International Israeli star Noa to perform

Noa, known in Israel as Achinoam Nini, has been referred to as the Israeli Celine Dion. Born in Tel Aviv, her family moved to New York City when she was only two years old. When she was 17, she left her family in New York and returned to Israel on her own where she served her mandatory two years in the Israeli Army in an entertainment unit, singing and performing in an army combo that played contemporary Israeli pop songs as well as traditional music. After the army Noa studied music at the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, founded by jazz musician and Berkeley college graduate Gil Dor. When Noa met Dor in 1990, creative sparks flew, and they produced tremendously popular award-winning albums, she as vocalist and he on guitar. She has performed worldwide with such stars as Sting, Stevie Wonder, Bono, Ray Charles, Lionel Richie, Dionne Warwick, Sheryl Crow and many other greats.

Next month on Tuesday, May 13 at 7 p.m. at the beautiful Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Missouri – St. Louis, Noa will bring her music to our city. Her concert is a part of Kaleidoscope Israel, the community wide celebration to mark the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel. Noa is a world-class entertainer and this is a golden opportunity to hear her songs in Hebrew, English and, I am told, in other languages and styles including jazz, classical and rock and her own Yemenite background. Tickets are available at $18 and $54, while Patron tickets, which include a post show reception with the artist, are $180 and $360. Call 314-516-4949 or 866-516-4949 or visit to reserve your tickets.

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Kaleidoscope Israel is very much a family affair. Three generations of the Paul Gallant family — his wife Diane, their children, Amy and Steve Gallant and grandchildren, Richie and Tommy — are chairing the year-long celebration which will highlight Israeli business and science, bio-medical advances, culture, ethnicity, archeology and history. The Siwak family is chairing the special concert with internationally-known Noa. They are Nancy and Al and their family — Gianna Jacobson and Todd Siwak, Stacy and Greg Siwak, Roger Siwak and Erin and Steve Schuver. Throughout the year numerous events are planned to appeal to all ages and will be hosted by a variety of congregations and organizations.

Among those special happenings is KaleidoFest, a week at the JCC which gives everybody the opportunity to celebrate Israel at 60. The J’s gym will be transformed into an Israeli shuk or marketplace complete with traditional food, an Israeli coffeehouse, art, entertainment and cultural activities for all ages. Featured vendors will offer Israeli art, jewelry and other high quality items at a broad range of prices. On site there will be a replica of the Western Wall where notes can be inserted. The notes will then be transported to Israel to be placed in the Western Wall in Jerusalem. There will also be a large replica of the Shrine of the Book, and one of the few copies of the Dead Sea Scrolls that has ever been allowed outside of Israel will be on display. Transforming the gym into a shuk is set designer Dunsai Dai whose design will be built by the New Jewish Theatre.

Couture and Cocktails, sponsored by the Women’s Connection of the Jewish Federation, is an evening that is all about Israeli fashion, history, bling and cuisine.

The event, being held in connection with the Kaleidoscope Israel celebration, kicks off at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 29 at the Frontenac Hilton Hotel. A patron’s event will precede the fashion show. The cost is $36 for the fashion show and Israeli vegetarian dinner and $72 for the patron’s event where, prior to the show, wine and light appetizers will be served. RSVP by April 17 online at www.jewishinstlouis.

org/couture or call Lynn Harris Gossen for more information at 314-442-3729.

The fashion show will feature outfits by Israeli designer Biya Ramar, a rising international fashion star whose collections have wowed runway audiences from New York to Paris to Israel. To create her signature line she has traveled to exotic locations such as Thailand, northern Africa and China to collect hard-to-find textiles and dyes. Fashion magazines including Vogue, Elle and In Style, have featured her clothing, known for its colorful embroidery and elegant flowing fabrics. Among the Women’s Connection models will be Missouri representative Rachel Storch, Rabbi Amy Feder of Temple Israel and NewsChannel 5’s Ann Rubin. The clothing will be accented with baubles from St. Louis’ Mavrik Jewelry, owned by native Israeli Egal Alon. If you want to view the complete jewelry line which includes pieces by Michal Negrin, Ayala Bar and Egal himself, log on to www.mavrikjewelry. com.

Special note having nothing to do with fashion or food — those who attend are asked to bring a canned food item to donate to the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry.

Kaleidoscope Israel is generously funded by the Lubin-Green Foundation, a supporting foundation of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis. KaleidoFest has been made possible through the generosity of Michael and Carol Staenberg in conjunction with the Staenberg Family Foundation.