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B'Nai Sholom Congregation to celebrate rebirth of Israel

Apr. 19, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- B'Nai Sholom Congregation in Huntington has activities planned this weekend in conjunction with the 65th anniversary of the rebirth of the state of Israel.

A Shabbat and Evening Service and Oneg begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 19, at the synagogue, located at the corner of 10th Street and 10th Avenue. Rachel Levy, network consultant for the Midwest Region of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), will speak as part of the evening activities.

Shabbat Services and Kiddish are planned for 9 a.m. Saturday, April 20, and an evening reception begins at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Saturday evening event features a talk by Marty Greenberg, executive director for Small Communities for the JFNA. He accompanied about 20 Huntington Jews on a trip to Israel late last year. He and members of the tour group will have a reunion Saturday night and share their impressions and stories from their trip.

The group visited Dimona, the Sea of Galilee, Safed, the Ruins of Caesarea, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea and more. A Israeli-style falafel bar fundraiser will be hosted as part of the evening events.

Taking the opportunity to share their experiences "ties in with Israel Independence Day and gives us a chance, after some reflection and being home for a while, to see how it's settled in," said Linda Klein, coordinator of the trip and this weekend's events. "I'm interested to hear from people who haven't been to Israel before or are new to Judaism."

The congregation also will take the opportunity Saturday to honor the late Art Weisberg, founder of State Electric and community philanthropist who died last year.

"His family has been such a pillar here," Klein said.

Sunday services begin at 9 a.m. April 21 at B'Nai Sholom. From 2 to 4 p.m. at Pullman Square will be West Virginia's 3rd Annual Independence Day Celebration, celebrating the 65th anniversary of Israel becoming a democratic country where citizens have freedom of worship. The celebration will feature speakers, dancing, singing, Israeli music and more.

Rabbi Jean Eglinton and retired Rabbi David Wucher of B'Nai Sholom will be there, as well as Rabbi Victor Urecki of Charleston -- three of the seven Jewish rabbis in West Virginia, Klein said.

That celebration is hosted in partnership with Christ Temple Church.

"Many of the churches in the area have gone on their own trips to Israel," Klein said. "They see the opportunity to publicly support Israel, and we think that's a lovely thing and are happy to join in with them."

All the activities are open to the entire community, Jews and non-Jews alike, she said.

"Many people beyond us feel very warmly and reverentially about Israel," she said.