Israel Day filled with camels, candy and cultural diversity

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Camel promoting Israel Day

Joyce Wang

SAVE A HORSE, RIDE A CAMEL. Western’s Israelis On Campus hosted Israel Day in the UCC atrium yesterday.

Yesterday, in the University Community Centre atrium, Israelis On Campus held its annual Israel Day. The event celebrates the diverse culture and heritage of Israel.

The club holds the event to “show the beautiful part of Israel, instead of just showing negative news,” said Rabbi Mordechai Silbeberg, a member of the club.

“Lots of people don’t even know where [Israel] is on the map,” noted Karen Yehudaiff, one of the event’s co-ordinators.

“In order to show the real Israel, we have a taste of every aspect,” said Didi Nishlis, Israelis on Campus president. “For example, for culture, we have music and food, and for tradition we have pictures of different sites in Israel and we show the different varieties of religions [that have Israel] as their centre.”

“My favourite things around here are the [camel costume worn by two students], and the condoms with funny slogans on them, and the Borat pins,” Yehudaiff said.

The event featured Israeli candy and food, as well as a falafel stand. Nishlis said lineups for food extended across the atrium.

There were also information booths on exchange programs and Israel-based charities students can participate in or donate to.

“Even though I’ve already been to Israel, I never knew how much Israeli aid and technology helps in other countries,” said second-year student Haley Faulkner.

“It’s very well organized " [the event] makes everybody feel comfortable, even with the cultural conflict,” said Souhad Assaf, a first-year student who hails from Lebanon.

This is the most important event during the year for Israelis On Campus, Nishlis said.

“Thirty people were involved in producing this event. [It took] two month’s preparation.”

Anyone interested in helping with next year’s Israel Day, or learning more about Israeli culture can contact Didi Nishlis at lnishlis@uwo.ca.

“Everyone is welcome, not just Jews and not just Israelis,” Nishlis said.

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