectrum that is Israel at 60.

The Kaleidoscope Israel calendar of events, appearing for the first time in this issue of the St. Louis Jewish Light will be printed on a regular basis to keep the community up to date. The Kaleidoscope Israel calendar features a wide range of historical, cultural, social and educational events which will help the St. Louis Jewish community celebrate Israel’s six decades of independence. Paul and Diane Gallant, their children Steve and Amy Gallant and grandsons Richie and Tommy Gallant are the three-generation co-chairs of Kaleidoscope Israel. They recently shared an overview of Kaleidoscope Israel with the St. Louis Jewish Light. (The Gallants will be quoted by first names only for the balance of this story).

“We have made an amazing amount of progress so far, and are eager to publicize the upcoming events at this point with the Jewish community of St. Louis,” said Diane. Added Paul, “Our directive and commitment was to do something in support of the State of Israel that was original and unique.” They added that Kaleidoscope Israel is a project of and staffed by the Central Agency for Jewish Education, and funded by the Jewish Federation of St. Louis. “We are very grateful to both the Jewish Federation and CAJE for their commitment to the success of this exciting 60th anniversary of Israel,” observed Diane.

Steve and Amy and their sons Richie and Tommy share Diane and Paul’s enthusiasm for Kaleidoscope Israel. “It is no easy task to sustain an extended program of intensive activities,” noted Steve. “While Kaleidoscope Israel will directly sponsor a number of key programs, we are also partnering with numerous St. Louis organizations and synagogues and temples,” added Amy. “If an organization or synagogue plans to schedule an Israel-focused event that is open to the community, they will have the right to use the Kaleidoscope Israel logo, thereby creating a continually unfolding series of events.”

Diane pointed out, “Just like the brilliant and ever-changing colors that one sees in a kaleidoscope when one turns it, so it will be with Kaleidoscope Israel, an ever-changing, pulsating and dynamic series of events that will capture the sights, sounds and feel of the State of Israel. Among the areas to be highlighted are those dealing with business and science, bio-medical advances, culture, ethnicity, archeology and history.”

“Thanks to the generosity of the Milford and Lee Bohm Fund and the Bohms’ sons, Robert and David, there will be a special insert in the St. Louis Jewish Light. This insert will deal with Israel’s dramatic progress in the area of business, including joint ventures with major American and European companies and advances in medicine, among many other areas. Milford was a longtime member and officer of the Jewish Light Board,” Paul pointed out.

Richie and Tommy share their parents’ and grandparents’ enthusiasm for Kaleidoscope Israel. “We have sought and gained the support of Jewish youth groups, schools and other teen groups, so that there will be the largest ever support for Israel on the part of the teens in our community,” said Richie. Tommy added, “I am really pumped and excited to be part of the Kaleidoscope effort. It will be awesome to bring together so many Jewish kids doing stuff that has never been done.”

The detailed Kaleidosope Israel calendar of events appears elsewere on this page. Among some of the highlights are:

* On Jan. 31, 2008, in cooperation with the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival, there will be a fascinating program featuring the internationally acclaimed Israeli photojournalist David Rubinger, along with an exhibit of his photographs. “We are very excited that David Rubinger, who has photographed nearly every major event in Israel’s history will be here in St. Louis for the Jewish Book Festival and Kaleidoscope Israel,” commented Diane.

“The St. Louis Jewish Light is in the process of planning, in conjunction with Kaleidoscope Israel, a community photo contest,” Paul added, “We are thrilled that the Light has agreed to work with us on the photo contest and to publish many of the entered and winning photos in our community Jewish newspaper and its website.”

* “During the week of May 4-9, 2008, things will really take off dramatically in our community-wide observances and celebrations,” noted Diane. “A set designer has been engaged to transform the appearance of the Jewish Community Center’s Wohl Building into a replication of parts of Jerusalem, and the entire week of Israel’s 60th anniversary will feature speakers, vendors, an Israeli cafe, and cultural, teen and family activities.”

“Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for members of the Israel Defense Forces who have fallen in battle, will be observed followed by a celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut, the day David Ben-Gurion issued the Declaration of Indepedence creating the State of Israel,” said Paul.

* On May 13, 2008 an exciting concert featuring one of the top entertainment figures in the State of Israel will take place at the Touhill Center, according to Steve.

Amy said, “We know the community will be thrilled when we can make this announcement right after the first of the year. In addition, in the initial planning stages are a continuation of unique celebrations in the fall including an outstanding culminating event.”

For more information on Kaleidoscope Israel, call Karen Rader at 314-442-3756 or email to [email protected] or visit online at www.cajestl.org.

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