This past April, The Great Danes for Israel, a CAMERA-supported group, held an Israel Fest along with a number of other pro-Israel groups on the SUNY Albany campus. Hundreds of students participated in the event, including many with no prior knowledge of Israel.
It was a “huge celebration of love,” according to Aviv Zommer, one of the organizers, who was very happy with the event’s turnout.
Love was indeed in the air at this event, but also in the art. Artists 4 Israel, an organization that educates and provides awareness about Israel through art, set up a spray paint mural project at the Israel Fest. With the help of two artists, students were given the opportunity to express artistically their vision of Israel.
The event included other stations as well, revealing the diversity of the people and the land of Israel. The Interfaith Alliance set up a necklace-making station. The UAlbany Pride Alliance set up a Tel Aviv station—a city known for its beach as well as its LGBTQ-friendly reputation. A virtual reality glasses station and a Middle Eastern reptiles station presented other fun aspects of Israel. In addition, an ice cream station and an Israeli marketplace station left the students with a sweet taste of modern and traditional Israeli culture.
The study abroad office set up a station, informing students about opportunities to see the country for themselves. Students learned about semester abroad programs as well as sponsored trips to Israel.
The event was a great success and Great Danes for Israel made a video to remember it.